Masonic Buildings - Gippsland - Coal Creek Community Park & Museum; Lodge Evolution’s visit

It was reported to the Editor of Devotion News and Webmaster (same Brother) by numerous Freemasons that this lodge room has been closed due to access difficulties after local council (South Gippsland Shire Council) took over the management of Coal Creek. The building had been transported and donated by local by Freemasons who also have a long association quietly assisting in the maintenance of the park. A letter written in Nov 2016 to Local Council and a Local Business Association pointing out that the Lodge room provided an attraction for Lodges and their families to holiday in the Korumburra, and that would be an economic loss, to say nothing of the historical association, is yet to replied to.

We have now placed this letter on the web here.

Above, the Masonic Lodge Room at Coal Creek.

Note that all images on this page are clickable for a closer look.

Nick C, Damien H and Jordan M are all members of both Lodge Devotion and Lodge Evolution and attended Evolution’s trip to Coal Creek in March 2016.

Coal Creek Historical Village is situated on the site of Coal Creek Mining town established in the 1870’s. Located in Gippsland, it is about forty-five minutes from Phillip Island, ninety minutes from Melbourne’s CBD and on the direct route to Wilson’s Promontory. Coal Creek Heritage Village is a large open-air museum and was established in 1974. Historic buildings have been relocated from local sites and concentrated in this Village, now called “Coal Creek Community Park and Museum”. The park became an accredited museum in 2014. The local history of black coal started in South Gippsland when coal was accidentally discovered near the present site of Coal Creek when James Brown’s horse, watering near the creek, kicked a sizable piece of coal free from the surface in 1872. Some years later, coal began to be mined becoming the first successful commercial coalfield in Victoria. The region subsequently became “responsible for breaking the stranglehold New South Wales had on Victoria’s industries”. Coal mining saw the development of the South Gippsland railway and the rural settlement which was accelerated by the dairy and timber industries. The mine at Coal Creek operated from the 1880s to the 1958, when operations ceased.

Coal Creek Community Park & Museum was initially created to preserve the unique history of coal, with sixty-three buildings telling the story of coal mining, dairy farming and local commerce from first settlement in 1820 to 1920.

Above, one of the streets in Coal Creek

Within the park is a Masonic Lodge room. Visitors stand behind a glass window and see a “piece of history’ being the lodge room. Of course, we know it’s living history with Freemasons all over the world meeting in rooms like the public can view at Coal Creek. Evolution members, many of them less than forty years of age, got behind the glass, drew a blind to cover the glass viewing window, stationed our Tyler at the door and Passed a brother to the Second Degree. The building is used five times a year by Coal Creek Lodge 907 and by visiting lodges such as Evolution.

The Lodge at Coal Creek as viewed by the public

There is a plaque in the building noting the toilet in it was “provided for use by disabled visitors to Coal Creek by the United Grand Lodge of Ancient and Accepted Freemasons Victoria 3 March 1991”. There is also a large ornate key with another plaque noting “Coal Creek Masonic Building A Masonic Centenary Project” noting the same date. This would suggest the building was located or renovated in Coal Creek in that year.

The lodge room is tiny. Evolution’s organist was in attendance with Devotion’s ADC ( also holding that position at Evolution) shuffling around the lodge room in slow Geisha steps to try and keep time with the music before arriving at a Pedestal, the Senior Warden’s occupied by our own Nick C with Jordan M in the East acting as Chaplain, surprising us by being able to recite prayers by memory – I don’t think he’s ever sat in that chair before and goes to show how much active Freemasons can learn by paying attention in lodge; follow his example Brothers !

Dinner was prepared by the local Scouts on the lawn. A great idea, it supported them and there was some black belt CWA apple pie and other dessert makers amongst the ladies supporting the scouts.

Coal Creek Community Park and Museum has a web site here

Above, Junior Warden's Pedestal and below the Junior Warden's window

Above, Senior Warden's Pedestal and below a Masonic Window for the Senior Warden

Above Coal Creek Masonic Lodge NO 907 banner and below Coal Creek Masonic Lodge No 907's Warrant from the United Grand Lodge of Victoria.

An unusual item noticed in the lodge room at Coal Creek were these gauntlets. Officers of the lodge wear them, but these are unusual because they show a dove bearing an olive branch; the symbol of the Deacons in the lodge who today in the Victorian Constitution of Freemasonry do not wear gauntlets...