DISTRICT GRAND LODGE OF BOMBAY
Freemasonry is supposed to have come to Bombay in 1758, when a Lodge No.234, whose name is not known, was supposed to have been consecrated. A few years later, in 1764, a Provincial Grand Lodge was formed, with Bro James Todd being appointed the first Provincial Grand Master by Earl Ferrers, the Grand Master.
Little is known of the progress of the Provincial Grand Lodge till the early 1800’s,when Lodge Benevolent was formed in Poona in 1822. Lodge Benevolent recommended the formation of another Lodge in Poona, Lodge Orion in the West. This Lodge was consecrated under a Warrant issued by the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Coast of Coramandel. However, Grand Lodge declared this Warrant to have been issued illegally, and a fresh Warrant was issued in 1833 – 10 years after the Lodge was consecrated.
Many other Lodges were also consecrated during this period, but most did not survive long. In fact, in the first half of the 19th Century, Freemasonry in Western India under English Constitution did not thrive at all.
In 1848, Lodge St. George was consecrated, whilst Lodge Concord, also in Bombay, and Lodge Union, in Karachi, were both consecrated in 1858. And when Lodge Orion-in-the-West, which had gone into abeyance, revived itself, there were four Lodges working. Lodge St. George now petitioned the Grand Lodge that it was the prayer of all members that a Provincial Grand Master be appointed. Thus W.Bro George Taylor, the WM of Lodge St. George, was installed as the first true Provincial Grand Master of Bombay on July 16th, 1861. To all intents and purposes, this was also the beginning of the Provincial Grand Lodge itself, as no other Provincial Grand Master had been installed since the appointment of Bro Todd almost a hundred years previously.
Over the next 100 years many Lodges were consecrated. Some closed down soon, and others went into abeyance, then revived themselves. But many others thrived, and today there are 12 Lodges which are over 100 years old, with Lodge St. George No. 549 being the oldest, having been in existence for 152 years.
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