The idea of forming a Lodge working Emulation ritual was first discussed among PMs of Lodge St.George 3072, the principal proponents being Wor. Bros E.De Vere Archer, George Otway and Basil Byer.
They were able to convince other PMs and the brethren of Lodge St.George in general, and Conception Lodge 8346 was constituted and consecreted on February 18th 1971.
The consecration ceremony was conducted by the DGM, Rt.Wor Bro. L.E.R Gill and attended by brethren from the district of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. The founding members were:
- Wor.Bro D.G Otway
- Wor.Bro B.W. Byer
- Wor.Bro A.L Dopwell
- Wor.Bro M.D. Bain
- Wor.Bro G.L. Brathwaite
- Bro R.C Blamphin
- Bro R.E Japal
- Bro M.A Bullen
- Bro H.A Robertson
- Bro E.S Woodroff
- Bro G.A. Bain
- Bro J.F Gaylord
- Bro H.E.L Hosten
The after proceedings were held at the Lion's Den at Richmond Hill St. George's.
The name "Conception" was apparently chosen in commemoration of the original name given to Grenada by Christopher Columbus on sighting the island in 1492.
The first Master was Wor.Bro. David George Otway, who has had a very long and distinguised masonic career, being appointed first as ADGM for Barbados in 1989 and subsequently DDGM for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from 1996 - 2006.
There were two interesting peculiarities of Conception Lodge in the formative years; a) the working of the Lodge being conducted at floor level, the dais was not then used as it is today and b) the dress attire tended to be "tropicalised", the brethren were permitted to clothe themselves in a formal shirt jack suit shirt.
While innovative, the lack of uniformity somehow distracted from the solemnity of degre work in particular, and with the passage of time the practice was discontinued. As to why the Lodge initially worked at floor level and reverted to the dias is unclear.
Despite being one of the smallest lodges in the district, Conception has always played an active role in the district, with several past masters having served or are currently serving as officers. In fact, our first Master, Wor. Bro D.G Otway, has been Deputy District Grand Master from 1996 to 2006. Conception Lodge also hosted a very successful 300th Communication of the District of Barbados & The Eastern Caribbean on October 22nd 2005.
But it has not alway been easy sailing, as there was a time in the late eighties and early nineties when past masters had to be recycled due to the high attrition rate. Making and keeping new masons at that time was indeed a challenge.
Today, with the addition of a few young, dedicated and committed masons, under the guidance of our distinguished and well skilled past masters, Conception Lodge 8346 is one of the more vibrant lodges on the island.
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practised under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas - a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge - which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: it seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles:
Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Freemasons are taught to practise charity and to care - not only for their own - but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.