North Melbourne Lodge
Contact The Lodge
- Address: 34 Maribyrnong Road Moonee Ponds VIC
- Contact: WBro. Nikolas Sakellaropoulos, PGStdB
- Phone: 0409 550 691
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lodge Number: 41
- Meeting – 1st Monday of the month at 7:30pm (January no meeting / December contact Lodge Secretary)
- Rehearsal – Last Monday of the month.
- Installation – June
- Dining Fee = $5-$10
About The Lodge
On 1 August 1862, eleven Brethren attended a meeting at the New Courthouse Hotel in the Town of Hotham – now called North Melbourne. The purpose of the meeting was to form a new Masonic Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Just 14 days later, the Provincial Grand Secretary, RWBro. Angel Ellis, consecrated the Hotham Lodge No. 429 (IC). There had been a false-start in 1858 with the foundation of the Royal Park Lodge, which had lasted only six months. But this time, things would be different.
Since that day, the Lodge has worked loyally and steadfastly – without interruption or amalgamation – quietly going about its business for over a century-and-a-half; making it perhaps the oldest of the metropolitan Lodges to have such a tradition.
There has been much to be proud of in this time. In 1876, members of the Lodge played a part in the ceremony of the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Royal Masonic Homes on Punt Road – a ceremony in which all three jurisdictions took part. Again, in April 1887, the Officers of the Lodge assisted in the Dedication of the Gordon Masonic Hall – as they had done at the Consecration of the Gordon Lodge. Of the many men who have served as Worshipful Master, one of the more eminent was William Watt (1906), who served as Acting Prime Minister for eighteen months during the Versailles Peace Talks, and who was eventually appointed to the Imperial Privy Council – the IPM's jewel is in his honour.
The proposed formation of the Grand Lodge of Victoria in 1884 caused not a little dissent. The Worshipful Master and several key members were eager to affiliate to this new body and held a meeting for that purpose. Another meeting, however, was held concurrently in the same building, and there the majority of Brethren voted to stay loyal to their Mother Constitution. The split formed the Hotham & Kensington Lodge No. 2 (VC) – which is now the Kensington Lodge No. 77 (UGLV) – whereas the Hotham Lodge changed its own name to the now-familiar North Melbourne Lodge in January of the following year. Then on 11 April 1888, the Lodge became a Foundation Member of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria, numbered 41 on the register.
The Lodge had continued to meet at the New Courthouse Hotel until the end of 1874, when it began a period of 25 years meeting in various hotels and halls in the area. The Lodge formed a Building Committee and on 8 March 1899, a factory warehouse in Curzon Street (North Melbourne) was purchased and converted for masonic use (though the South continued to be held at the Presbyterian Church hall, opposite). In 1919 and again in 1935 the adjacent property was purchased and the Lodge eventually owned the whole block. In 1956 the Lodge decided to sell this land in order to refurbish the centre. Unfortunately, by 2007 the building itself was exhausted and the cost of its restoration was prohibitive. Consequently the unenviable decision was taken to sell the property and move to the Dallas Brooks Centre in April of that year.
The Lodge celebrated its Sesquicentenary at the Dallas Brooks Centre with an open re-enactment of Consecration by the Grand Master on 6 August 2012. The Lodge was then honoured to receive delegations from its daughter Lodge, The United Service Lodge, its grand-daughter Lodge, Baden Powell Lodge, and its great-grand-daughter Lodge, Lodge of Evolution. In 2014, and with the announcement of the redevelopment of the Dallas Brooks Centre, the Lodge again moved for the second time in under a decade. This time, the move was to the Gordon Masonic Centre, where it had assisted in the Dedication of that building so long ago, and thus completing another arc of masonic history.