Contact the Lodge
- Address: 34 Maribyrnong Rd Moonee Ponds VIC
- Contact: WBro. Ted van der Veer, PGStdB
- ph: 9370 8696
- e: [email protected]
- Lodge Number: 99
- Meeting – 2nd Thursday 7:30pm (January, no meeting)
- Rehearsal – 1st Wednesday
- Installation – May
About The Lodge
The Gordon Masonic Lodge was the first masonic lodge established on the Borough of Essendon, with the Borough of Essendon and Flemington being proclaimed and gazetted in December 1861.
The Borough of Essendon covered the wards of Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds and Essendon.
The first meeting of local Freemasons desirous of founding a new lodge in the Essendon area was held at the Ascot Vale Hotel in July 1885. William Farquharson Lamonby was the driving force, financier and founder of the Gordon Lodge and when he wasn't present not a lot happened at those Ascot Vale Hotel meetings.
Lamonby arrived in Victoria in early 1882 to take up a position with Argus Newspaper and stayed in Victoria for ten years playing a large part in Masonic affairs of the State. During his time in Victoria Lamonby became a member of the Combermere Lodge.
Lamonby returned to London in 1891 and continued his Masonic activities until his death in 1926 at the age of 87. Upon his return to England MWBro. Lamonby was conferred the rank of Past Deputy Grand Master of the UGLV by Grand Master Sir William Clarke.
After several months of meetings the Gordon Lodge was consecrated on 11 February 1886 under an English constitution warrant No. 2112, dated October 1885. The consecration meeting was held at the Essendon Town Hall, which was followed by a ballot for four candidates who were then initiated.
Subsequent meetings were held in the Essendon Council Chambers, however this was not a satisfactory arrangement. Consequently at the June 1886 meeting, and due to a ball being in full progress in the next room, a motion was passed that the Gordon Lodge hold its meeting, “…at the Melbourne Masonic Hall, Collins Street East, until such time as the Ascot Vale Masonic Hall is ready for occupancy…”
So for the next 6 months the Lodge met at the Masonic Hall at 25 Collins Street.
The Ascot Vale Masonic Hall Company Limited was formed raising £2,000 via £1 shares and on Thursday 14 October 1886 the foundation stone for the future Ascot Vale Masonic Hall was laid.
Apparently the laying of the foundation stone for the Lodge building was a big day for the local community, with the event covered in detail by local press.
Gordon Lodge opened at 3:00pm in the Council Chambers, called-off, and in procession marched to the site of the new Masonic Hall. On arrival, an Ode was sung by “scholars” from the Ascot Vale State School under the direction of the Head Master, Fredrick Sandwith Hayden, with the students of the Ascot Vale State School given a holiday for the occasion. (Certainly helps when the Head Master was a member of the Lodge as he was the first new initiate at the consecration meeting).
For the laying ceremony the Worshipful Master of Gordon Lodge, William Lamonby, wore his grandfather's apron – Bro. Alex Grant of St Andrew's Lodge, Banf, Scotland – which at that time was over 100 years old.
After a few more formalities copies of newspapers of the times and a scroll were placed in the foundation stone and;
“…Bro. Lamonby addressed those present, and laid the stone. Again the children sang whilst the stone was lowered…”
The junior and senior wardens then tried it square and;
“…The trowel [Bro. Lamonby] used was presented by the builders, Messrs Parker and Pater, and had a suitable inscription…” (This trowel is still in existence today).
The Gordon Lodge then formed a procession back to Town Hall, closed the Lodge and retired for refreshments.
Gordon Lodge met for the first time at the Ascot Vale Masonic Hall on Thursday 10 March 1887 and initiated three new members during that meeting. The Lodge Minute Book noted the delight of the members, “…with many compliments awarded for the excellence of design…”
The Ascot Vale Masonic Hall was formally opened with a Ball on Friday 13 May 1887.
North Melbourne Advertiser for Friday 22 April 1887 noted; “…the new Masonic Hall, Ascot Vale, the foundation stone of which was laid by the Worshipful Master of the Gordon Lodge (Bro, W. F. Lamonby) in October last has just been completed…the hall stands on a fine block of land having a frontage of 50ft to the Maribyrnong road by a depth of 130 ft., and is built of brick and cement on a most substantial foundation of bluestone.
“The Tuscan style of architecture has been adopted with the most successful result, and the front design which is especially handsome, includes four massive pilasters with frieze architrave and enriched cornice, forming the entablature of the order,- and giving a most imposing appearance. The front door, over which are the masonic emblems, is seven feet wide…and in the vestibule is a very fine elliptic arch with keystone enriched with fruit…
“…ascending a handsome staircase leading from the vestibule the upper storey is reached, and ‘the Lodge Room, which is a model of neatness and of comfort. The dimensions are 28ft. x 22ft 6in. with an elevation of 17ft. 6in. to the beautiful cove ceiling, which is quite a work of art. At the east end of the room on a raised dais is the master's chair with the masonic emblems, and neat forms of polished kauri are placed at the sides for members, about 150 of whom can be accommodated. The lighting and ventilation have both been well attended to and all is very complete…”
Lodge room was officially dedicated in December 1887 with District Grand Master Sir William Clarke.