1880 – 1984
As the musical powers of 51 became famous, local Charity committees resolved to utilise them in the cause of the widow and orphan and accordingly invited the Lodge to give a concert in aid of the Masonic Charities of Belfast. The concert was given in the Victoria Hall on February 15th 1878 and was a great success as a handsome sum was obtained and then was equally divided between the charities. Not long after, the Lodge was then known as the “Musical Lodge”.
The Jubilee of the Lodge was celebrated on the 11th September 1899 and was regarded as a very important event in the history of the Lodge and the W.M. gave and address to the brethren. The celebrations over, the lodge continued with renewed zest to carry on the work through the years which followed. By 1 May 1900, due to the success of the “Musical Lodge” a total of 276 brethren was registered comparing to the period of repression, this was a huge feat by the Lodge.
In August 1914, the “Great War” that we know as World War 1 commenced, it was the cause of many unexpected changes to the lodge with new adaptations for the new conditions the Lodge was subjected to. The “Ulster Boys” were not slow in responding to the call to service and many members of the Order joined the colours, amongst them were some from Lodge 51. There were six members who served in the war and Bro W.A Malone made the supreme sacrifice.
Then, when the dreadful slaughtering had continued for about one and a half years, the age-long feud between the Irish and English broke out in Ireland. The rebellion which commenced in Easter week of 1916, was the result, and later on, was followed by the civil war. This put a temporary stop to all Masonic work, and the seizure of the Freemasons’ Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin, created great consternation amongst the members of the Craft. After a time, however, the premises were vacated and delivered up to Grand Lodge authorities without any material damage being done to the building.
On the 29th January, 1916, an official visit from this important lodge was paid to Lodge 51, in order that the brethren of the North might have an opportunity of learning the working and the object for which the “Lodge of Research” was formed. At the dinner following the Dublin brethren expressed their ranks for the enthusiasm with which they had been received and as a souvenir of their visit their W.M. was presented by Lodge 51 with a Maul, especially made from a hand grenade and suitably inscribed. Subsequently, a return visit was arranged and Lodge 51 invited to Dublin, but the unhappy disturbances which broke out in the South, during Easter week in 1916, intervened and the visit had to be postponed. It was not until the 18th October, 1916, that the visit became an accomplished fact.
During the evening following the Lodge meeting, the beautiful Maul was presented to the W.M. as a souvenir of the visit. Like many other good thing, the maul was the result of an accident, viz., a chance visit of some of our Dublin brethren to the Bank of Ireland, Dame Street, where repairs were being made to the platform of the old Irish House of Commons. Some small pieces of wood were lying about, and upon a request being made of one of the pieces it was readily granted.
That bit of oak was skilfully turned and fashioned into a beautiful emblem of the W.M.’s Authority. It was embellished with a silver band artistically engraved with characteristic Celtic art interlacing and Masonic ornaments. When the Maul was completed it was found that the balance was not quite satisfactory, and the order to remedy this defect a cavity was made, into which three leaden bullets were inserted. Three bullets were taken from the bandoleer of the O’Rahilly, one of the Irish leaders in the Easter Rebellion. This interchange of courtesies between the lodges was favourably commented upon, as contributing to a closer bond of friendship between the brethren of the North and South.
After the World War 1 ended, the Lodge has now flourished steadily without any worries that at7 February 1923 a total of 198 brethren registered where an extra 52 Brethren registered up to 3 December 1952, thus growing steadily. Another total of 67 brethren registered up to 7 March 1984 where it was then computerised by Grand Lodge, Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.