28: Masonic Lodge Hall.

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Learmonth Masonic Lodge.

Researched and written by LDHS member, Mrs Claudette Crick.

The Learmonth Masonic Lodge, with sponsorship from the Yarrowee Lodge was formed at a meeting on December 7th 1894, with Bro. John Baird being inducted as the first Wor. Master. Meetings were held at the Shire Hall at an initial rent of £3 ($6) per annum until the present building was established.

In its fledgling days the Lodge frequently had difficulty in getting sufficient members present to fill the offices. Alterations to the railway timetables enabled visitors from Ballarat to arrive by train in time for the meeting and return by the later train. This was a great help to maintain membership and also for local members who had moved into Ballarat to attend meetings. Members were summoned to meet at 7.30 on the Friday night on or before full moon.

A building fund was established in 1898, and a block of land was purchased. This was later sold when Mr. F Barnes, a lodge member, donated the land on which the building now stands.In 1914 Wor. Bro. McCubbin successfully moved "that the time is now opportune to consider the advisability of erecting a Masonic Temple". Plans and specifications were drawn up and George Dean, a builder from Learmonth won the contract at the cost of £1100 ($2200).A large crowd gathered to watch the laying of the cornerstone by the original Master of the Lodge, John Baird. As the building progressed, the opening date was set for November 12th 1915.W. Anderson of Windermere, a very skilful craftsman donated the wrought iron fence. George Dean added the canopy over the east, which had been in the original plans, in June 1927 for the sum of £109 ($218).The lodge was connected to electricity when power came to Learmonth; the former gas lighting plant was then sold.

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History of THE MASONIC LODGE, LEARMONTH.

by D. Baird

Reproduce from "Back to Learmonth" Centenary Celebrations 1937. -

The Learmonth Masonic Lodge was founded in the year 1894, The Yarrowee Lodge No 10 being its sponsor. The foundation members were Bros. John Baird, John McKerrow, Robert John Dobson, John Fisher, Henry Thomas Hughes, Duncan Stewart and John Trewin.The first meeting was held in the Shire Hall. Leamonth, on December 7th, 1894. The chair was occupied by Rt. Wor. Bro. Geo. Baker, D.G.M., supported by Most Wor. Bro. the Hon. Sir W. J. Clarke, K.C.M.G. The Lodge was consecrated by the Grand Lodge Officers present Bro. John Baird was then installed as the first W.M. by Wor. E. Verey, W.M. of Yarrowee Lodge. The following Brethren were the first Officers :--I.P.M., Wor. Bro. Ruffle; S.W., Bro. R.J. Dobson; J.W., Bro. J McKerrow; Treasurer. Bro. J Fisher; Secretary, Bro. H.T. Hughes; Deacons, Bros. D. Stewart and J. Trewin; Tyler, Wor. Bro. E. Wattes.The first to be initiated in this Lodge were Messrs. W. Rain, F. Perkins, G. Kilfoyle, J. Kennedy, A. Blair, J. Thomas, R. Davenport, J. Dickie, F. G. Barrett, C. Edmonston and J. Surman. On the 25th November, 1898, Bro. Rain was installed W. M., being the first initiated in the Lodhe to receive that honour.

The Lodge continued to meet in the Shire Hall until the Present Temple was erected. The land on which it is built was generously donated by Wor. Bro. F. W. Barnes, a P.M. of the Lodge. On the afternoon of Friday, November 27th 1914, the foundation stone was laid. Wor. Bro. P. Hart presided and presented a silver trowel to Rt. Wor.Bro. John Baird, a foundation member and first Master of the Lodge, and requested him to perfom the ceremony of laying the corner stone.The Temple was erected by Wor. Bro. George Dean, a P.M. of the Lodge and a contractor of this township. On Friday, November 12th, 1915, the Lodge opened for the first time in the new Temple. The chair was occupied by the W.M., Wor. Bro. C. Medwell. The Grand Master, Most Wor. Bro. Carty Salmon, was present. The Installation ceremony was carried out, Wor. Bro. David Brewster being the first to hold the office of Master in the new Temple.

The office-bearers in the Lodge at the present time are:- W.M. Wor. Bro. N.S. Parker; I.P.M.., Wor. Bro. A. McL. Bain, S.W.., Bro. S.R. Goldsmith; J.W.., Bro. E. Edwards; Chaplain, Bro. the Rev. F.F. Fell; Treasurer, Wor. Bro. R.A. Dowler; Secretary, Wor. Bro. D. Baird; Deacons, Bros. R.T. White and J.E. Coutts; D.C., Wor. Bro. J.A.M. Trewin; Organist, Bro. E. Boustead; I.G., Bro. J.G. Coutts; Tyler, Bro. W.J.T. Scott; Stewards, Bros. R. Young, W.D. Newton, K.C. Edmonston, A. C. Crick and L.O. Hucker. These brethren are meeting under much more favorable conditions than was the case in the early history of the Lodge.

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Update to above article reproduced from: "Back to" Learmonth and District. 25th to 28th January 1957 Souvenir Programme.

Office-bearers in the Lodge at the present time are:- W.M., Wor. Bro. G. R. Charles; I.P.M., Wor. Bro. L. O. Hucker; S.W., Bro. A. Hinchcliffe; J.W., Bros. W. H. Kopke; Chaplain, Bro N.C. Blackie; Treasurer, Wor. Bro. K. C. Edmonson; Secretary, Wor. Bro. D Baird; D.C., Wor. Bros. D. A. Baird; S.D., Bro. W. A. Walton; J.D., Bro. M. T. Draffin; Choirmaster, Bro. E. Bald; I.G., Bro. M. Gorman; Tyler, Bro. R. A. Newton; Stewards, Bros. J.G. Draffin, F. J. Stephens; W. F. Cox; C. A. Blackmore, J. J. Grills, K. Smith, N. A. Trewin, C. Toogood.

 

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