Masonic Buildings - Brunswick Masonic Centre
Brunswick Masonic Centre, 6 Davies Street
The Brunswick Masonic Centre's Foundation Stone was laid on the 7 July 1923 by MWBr E. T. Hickford, Pro Grand Master. A Pro Grand Master is now the thing of the past, but essentially they were like an acting Grand Master. They were often appointed when the actual Grand Master of the day had other significant public duties; like being Governor General. The Architect of the building was WBro C.R. Heath & the builder Bro W.H. Cooper.
Since construction, the building has been in continual Masonic use. WBro Nic L is the current secretary of the building and we are told responsible for many of the displays, including the Masters’ Group Banners. Many Freemasons take such efforts for granted, but it is only through the commitment of Brothers like Nic that we have been able to preserve the buildings we have. Even when Grand Lodge financially supports such buildings, it is the local man on the ground which makes the continuance of such buildings possible. If you are in a position to support your local temple, I urge you to offer help to its custodians and assist them to improve and perpetuate our meeting spaces for future generations of Freemasons. All too often we fail in that. The Lodge room is large and there is a sense of history in it and in the South. It is obvious Freemasons take pride in the building.
Brunswick Masonic Centre - Banners
Over the door leading to the South is “The Aquila Room” (above). Within is a large south and we hear its air-conditioning is scheduled for renewal.
On the walls are “Masters Groups' Banners”. A Masters Group is exactly that – a group of sitting Worshipful Masters who work together to support and promote their lodges, often arranging visits to each others lodges on the night of Installation, presumably to play some mysterious part behind the closed doors of the Board of Installed Masters. Historically, these groups were often very important, and formed by Senior Wardens as they approached the Master’s Chair. Each year, a new group would form and often the friendships made during the year of activity would last for decades. You still sometimes hear visiting Past Masters announced with their Masters Group’s Name, sometimes their year being as far back as the 1970’s, more than a social group, they would often take on certain charities. The Central District is a little different, it has a standing Masters Group called “Omega” and is a strong supporter of lodges, often coming to their aid with charges. Last time Devotion was short of a charge, after weeks of trying to solve this problem, our DC asked the Omega Group and within 24 hours a member had come to Devotion’s aid. The group is called “Omega”, the last letter of the Greek Alphabet, as it was to be the last Masters Group to form at Dallas Brooks Hall, but it happily has survived the demise of that building. The WMs at Gipps Street from Devotion, Evolution and Naval and Military Craft Lodges all have recently attended the Omega Masters Group.
Brunswick Masonic Centre – The Doorway, “Audi, Vide, Tace”
The entrance to the main lodge room on the ground floor at Brunswick Masonic Centre is adorned with some beautiful Masonic timber carving (shown below).Over the door are the Latin words “Audi, Vide, Tace“ which are generally translated as “Hear, see, be silent”. Did you notice them?
These comes from a longer Latin saying, “Audi, vide, tace, si vis vivere in pace” which is generally translated as “Hear, see, be silent, if you would live in peace.”
The three Latin words remain in the Coat of Arms of the United Grand Lodge of England (shown below).
Until the 1950’s these three Latin words were also the motto of the Grand Lodge of South Australia and Northern Territory and are carved into the facade of that Grand Lodge’s building above four large Ionic Columns at Freemasons Hall, 254 North Terrace, Adelaide (shown below).