My father Walter had a persistent memory of his dad and uncles going to "the lodge." When he started researching his family history, he got caught up in trying to figure out what "the lodge" was.
It's important to know that Walter's mother Bridget came from Ireland and his father was first generation English-American. Tradition has it that the Irish were supposed to hate the English and the English were supposed to consider the Irish uncivilized brutes. But that's not the way it worked out in our family. According to my dad, his English grandmother advocated that her six sons marry "nice Irish girls." And clearly the tall handsome son-of-an-Englishman appealed to Bridget.
So, the English-Irish antipathy was little more than a historical footnote in my dad's family.
Back to "the lodge":
In the early eighties, my dad didn't have access to all the data now on the internet. He made friends with librarians instead. They pieced together fragments of his memory and dove into the reference books on secret societies.
And suddenly there it was: the Order of Sons of St. George.
But Walter couldn't believe his eyes when he read the following:
How crazy was this? The boys who loved Irish women were members of an anti-Irish club. My dad was amused. He probably knew damn well that, by 1930, the lodge was more about drinking beer than political activism.
More information from the Phoenixmasonry site:
So the Sons of St. George evolved from crusaders to toothless dragons.
Their motto was taken from the ancient Order of the Garter: Honi soit qui mal y pense. According to Wikipedia, the phrase is French for 'shamed be the person who thinks ill of it'.*
Honi soit qui mal y pense
Supposedly, in the fourteenth century, Edward III was dancing with the Countess of Salisbury, and her garter fell off. In response to the snickers of those watching, Edward said "Honi soit qui mal y pense," and tied the garter around his own leg. The phrase then became the motto of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, which Edward founded.