A history preserved in name plates from 1929 dining chairs

From Damien of Lodge DevotionThe fabric of many Masonic Centres throughout the world preserve, the not just Masonic history, but also local history. Some like Freemasons Hall London preserve the history of world events. Always built of time and place, the Collingwood Masonic Centre is no different, its asymmetric rooflines and frontage, use of natural local material and even its eves all reflect the Arts and Crafts Architectural Movement while its floor plan, furniture and fittings are shaped by is Masonic use. More fundamentally, items like the building’s foundation stone record some of the men who built our Building, and who used it just as we do, for lodge meetings, to entertain our friends and families, and also offering it to the local community for hire. We owe them a great debt.

Within the lodge room, many items are marked with the names of those who donated them. For those unfamiliar with Freemasonry and who mistakenly think it is chauvinistic or misogynistic, finding the names of women on such items confuses. We know the names of ladies like Mrs Cope and Miss Grant who donated some of the items we use because they are recorded on the items they funded; we honour all who helped construct the Centre.

On the first floor, placed under the coat hooks which are approaching a century of use, are names inscribed on small plaques. Oral history tells us these were the names of men and women who donated the first chairs to be used during dinner. Originally placed on each chair, when the seating was replaced, these name plaques were removed and placed under coat hooks in memory of those peoples’ generous support and they give us some hints on our history.

We know from early minutes that on the 15 January 1929 it was resolved than an order be placed with the Melbourne Chair Company for 250 chairs @ nine shillings each. While each chair might not have had a name plate, or the name plates not survived, or duplicates felt unnecessary, or perhaps the order varied, nonetheless there are 197 name plates preserved on our walls. We also have at least one chair with its name plate in place. Fifteen clearly record ladies with “Mrs” and “Miss”. We do not know if duplicates represent men with the same surname and initials, or if they are duplicated because the donator paid for more than one chair, but for now, we can present a list of each and every name plate preserved.

While 11 with the surname “Brown” might reflect the popularity of the name, the 4 with “Hagg” and the three with an abbreviation for Junior, two with the same for Senior against repetitive initials,, the inclusion of wives and two “Miss” all suggest that lodges were a place families came together, just as they do today.

The plaques are basically in alphabetical order on the walls, but below they are sorted by surname. They begin with the initial(s) followed by surname but below we have placed the surname first to allow readers to more easily scan the surnames.

Please contact us if you can supply any detail about these people.

Original Dinning Chair

Acfield, C E (room, south wall)

Ahern, J T (room, south wall)

Allen, R W (room, south wall)

Amos, W G (room, south wall)

Anderson, A J (room, south wall)

Anderson, A S (room, south wall)

Angus, G R (room, south wall)

Archer, H P (room, south wall)

Armstrong, J B (room, south wall)

Armstrong, J B (room, south wall)

Aston, C S (room, south wall)

Bailey, T (room, south wall)

Barker, E W (room, south wall)

Barnard, W O (room, south wall)

Battesson, U (room, south wall)

Battle, P F (room, south wall)

Battle, T H (remains on chair)

Beard, W T (room, south wall)

Beck, F C (room, south wall)

Bedford, W (room, south wall)

Bedford, W Mrs (room, south wall)

Bell, H (room, south wall)

Bell, H Mrs (room, south wall)

Berley, G W (room, south wall)

Berringner F (room, south wall)

Bishop, G W (room, south wall)

Blair, W A (room, south wall)

Blight, W H (room, south wall)

Boardman, G S (room, south wall)

Bradfield, F (room, south wall)

Brenen, H H (room, south wall)

Briggs, H (room, south wall)

Briggs, R G F (room, south wall)

Brown, F V (room, south wall)

Brown, G E (room, south wall)

Brown, Myrtle Miss (room, south wall)

Brown, S (room, south wall)

Brown, S F Junr (room, south wall)

Brown, S F Mrs (room, south wall)

Brown, S F Mrs (room, south wall)

Brown, S F WM 292 (room, south wall)

Brown, T A (room, south wall)

Brown, Vera Miss (room, south wall)

Brown, W T (room, south wall)

Bryant, W C (room, south wall)

Bull, A R (room, south wall)

Bullock H (room, south wall)

Bunning, R A (room, south wall)

Campbell, J (landing, west wall)

Carden, W J (room, south wall)

Charter, W F (room, south wall)

Charter, W F (room, south wall)

Clarke, R H (room, south wall)

Clarke, R H Mrs (room, south wall)

Cohen, H (room, south wall)

Cohen, J A (room, south wall)

Cohen, W J

Cohen, W J Mrs (room, south wall)

Coley, H (room, south wall)

Collier, W (room, south wall)

Connibere, A (room, south wall)

Cross, H (room, south wall)

Dance, R J Junr (room, south wall)

Dance, R J Mrs (room, south wall)

Dance, R J Senr (room, south wall)

Daus, H (room, east wall)

Davidson, N J (room, south wall)

Davis, F (room, south wall)

Davis, F Mrs (room, south wall)

Dick, R A (room, east wall)

Dicker, H T (room, east wall)

Dodds, W N (room, east wall)

Donaldson, J H (room, east wall)

Dorman, E J (room, east wall)

Drummond, J (room, east wall)

Du Rieu, C (room, east wall)

Dyer, C (room, east wall)

Eastes, D (room, east wall)

Ennor, C H (room, east wall)

Ferguson, K & B (room, east wall)

Ferguson, W (room, east wall)

Ferguson, W Mrs (room, east wall)

Flegg, W H (room, east wall)

Fleming, T F (room, east wall)

Ford, C (room, east wall)

Freeman, E E (room, east wall)

Freeman, E Mrs (room, east wall)

Garson, J N (room, east wall)

Graham, W S (room, east wall)

Green, J (room, east wall)

Green, J (room, east wall)

Grigg, E (room, east wall)

Hagg, A H Junr (room, east wall)

Hagg, A H Senr (room, east wall)

Hagg, H A (room, east wall)

Hagg, J G (room, east wall)

Hancock, A R(room, east wall)

Harris, E M (room, east wall)

Hebditch, F (room, east wall)

Hebditch, J (room, east wall)

Hill, Alf (room, east wall)

Hornig, P C (room, east wall)

Hume, J (room, east wall)

Isaacs, H (room, east wall)

Jackson, H (room, east wall)

Jackson, T R (room, east wall)

Jamieson, S (room, east wall)

Jelley, E (room, east wall)

Johnson, W H T (room, east wall)

Joy, Will (room, east wall)

Kemp, T W (room, east wall)

Kiel, G (room, east wall)

King, R (room, east wall)

Lawrence, C A (room, east wall)

Lee, W H (room, east wall)

Lees, E (room, east wall)

Leffers, J (room, east wall)

Logan, W L (room, east wall)

Main, A (room, east wall)

Martin, F C (room, north wall)

Martin, F C Mrs (room, north wall)

Mavor, A G (room, north wall)

Maynard, A B (room, north wall)

Mc Bride, L (room, east wall)

Mc Hutchison, Betty (room, north wall)

Mc Hutchison, Duncan (room, north wall)

Merrett, C E (room, north wall)

Merrett, F H (room, north wall)

Merritt, F H (room, north wall)

Milne, R W, (room, north wall)

Mollison, G (room, north wall)

Morton, J S (room, north wall)

Mudie, D L (room, north wall)

Murray, G A room, north wall)

Pearce, T W L(room, north wall)

Perry, F R L ((room, north wall)

Perry, G (room, west wall)

Petrie, G A (room, west wall)

Petrie, H J (room, west wall)

Phillips, W F (room, west wall)

Phillips, W T Mrs (room, west wall)

Ralph, W F (room, west wall)

Read, A N (room, west wall)

Reid, R (room, west wall)

Reid, R (room, west wall)

Robinson, H (room, west wall)

Rowell, E L (room, west wall)

Rowell, E Mrs (room, west wall)

Russell, J G (room, west wall)

Russell, P R (room, west wall)

Sach, G (room, west wall)

Saunders, J (room, west wall)

Say, G H (room, west wall)

Secburger, W (room, west wall)

Shingler, A H (room, west wall)

Shoesmith, A (room, west wall)

Smith, G (room, west wall)

Spence, J F (room, west wall)

Stewart, H W (room, west wall)

Stubbs, P E (landing, west wall)

Sumner, C (room, west wall)

Taylor, H (room, west wall)

Taylor, W E (room, west wall)

Taylor, W T (room, west wall)

Templer, S E (landing, west wall)

Thomas, A S (room, west wall)

Thomas, E C (room, west wall)

Thomas, J W R (room, west wall)

Thomas, W P (room, west wall)

Thompson F G (room, west wall)

Thompson, F G (room, west wall)

Thompson, F G (room, west wall)

Thompson, W T (passage, south wall)

Timms, G (passage, south wall)

Timms, G Mrs (passage, south wall)

Treby, H (passage, south wall)

Triggs, O F (passage, south wall)

Veal, H G (passage, south wall)

Walker, F L (passage, south wall)

Walker, H (passage, south wall)

Wall, J E (passage, south wall)

Wallace, H (passage, south wall)

Watkins, A E (passage, south wall)

Watson, D S (passage, south wall)

Watson, F (passage, south wall)

Watson, J S (passage, south wall)

Watts, G (landing, west wall)

Watts, W B (landing, west wall)

Webb C S (landing, west wall)

Weeden, V (landing, west wall)

While, C J Mrs (landing, west wall)

Whiley, C J (landing, west wall)

Whitehead, H (landing, west wall)

Whitehead, J (landing, west wall)

Wilson, A S (landing, west wall)

Winchester, S G (landing, west wall)

Wood, H (landing, west wall)

Wyse, H L (landing, west wall)