GOULD'S HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ~ FREEMASONRY IN AUSTRALASIA TASMANIA and New Zealand, VICTORIA

GOULD'S HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD  
VOLUME IV 
CHAPTER IX
FREEMASONRY IN AUSTRALASIA, TASMANIA and New Zealand, VICTORIA
 
Published 1898
 

New South Wales. The Lodge of Social and Military Virtues - No. 227 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Ireland - attached to the 46th Foot in 1752, after undergoing many vicissitudes, was at work in the same regiment at Sydney in 1816. This paved the way for the establishment of stationary lodges, and Irish warrants were issued to Nos. 260, Australian Social, in 1820, and 266, Leinster, in 1824. The third (strictly colonial) lodge, No. 820, Australia, was erected by the Grand Lodge of England in 1828. The last named, as well as the Irish lodges, met at Sydney, the capital. The first established in any other part of the Colony was No. 668, St. John, constituted at Paramatta in 1838, and the second, No. 697, the Lodge of Australia Felix, at Melbourne - then included in the government of New South Wales - 1841. An Irish lodge - No. 275 - was erected at Windsor in 1843, and in the same year, No. 408, Australasian Kilwinning, at Melbourne, received a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. During the two decennial periods ensuing, there were issued in the Colony twenty-one English, eight Scottish, and two Irish lodges.

 

Between 1864-85 there were added forty- seven English, forty-one Scottish, and four Irish lodges. Up to 1886 there were seventy- four English, one Irish, and fifty Scottish active lodges. In 1839 an English Provincial Grand Master was appointed, and one for the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1855, and that of Ireland in 1858. "While the question of separation from the Mother Grand Lodges was first formerly mooted in Victoria, still for some years, at least, there had existed in Sydney a body styling itself 'the Grand Lodge of New South Wales,' formed from the great majority of a regular lodge - St. Andrew's. It affected to make, pass, and raise Masons, grant charters, and issue certificates.' "On December 3d, 1877, the representatives of twelve or (at most) thirteen Scottish and Irish lodges met at Sydney, and established another Grand Lodge of New South Wales, to which, however, the preexisting body of the same name eventually made submission, and accepted an ordinary Lodge Warrant at its hands. At this time (1877) there were eighty-six regular Lodges in the Colony; English, forty-seven; Scottish, thirty; and Irish, nine.

 

The thirteen lodges which thus assumed to control the dissenting majority of seventy-three, sheltered themselves under a perverted principle of Masonic law - applied to a wholly illusory state of facts. This was, that any three lodges in a territory 'Masonically unoccupied' - the three jurisdictions already existing being thus coolly and quietly ignored - could form themselves into a Grand Lodge, and that when so formed, the remaining lodges - averse to the movement - were they one hundred or one thousand in number, would be irregular!" Mr. Jas. F. Farnell, appointed Prov. G.M. under the Grand Lodge of Ireland, 1869, was a leader in this movement. The flag of independence was first raised by the Irish lodges.

 

While there were great disadvantages in having the Australian lodges working under warrants from distant Grand Lodges, still there were reasons not entirely sentimental, which raised an opposition to separation from the earlier existing Grand Lodges. Whenever matters are in proper condition for the erection of an Independent Grand Lodge, the matter will happily culminate, and a large majority of the lodges and brethren interested will unite therewith. Should, however, the movement be premature, the outcome of the agitation will largely depend upon the character and influence of the leaders, or what is the same thing, upon the extent of the following. Mr. Farnell for twenty years was a member of the parliament of New South Wales, and was also Prime Minister, but does not seem to have had great influence as a Mason. The Irish Province of New South Wales had its affairs in great confusion when he was elected Grand Master. And not the smallest of the motives which weighed with his supporters - Scotch as well as Irish - seems to have been the disinclination to be taxed by (or remit fees to) the mother countries. The new organization, at the close of 1885, had been recognized as the only regular governing Masonic body in the Colony of thirty-eight Grand Lodges, chiefly, however, American. There seems, indeed, in the United States a decided inclination to regard each uprising of the lodges in a British colony as a tribute to the efficacy of a certain doctrine which has been laid down by Dr. Mackey with regard to the formation of Grand Lodges. But those American jurisdictions which have lent a willing ear to the specious representations of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales are now running the gauntlet of intelligent criticism, and the several committees by whom they have been hoodwinked or misled, may read with profit some of the reports on correspondence in the larger States, notably, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York, where the unaccountable delusion into which so many Grand Lodges have fallen is discussed with equal candor and ability. It is almost needless to say that a Grand Lodge thus constituted by a small minority of the lodges in New South Wales, has been refused recognition by the Grand Lodges of the British Islands. Victoria.

 

The lodges of Australia Felix and of Australasia (now Nos. 474 and 530) were established at Melbourne by the Grand Lodge of England in 1841 and 1846 respectively. Scottish Masonry obtained a footing in the same city - with "Australasian Kilwinning"--in 1843; and an Irish lodge - Hiram, No. 349 - was also chartered there in 1847. In the same year a third English, apparently the fifth Victorian, lodge - Unity and Prudence, No. 801 - was constituted at Geelong. After this the Craft advanced in prosperity by leaps and bounds.

 

Thirty-six English lodges were added to the list between 1847 and the close of 1862; twenty-eight during the ensuing thirteen years, and twenty within the decennial period commencing January 1, 1876. During corresponding intervals of time, the Irish warrants granted in the colony were respectively twelve, seven, and three; and the Scottish, three each in the first two periods, and two in the last. The first Provincial G. M. of Victoria (or Australia Felix) was the Hon. J. E. Murray. The date of his appointment by the Grand Lodge of Scotland has not been recorded, but he was succeeded by Mr. J. H. Ross, August 3, 1846.

 

The present District G.M. is Sir W.J. Clarke, who received his Scottish patent in 1883 English and Irish Provinces were established in 1855 and 1856 respectively, and the following has been the succession of English Provincial (now District) Grand Masters: Captain (now Major General Sir Andrew) Clarke, 1855; Captain F.C. Standish, 1861; and Sir W.J. Clarke, 1883. The rulers of the Irish Province have been Mr. J.T. Smith, 1856-79; and from 1880, Sir W.J. Clarke. The lodges now at work under the three jurisdictions, all of which, however, are in a manner united under a single Provincial G.M., are: English, ninety-one; Irish, seventeen; and Scottish, twelve (including one in Levuka, Fiji).

 

The idea of forming an independent Grand Lodge of Victoria seems to have been first launched in 1863, and after encountering the opposition of the Earl of Zetland, was debated - March 2, 1864 - in the Grand Lodge of England, by which body a resolution was passed declaring its "strong disapprobation" of the contemplated secession. It was observed in prescient terms by the late John Havers, that "every new Grand Lodge was the forerunner of new and conflicting degrees. It was a stone pulled away from the foundations of Masonry, and opened another door for inroads and innovations;" and he exhorted the Brethren in Victoria to "remember that union was strength, and universality one of the watchwords of Masonry."

 

In 1876 the agitation for a local Grand Lodge was renewed, but again slumbered until 1883, when the scheme was fairly carried into effect by an insignificant minority of the lodges.

 

In the latter year a meeting was held, and a Masonic Union of Victoria formed, April 27. At this time there were seventy English, fifteen Irish, and ten Scottish lodges in the colony - total, ninety-five. On June 19th certain delegates met, and the adhesion of eighteen lodges - twelve Irish, five Scottish, and one English, to the cause was announced. But the number has since been reduced by the subtraction of the English lodge and one other, which were erroneously named in the proceedings. By this invention it was resolved "that the date of founding the Grand Lodge of Victoria should be July 2, 1883." Thus we find sixteen lodges, with an estimated membership of about eight hundred and forty, calmly transforming themselves into the governing body of a territory containing ninety-five lodges, and a membership of five thousand!

 

This organization has a following of about twenty subordinate lodges; and as the proceedings of some Grand Lodges baffle all reasonable conjecture, it will occasion no surprise to learn that by seventeen of these bodies the titular "Grand Lodge of Victoria" had been duly recognized at the close of 1885, as the supreme Masonic authority in this Australian colony. At the same date Mr. Coppin entered upon the second year of his Grand Mastership, having been installed - November 4th - in the presence of the Grand Masters of New South Wales and South Australia. Meanwhile, however, the English, Irish, and Scottish lodges, which have remained true to their former allegiance, are united in a solid phalanx under a single Provincial (or District) G.M. - Sir W. J. Clarke; and should the day arrive when independence is constitutionally asserted by the century and more of lodges which obey this common chief, those bodies by whom the soi-disant Grand Lodge has been accorded recognition, will find themselves confronted by an interesting problem, not unlike that propounded with so much dramatic effect by the late Mr. Sothern in the role of Lord Dundreary, viz., "Whether it is the dog that wags its tail, or the tail that wags the dog?"

 

 

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

 

The South Australian Lodge of Friendship, Adelaide, No. 613 (and later, No. 423), on the roll of the Grand Lodge of England, was constituted at the British metropolis in 1834. The founders were all in London at the time, and two persons - afterward Sir John Morphett, President of the Legislative Council, and Sir D. R. Hansen, Chief Justice of the colony, were initiated. A second English lodge was established at Adelaide in 1844, and in the same year, also at the capital, a Scottish one. In 1855 the first Irish Charter was received in the colony, and in 1883 the total number of lodges formed in South Australia was as follows: English, twenty active, one extinct; Irish, seven active, three extinct; and Scottish, six, all active.

 

The initiative in forming a Province was taken by Scotland in 1846, a step followed by England in 1848, and Ireland in 1860. In 1883 there were premonitory symptoms that the lamentable examples set by a minority of the lodges in the adjacent colonies of New South Wales and Victoria, in usurping the authority and honor which should belong to the majority, would be followed in South Australia. The imminence of this danger induced Mr. H. M. Addison to form a Masonic Union, whose labors resulted - April 16, 1884 - in a convention of eighty-five delegates, representing twenty-eight lodges, by whom the Grand Lodge of South Australia was established. The proceedings of the executive committee of the Masonic Union, which were characterized throughout by the most scrupulous regularity, were crowned by an unprecedented unanimity of feeling on the part of the lodges.

 

A resolution in favor of independence was carried in eighteen English, four Irish, and six Scottish lodges, and with a single dissentient in one English, and with two dissentients in one Irish, lodge; while in the sole remaining lodge under England, and in the "Mostyn" under Ireland, a majority of the members joined the Union. Thus, in effect, out of a grand total of thirty-three lodges under the three British jurisdictions, only a single lodge - No. 363 - Duke of Leinster (I.), has adhered to its former allegiance. The new Grand Lodge (besides the usual indiscriminate recognition of American Grand Bodies) has been admitted to fraternal relations with the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland. The privilege, however, accorded by the last named in August, 1885, was cancelled in the November following; a proceeding, there is every reason to believe, arising out of the inconsistent action of the colonial Grand Lodge in recognizing the authority of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales the irregular establishment of which, it was declared by Mr. Addison, at the formation of the Masonic Union in Adelaide, July 30, 1883, would, if initiated, " bring Masonry in South Australia into disrepute throughout the world." The Hon. S. J. Way, Chief Justice of the Colony, and Mr. J. H. Cunningham, formerly District Grand Secretary (E.), have been Grand Master and Grand Secretary respectively, since the foundation of the Grand Lodge. The subordinate lodges are thirty-six in number, with a total membership of two thousand two hundred and seventy- seven.

 

 

 

QUEENSLAND

 

The North Australian Lodge was established at Brisbane by the Grand Lodge of England in 1859, and two others under Irish and Scottish warrants respectively, were constituted at the same town in 1864. Each jurisdiction is represented by a Provincial (or District) G. M., and the number of lodges is as follows: English, twenty-six active, two extinct; Irish, eleven active, three extinct; and Scottish, twelve, all active. West Australia. Eight lodges in all have been formed in this colony, the first of which - St. John, No. 712 - was erected at Perth in 1842. Seven of these survive, and being included in no Province, report direct to the Grand Lodge of England, which in this solitary instance has not suffered from the exercise of concurrent jurisdiction by other Grand Bodies.

 

 

 

TASMANIA

 

Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Ireland were established at Hobart Town in 1823, 1829, 1833, and 1834, but the three earliest of the series are now extinct. A fourth lodge under the same sanction was constituted at Launceston in 1843, and it was not until 1846 that English Masonry obtained a footing on the island. In that year Tasmanian Union, No. 781, was formed at Hobart Town, and a second English lodge - Hope - sprang up (in the first instance under a dispensation from Sydney) in 1852.

 

In the following year the Rev. R. K. Ewing became the Master of the latter, and in 1856 the lodges of Faith and Charity were carved out of it - Mr. Ewing then becoming, on their joint petition, Prov. G.M. The other English lodge - Tasmanian Union - objecting to these proceedings, as having been carried on clandestinely, was suspended by the Prov. G.M., and remained closed for nine months. The strife thus engendered nearly put an end to English Masonry in Launceston. Lodge faith became dormant, Charity was voluntarily wound up, and even in Hope the light almost went out. Soon, however, there was a revival, and in 1876 the Grand Lodge of Scotland also began to charter lodges on the island, where there are now four in existence under its jurisdiction. These are included in the Province of New South Wales. The Grand Lodges of England and Ireland have each a roll of seven lodges on the island, one under the former body, and four under the latter, having surrendered their charters.

 

The English Prov. Grand Lodge died a natural death on the removal of Mr. Ewing to Victoria, but a new one was established under Mr. W.S. Hammond in 1875. The Irish lodges were constituted into a Province in 1884.

 

 

 

NEW ZEALAND

 

The first lodge in the Colony - Francaise Primitive Antipodienne - was founded at Akaroa bythe Supreme Council of France, August 29, 1843; the second - Ara - at Auckland, by the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1844; and the third - New Zealand Pacific - by the Grand Lodge of England in 1845. No further charters were issued until 1852, when English lodges were established in Lyttelton, and Christchurch, whilst others sprang up at New Plymouth and Auckland in 1856, at Wanganui in 1857, and at Nelson and Kaiapoi in 1858.

 

In the latter year an Irish lodge (the second in the Colony) was formed at Napier, and in 1860 an English one at Dunedin - where also the first Scottish lodge was erected in 1861. After this the diffusion of Masonry throughout New Zealand became so general, that I must content myself with giving the barest statistics, which, for convenience sake, will be classified so as to harmonize as far as possible with the Provincial systems of the three competing jurisdictions. Between 1860 and 1875 there were warranted in the Colony twenty-five English, eight Irish, and twenty-one Scottish lodges; while in the ten years ending January 1, 1886, the numbers were respectively forty-seven, seven, and thirty-two.

 

The lodges in New Zealand are usually classified according to the Masonic Provinces of which they form a part. Of the latter there are five English and three Scottish, of late years dominated Districts, in order to distinguish them from bodies of a like character in Great Britain; and one Irish, to which the more familiar title of Provincial Grand Lodge is still applied. These preliminaries it will be necessary to bear in mind, because the arrangement which seems to me the simplest and best is to group the lodges according to their positions on the map, which in the present case will correspond very closely with the territorial classification, or division into Districts, by the Grand Lodge of England.

 

 

 

NORTH ISLAND

 

Auckland District. - The District (or Provincial) Grand Masters are Mr. G.S. Graham (E.), Sir F. Whitaker (S.), and Mr. G.P. Pierce (I.); whilst the number of lodges under the several jurisdictions is eighteen under the G.L. of England, and six each under those of Scotland and Ireland, that is, if taken according to locality, for all the Scottish lodges on the North Island are comprised within the Auckland District, and the whole of the Irish lodges in both islands within the Auckland Province.

 

Wellington District. - The only D.G.M. is Mr. C.J. Toxward (E.); and the number of lodges is respectively eighteen (E.), eight (S.), and four (I).

 

 

 

MIDDLE, OR SOUTH, ISLAND

 

Canterbury District. - The D.G.M.'s are Mr. Henry Thomson (E.) and the Rev. James Hill (S.), who rule over nineteen and nine lodges respectively. The seat of government is at Christchurch, where there is also an Irish lodge, the only one in the District.

 

Otovgo and Southland District. - Mr. T.S. Graham presides over one D.G.L. (E.), and Mr. G.W. Harvey over the other (S.).

 

There are fourteen lodges in each District, i.e., according to the local arrangement, for the Scottish D.G.L. (of which there are only two in the South Island) exercises authority beyond the territorial limits of Otago and Southland. The total number of lodges on its roll is twenty-one, and doubtless Otago has derived much of its importance as a Scottish Masonic center, from the fact of having been originally founded by an association connected with the Free Church of Scotland. At Dunedin and Invercargill there is in each case an Irish lodge.

 

Westland District. - The only D.G.M. is Mr. John Bevan (E.), who rules over six lodges; and there are three others (S.) which are comprised within the D.G.L. of Otago and Southland at Dunedin.

 

Marlborough and Nelson District. - These provinces of the Colony are exempt from any local Masonic jurisdiction, under the Grand Lodge of England, which is represented by five lodges. There is also a Scottish lodge (at Blenheim), which is subject to the D.G.L. of Otago and Southland.

 

 

 

OCEANIA

 

Although the various islands and archipelagoes have been treated as far as possible in connection with the continents with which they are ordinarily associated, there are some few of these, lying as it were in mid-ocean that must be separately dealt with and their consideration will bring this chapter to a close.

 

New Caledonia. - This island was taken possession of by France in 1854, and has been used for some years as a penal settlement. At Noumea, the chief town and the seat of government, there are two lodges, L'Union Caledonienne, and No. 1864, Western Polynesia. The former was established by the Grand Orient of France in 1868, and the latter (which is included in the Masonic Province of New South Wales) by the Grand Lodge of England in 1880.

 

Fiji Islands. - The formation of a lodge - Polynesia - at Levuka, with the assent of the native king, was announced to the Masonic world in a circular dated March 12, 1872. The Islands were annexed to Britain in 1874, and on February 1, 1875, a Scottish Charter - No. 562 - was granted to a lodge bearing the same name and meeting at the same place as the self-constituted body of 1872. This is comprised in the Masonic Province of Victoria. A second British lodge - No. 1931, Suva na Viti Levu - was established in the archipelago by the Grand Lodge of England in 1881.

 

Society Islands. - Masonry was introduced into Papeete, the chief town of Tahiti (or Otaheiti), the largest of the Society group, by the Grand Orient of France in 1834. A Chapter - L'Oceanie Francaise - was established in that year, and a lodge of the same name in 1842.

 

The labors of these bodies were intermittent, the latter having been galvanized into fresh life in 1850, and the former in 1857. Both lodge and chapter are now extinct.

 

Marquesas Islands. - A lodge, which has long since ceased to exist - L'Amitie - was established at Nukahiva by the Grand Orient of France in 1850.

 

Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands. - In 1875 there were three lodges in this group, and more recent statistics show no increase in the number: Le Progres de l'Oceanie, erected by Warrant of the Supreme Council of France in 1850; and the Hawaiian and Wailukee lodges, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California. The last named is Maui; the others meet at Honolulu, the capital, where they occupy a hall in common. The earliest of the two American lodges (Hawaiian) was formed in 1852. These three lodges are composed of natives, Americans, Englishmen, and Germans, between whom the most friendly relations subsist. King Kalakaua was an active member of Le Progres de l'Oceanie, and also his brother, William Pitt Leleihoku, of the Hawaiian Lodge. The former, who has visited many foreign countries, also evinced the same interest in Masonry while on his travels.

 

On January 7, 1874, he was entertained by lodge Columbian of Boston (U.S.A.), and on May 22, 1881, by the National Grand Lodge of Egypt. By the latter body the king was elected an Honorary Grand Master, and afterward delivered a lengthy oration, in which he expressed his belief in Egypt being the cradle both of Operative and Speculative masonry, and thus may be said to have fully reciprocated the compliment which had been paid him by the meeting.

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