Masonic Buildings - Alexandra Masonic Centre (and Albert Edward Lodge No. 59 UGLV (1291 EC)))
A brief history of Albert Edward Lodge No. 59 UGLV (1291 EC)
On 20 August 1868 the Albert Edward Lodge No. 1291 in the English Constitution, was consecrated with the Installation of Brother William Downing as the founding Master, who was also appointed to the newly created position of clerk and rate-collector for the Alexandra Roads District in the same year.
Anecdotally meetings were initially held in the “Corner Hotel”, on the corner of Grant and Downey Streets. The Alexandra Hotel, at one time the Freemasons, a building which was rebuilt several times after several accidents. The current owners have been the McNair family since 1923, all prominent members of the Craft.
On 30 March 1889 Albert Edward was removed from the English Constitution to join the newly established United Constitution of Victoria, as number 59, under the watchful leadership of brother Frederick Wheeler (J.P.) for two years, the towns’ first chemist and dentist.
In 1913 land was purchased from Mr W. Fenton, and a new building was built on the corner of Nihil and Webster Streets, the current location, the Lodge Consecration and Installation of Brother Creighton as Worshipful Master was a celebratory affair with an annual installation picnic excursion being held to the grand extent of “Tumbling Waters”, a location beyond Thornton on the Rubicon River. Photos of the 1913 excursion are on display in the foyer. The Fenton family were the first publicans in Alexandra.
In November 1957 a sister lodge was consecrated in Eildon, number 800, coinciding with the construction of the Big Eildon Dam. Eildon Lodge met regularly until 6 July 2001, owing to dwindling membership and their advancing age, members voted to merge with Albert Edward, and their warrant was returned to Grand Lodge. Noted members of Eildon were Brothers E.A. Patrick and G.W. Orchard, who gained sixty and sixty-five year jewels in 2000.
Albert Edward Lodge meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7:30pm (No Meeting in December)
Mansfield Lodge meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm
Alexandra Masonic Centre
Our May 2017 county visit was to the Alexandra Masonic Centre. A decade ago, some country Masonic Centres had a reputation for being neglected and run down and Alexandra is an example of that reputation not being true. The members proudly showed us over the building and it’s evident that Grand Lodge has made a significant financial investment in fully renovating the entire building. It is a credit to Albert Edward Lodge, Grand Lodge and to all Victorian Freemasons.
There were several things which particularly caught my eye in the Alexandra Lodge Room. The carpet has to be one of the most vibrant I have ever seen. There were several examples of folk art which could easily be missed, the windows allowing natural light to flow into the lodge room but also the Temple’s Warrant case. Its out folding wings contain the names of Masters of the lodge from Foundation under UGLE on 20 August 1868 as Lodge number 1291 and extends to the year 2002, also noting the alteration of the Lodge number to 59 under UGLV on 13 March 1889. It is a wonderful “document” and a great historical asset which no doubt includes many notable locals, including one with the novel name WBro R C McMaster as Worshipful Master in 1935. The lantern roof, opened by counterweights, is a cupola through which natural light can flow to the lodge room below when the sliding ceiling is open. In this instance, it also allows fresh air into the lodge, which on a hot day would have a venting and cooling effect in the lodge room.