A Short History of Le Touquet Loge
In 1964 members of Godefroi de Bouillon Lodge No.6 the oldest in Flanders and based at Wimereux, decided that as they were in essence a "Winter Lodge" and there was a long wait between their final meeting in April and the commencement of Masonic duties once more in October they would like to open a "Summer Lodge." They therefore petitioned the Grand Master that they wished to consecrate a new lodge and wished it to be based at Le Touquet. Le Touquet was a small coastal resort 20 miles along the coast from Boulogne and had a long established reputation for its superb restaurants and Hotels and was once again restoring its pre-war reputation as the finest and most chic resort in Northern France. The Grand Master gave his consent and on 8th May 1965 amid scenes of great splendour and rejoicing, Le Touquet Loge was consecrated at the Bristol Hotel Le Touquet, by Rt.W.Bro. R.W.Robinson PAGM.
Guest of Honour was The Mayor of Le Touquet and numerous Grand and Provincial Officers and guests from other Provinces and of course from England. It has been reported, although no one can verify it, that 250 bottles of finest champagne were drunk at the inaugural meeting! Ceremonies were in English and the Loge followed the Emulation Ritual and in 1975 it was transferred to its present location at the Westminster Hotel.
In May 1982 at our Installation meeting a new Lodge Banner was dedicated comprising the Lodge crest and the Coat of Arms of Le Touquet. On that Day we had the pleasure of seeing one of our Founder members W. Bro. T. Greenham placed in the Chair of King Solomon and his son proposed for Initiation.
Over the course of the Years the Lodge gradually grew away from its Mother Lodge and only one or two of the older members attended both Lodges. Like all Lodges it experienced its good and bad times with members increasing and re-ceding according to the economic climate on both sides of the Channel. During the 1990's members had dropped to below a dozen and at one time the Lodge was in danger of returning its warrant. Some notable brethren, including our present secretary, Rt. W. Bro. Bob Self and Treasurer V. W. Bro. Guy Hammerton with the assistance of Rt. W. Bro. Joe Carroll APGM, re- kindled links with their mother lodge and at the same time encouraged many new joining members and candidates from England and France. Due to their sterling efforts by 2005 we had around 30 members and always a great many guests from other Provinces and England would attend our Meetings.
Unfortunately storm clouds were around the corner and with the new Grand Master in 2007 came problems which resulted in withdrawal of recognition from most regular Grand Lodges around the World. Guests refused to attend and many of our members were pressured by UGLE into with-drawing their membership of any Lodges in GLNF and our membership dropped to only 10.
Le Touquet Loge struggled for a few years but with help and encouragement from our Provincial Grand Master, Rt. W. Bro. Gilbert Geeraert, who incidentally never missed a meeting and on occasions brought along many members from other Lodges in the Province (at one Meeting we had only 5 members but 11 guests), the Loge struggled through this difficult period and when recognition was once more restored, we started to see a gradual increase of guests, joining members and of course new Candidates.
We have been ever grateful for the support of our French Brethren and especially our two preceding Provincial Grand Masters, Rt.W Bro. Jean-Louis Marteel and Rt.W. Bro. Gerard Buttin, both of whom took a special interest in "Les Rosbifs" In recognition of which they were asked to become Members of Honour of Le Touquet Loge, the first time we have extended this courtesy to a "froggy".
I am glad to report that they accepted and became Members of Honour at our meeting in May 2014.
We have arrived at our "Half Centenary" imbued with renewed confidence that times will only get better and Le Touquet Loge will go from strength to strength in the next 50 years!
Such is the dedication and unshaken fidelity of the 10 remaining members. We at Le Touquet Loge offer our heartfelt thanks to those founding Members who passed on to us the "Light" which we shall continue to carry forward in the years to come. On the back of our Summons you will find a reference to "Les Dix Freres Fideles" This is in recognition of those 10 Faithful Brethren who resisted pressure from United Grand Lodge of England to abandon French Masonry and who stayed faithful to GLNF. I am sure that their example will inspire future members to stay faithful and ensure that the "Light" shall never be extinguished and we "Les Dix Freres Fideles" will always have a place in French Masonry, however small.
Such is the dedication and unshaken fidelity
of those 10 remaining members.