Above - the Coat of Arms shown above Freemasons' Hall South Melbourne
South Melbourne was once known as Emerald Hill. The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (1872-1881) reported that the foundation stone of the Hall was laid on Thursday 15 June 1876 by the Lodge funding the building; Yarra Yarra Lodge 714 EC. There is a Heritage Victoria report available on the web for the building which cites an article from The Age of 10 June 1876, page 4. All three sources enlighten the reader on the building and solve the mystery of the Coat of Arms- they are those of the District Grand Lodge of Victoria (EC).
Interestingly, in the heritage report we read it only took a few years for Yarra Yarra to lose the building occupying it from November 1876 until 1881 when, due to financial difficulties, they found it necessary to vacate the premises. However they re-acquired it again in 1910, only to stop meeting there again by the 1920's.... There seems to have been a bit of mismanagement.... something we often accuse ourselves of a purely modern phenomenon.....
An extract from the Heritage report reads “The Freemason's Hall was built in 1876 at a cost of £2000 for the Yarra Yarra Lodge by the contractor Leonard Heffner, from the designs of two local Emerald Hill architects, R Adamson & W McKean. The Yarra Yarra Lodge occupied their new premises."