On Thursday 18th August 1921 The Buckland Lodge 3764 was duly opened at the Cherry Tree Hotel in London Road, Dover. The Ceremonials of opening and initiations carried out in style by Bro. H.C. Ebbutt, K.O.M., of the Metropolitan & District Provincial Grand Lodge. Bro. Ebbutt said, "This should turn into a strong Lodge, due to a large and cosy Lodge-room and the real good talent that can draw them in."
On the 20th August 1921, The Dover Patrol Lodge 3765 was opened at the Prince Imperial Hotel, which overlooked the quay, where the Dover Patrol heroes set sail on their dangerous and arduous voyages. It was also where thousands of our gallant boys left for distant fronts and also where so many of our maimed and wounded lads were received back home again. Twelve new brothers were initiated on that night of the 22nd August by Bro. H.C.Ebbutt K.O.M. All present were again impressed by the various ceremonials that he conducted. Later in 1922 for what ever reason a new home was found for the lodge and it moved to the Griffin Inn, Folkestone Road, Dover and the lodge meetings were held on a Friday evening.
An application was placed before Grand Lodge by members in the town of Dover to open a new Province. Kent County Provincial Grand Lodge had been approached in respect of the Province boundaries, they had accepted. It was agreed the Province would take the name of the South East Kent Province.
On the 22nd of August 1922 the South East Kent Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in a very impressive manner by Bro. H.C. Ebbutt, K.O.M. who officiated on behalf of the Grand Primo of the Grand Lodge of England.
Brother W.B. Traynor, V.C., C.P., having been elected the Provincial Grand Primo and after taking the obligation, was duly installed and the other officers were elected. He then accepted the Provincial Grand Lodge was constituted.
Brother W.B.Traynor, V.C., C.P. P.G.Primo thanked all Grand Lodge Officers for their great assistance and kind concessions which had been given, to enable the district to establish ourselves and so forward the cause of the good old Grand Lodge of England. Brother Traynor also stated "at last the ancient town of Dover can say that it has joined the ranks of the Grand Lodge of England in true style, for it has been a great pity that this old Borough could only boast of one G.L.E. Lodge, viz., The Royal United Services Lodge 2291, which has been holding out since 1917, kept going by a few really good old Buffaloes. But now we have got more young blood at work, we shall try to make things hum. With the opening of two more Lodges and a Provincial Grand Lodge to look after them, we should be able to break into the ranks of the unenlightened."
I am sure that their efforts brought about the changes in strength that could be observed in 1923, just one year later when the Province was able to boast fourteen Minor Lodges.
The Province wishes to thank Bro. Bob Philpott R.O.H. Grand Chamberlain (G.L.E.) 1978 of the Aberdare Province for his contribution of the above History of this Province.
The S. E. Kent Province has had the honour of hosting Grand Lodge in 1977 (Grand Primo Bro. M. T. J. Gale, ROH) and again in 1999 (Grand Primo Bro. A. J. Patel, ROH). In 1988 we also had the pleasure of hosting Convention. (Convention President Bro. J. O'Keefe, ROH). All the meetings for both Grand Lodge and Convention were held at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone.
Each Lodge has gone into their history and the history behind their lodge names. There is the Founder who won a Victoria Cross, also how the R.A.O.B. and the R.N.L.I. got together in the name of Buffaloism back in 1889 and even the Romans have had an influence. So please look in on the Local Lodges pages, to pick up on these and other parts of our history.
As the closest Province to the Continent we often have brothers and their families stay in the area or pass through, stopping here to rest on their journey. It gives us great pleasure to meet new and old friends on their travels, so please be assured of a warm welcome both inside and outside the lodge room.
Thank you for looking in and good and happy buffing to you all.
Provincial Grand Secretary: Bro Harry Reid R.O.H. Tel: 01304 823710