CALCARIA Lodge No 2677 in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.
Calcaria Lodge began it's life in Tadcaster. Consecrated on November 17th 1897 and given the denomination as above. Calcaria was to meet at the Masonic Rooms, High Street, Tadcaster.
Calcaria is the old Roman name for Tadcaster.
Earlier that year a petition had been submitted to the Grand Lodge by several worthy masons living in Tadcaster who had highlighted the fact that in order to carry on their Masonic activities they had to travel to either Leeds, York or Harrogate. The Grand Lodge had recognised the need for a Lodge in Tadcaster and the Warrant was duly granted.
At first the area from which members were drawn was of necessity very limited. Most members attended on foot with a few having the luxury of a Horse and Trap or a pedal cycle. One worthy brother walked seven miles to each meeting for twenty five years. However, with the coming evolution of the motor car, this restriction was lifted and we now have brethren who regularly travel greater distances to attend Lodge meetings.
The first regular meeting of Calcaria Lodge No.2677 took place in the premises mentioned above on Friday 10th December 1897 under the direction of the first Master, William Sykes ably attended by the first Wardens, William Callum and John Crow.
The Lodge grew quickly undertaking no less than eighteen ceremonies in it's second year requiring several 'emergency' meetings to be held.
The years between 1914-18 when England was engaged in the war with Germany naturally had an effect on the Lodge with only two new candidates being admitted during that time.
In 1919 the Most Worshipful Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Connaught suggested that a fund should be established to the memory of those Masons who fell in the war. He caused the Masonic Million Memorial Fund to be established and appealed to members of the Craft to subscribe to the fund to erect " a Great Central Home for English Freemasons in the Metropolis of the Empire dedicated to the Most High and in memory of our many Brethren who fell during the War." Any Lodge which contributed an average of Ten Guineas per member would have it's name recorded in the new building as a Hall Stone Lodge and it's Master would become entitled to wear a special Jewel attached to a collaret when acting as Master of his Lodge. Calcaria Lodge succeeded in raising 390 Guineas and received the Collaret and Jewel which is still worn by Masters now.
Masonic activities continued at Tadcaster under the guidance of many worthy Masons. World War two arrived and again had it's effect. By order of Grand Lodge all Masonic Meetings were suspended but resumed again later. Many of the brethren took a very active part in War Service. The Lodge had members in the Armed Forces, Royal Observer Corps, Home Guard, Special Constabulary, Voluntary Mobile Police, Fire Watchers and ARP services.
A full history of the first fifty years of Calcaria Lodge was compiled by W.Bro Arthur Booth P.P.A.G.D.C. and is included in the full Centenary history which was later compiled by his son W.Bro J.Michael Booth P.P.G.Swd.B. and W.Bro Stephen Batty P.P.S.G.W.
By the 1960's concern had begun to emerge about the safety of the Masonic rooms at Tadcaster with the floor of the Lodge room having to be supported by a number of wooden 'props' during meetings to prevent collapse. This practice continued until 1965, without accident. During that year a dispensation was obtained from the Provincial Grand Londge, authorising and giving powers to Calcaria Lodge No.2677 to meet at the Masonic Hall Wetherby. This was the beginning of a close and enduring friendship with Lascelles Lodge No. 4796 at Wetherby.
Calcaria Lodge continued to thrive at Wetherby during the remainder of the 20th century and many activities, old and new continued. The new Master and Officers of the Lodge are installed each November. Christmas is usually celebrated by inviting our wives and friends to a special Lodge meeting in December and gifts are distributed to the widowed ladies. February sees Ladies Evening, another Social Function where the Ladies of the Lodge are given centre stage and thanked for putting up with the absences of their partners on Lodge Nights. In recent years it has become the custom in March for those brethren who wish to take family and friends on a weekend away to enjoy some time together away from the pressures of modern life. In June we hold a Sunday Luncheon again guests are encouraged and over the years this has taken different forms.
After the June meeting, due in the past to many members of the Lodge coming from a farming background, the Lodge breaks for a recess, not meeting again until after harvest or the last week of September.