Helvetica Lodge No. 4894 is constituted under the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and a Member of the Anglo-Foreign Lodges Association (AFLA). It entertains close and fraternal relationships with Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland and its constituent lodges.

Our History

In 1927 there were approximately 58,000 Swiss Nationals living and working in London and although a number were in London Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England, there was not a truly Swiss home for them, hence the enthusiasm for a Swiss Lodge in London.

Helvetica Lodge No. 4894 was consecrated at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London on 8th March 1927. The consecration meeting was attended by 124 Brethren, including seven Grand Officers of UGLE and a delegation from the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland led by its then Grand Master, Dr.E. Brandenberg.

The first Master of the Lodge was W.Bro. S.P. Tettamanti, PAGP of Knightsbridge Lodge No. 2978, and the first Secretary and driving force who created the Lodge was W.Bro. Jack Schneider of Manchester Lodge No. 129. The founders were from a variety of trades and professions such as watchmakers and jewellers, hoteliers and restaurateurs, silk and other textile merchants, publishers and printers, import/export merchants and shipping agents and of course bankers.

Pagani’s Restaurant in Great Portland Street, London was the first venue of the Lodge. Since then the Lodge has moved several times and held its meetings at a number of illustrious London venues, including the Piccadilly Hotel, the Great Eastern Hotel and Mark Masons’ Hall at 86 St.James’s Street, London.

Our traditions

The Lodge chose to follow and practice the Universal Ritual with various alterations unique to Helvetica. At the Installation meeting, for example, addresses given in all four of Switzerland’s official languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh.

The style of our summons has hardly altered over the years and has the same pattern as that prepared for the consecration. At the head is the Swiss flag, the two pillars at each side are surmounted by a chapel and a waterfall. The waterfall is colloquially known as the Tell falls commemorating the legend of the Swiss hero William Tell and the Chapel represents William Tell’s final resting place and the caption at the foot of the front page is “We will be a united folk of Brothers, not separate in either danger or distress”.

Our membership

Up to the late 1960’s members had to have an association with Switzerland, either as a Swiss National or husband of a Swiss National or in some way connected to Switzerland through work. Whereas non-Swiss members have been admitted since April 1970,membership of the Lodge today still consists primarily of Swiss and UK nationals and nationals from Switzerland’s immediate neighbourhood, namely Austria, France and Italy.