Masonic Trivia

“…In Launceston, Tasmania in 1844; “ St John’s Lodge played a part at the laying of a foundation stone of a Jewish Synagogue. We find that the band of the 96th Regiment, attended by permission of the colonel and officers, playing “Masonic Airs”. The return was made to the lodge room, the band playing alternatively “Burne’s Farewell” and the “Entered Apprentice”…. “


From “Some Notes on Freemasonry in Australia

by WF Lamonby, PDGM Vic Cont, PAGDC of England. Published 1906, London.

Board of Benevolence Trivia

Established in 1889 Freemasons Victoria's Board of Benevolence is one of Victoria's oldest charitable funds. The Board of Benevolence was started with £500 donated by Grand Master of the Day, Sir William Clarke, the first Grand Master of United Grand Lodge Victoria. Last year (2013) a total of about $750,000 was distributed from the fund while the Victorian Freemasons Public Charitable Foundation distributed about $300,000. Added together, that’s over a million dollars, to say nothing of individual  lodge efforts such as the $3,000 dollars lodge Devotion gave to Collingwood College in 2013.

It’s estimated we contribute around $2 million dollars a the year as benevolence in Victoria

“Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Foundation of Heather Lodge No. 369  1924 - 1949”  Consecrated 25th November, 1924.”

Published by Freemason’s Hall, Collins Street, Melbourne  on Friday, November 25th, 1949. 24 pages. This has provided a fascinating history of Heather Lodge.

The 25th Anniversary history provides details of the Heather Lodge and I quote from page 1 which says “At a meeting held by a number of Scotsmen – in Melbourne – in November, 1892, it was decided to form a Social Club, having for its Objects:

“The uniting of Scotsmen and their descendants for mutual improvement, assistance and social employment, to exercise benevolence, to foster a love for, and the cultivation of, the music, literature, and poetry, of Scotland and to welcome Scotsmen and their descendants to Victoria and the name to be “The Scottish Thistle Club of Victoria”.

The Lodge was opened on November 25th, 1924 in their Lodge Room, the Carlton Hall, Princess St., Carlton at 4.15pm by the Wor. Master Bro. W. Callaghan. The Master of the new Lodge was Wor. Bro. Charles Scott Low. My grandfather Bro. J. K. Anderson, was appointed to the position of Secretary.

My grandfather John Kemp Anderson was installed as Worshipful Master of Heather Lodge on Wed. 9th November, 1932 and I have a copy of the program for this event which was held in the Masonic Hall, Collins St. Melbourne

Kind Regards

Jan of Geelong,



Masonic Activity in Surrey Hills Victoria
Canterbury Lodge meets in the Mt Waverley Masonic temple in Stephensons Road. The lodge, No. 312, was formed on November 13, 1932 by 13 freemasons. Their first master was engineer David McLeod Buchanan. Originally meeting in an old theatre in Surrey Hills, the lodge moved to Prospect Hill Road in Camberwell before settling in Mt Waverley 11 years ago. Since its first move, the lodge’s former location has become its formal name although it is no longer based there.

More Surrey Hills Masonic Trivia
OBITUARY. MR. S. ORLO-SMITH: Mr. S. Orlo-Smith, a leading figure in Masonic and philatelic circles, died in Melbourne on Wednesday (22 March 1949. He was a past master and founding master of the first philatelic lodge in the world, as well as past master of the Surrey Hills (Victoria) lodge.

We all know the really extraordinary influx into the Fraternity that began just after the World War, and which reached its peak in 1921, in which year very nearly three hundred thousand men became members.


From The Builder Magazine - May 1930


Minnesota Masonic Charities
In 2009, the revenue was $65.9 mil up from $55.1 from 2008


Lodge Numbers

Massachusetts lodges have no numbers. Pennsylvania has eleven lodges with numbers but no names. Georgia has two lodges identified as number 1, Social #1 and Solomons #1. Neither Maryland, Pennsylvania, or Tennessee has a lodge with the number 1.



In its 190 year history, Freemasonry in Australia has included a surprisingly large and diverse range of members. Sporting heroes, captains of business and industry. Ten of Australia's 26 Prime Ministers were Freemasons.

Freemasons arrived in Australia with the first fleet and the first lodge opened in Sydney in 1820. Its membership peaked at 330,000 thousand after World War Two.

By 1955 one in 16 Australian men was a Freemason

From  "Whatever happened to... the Freemasons" ABC Compass Program of 14 August 2011 retrived 3 April 2012

Lux e Tenebriis Lodge was consecrated in Tasmania - completely comprised of blind men.
Source - A Century of Union By PT Thornton, published by United Grand Lodge Victoria 1989 Page 133  ISBN 0 7316 5791 8



The oldest known Masonic writing, the Regius Manuscript or “Halliwell Poem” or "Poem of Moral Duties," was discovered to be a Masonic document by a non-Mason, J. O. Halliwell, in 1839.  It was written about 1390 and was given the name "Regius" because it was found in the Royal Library of England.  It is now a part of the British Museum.  Some common Masonic Ritual terms in use today are found in it such as "So Mote It Be."


The Leinster Marine Lodge NSW

This Lodge was founded on 12th February 1824 and was welcomed into the GL of NSW as Lodge No 1 whilst Lodge Antiquity was No 0.

On the forming of the UGL of NSW, the numbering was changed, Antiquity became No 1 and Leinster Marine No 2.

For the first fifty years the term of the WM was six months and in October 1874 the GL of Ireland approved the change to a one year term.

Source here

Gold Mine in Gipps Street

In edition 111 of Devotion News we mentioned a gold mine on the corner of Hoddle and Gipps Street. It created some interest and here is some further detail;


Another event of the time mentioned by Mr Petherick was Collingwood's own gold mine. The Collingwood Gold Mining Company was formed in the 1860s and 'a shaft sunk through bluestone to a depth of more than 100 feet, at the south east corner of Gipps Street and Hoddle Street, opposite the 'Royal George', not far from the present Town Hall, which is on a basaltic bed.'


The Argus of August 13, 1865 described the scene when a pennyweight of gold  was gleaned from the first half bucket of wash dirt brought through the shaft: Directly gold was found the workmen knocked off and no slight amount of dissipation followed. Crowds collected and the street was, during the afternoon, crowded with buggies full of anxious visitors eager to gather hints for a little speculation. It is worth telling that while the  secretary of the company was exhibiting the gold to the Honourable Colonial Secretary the precious morsels got spilt on the carpet and were not recovered.


The company did not prosper and finally lapsed.



Published 1994 by Carringbush Regional Library in association with the City of Collingwood.
Printed by Artograph, Collingwood.
Third edition
ISBN 1 875141022
©Copyright1979, 1994






Scouts and Freemasons - one big meeting !

“An undoubted highlight” in the Ringwood Lodge #382 Lodge’s history was the Meeting of Friday 7 June 1949 held at the Ringwood Town Hall where the Lodge combined with the Orient Lodge of Lilydale, the Baden Powell Lodge and the Lodge of Croydon to initiate two candidates and give a Masonic evening to a large number of Scouting Brethren including interstate and internationals visitors from the Pan-Pacific Jamboree at Wonga Park. A total of 541 signed the Appearance Book.

Source; A History of the Ringwood Lodge No 382 1925-1985.

Colonial Police Act 1850 prohibited police from belonging to any political or secret society other than the Society of Freemasons.

In China, about 300 B.C., Mencius wrote "A master Mason, in teaching his apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of Wisdom, must also make use of the compasses and the square." Additionally, in a book called Great Learning, 500 B.C., we find that "A man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do unto him; and this is called the principle of acting on the square."

The Final Act by a Mason in The American Civil War


It was an April morning three days after General Robert E. Lee had surrendered to General U.S. Grant. The Southern troops, led by General John B. Gordon, a Mason, were marching in columns towards the Northern troops who were standing in formation waiting for the Southerners to stack arms and fold their flags. Suddenly a shifting of arms was heard.  Gordon looked up with alarm, but there was nothing to fear. General Joshua Chamberlain had ordered his troops to assume the position of "honor answering honor." Immediately, the Confederate troops snapped to attention and returned the honor. It was the first act to heal the wounds of a nation that had spent four years and 618,000 lives in a civil war. That command of "honor answering honor" was ordered by a Mason.


Major General Joshua Chamberlain was a member of United Lodge 8, Brunswick, Maine. After the war, he became Governor of Maine from 1866-71 and President of Bowdoin College from 1871-83. (He is also featured in the movie "Gettysburg" for his role in holding Little Round Top.)



Not sure if the above story is true.. can it be verified ?

The foundation stone of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Standishgate, Wigan in Ireland was laid on St. Patrick’s Day, 1818. In his memoirs, James Miller mentions that the lever and heavy maul used to lay the stone was presented to the Lodge of Sincerity in 1826 by the Master, John Bimson.

Huge Melbourne Masonic Meeting

In 1939 in Melbourne, Newspapers widely reported on the “Masonic Jubilee in Victoria” which was the celebration of the Centenary of Masonic Activities in the State. It was estimated that between 12,000 to 15,000 Freemasons, including over 100 interstate and international visitors, gathered in Melbourne to mark the event. Lord Huntingflield opened the 5th Australasian Masonic Conference during the week of Celebrations which was attended by Freemasons including Governor General, Lords and “the ordinary man”.  The week was also celebrated with the Installation of William James Byrne as the 15th Grand Master UGLV.

In 1860 in Limerick, Ireland, there was found a stone in a small chapel, dated 1517, with the following inscription: "I will serve to live with love & care, upon the level, and by the square."

At one time, Golden Lodge #5, Stanstead, Canada occupied a lodge room, which straddled the boundary between Canada and the United States. There were entrances on both sides of the border.

Dr. Edward Jenner, in 1789 discovered the vaccination process against smallpox. He was Worshipful Master of Faith and Friendship Lodge #270 in Berkeley, England at the time

Wheelock Commandery No.5, Knights Templar, in Texas had all 55 of its members killed serving in the Confederate Army. The Commandery ceased to exist.


When Brothers Richard E. Byrd and Bernt Balchen first flew over the North and South Poles, they dropped a Masonic flag on each Pole. Then, in the 1933-35 expedition, Brother Balchen tossed his Shrine Fez on the North Pole.

The first American Masonic ritual, "Freemason's Monitor", was published in Albany, NY in 1797 by Brother Thomas Smith Webb. It was largely based on William Preston's writings in England.

The Lodge of Social and Military Virtues had had some unusual experiences during the earlier years of its existence. Gould mentions two occasions prior to the regiment’s tour of duty in New South Wales when its Masonic chest had fallen into the hands of the enemy and had been returned. The first was during the American War of Independence when, by the chances of war, the chest was taken by the Americans. This circumstance was reported to General Washington, himself a Freemason, who directed that a guard of honour should take charge of the chest, with other articles of value belonging to the 46th, and return them to the regiment. The second occurred in Dominica in 1805 when the 46th was attacked by a French force which it repelled, but in the action again had the misfortune to lose its Masonic chest, which the enemy succeeded in securing on board their fleet without knowing its contents. Three years afterwards, the French Government, at the request of the officers who commanded the expedition, returned the chest with several complementary presents, in itself an act which was a reflection of the Government’s views on the moral and social value and the general usefulness of Freemasonry.


Freemasonry Down Under (The French):

In September 1802 two French naval vessels, Le Geographe and Le Naturaliste, were anchored in Port Jackson and whilst there held a “lodge” meeting at which a “colonist”, Anthony Fenn Kemp, was initiated. A certificate issued to “Bro” Kemp, now held in Sydney’s Mitchell Library, states in hand written French that the lodge was not regularly constituted, but properly assembled with the presiding brother being a member of the Metropolitan Chapter of Paris which was then the ruling body for the Rite of Perfection (25 degrees) which included the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason degrees.

It is interesting to note that, as stated by MWBro Clarke in his Blaikie Lecture, Anthony Kemp was a Captain attached to the New South Wales Corps stationed at Port Jackson and that the Artillery Officer (and therefore a senior officer) of the Port Jackson battery was Bro George Bridges Bellasis. The war between France and England had ended only months before with the signing of the Treaty of Amiens on 21 March 1802 but these two French ships, on a scientific expedition under the control of Commodore Nicholas Baudin of the Le Geographe, had been sailing in Australian waters for nearly a year before they came into Sydney in June for replenishment stores. They did not sail again until November, so the crews had five months to fraternise with the settlers and the military personnel ashore.
Captain Kemp was heavily involved in a trade bringing spirits into the colony much to Governor King’s disgust. When the Atlas arrived with a cargo of brandy in September 1802, King forbade it being landed ashore but he did allow eight hundred gallons of the shipment to be sold to Baudin to replenish his ships. Kemp was furious and accused some of the French officers of on-selling the brandy to settlers. King ordered an investigation and, finding the complaint unfounded, directed Kemp to officially apologise to the French officers concerned. 

Kemp’s subsequent “raising” as a Master Mason on board one of the French ships, with Bro Bellasis acting as Tyler, on the 17th September shows that the apology had been accepted. RWBro Linford contends that Governor King knew of the Masonic meeting but was probably well satisfied that the Freemasons involved posed no threat to his administration, a different story than that with Bro Hayes, as reported above.