From Damien of Lodge Devotion
The New Masonic Centre at Box Hill is now open for business. By all accounts it is fantastic and has the strength of having leased office space to provide a passive income. If that income is managed properly, it will assure the presence of a Masonic Building in Box Hill.
However this success feels very tainted to me. The Box Hill plan called for the sale of Camberwell, Canterbury, Blackburn and Kew Masonic Centre. All in prime suburbs, most we understand were holding their own financially. If you know your history of current Masonic centres in distress, many were built by consolidation of other assets. Sacrificing 3-4 other buildings for one is typical and often today that one building is under threat. The problem is not the buildings, it’s the management of them. Until we get that right, we are doomed to see more sales. In 1985 we had 228 buildings. Now about 130.
Below is the advertisement of what we recently owned. Something very special – claimed to be the last example of Egyptian Revival Architecture. Even the agent seemed to get its importance. Pity we didn’t. The “lifetime opportunity” there for us is now dead. It makes me want to give up and I realise that if we can’t motivate members or Grand Lodge to save something like this, nothing is safe. It’s completely disheartening.
We featured this building in Devotion News Edition No 77, Feb-March 2013. Egyptian Revival features were throughout the building and the lodge room ceiling was particularly beautiful
“An iconic opportunity to savor a living piece of history, "Emulation Hall" is Australia's last remaining example of Egyptian Revival architecture. Designed by Dunstan Reynolds & Partners in 1927, this stately landmark Masonic Centre arises from the streetscape with powerful architectural authority and beckons those with extraordinary vision to preserve the past and reshape the future. Take the fascinating journey throughout the hallowed spaces of this monumental building, relish the unique heritage grandeur then let the creative juices flow. Extraordinary dimensions provide a magnificent foundation for restoration and reconfiguration with endless options for possible Educational, Communal or Commercial application, the creation of an Art Gallery, boutique Offices or indeed conversion into a amazing family home (STCA). Comprising Reception, Ball-room-style Main Hall (with Stage and Bar area), huge upstairs Lodge Room and associated entry all regally crowned with towering decorative ceilings and adjoining an array of ante-chambers, bathrooms, dressing room, catering Kitchen and storage rooms. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity just metres to historic Maling Village, train and Canterbury Gardens.”