The Keys of Münster Lodge is part of the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany (GLBFG) on the register of the United Grand Lodges of Germany (Vereingte GrossLogen von Deutschland VGLvD)
The GLBFG is made up of 17 Lodges located all over Germany - from Hamburg in the North, Berlin in the East, Düsseldorf in the West and Munich in the South. The main concentration of Lodges is in North West Germany as a consequence of the British Forces presence in post-war Germany.
We are located at.. DiepenbrockStr 30, 48145 Münster
A brief History of the Lodge.
It was on the 16 February 1961 that Bro J.D.S. Olleson called a meeting of those whom he knew to be Freemasons in the Münster Garrison. W Bro R.G. Holmes, the then District Master of the British Lodge District chaired the meeting at which 8 brethren attended with 6 making their apologies. Considerable progress was made at the meeting and it was agreed to form a Lodge of Instruction to meet weekly commencing on the 7 March of that year.
It was on the 4 July 1961 that at a general meeting further steps were taken to form a lodge and it was agreed that RW Bro R.G. Holmes who was by now Grand Lodge Inspector of the British Lodge Group would become the Founder Worshipful Master. Invaluable assistance was given by a local German lodge "Zu den Drey Balken", the same Lodge whose Golden Book, Archives and Working Tools had been taken into custody by the brethren of the British Army in April 1946 in order to save them from possible confiscation. The long standing fraternal relationship with the Zu den Drey Balkan Lodge“ has continued throughout the decades and both Lodges boast many Joining Members from the other."The Keys", as it was to become affectionately known, was consecrated on Saturday the 13 January 1963 in the Temple of the Zu den Drey Balken Lodge. The Consecrating Officer was MW Bro R. Müller-Börner, the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodges of Germany ably assisted by some of his Grand Officers and our own Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge. The ceremony was attended by 68 brethren of many different nationalities.
An interesting article written by Bro J.D.S.Olleson the then Senior Warden appeared in the "Masonic Enlightener" in the March/April 1962 edition about the Lodge Crest. It states that the crossed Keys are taken from the Arms of the Seal of York with the cities of York and Münster having shared an association since the eighth century.
The Keys have yet another significance in that they are also the emblem of the 2nd British Division in whose area the City of Münster lay. The Rathaus in the center of the crest is a replica of the Gold Medallion conferred upon the Lord Mayor of York on the 300th Anniversary of the Treaty of Westphalia.
From the very start the Lodge flourished, the 31 Founder Members soon being joined by a further 21 Initiates and Joining Members in the first year. The first Initiate of the Lodge was Mr G. Bowen who was initiated on the 27 January 1963 and subsequently Passed and Raised in the Lodge.
The first Joining Member to become Worshipful Master was W Bro J.B. Cloke PProvJGW but it was not until 1968 that an initiate of the Lodge namely W Bro D.F. Butterfield became its Master.In 1974 W Bro F. Belser became Worshipful Master, which served to strengthen the long association with other Lodges in the Netherlands and even today the Lodge continues to receive many Dutch visitors. In the same year Zu den Drey Balken opened its new Temple on the first floor above the old and Keys held its first meeting there on the 11 March 1974.
Links with our German host Lodge were strengthened even further when they presented the Lodge with three gavels for use by the Worshipful Master and Wardens. Each gavel has the jewel of office on one side with the emblems of the two lodges together with the motto "Brother to Brother" beneath linked hands on the other. In return the Lodge presented Zu den Drey Balken a Masonic carpet when the new Temple was opened.
The strong link with the Netherlands was demonstrated by the Initiation of Bros H. Jones and J. Jones taking place in the Temple of the Loge Tubantia in Enschede. This was not however the first time that a working had taken place elsewhere as Bro L. Clarke had been Raised in in Hamburg by Anglo-Hanseatic Lodge No 850.
The 25th Anniversary of the Lodge saw W Bro J. Owers Installed as Worshipful Master in the presence of no less than thirteen Past Masters of the Lodge.
The Keys of Münster have had Masters from England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland(two Masters) and British Guyana. In the first 34 years of existence the Keys always had Installed a different Master each year. This proud record, unique within our Grand Lodge was theoretically broken in 1996 by W Bro Joe Maison staying on for a successive year.
With the present military situation entry into the Lodge slowed and the resident membership began to slowly decline. However the lodge has a growing number of members who have taken up permanent residence in Germany and looks forward with confidence to a secure future.
Our very own W Bro Keith (Cid) Taylor was placed in the chair of King Solomon in February 2013 as "The Keys" celebrated the 50th Anniversary of The Keys of Münster Lodge No. 881 GC.