Saturday, September 13, 2008

Granite Lodge - 1905 to 2005

Granite Lodge No 157 UGLQ 1905 to 2005
A centenary Narrative
By Harvey Lovewell


The year 2005 marks the centenary of the founding of Granite Masonic Lodge in Mareeba. Many men and events have passed during the past 100 years. This narrative is an attempt to chronicle the stories of these men and events as they apply to Granite Masonic Lodge.

When faced with the task of writing a history of Granite Lodge, one has of necessity to write about the Mareeba, community, within which Granite Lodge has grown since 1905. Its members are all a part of the Mareeba community. These men came from Mareeba and its environs, living, working looking after families and eventually dying as part of the wider community.

Many of the founding Lodge members names will be recognized by residents of today. Streets are named in memory of them, businesses started by them can still be found in modern Mareeba.

In researching old documents I have found that the information recorded has been dependant on the perceptions and recording of the various secretaries of Granite Lodge over the years. This is particularly important when the same person is secretary for many years. Some have supplied detailed information of events, while others have recorded only the very basic information, which does not help in finding out what was done in the past. It is for this reason that a part of our history is sketchy. These documents were also written in pen and ink and longhand which in many cases are barely decipherable. Detailed accounts of degree work are recorded but the day to day operation of the lodge and its members is lacking.

As a researcher, I therefore urge any reader who has the position of secretary or recorder, to bear in mind that someone in the future could be interested in what you are writing. They, like me, could be trying to create a picture of life at that time. Details rather than a prcis of what took place would help future researchers.

It follows that what I can record is dependant on what information I have been able to collect. If any reader finds any inaccuracies in this narrative I would be most interested in being informed and corrected. I can be contacted care of Granite Lodge.

Writing about Granite Lodge will also mean writing of Freemasonry and the part freemasons have played in the life and times of Mareeba. As this publication will be available to all who wish to read it, I should then explain just what Freemasonry is about and put to rest some of the misconceptions some people may have of the fraternity.

I wish to thank Lorrain Townsend author of historic books about Mareeba for her kind assistance.

Harvey Lovewell
Mareeba 2005


Freemasonry is not a secret society, if it were you would not know it existed! It is however a fraternity of men who do have some parts of their proceedings kept private. But that can be said of other organizations too. In todays world of computerised information even those private parts are available to those interested enough to search for them.

One aim of freemasonry is to make good men better. A belief in a supreme being (God) is necessary before a man can become a freemason. Freemasonry is not a religion but encourages those members who do belong to an organized religion to stand by it.

Freemasonry, in its every effort and purpose, strives to do charitable work within its membership and for society in general. Queensland Masons, in 2003, raised $1.7 Million dollars for the leukaemia foundation.
In the USA alone masons contribute over $1 million dollars a day to charity.

Through its teachings, freemasonry seeks to make good men better men. The lessons conveyed by Masonic ritual are based on the Golden Rule.

Freemasonry is a band of men bound together in the bonds of brotherly love and affection and extends throughout the world.

Freemasonry as a Society is:

Charitable - it is devoted to the welfare and happiness of mankind.

Benevolent - teaching that the good of others is of primary concern.

Communal - recognizing that Society is made up of individuals, it impresses upon its members the principles of personal righteousness and responsibility, enlightens them in those things which make for human welfare; and inspires those feelings of charity and goodwill toward all mankind leading to practical application of those cherished principles.

Educational - its authorized ceremonials teach a system of morality and brotherhood based upon Sacred Law.

Religious - it acknowledges a one and caring Deity. Neither secular nor theological, reverence for a Supreme Being is ever present in its ceremonials. The volume of the Sacred Law (Bible), appropriate to its members, is open upon its Altars whenever a Lodge is in session.

Social - in so far as it encourages the meeting together of men for the purpose of its primary objectives: education, fellowship and charity.


In April 1877 John Atherton built a slab homestead residence for himself and his family at Emerald End on the Banks of the Barron River. To build this he employed Chinese pit-sawyers who cut slabs of cedar and Leichhardt pine.

Thus with 1600 head of cattle he had brought with him from his previous home, Basalt Downs station near Mt Garnet, he established Emerald End station. His nearest neighbours were the John Fraser family some 50 kilometres away at Mitchellvale station. This area was unknown to most white men and was only just being explored. But this action established the foundation of what we know as Mareeba.

Where the Pt Douglas-Herberton road crossed Granite Creek the Atherton family built a wayside inn. This area was known as the Granite Creek Coach Change, which later became known as Mareeba.

This whole area now known as the Atherton Tableland was discovered only two years earlier by James Venture Mulligan a prospector explorer.

Mareeba is less than one hour's drive west of Cairns, situated at the northern terminus of the Atherton Tablelands or Cairns Highlands if you prefer. Mareeba is a gateway town; from her hub travellers continue north to Cooktown, Weipa and the tip of Cape York, or along the Wheelbarrow Way into the Gulf Country. Others journey south to explore the towns, villages and hamlets of the southern Atherton Tablelands.

Mareeba was first settled in 1877, the name is derived from an aboriginal word meaning "meeting of the waters", those waters being the mighty Barron and Granite Rivers. The Mareeba Township has been purposefully designed, with streets wide enough to turn a team of oxen. It was the surveyor Rankin who surveyed the original town of three long streets one mile in length and seven cross streets named after early pioneers, I will explore these later.

The Mareeba District's history and heritage is one of stirring deeds and colourful people; first came the intrepid explorers, then the early settlers' where survival depended on being brave, courageous and bold just to live and tell the tale of frequent forays with indigenous cannibal tribes, venomous snakes and bushrangers. The migrants and miners followed, where the search for riches in the goldfields transformed the diggers, as they were known, into a state of lawlessness, anarchy, claim jumping and murder.

The farmers, timber getters, graziers and ringers were the next to arrive. The railway arrived in Mareeba in 1893; this heralded an increase in work and population. The area around Mareeba was originally known as the Barron Shire. Another shire, Woothakata, was operating with headquarters in the now extinct mining town of Thornborough. These two shires were amalgamated in 1919 with headquarters in Mareeba, and eventually the name was changed to Mareeba Shire.

Masonry in Queensland

Masonry in Queensland at this time was administered from Grand Lodges in England, Scotland and Ireland. It was inevitable that the idea of Masonic self-government should take root within Queensland. Other Australian States had already embraced Sovereign Grand Lodge bodies.

The debate for consensus in Queensland was protracted. Attempts to establish a Queensland Grand Lodge were made in 1887 and again in 1889 neither attempt being successful. A third attempt was made at an emergent meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge of Queensland Irish Constitution held on November 3 1903 which resulted in resolutions on the desirability of forming a Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Queensland. At an Installation Ceremony in October 1904 the birth of the Grand Lodge of Queensland became effective, comprising all Irish and some Scottish Constituted Lodges in Queensland. Complete consensus had not been achieved; all English and some Scottish Constituted Lodges in Queensland had remained loyal to their U.K. Grand bodies.

The desire of masons in Queensland to promote unity continued. A meeting of Granite Lodge in July 1919 was held to discuss the formation of a Sovereign Grand Lodge for Queensland. Granite members voted in favour. Brother John Frazer was appointed as Granite representative to attend a meeting in Brisbane called to discuss the new Grand Lodge. Granite members did not want the ritual to be changed.

By 1920 questions of unity resolved. Lodges of English and Scottish Constitution still linked with their U.K. Grand bodies formed a Queensland Grand Lodge thus preparing the way for negotiations with the existent Grand Lodge of Queensland. The inaugural meeting of The United Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Queensland was opened at 7.30 pm, April 21, 1921 at the Exhibition Building, Brisbane, in the presence of about 2000 Freemasons.

The capacity of the Albert Street premises was now overtaxed and an early project of the newly formed United Grand Lodge of Queensland was the building of a new Masonic Centre. This realised the Ann Street Masonic Memorial Centre in Brisbane to function as a memorial to Brethren lost in World War I. It contained an administrative centre as well as a central city meeting facility for lodges. The building was opened in 1930 in a spectacular ceremony.

In May 1921 a meeting of past, worshipful and elect masters, requested the Gregory Lodge representatives to write to UGLQ seeking information on what steps to take to establish a District Grand Lodge of Carpentaria. Over the next few years meetings and discussion resulted with approval for the District Grand Lodge of Carpentaria to go ahead on December 5Th 1923.

The result of these decisions led to the formation of the District Grand Lodge of Carpentaria, centred at Cairns. On April 19Th 1924 The Most Worshipful Bro Quinn consecrated the District Grand Lodge of Carpentaria and installed the Right Worshipful Bro W.H.J. Mayers as the first District Grandmaster. On Armistice Day Nov 11 1934 the foundation stone for the Cairns Memorial Temple built in Minnie St, Cairns, was laid by RW Bro G.W. Beilby, assisted by RW Bro W.H.J. Mayers whose picture appears on this page.

RW Bro W.H.J. Mayers

Such was Mayers zeal for Masonry that in March 1954 a remembrance stone to him as the foundation District Grand Master was set into the base of the left hand pillar to the entrance of the Temple. This stone was unveiled by RW Bro W.T. Uren, it reads.

W.H.J. Mayers name is mentioned many times in Granite Lodge minuets.
When researching old information from the Cairns Post 30th May 1905 I found the following report, on the death of Blanche Muriel Mayers age 12 years and 4 months daughter of Mr and Mrs W.H.J. Mayers.

On March 6 1956 a severe cyclone destroyed the two pillars at the entrance to the new Temple. These pillars were constructed hollow, in accordance with Masonic tradition and enclosed, in a hermetically sealed copper cylinder, were placed a copy of all records, subsequent to the laying of the foundation stone of the temple.

In August 1940 recognition of the need for identification cards for masons going overseas was sent to Granite and no doubt other Lodges as the reality of World War two was recognised. At this time Granite members were making donations to the British Bombing Victims Fund.
The Genesis of Granite Lodge

On the 2nd August 1905 at 8.00pm in the office of J. A. Pare`s, (he was originally a Spaniard who conducted a business as a general commissioner, insurance agent and sharebroker in Mareeba) a meeting of 11 men took place. Pare`s had his office opposite the R.S.L. somewhere in the vicinity of where Falvo's Building now stands. He was secretary of the Mareeba Hospital Board from 1903 to 1918. A daughter, Quita Pares, was a pupil teacher at the school when Mr. J. Dowie (James Dowie was a prominent mason and secretary of both Granite Lodge and later District Grand Lodge of Carpentaria) was headmaster. She took the singing classes. The men at this meeting were there to discuss the formation of a Freemasons Lodge in Mareeba, they were: Dr G.J. Savage, who chaired the meeting J. Pare`s, Charles H. Strattmann, J. F. Gordon, J. Dowie, J. W. Macrae, Charles W.H.R. Hampe, J. Clines, D.G. Brins, H. J. Hallam, D. McLeod.

Ways and means of building a hall were discussed. The hall was to be 42 feet (13m) 20 feet (6m) by 13 feet (4M), with a porch, one partition and a raised dais 4 feet (1.2M) by 16 feet (4.8M) and should be finished by November 15TH 1905 as it was planned to hold the first Masonic meeting on that date.

It was proposed that Dr Savage be the first Master of the lodge. Dr Savage proposed that the name of the lodge for Mareeba be Granite Lodge all agreed to this. It was also agreed to partition the Scottish Constitution for a charter for Granite Lodge. D.G. Brins told the meeting he would build a hall for 182 including external paint. Four of these original members together put up 250 for two years at 5% interest to get the lodge up and running.

On the 16TH November 1905 at 4.30 pm the Grand Master, E.D. Miles consecrated the Granite Lodge number 999 Scottish Constitution. Celebrations were held and at 8 pm the lodge was reconvened and the lodge officers were installed. At this meeting the attendance was 54 men, comprising lodge members, Grand officers and visitors. One can only guess at how they fitted into so small a lodge room.

The hall ended up costing 184-8-0 and was passed for payment at the December 1905 meeting.

Granite Lodge building circa 1905

Bro D.G. Brins who built the lodge building also built the first Anglican Church in Mareeba. He also owned the first joinery shop in Mareeba.

The new Granite Lodge adopted the by-laws of Atherton Lodge with some changes made to suit their local needs until a full set of by-laws agreed to by all were established. Meetings were to be held on the first Thursday after the full moon. This was later changed to the Thursday nearest to the full moon. One must remember that in these times there were no street lights, no paved roads and a moonlight night made navigating so much easier. People had to walk, ride a horse or drive some sort of horse drawn vehicle to get to where they wanted to go.

This photo shows some of the Lodges original members. They are from the left J.W. Macrae, H.T. Hallam, W. Smallwood, W. Vaughan, C. Strattman, J. Dowie, R. Hampe, T. Woodhouse, S. S. Reath, A. Broadley.

Granite Lodge evolves.

The meetings held during the first years of the new lodge were kept busy initiating new members to the Granite Lodge. These early members were all well known people in Mareeba and I would like to explore some of the better known of these.

Strattmann Street is named after Charles Strattmann one of the original members of Granite Lodge.. In 1906 Charles married Janet Isabel Arbouin who was the sister of Charles Arbouin, who arrived in Herberton after James and his family. They had a family of five girls. The Arbouin family was the second family to arrive in Herberton after a family called Bimrose. The James Arbouins left Pt Douglas in 1880 for Herberton with one saddle and one pack horse with Martha 9, Kate 11, Emily 14 and Ted 12 and James who was armed because he expected trouble from the natives. Ted walked ahead to find the blazed trail, they covered the 80 miles in seven days.

Charles Strattmann was a foundation member of the Mareeba Show Committee and of the School of Arts and he served on the Woothakata Shire Council in 1907.

The Woothakata Council was based at Thornborough and amalgamated with Barron Shire to form what is now Mareeba Shire Council. Charles built the ice works, which was run by the Dangaard family and also built two shops adjacent to that building. Charles and his brother-in-law, Charles Arbouin, were early pioneers of the tobacco industry on the farm "Strathbouin" at Paddy's Green. He was First Principal of the Barron Royal Arch Chapter of the Masonic Lodge in 1910. He was Master of Granite Lodge in 1909-1910.

When talking to Wilf Lawson on the occasion of his celebration of 70 years as a freemason, Wilf was initiated into the Granite Lodge in 1934, he told of Charles at one time being the collector of night soil and how this affected his daughters who were snubbed due to the work their father did. As you can see he did contribute to the Mareeba community in many ways.

At one time Charles was working for the Council, carting gravel for the roads with a horse and cart. His horse was called "Baker" and he was pretty smart. Charles would finish loading the cart, shovelling by hand, and Baker would then lie down and refuse to move. No matter how Charles ranted and raved and he did plenty of that, the horse would not move Charles would take out his makings sit on Baker and have a smoke. He then got up got his shovel and took off the cart one shovel full of gravel then Baker would get up and go, he did this every time gravel was collected by Charles.

When the first Anglican Church was built in Mareeba, Mrs Strattmann donated the Church bell.

Earlier I spoke of J. A. Pare`s who hosted the first meeting to get Masonry into Mareeba, Pares Street is named for him. He was secretary of the Hospital Board from 1903 until 1918. His family were very musical with one son Luis teaching himself to play any musical instrument he could get his hands on; he, Luis, also wrote an autobiography called I Fiddled the Years Away, which gives a good idea of what Mareeba was like in the early days.

Dr Savage was the second superintendent at Mareeba Hospital. He served after Dr Thomas superintendent of Mareebas first Hospital erected in 1894. He was the Foundation Master of Granite Lodge and served from 1905 to 1907. Dr Edward Savage owned the first car in Mareeba. His chauffeur was Sandy, an aborigine, who also worked as a police black tracker and stockman as required. It is said that Dr Savage was a very kindly man, but people still liked to joke about his name: Savage by name and savage by nature.

One morning while doing his rounds in his car, the doctor turned a corner from Middlemiss Street into Walsh Street, where a big mango tree stood. As he drove under the tree a noose dropped over his head. Fortunately, through sheer surprise at actually lassoing his target, the local would-be cowboy dropped the rope end, so saving the doctor from serious injury.
(Ref: A pictorial history of Mareeba by Mary Thompson and Lorraine Townsend)

Medicine being more primitive than today, it is not surprising to hear the following story. Dr Savage's treatment for kidney stones was taking the patient for a very rough ride in a buggy. This would dislodge the stone thereby easing the pain. Follow up treatment: Stand on your head against a wall for five minutes every day. This would keep the stone floating!

Dr Savage was appointed one of the four original Mareeba Recreational and Show Grounds Trustees.

Charles W H R Hampe was master of the lodge in 1910-1911, he started as a young man on the railway moving from Cairns to Kuranda and then to Mareeba. In Mareeba he decided to start his own business, making soft drink. He set up his factory at various spots where he had access to a good water supply. One spot was the Clohesy River. His wife knew he was on his way home at night when she could hear the bells on the pack horses.

Their first child was born while they were on the Clohesy and came close to being called "Clohesy" instead of Violet. As Mareeba grew, the time came to move and he established his factory on the corner of Walsh and Middlemiss Streets. The unique part of the factory was the water wheel, which was kept in motion by a horse spending most of the day walking around in a circle.

Hampe later leased the factory to Paddy Ryan and took over the Exchange Hotel in 1903. George Bailey and then the Kershaws later owned this hotel. Most of the vegetables and pork for the hotel came from a small farm he had on the road to Biboohra. When the factory lease expired he decided to sell the hotel and go back to manufacturing soft drink drinks. In time he relocated the factory to 164 Walsh Street. As a young man he was always a very keen sportsman, he won the Sportsman of the Year Award as a youth in Bowen.

R.W. Bro. James Dowie

James Dowie was born on June 1st 1861, he was also one of the founding fathers of Granite Lodge and was Master of the Lodge in 1908-1909. He was the Head Master of Mareeba State School for 27 years until he retired in 1930. He was secretary of Granite Lodge until he was elected to fill the role of foundation District Grand Secretary Carpentaria in 1924. He was secretary until September 1930 when he moved to Brisbane, he died on 16th February 1931. He was so well respected in the community and Freemasonry that a memorial service was held at the Brisbane Crematorium on 14th December 1941.

Wor Bro T. Clines

Thomas Clines was the Lodges foundation senior warden. He was a policeman and along with another policeman called Cummings was charged with gathering the local aborigines for the move to Mona Mona Mission. The townspeople were greatly disturbed as the two rode on horseback behind the group and 'herded' them to the railway station.

Donald McLeod was also a founding member of Granite Lodge he was a telegraph operator and Mareebas first postmaster, records show he worked at various railway stations as a telegraphist before going to Paterson at the tip of Cape York He became telegraph station manager in 1892. McLeod Street is named after him.

In the minutes of the first meeting it was Donald who proposed the building of the first Masonic hall in Mareeba at a cost including outside paint of 182. He married Isabella Walton in Cairns on 2nd August 1894. Isabella was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1873, and was the daughter of George Walton. George was involved in railway building and was also the proprietor of the Federal Hotel in Mareeba.

Such were conditions that Isabella returned by boat from Paterson to Cairns and then by train to Mareeba to have her babies under her mother's care. Donald and Isabella had six children.
Donald and his family returned from Cape York in 1898. Donald became postmaster at Mareeba on a salary of 230/-/- per annum. The family home was in Byrnes Street. Illness caused him to go to Brisbane about 1910 and he died there on; Christmas Day aged 47 years.

Following the death of Donald McLeod, assistance was sought by his widow and their six children. A relief fund was established with letters sent to all lodges in the district as well as the District Grand Lodge asking for donations to this fund. This fund gave the McLeods assistance for some time after his death. For many years Mrs McLeod was paid 10/- a meeting by the lodge for cleaning duties.

Jack Macrae was a poultry farmer whose farm was close to where Macrae Street is now.

Wor Bro Ambrose Broadly

Ambrose Broadly arrived in Mareeba after the railway line reached the town. He was the operator of the steam engine that pumped the water for the railway and the few houses nearby. It was located on the banks of the Barron River just below the hospital. A treat for his children was to accompany him for the day and picnic on the table and seats he had built under a large Moreton Bay fig near the pump site. When the railway was extended Broadley pumped water for the trains in Tarzali, Yungaburra and at Dimbulah He was the foundation Tyler for Granite and his name and signature appear on the original petition for a warrant.

In June 1950 when he was 83 years old he was presented with an award for 50 years continuous service as a mason. This was the first 50 year award in the District Grand Lodge of Carpentaria.

In these early meetings the Lodge was kept busy initiating new members up to four at one time and also affiliating members from surrounding Masonic lodges. At a meeting held on 11 January 1906, (note no Christmas break up) financial matters were discussed, as the lodge did not have legal title to the land on which the lodge was built, Br Strattmann held a transfer document. This meeting decided to borrow 250 from the local bank at 8% interest to regularize the lodges financial commitments, with the lodge brethren providing security for the loan.

The lodge then repaid the founding members the money owed to them. Eleven lodge members signed as guarantor for the lodge loan, this meeting did not finish until 12.15 the next morning.

The lodge building and contents were insured for 200, 175 for the building and 25 for the contents with the Royal Insurance Company for a premium of 1-16-0. At this meeting Bro Strattmann was refunded the sum of 16-17-0 for the land upon which the lodge was built.
In March 1909 the District Grand Inspector George Martin congratulated the young lodge on their efficient working of the lodge.

At this time the lodge members were required to buy their books of constitutions for 2/6 pence and their ritual books for 5/- shillings. At each meeting, initiations, passing and raising ceremonies were conducted. It is interesting to note that in 1906 the District Inspector wrote to the District Grand Secretary seeking dispensation from conducting the ceremony of installation, as all officers were being re-elected.

Some housekeeping that took place in those early days includes the spending of 10/9 on candles. The secretary informed the lodge that he could no longer carry on his duties for free and that he would continue as secretary for a monthly fee of 25/- shillings after negotiation he accepted a fee of 21/- shilling, or as they called it then a guinea. At this time the Tyler also had a salary of 10/- shillings a month.

In October 1906 the lodge members presented a Chaplins pedestal to Granite Lodge, that pedestal is still in use today.

In January 1907 the lodge received a letter from the District Grand Master commanding lodges to enter into six months mourning over the death of District Grand Master of Southern Queensland described as the Illustrious Bro Thomas Mylne 33. The members of Granite Lodge were pleased to comply and recorded their deep sympathy and great respect for him. His photo appears on page 26.

In August 1908 the lodge sold its stall and land owned by Granite Lodge to the Oddfellows for 170 with an exchange of land equal in area to that adjoining the Lodge that was owned by the Oddfellows.

In July 1909 Granite Lodge moved into the modern era with the installation of an acetylene gas lighting installation at a cost of 16-7-6 this was nearly the cost of the land the hall is on (see page 24).

The purchase of an organ for the lodge was discussed in July but was not acted upon at this time.
In September of 1909 the lodge land was fenced.

Funeral procession in Walsh Street for Thomas Moody

Illustrious Bro Thomas Mylne 33

The correspondence for these early times indicates that invitations to surrounding lodges were received at all meetings. Many members accepted these invitations, one can only wonder at the time spent travelling to these meetings in the times when any sort of travel was difficult. It was not unusual for these meetings to go well past midnight.

Granite Lodge received a document from the District Grand Lodge of Queensland North giving authority to Granite Lodge to hold a meeting on Saturday the 28Th May 1910 and on no other day to specifically discuss the following question That this lodge is in favour of the formation of a Sovereign Grand Lodge for Queensland.

This document was issued on the 27Th April 1910 and contained 7 conditions that the meeting had to comply with. At this meeting other than one abstention the meeting voted against the motion. However on 1St April 1920 ten years later the lodge voted in favour of the formation of a Sovereign Grand Lodge.

In September 1911 a funeral lodge was held for Thomas Moody. Funeral Lodges for deceased lodge members were common in early Mareeba. Photo page 26.

In September R W Master Bro Vaughan made and presented to the lodge the masters chair Bro Vaughn had a furniture store in Byrnes Street.

This was followed in October with the presentation of the two wardens chairs. Gift plaques to place on these chairs were ordered in November 1911and these plaques can still be seen on the Wardens chairs in the Lodge today.

Also a request was received to hold a concert in the hall, and Frazer Lodge used the hall on 11Th. November.

In March of 1911 no lodge was held due to extensive flooding in the area. In June a notice of motion to install a ceiling was introduced. In August the motion was put and passed and new timber ceiling was installed at a cost of 20.

It was not until February 1912 that running water was available to the lodge. 8-7-0 being paid to have the water pipes laid and in July the first water rates were paid to Barron Shire Council a cost of 1-18-0. In June 1915 these water pipes were extended to enable the Oddfellows to have water at their hall on the adjoining property

The minutes are still recording messages by telegram from members apologising for non attendance, from District Grand Lodge with messages for lodge members and answering questions previously asked by telegram.

The title for the land upon which the lodge is built was passed on to three trustees in June 1912. Documents were then lodged with the Bank of North Queensland, the documents were the:-
Certificate of title, Nomination of trustees and Fire insurance policy. This was done to regularise the Lodge assets with the bank as a notice of motion to build a bigger hall was presented.

At the next meeting in August 1912 a newer and bigger hall to be built over the existing hall was proposed and passed with steps taken to borrow the money required at the most advantageous terms There was a lot of discussion on various schemes. Apparently the lodge was not in good condition with stained walls and was not big enough. In spite of all this the lodge was evenly divided in doing this work and the motions were lost on the deciding vote of the Master.

At just about every meeting there were requests for financial help from all quarters. The local hospital benefited from the lodge generosity as did many other organisations and individuals.

Albert, Robert, George, Walter Vievers.

A unique initiation took place on 29Th August 1912. Four brothers were initiated into Granite Lodge at the same time, they were Albert Veivers aged 33, Walter Hill Veivers aged 31, Robert Richard Veivers aged 25, and Alex Veivers aged 28 all from Kuranda. As anyone from Kuranda will know the name Veivers is on several streets in and around Kuranda. There are still family members active in and around Kuranda.

In 1912 the cost of the installation banquet was 12. In trying to equate that to a cost today I found that in 1912 a postmasters annual salary was 230 a postmaster today would I think earn about $50000 so that 12 would equate to about $2500 in todays money. That would buy a decent banquet for an installation today. The cost of joining Granite in 1912 was ten guineas which in todays money would be about $2000. Using these figures it can be seen that we, today, do not pay nearly as much for the privilege of joining and maintaining membership of Granite lodge as did the early members.

In 1913, the lodge building was given a facelift, with the interior being painted pale blue with dark blue trim and the outside painted white. The total cost for this was 50. After this was done it was decided to paint the porch for a further 2/16/0.

There were disagreements in 1913. A new ritual was being sent to lodges from Grand Lodge. Such were peoples objection to this that a petition was organised in an attempt to stop its introduction.

In 1913 the Mareeba hospital was in desperate need of a new operating table and fracture bed. Granite again responded with a donation. In these early times, calls upon the generosity of masons were made continuously.

It is plain to see that with unsealed roads and footpaths that mud and dirt was something that these people had to deal with on a daily basis. In March 1914 the lodge hall and anteroom were covered with linoleum. The more expensive quote of 4/9 a yard accepted. A total cost of 8/2/2. After much discussion a wire mat and scraper were also acquired.

In June 1914 at the Granite installation, in answer to an earlier invitation, the Cairns Masonic Choir performed. Their performance was well received; their train fares from Cairns to Mareeba were paid for by Granite Lodge.

On the other side of the world the war to end all wars was under way, even so the effects and fears were felt in Mareeba. Letters from the Grand Lodge in Scotland exempted any member serving in the forces from dues. Also a Roll of Honour was set up with the names of serving members.

A mason whose name was Archie Bechtel, who was Junior Deacon in April 1915, wanted to buy a portion of land owned by the lodge, situated behind the lodge. The members were strongly opposed to this, so he did not get the land. At this time he was fighting to squash rumours that his sister had been arrested in Brisbane as a German spy. Bechtels sister was visiting him in Mareeba and they decided to travel to Thursday Island on holiday, this some how brought about the rumour. Bechtel even had a letter from the administrator of Thursday Island saying that no spying activity took place as far as he knew.

In 1934 new regalia were ordered at a cost of 12/10/0 also in that year Wilf Lawson whom I mentioned earlier was initiated. The name of Wilf Lawson appears many times in the records from his initiation until early in 2000s when his failing health has prevented his being able to carry out his lodge activities. The events of World War 1 were discussed at this time with various charities supported.

In 1936 electric light was installed, with the running cost around 5/- a month paid to the Hydro Board. From this I assume that the Hydro Board operated the Barron Gorge Hydro plant. Money was also spent in the purchase of cigars and lager. In this year an organ was purchased from Grand Lodge for 25 and the freight cost 5/-.

In June 1937 the plumber L S Knowlton was proposed for membership of the Lodge. The Knowltons were well known tradesmen in the area in the early days. Today we still have a Knowlton as a Lodge member.

The photograph on page 33 is from the Northern Star Vol 20 No 69 which has a story of the Knowltons.

The records show that many Lodge members were from the same family with brothers, fathers and their sons as members of Granite Lodge.

In the 1940s the half yearly Council rates were 5-13-3. Mail was still an important means of communication with the cost of stamps being a major part of each months accounts. Telegrams are still being used.

Granite also received revised copies of the craft ritual in December of this year. The Lodge was also sending out Christmas parcels, no doubt, to those in need. Letters were also received from members informing the Lodge of their joining the war effort. Also letters of sympathy for the loss of loved ones were being sent. Even as far away from the War in Europe as Mareeba was effects are now being felt. The Lodge was purchasing war savings certificates.

In March 1945 there is an entry in the minuets that the Lodge purchase a 20 War Saving Certificate for 16.

Visitors were admitted to the Lodge after the reading of the treasurers report. The Lodge is also paying into several Bursary funds. In 1946 a works committee was set up to oversee all works and maintenance of the Lodge building.

I was surprised to note that there was very little effect on Lodge business from the first through to the second world wars other than what I have mentioned.

In March 1947 an item in the minuets refers to the repair of a typewriter, the minuets are still handwritten however. Also in 1947 donations were being made toward the Food for Britain Appeal. Three extra first and second degree and two third degree aprons were purchased late in 1947 one can only speculate on this need, maybe after the war more men decided to become masons. It is apparent that not a month went by at this time that one or two and sometimes three new members were initiated at the same time.

I think that we can say without any argument that things do not change all that much, in 1948 a letter of complaint was sent to The Regional Electricity Board re overcharging for electric light the bill went from 5/- to 9/-. The Board amended the bill.

At this time there was discussion as to, or not to, wear coats over aprons. Granite members were in favour of the apron being worn under the coat and a letter to this effect was sent to District Grand Lodge. Regalia collars were purchased in 1949 at a cost of 23/6 each, jewels to go with the collars were 17/6 each.

In 1949 a strong protest was made against the continued alteration of the ritual. This belies the statement that our ritual does not change.

In February 1949 the minuets list six candidates for initiation. There are many names in the old documents that can be recognised in todays Granite Lodge, indicating family connections.
In 1954 a building fund was established with the Commonwealth bank. The trustees for this fund were W.B. Connelly and W.B. Corbett, this was later rescinded and the fund was to be operated by the Master, Secretary and Treasurer.

It appears that in 1955 the District Grand Lodge wrote seeking a view on a charge for the Installation banquet Granite Lodge after discussion opposed there being a charge for installation banquet.

It was in 1955 that a motion was put that Granite Lodge go into recess for January each year, the minuets do not show what happened to that motion. The minuets do show however, that a January meeting was held in 1956.

Also in 1956 a sub-committee was formed to raise finance to repair the temple. Granite Lodge also contributed to an appeal for funds to aid victims of a cyclone.

It was in February 1957 that a motion was put and passed, that Granite Lodge meets on Friday, monthly, between February and December. Thus changed 52 years of Thursday meetings, society had changed people were able to attend meetings by car and street lights were now normal.

Council rates were now up to 14-17-10, repairs to the windows in the ante room were now necessary, this cost 19-14-4. As you can see, this is more expensive than the rates. One can ask were the repairs expensive or the rates cheap?

In 1958 the minuets show that the lodge donated their old toilet to the boy scouts, they dont show the installation of a new one, we can only guess when that was installed.

In April 1960 a partition was installed in the ante room to enable Masonic material to be stored. The lodge photographs were then rewired and reglazed to enable future members to know something of the lodge history. These refurbished photographs were then placed on the walls in the ante room. Support from Granite Lodge was given to the formation of a new lodge at Dimbulah. In December 1960 a refrigerator was donated to the lodge by Bro P E Pollard. There is also recorded appreciation of efforts by members to the success of picnics but these events and when they took place is not recorded.

From April 1960 the money that has been paid to the Secretary and Tyler since 1906 is no longer recorded in the accounts for payment. No record of a motion to this effect is recorded; one must assume that the Lodge decided to cease making these payments.

There is a motion to amend paragraph 14 of the by-laws which deal with the duties of the Tyler.

In February 1962 the minuets record reference to the book The Centennial Story by Br Arthur Richards of Thespian Lodge No 268. I have used this book for research and recommend it to anyone who wants to know more of Queensland Masonry.

Ceiling fans were discussed at this time and after some discussion it was decided to have two ceiling fans installed. In May 1962 a special meeting was convened to charge a brother with unmasonic behaviour. The brother was accused of adultery. Written evidence was presented in accusation. His plea was not guilty and that he had been separated from his wife and family for some time. The meeting however found him guilty and his penalty was indefinite suspension. This was later changed to a twelve month suspension.

In December 1962 the Granite By-Laws were cancelled and new by-laws recommended by District Grand Lodge were adopted.

In 1963 bench seating was installed after discussion and the obtaining of quotations. At this time there was in Cairns a Musical event, what this event was I dont know, it was however, good enough for Granite Lodge to cancel their monthly meeting to enable brethren to attend.

In July 1964 there is a record of appreciation for the work of making the seats and chairs for the Lodge, by Wor Br J. Hitch who is still a member of Granite Lodge. The rates for the Lodge property had now increased to 26.6.9.

At this time Lodge picnics played an important part of the lodges social calendar, there are many instances of these events taking place and it would appear that a good time was had by all. A favourite place was at the Walsh River on the Dimbulah Road. In December 1965 a reason for the opening of the Lodge late is given as a power failure. This makes me think back to earlier times when the Lodge met by Candle light.

In February 1966 the condition of the Lodge building was such that a building fund box is passed around at the festive board, with visitors not expected to contribute. It was interesting to note that after reading pounds shillings and pence for so long to see the accounts now in dollars and cents. In July 1966 a building committee was established to investigate rebuilding and alterations to the building. The committee is to report to the open lodge monthly. In August 1966 plans for building alterations were sent to the District Grand Architect.

In September 1966 the plans for the building had been returned from the District and were put on display in the Lodge ante-room. In October the Lodge instructed a brother to obtain prices for roof trusses and roofing iron. The building committee was empowered by the Lodge to go ahead and replace the roof.

In September 1967 the Lodge applied for a loan of $1000 from the Thornhill Trust to do the roof work. The minuets do not say what the Thornhill trust replied, suffice to sat that in October after a lot of talk it was decided to ask Lodge members to donate up to $20 over 2 years to pay for the alterations. During the building work power was obtained from a neighbour, a Mr Baxter, a letter of thanks was sent to him. In 1967 the rates were now $69.67. At this time the lodge building was bird proofed using bird wire and a curtain was added to the Lodge entrance.

The Masonic Choir was thanked for a performance given in November of 1967. From the writing in the minutes the Masonic Choir was very active in the early part of the twentieth century.
In 1968 the Lodge building was restumped and resheeted and there is record of an application to the Thornhill trust for the loan of $1000 to do this work. As the time between these two apparent loans applications is not great I believe that these applications are one and the same even though the work is different. In July 1968 a bill of mortgage was signed by the Lodge trustees. Toward the end of 1968 the Lodge building was connected to the Council sewage system.

In 1970 a new Bible was donated by Wor Bro N. C. Pollard. In 1972 the lodge building was rewired and fluorescent lights installed. There was discussion in the Lodge in 1972 about a pantomime to be performed by the Mareeba Repertoire Society; I dont know what the name of the pantomime was or what it was about.

In July 1973 an agreement with our neighbour, St George Anglican church was made. This involved permission to access our rear grounds through the Church grounds, for any building works in the future. This was when the building committee was planning major alterations to the lodge building including shifting and turning the existing building. The alterations were planned to extend the full width of the lodge land.

The Lodge building was turned sideways and a new front porch added. This photo was taken in 1973.

The Lodge were also investigating the raising of funds from members by the issue of interest bearing $10 units to help finance the building alterations. The proposed alterations would supply all the amenities needed for functions and installation banquets and also took into account the needs of the Order of The Eastern Star. In September 1974 details of the building works were supplied to the Lodge members and members agreed to go ahead. What happened to the proposed sale of interest bearing units I have been unable to find out. It was in May 1975 that a application to the Thornhill Trust for the loan of $10 000 was approved by the members. Repayment of the loan started in June of that year.

In 1975 the by laws were amended to form new rules for the payment of dues initiation fee down to $42 with annual dues also down. This is vastly different to those fees asked when Granite Lodge first started, see page 30. In September 1975 the lodge building was moved to its new position, all Masonic work at this time was put on hold. The cost for moving the building was $2400 the Lodge expressed an opinion that this was gross overcharging and the Lodge treasurer was asked to investigate. In February 1976 an amended account for $2191.50 was received and paid.

In November 1975 the Lodge gave authority to the building committee to proceed to the finish with the new building work. The new building foundations were dug and the cost donated to the Lodge by J. Littlemore. Monetary donations were received from the Order of the Eastern Star. The lino laid down on the new dais was donated by R.W.Bro McKenzie in February 1977. Also at this time the records show thanks to many people for the work being done on the new building. In March there was an appeal from the treasurer for more funds for the new building work to proceed. In June 1977 the debt owed to District Grand Lodge was paid off and the Lodge deeds returned to Granite. Granite Lodge can be justly proud of its buildings, past records show the amount of work contributed by past members in building and maintaining their buildings was enormous. It is also pleasing to see that current lodge members are also keeping up this great tradition. In 1978 a further loan of $5000 to be repaid over 15 years was granted by the Thornhill trust, a levy of $8 per member per year for the life of the loan was made.

In July 1979 the Mareeba Masonic Social Club was formed. The social club took on the responsibility of obtaining refreshments for the festive board. At this time thanks are recorded to the then Secretary Wor Bro. R. Fitzsimmons for the donation of all postage and stationary during his term as secretary. From September 1979 the new secretary has the minute typed which makes the reading of them much simpler.

In July 1980 a letter was sent to District Grand Lodge with a copy to Grand Lodge voting against the move to withdraw District Grand Lodge Warrant. Again in 1985 there is record of Granite supporting the District Grand Lodge in trying to stop Grand Lodge from erasing District autonomy. It would appear that this issue is still hot in 2005.

The following Photo shows the nearly completed Lodge building in 1980.

Also in July 1980 the need for more money is brought to the attention of members to complete the new building. Assistance from each member in the form of a $60 donation was sought.

Past Grand Officers Granite Lodge Oct 1980

Back row L to R: RW Bro JM McKenzie. VW Bro NK Callaghan RW Bro FL Jones, RW Bro CL Thompson RW Bro TJ Roy.

Front row: RW Bro LS Knowlton, RW Bro LA Goodhew, RW Bro WJ Moody, VW Bro WL Alchin, RW Bro ME Pollard,

During the following years the Mareeba Masonic Social Club organised dinner dances, picnics, cricket matches and social events including childrens Christmas parties.

In early 1986 lodge members went to the Cairns Masonic Homes to assist with damage caused by a cyclone. Name tags were introduced in 1986. The social club had a fellowship gathering on a Thursday and members were urged to support the activities of their social club.

In the 80s there is a strong sense of fellowship with other Lodges, sharing degree work with Endeavour Lodge and fellowship with Millaa Lodge in particular.

In the 80s there is a constant need to examine Lodge funds fees and dues to enable the lodge to function financially and to pay off loans.

In 1992 Lodges of sorrow were conducted three months in a row as our aging members passed on. Sorrow was also expressed at the passing of members wives. This was a sad time for Granite Lodge members who held their past brothers in high esteem.

Painting and tiling of the hall amenities was completed in 1992. The hall committee has managed the hall for the benefit of granite Lodge as a whole since its completion.

There is little information in the minuets in the early 1990s. There is mention of a meeting to be held in August 1994 to discuss the amalgamation of Dimbulah/Chillagoe with Granite lodge, there is no record of what happened at that meeting. The next mention of Dimbulah/Chillagoe is in April 1999 that they were meeting as a daylight Lodge in Atherton.

The hall and its maintenance are mentioned frequently with work being carried out to have the hall comply with fire and other building regulations.

Talk of the upcoming centenary starts in 1999.

In concluding this narrative the people who have made Granite Lodge what it is today have come from all walks of life. They have shown commitment to those foundations of Freemasonry of charity, love and truth and as this paper has shown, a commitment to the community they each have served and continue to serve. This has been done in a quiet and unassuming manner their only need for recognition being their own self satisfaction of a job well done. I salute those many freemasons that have been proud to say My Lodge is Granite.

An explanation of some common Masonic Symbols.

Masonic symbols go back to the craft of masonry, or the building in stone. The symbols are the tools used by operative masons in their building work. Tradesmen of today still use these tools, though a modern version. Freemasons today however meet as non operative masons and the tools now have symbolic meanings. The following explanations are of a few of these symbols.

The Square and Compass. The square reminds the mason that his behaviour should always be on the square, in other words to do the right thing. The compass describes a circle within which a mason a mason must limit his behaviour. Whilst the G reminds one of God to whom we must all give an account of our behaviour.

The level reminds us that all men are equal and that we must treat all people as equals.

The plumb rule reminds us to walk and act uprightly to not deviate from a straight and right path.


1905/06. Wor.Bro.E.J.Savage*
1906/07. Wor.Bro.E.J.Savage*
1907/08. Wor.Bro.T.Clines*
1908/09. Wor.Bro.J.Dowie P.A.G.M.*
1909/10. Wor.Bro.C.H.Strattman*
1910/11. Wor.Bro.R.Hampe*
1911/12. Wor.Bro.W.Vaughan*
1912/13. V. W.Bro. T.Smallwood P.G.D.C*..
1913/14. Wor.Bro. T.Woodhouse* 1914/15.Wor.Bro.J.D.Earle*
1915/16. Wor.Bro.G.C. W. Wriede.*
1916/17. Wor.Bro.M.J .Proctor*
1917/18. Wor.Bro.R.H.Hastie* 1918/19.R.W.Bro.A.Broadley P.J.G.W.*
1919/20. Wor.Bro.J.R.Bartley*
1920/21. Wor.Bro.Jas Harris*
1921/22. Wor.Bro.J.A.Costin.
1922/23. Wor.Bro.R.R.Dawson*
1923/24. Wor.Bro.Knapman* 1924/25.R.W.Bro.G.E.Iggulden P.J.G.W.* 1925/26.Wor.Bro.C.Knudson* 1926/27. Wor.Bro. W.J.Francis"
1927/28. Wor.Bro.W.L.Quaite*
1928/29. Wor .Bro.F .Sparks*
!929/30.Wor.Bro.B.Gane P.Djst S.GD.* 1930/31.Wor.Bro.T.Hughes *
!931/32.R. W.Bro.ME.Pollard P.J.G. W.*
1932/33. Wor.Bro. W.A.Johnston.
1933/34. Wor.Bro.R.A.G. Vievers*

1934/35. V. W.Bro.S.R.Moody P.D.G.D.C*
1935/36.R. W.Bro.C. Thompson P.J..G. W,*
1936/37. V. W.Bro W Dorward P.D.G.D.C.*
1937/38. V. W.Bro.AJ. Wright P.D.G.D.C.*
1938/39. Wor.Bro.C.Ollson*
1939/40.R.W.Bro. W.S.Lawson P.A.G.M.
1940/41. Wor.Bro.R.H. Walker*
1941/42. Wor.Bro.H.C.McIntosh*
1942/43. Wor.Bro. W.Price.
1943/44.R.W.Bro. W.S.Knowlton P.S.G. W.* 1944J45.V.W.Bro.J. T.Gane P.D.G.D.C.* 1945/46.Wor. Bro. A.P.Broadley* 1946/47.Wor.Bro.E.E.Penzler*
1947/48. V. W.Bro.E.W.Hunter P.D.G.D.C.* 1948/49.R.W.Bro.F.L.Jones P.J.G.W*
1949/50. Wor.Bro.J. W Weatherburn*
1950/51. Wor.Bro. T. V.Gilrnore*
1951/52. Wor.Bro. W.I.Shepherd.
1952/53. Wor.Bro. W.C.Corbett*
1953/54. Wor.Bro.R.Connelly*
1954/55. V. W.Bro.n.Ca1laghan PD.G.D.C.*
1955/56. V. W.Bro.B.Goddard P.D.G.DC.*
1956/57. Wor.Bro.C.C.King*
1957/58. Wor.Bro. W.J.Horseman*
1958/59. Wor.Bro.J.F.Russell*
1959/60. Wor.Bro.L.A.Parsons
1960/61. WorBrQ.C.L.Olufson*
1962/63. Wor.Bro.W.Jeffery*
1963/64. Wor.Bro.K.Harrigan P.Dist.G.D..
1964/65.R. W.Bro W.L.Alchin P.A.G.M..
1965/66.Wor Bro P.E.Pollard P.Dist.S.G.D

1966/67.Wor Bro. FJ Davidson P.J.G.D. *
1967/68. Wor Bro.H.J.Ashfield *
1968/69. Wor.Bro.R.Fitzsimmons P.J.G.D.*
1969/70. Wor.Bro.J.F.Hitch P.S.G D.
1970/71. Wor.Bro.P. W.Henderson
1971/72. Wor Bro D. W.Hughes
1972/73. Wor Bro.R.W.KnowltonP.G.Swd.B.
1973/74. Wor.Bro.R.B. Tilse*
1974/75. V.W Bro.G.C.Wood P.D.G.D.C.
1975/76.Wor Bro.W.G.Corbett P. Dist G.T. 1976/77.Wor,Bro.K.Mc Lennan*
1977/78. Wor..Bro.R.S.Goodhew P.G.Swd.Br.
1978/79. Wor,..Bro.J.Lewis*
1979/80. Wor.,Bro.K. W .Brazier* 1980/81.V.W.Bro.K.English P.D.G.D.C.*
1982/83. V W Bro.R Dangaard P.D.G.D.C.*
1983/84. Wor.Bro.G.S.Mellick P.Dist.J.G.D.
1984/85. Wor.Bro.G V.F.Powell
1985/86. Wor.Bro.C.O.Lewis*
1986/87. Wor.Bro. W.H.Mi1lard
1987/88. Wor.Bro.M.J.Laufer
1988/89. Wo,.Bro.P.P. Townsend
1989/90. Wor;.Bro.A.J.Cooper 1990/91.R.W.Bro.C.Richardson P.A.G.M.
1991/92. Wor..Bro.A.N.Morris*
1992/93. Wor.Bro.J.F.Morris*
1993/94.Wor..Bro.V.Russo P.Dist.G.Std.B.
1994 /95.Wor,Bro.J.A.Woodbridge
1995/96.Wor Bro.G.M. Watson 1996/97.R.W.Bro.C.Richardson P.A.G.M.
1997/98.R.WBro.R.J.Lackey P Dist.G.M.

1998/99.R. W.Bro.R.J.Lackey P.Dist.G.M.
1999/00.R.W.Bro.W.L.Alchin P.A.G.M.
2000/0].R. W.Bro. W.L.Alchin P.A.G.M.
2001/02Wor Bro.R.Cuzzubbo P.Dist.S.G.D. 2002/03Wor.Bro.R.Cuzzubbo P Dist.S.G.D.
2003/05. Wor.Bro. G.M.Watson

*Indicates-Now Deceased

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