A message from the Grand Secretary
2014, sees the 125 year anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria.
This is an incredibly special opportunity to mark the unique contribution that Freemasons have made to the Victorian community over 125 years.
Freemasons in Victoria have worked tirelessly during this time, being instrumental in the development of Melbourne and Victoria, by providing pivotal community assistance through our task force volunteers, and of course, our ongoing everyday charity work. Over the years, Freemasons have been quick to adjust to changing times, always aiming to be of service to the community and of course, in support of fellow Freemasons and our families.
Now, each year Freemasons give more than 1.5 million dollars to worthy causes throughout Victoria, coupled with the countless volunteer hours and days that our Freemasons gladly commit.
Our reach in Victoria, now extends across more than 280 lodges in 163 metropolitan and regional Masonic centres, supported by Freemasons and families and an extended supporter network of thousands of Victorians.
Our 125th year is an opportunity to engage with the broader community by telling the stories of Freemasonry, and reaffirming our dedication to the community and each other.
While celebrating the past, we will also be looking to the future and inviting a new generation of Freemasons to help us continue our centuries old traditions, and build an active, vibrant and relevant organisation for the next 125 years.
There is much energy and enthusiasm ahead of our anniversary year from all parts of Victoria and beyond. The people of Victoria should indeed be proud of Freemasonry in Victoria, as one of the oldest and most respected sections of Freemasonry in the world today.
Our 125th year will be celebrated with events and initiatives across Victoria, to engage with local communities and raise awareness of the presence and support that Freemasonry gives.
We invite you to read on in this guide, and look for the ways that you can energise your Lodge, fellow brethren and local communities, and join with us to celebrate this remarkable milestone.
Thank you for your time.
CEO Freemasons Victoria
Grand Secretary, United Grand Lodge of Victoria
United Grand Lodge of Victoria looks back 125 years as it looks forward to it’s Anniversary
Freemasonry has been in Australia since the arrival of the First Fleet which landed in Botany Bay, NSW in 1788.
Officers and military men who came from England as the first settlers of our country, established military lodges that were granted travelling warrants, with the first Lodge being established as ‘The Australian Social Lodge No 2601C‘ which held its first meeting on 4 January 1820 in Sydney.
There is no doubt that the foundations of our wonderful city and great state, have been hugely influenced by some great leaders and principles that directly relate to Freemasonry.
On December 23rd, 1839 in Melbourne, 21 influential men, Freemasons, drew up a petition to form a Masonic Lodge. This Lodge was to be called the Lodge of Australia Felix. A lodge is a group of men, who come together and collectively practice the traditions and proud principles that are Freemasonry.
At this stage, there were three predominant governing constitutions for Freemasonry in Victoria, the English, Scottish and Irish. These had arrived in their form with the first settlers to our country.
It is without doubt, that Freemasonry played a pivotal part in the growth and establishment of our state. The foundation stones of some of the most prominent buildings in our city, such as the Melbourne Court House, the Melbourne Hospital, the Princes Bridge and many more, serve as a constant reminder, that Freemasonry was at the cornerstone of early Melbourne and Victorian architecture.
By the 1880’s, Freemasonry in Victoria had grown to such a degree that there were over 100 Lodges scattered throughout the state. The number of Lodges in Melbourne grew by 50 per cent in six years, and Freemasonry was indeed, prominent at the highest levels of office, influencing every walk of life.
In 1883, a group of men decided that a new, VICTORIAN named and based body be formed to govern and oversee Freemasonry in Victoria, and the Grand Lodge of Victoria was established.
By 1889, such was the continued growth, influence, popularity, strength and presence of Freemasonry in Victoria, that further establishment occurred, creating the UNITED Grand Lodge of Victoria. The Installation of the very first Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria was held at the Melbourne Town Hall on the 21st March, 1889, with over 6000 Freemasons in attendance, starting a remarkable journey that remains pivotal in our society today.