L. W. Fletcher’s Lodge Devotion 1954-55 Past Master’s Medal
Return of the 1954-55 Lodge Devotion Past Master’s Medal
We are pleased to announce the return to the Lodge of WBro L. W. Fletcher’s Lodge Devotion Past Master’s Medal. Past Masters are presented a Jewel (medal) to mark their service in the Master’s Chair and this one is for the year 1954-55 when the lodge was in its third year, hence noting WBro Fletcher as our third Master.
Devotion was founded in 1952 and little of the lodge’s history has been documented. We are trying to change that by piecing together as much as we can. The name Fletcher appears on our Warrant twice as petitioners; Leslie Wilfred Fletcher and Raymond Francis Fletcher. In the petition to form the Lodge and associated documents, both Leslie and Raymond are recorded as Master Masons living in Heidelberg and members of Heidelberg Lodge No 139 which returned its warrant in 1999. In the proposed officers list, Bro Leslie Wilfred Fletcher is listed as Junior Deacon having been initiated in Citizens Lodge No 166 in Oct 1919 and raised in the same Lodge in January 1920. He was 50 years old when Lodge Devotion was founded, so his was born circa 1902. As he was not yet 21 when Initiated, this suggests he was “a Lewis” which is the son, sometimes a nephew, of a Freemason. Today’s rule allowing 18 year olds to be Initiated is a more recent one and in most places you once had to be 21 years of age to become a Freemason , unless you were a Lewis.
In the foundation documents, WBro L W Fletcher listed his occupation as Textile Manager and his home address as 3 Oxford Court Ivanhoe. We might assume Raymond was Leslie’s brother, a relative or that both the surname, and membership of Heidelberg No 139 of both men, just a coincidence. Raymond's age is listed as 37 with the occupation of Company Secretary and resident at 14 Tower Avenue in Alphington.
More recent Past Master medals of Lodge Devotion appear to be supplied by Liliey’s. Liliey’s has been manufacturing regalia here in Melbourne since 1947 when it was established as ‘Coronet Regalia’ by George H Liliey, when even the store David Jones had a Regalia Department. The manufacturer later took the founder’s name and remains in the family, George’s son, Peter Lilley took over the business in 1976 with his wife, and they, and a third generation of Lilleys work in the business. A particular curio on L W Fletcher’s medal is the “Blashki” stamp. Blashki’s, founded in 1858, again in Melbourne, is still in operation and they are known for retaining the dies for many lodges’ Past Master’s medals and other regalia. Blashki’s was founded by Bro Phillip Blashki (1837 – 1916) who was a silversmith, businessman and also known as a Freemason and leader in the Jewish Community. He is in our Famous Freemasons list and we have an article on our web site about him. Blashki’s achievements were many including being a President of Melbourne’s Freemasons’ Homes. In recognition for his work as a J.P., philanthropist & community leader, Blashki was one of the invited guests at the opening of the first Federal Parliament at the Exhibition Buildings. He had a hand in things like ordering, as Magistrate, that the Melbourne City Baths Corporation Swimming Pool would be open free for all children to learn to swim. He received more than one Illuminated Address and on his 70th birthday one signed by thirty solicitors practising in the Russell Street court, was handed to him by the then Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. As a silversmith Bro Phillip Blashki produced items like the Sheffield Shield and the NSW Cricketers Association's 'Horden Shield'. He was certainly an impressive individual and its worth reading something of his life on the web.
The medal was returned via our current Lodge caterer Lyn when a Devotion member was visiting Arcadian Veritas at Prahran. Lyn was given the Jewel from WBro Les , who knew the son of L W Fletcher who passed his father’s regalia to Les when the son decided to resign from the Craft.
A special thanks to Lyn and especially Les for seeing the Jewel returned.
The Jewel has now been sown onto Lodge Devotion's IPM Collar and is hence worn at all our meetings.