[pp19/20 W Kneale "Oddfellows Companion and Guide to Douglas, Isle of Man" 1897; issued in conjuction with the Annual Moveable Conference held in Douglas in 1897 - this guide book also contained many useful biographies of leading figures in Manx Oddfellowship of the time]

P.G. John Stephen.

P.G. BRO. JOHN STEPHEN, of the Loyal Good Anchorage Lodge, was born at Ballamoar, Ballaugh, on the 4th June, 1806. At the age of 21 he became a member of Ballaugh Parish Club, of which Club he was a member for about 13 years, when he was induced to try to establish a Lodge in Ramsey by a member of the Order, Bro. Harmon. After considerable difficulty and opposition, they succeeded in forming a Lodge, the number being 1776, name as above. The other brethren who joined him in office were, Jas. Taubman. Thos. Lace, Jas Kissack, John Lace, and John Heallis. The dispensation for opening was granted in the month of May, 1839. About 20 brethren journeyed from Douglas, by cars, to Ramsey. On the cars arriving at Ballure Bridge, a procession was formed, which proceeded via Waterloo Road, Market Place, to the Albert Hotel, where the Lodge was to be located. In addition to the above six, two more were made members. The Lodge met with strong opposition from the fairer sex, they having an impression that serious consequences would certainly fallow the joining of any secret society (as they called it). A Douglas man acted as N.G. of the Lodge. Bro. Stephen walked from Ballaugh, seven miles, summer and winter, for the first two years, and so strictly were the rules carried out, that Bro. Stephen was fined for being five minutes late upon a night when any brother would have claimed an excuse through the storm which was raging. He also filled the office of N.G. of one of the Lodges in the country. He was a joiner by trade, but was induced by Col. Campbell to become Rural Constable, and, this office he held for a number of years, and was held in great respect by all, He afterwards became Coroner, which office .he held for 42 consecutive years, and on retirement, received a pension, which he still lives to enjoy. At the ripe age of 91 he survives all who joined him to start the Lodge, and still remains at heart a truly fine example to all Oddfellows for the deep interest he takes in the Lodge. He examines carefully the, balance sheets of the Lodge of which he stands on the roll. book No. 1, and when, as often occurs, some of the officers of the Lodge visit him at his home in Ballaugh, a hearty. welcome is always given, and a pleasant evening spent as he tells of the early days when he and his fellows laid the foundation of the Lodge, which now numbers nearly 500 members.

 [Return to Manx Note Book] Index


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001