Masonic Buildings - South Melbourne and the District Grand Lodge of Victoria
From WBro Damien, Editor
Coat of Arms – District Grand Lodge of Victoria
Above - the Coat of Arms shown above Freemasons' Hall South Melbourne
On Facebook, WBro Ben Quick recently posted an image of the South Melbourne Freemasons' Hall, corner Dorcas & Ferris Streets (detail shown above). History is often preserved within the fabric of such buildings. For instance, at Mansfield a stone records our Masonic Centre was originally built as an Odd Fellows Building or at Brunswick, our English Constitutions origins is preserved within the Latin phrase above the Lodgerooom door which is the motto of UGLE. At South Melbourne, there was a mystery, as Ben put it, the building has an “Amazing coat of arms, 1876 before the Union, so whose coat of arms are they?”
South Melbourne was once known as Emerald Hill. The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (1872-1881) reported that the foundation stone of the Hall was laid on Thursday 15 June 1876 by the Lodge funding the building; Yarra Yarra Lodge 714 EC. There is a Heritage Victoria report available on the web for the building which cites an article from The Age of 10 June 1876, page 4. All three sources enlighten the reader on the building and solve the mystery of the Coat of Arms- they are those of the District Grand Lodge of Victoria (EC).
Interestingly, in the heritage report we read it only took a few years for Yarra Yarra to lose the building occupying it from November 1876 until 1881 when, due to financial difficulties, they found it necessary to vacate the premises. However they re-acquired it again in 1910, only to stop meeting there again by the 1920's.... There seems to have been a bit of mismanagement.... something we often accuse ourselves of a purely modern phenomenon.....
An extract from the Heritage report reads “The Freemason's Hall was built in 1876 at a cost of £2000 for the Yarra Yarra Lodge by the contractor Leonard Heffner, from the designs of two local Emerald Hill architects, R Adamson & W McKean. The Yarra Yarra Lodge occupied their new premises."
Above, Coat of Arms protruding uppermost top right
Below, Coat of Arms shown above door.
South Melbourne Freemasons Hall, corner Dorcas & Ferris Streets. Melbourne Victoria
Masonic Coats of Arms
UGLE, District Grand Lodge of Victoria and United Grand Lodge of Victoria
Coat of Arms of United Grand Lodge England
Above, Coat of Arms of UGLE, echoed in the Coat of Arms of District Grand Lodge of Victoria (EC) shown to the right
Coat of Arms of the District Grand Lodge of Victoria (EC)
Above, District Grand Lodge of Victoria (EC) which is on the South Melbourne Freemasons Hall built in 1876 before Victoria has its own Grand Lodge
Coat of Arms of United Grand Lodge of Victoria
Above, the shield in the Coat of Arms of United Grand Lodge of Victoria established in 1889.
The Coat of Arms of England (triple lion), Victoria (Southern Cross), Ireland (harp) and Scotland (single lion) are all represented in the above
1876 'NEWS OF THE DAY.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 10 June, p. 4. , viewed 11 Dec 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202162288
1876 'THE NEW MASONIC HALL.', The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (Vic. : 1872 - 1881), 16 June, p. 3. , viewed 11 Dec 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108499534
Victorian Heritage Database Report, FORMER FREEMASONS HALL