The Carringbush Hotel aka "The Friendly Societies Hotel", July 2015 Meeting

We marked the last meeting of Mike’s Mastership as it started – with a night of fellowship at the pub hanging out with mates, drinking and eating. Some might say that’s not the best way to make a “daily advancement in Masonic knowledge”, but fraternity is core to Freemasonry and a beer and a chat helps foster the friendships so important to successful lodges and our enjoyment of Freemasonry. We should do it more and its only a matter of sending a text, email or a phone call to get friends together between meetings.


Carringbush Hotel

Carringbush Hotel at 228 Langridge St Abbotsford Friendly Societies Hotel
Above, the Carringbush Hotel at 228 Langridge St Abbotsford – a short walk from the Collingwood Masonic Centre. The Hotel used to be called the Friendly Societies Hotel and the name remains in the facade of the building both on the corner and on each street side of the building. This year, we are aware of about 4 lodges dining there. Many fraternities met there – including Masonic Lodges
The “Carringbush Hotel” is a name of note and makes reference to the extremely controversial 1950 novel “Power Without Glory” by Frank Hardy which thinly disguised real life places and characters. A resulting law case was the last time there was a criminal prosecution (as opposed to a civil action) for libel in Victoria. In the book, Carringbush is the substituted name for the Melourne suburbs of Collingwood and Abbotsford while Richmond becomes Ralstone and Gold St becomes Silver street and so on. The central character is John Wren (aka “West” in the book), businessman and Labor Party strongman - a notable Melbournian. Others like Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix (aka “Archbishop Malone”), Mauruce Blackwell (“Mauruce Blackburn”, Thomas Bent (Thomas Bond), Pat Cody (“Pat Cory”), Les Darcy (Lou Darby), Jim  Morley (Jim Morton), TJ Ryan (TJ Real) and Squizzt Taylor (Snoopy Tanner) all appear in the book.


Closer to Freemasonry, prior to 1984, the Carringbush was called the “Friendly Societies Hotel” and the Freemasons, Free Gardiners and other Fraternities met there. The pub has changed its names three times I know of - Langridge Family Hotel (1870 - 1889), Friendly Societies Hotel (1889 - 1984) and then to the Carringbush in 1984. Reading lodge histories, the Friendly Societies Hotel was home to several Masonic groups who later met at Gipps St when it was completed in 1928 but as we all know, the pub is still home to many Masonic gatherings.


To those interested in a certain Masonic Degree – there was once a Tubal Cain Hotel (1865 - 1894) at 26 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford, southeast corner Greenwood Street. The comments on the Collingwood Historical Society’s web page say “Tubal Cain, the son of Lamech and Zillah and a descendant of Cain, was the 'forger of all instruments of bronze and iron' (Genesis 4:22) and thus the ancestor of metalworkers. He is sometimes referred to as the first blacksmith. There is also a Masonic connection.”


Being our Master’s last night, we should close with some comments on his year. I we all got a bit sick of him telling us of his shortfalls because we  all know he was a fantastic Master. I would say under Mike we birthed a new Devotion tradition  - holding a table lodge. At his Installation Mike said his goal was to see ritual well performed and to make sure we all had a good time. I would say Mike got 10/10 in his performance review for the 2014/15 year and we all thank him for his service and leadership over the last 12 months.