The First Decade, 1839 to 1849

I made my second visit to the Grand Lodge Library at 300 Albert Street East Melbourne recently and had an excellent chat with Wor Bro Graeme PGStdB. He spoke of many interesting things, masonic and otherwise. He directed me to "A Century of Union" by Rt Wor Bro Peter T Thornton PSGW and published by U.G.L.V in 1989. I paid my ten dollars life membership of the library and left with the borrowed book.

Below is the opening of the first chapter from "A Century of Union". I recommend the book to those with an interest in Victorian Freemasonry. It is full of historical information of the Craft and Grand Masters in Victoria, Australia

Regards, Damien, Editor.

"On 23rd December 1839, some four and a half years after colonisation began in the area which was to expand into the city of Melbourne, 21 Freemasons (presumably called together by word of mouth) met and drew up a petition to form a lodge. It was to be called the Lodge of Australia Felix and to be holden under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England.

The small town was in the Port Phillip District of the Colony of NSW and, masonically, under the control of a Provisional Grand Master resident in Sydney. He approved the petition and duly forwarded it to London. For the meantime he granted the brethren a dispensation warrant which allowed them to work until the actual warrant arrived.

It is recorded that the master-designate brought the dispensation warrant from Sydney on horseback so that the lodge would commence its work as soon as possible. It is now in the possession of our Grand Lodge (UGLV).

On 20th March 1840, the lodge was constituted and consecrated and the master-designate was installed and his nominated officers were invested. The actual warrant, reportedly entrusted to an individual for delivery to the lodge, did not arrive and the lodge was to receive a warrant of confirmation. During the 1860's the original warrant was discovered by the Grand Secretary in London amongst the papers of his predecessor. "