A BRIEF HISTORY
LODGE ALBERT LODGE NERANG
No. 2344, E.C. No. 1001, S.C.
No. 42, Q.G.L. No. 112, Q.G.L.
No. 62, U.G.L.Q. No. 158, U.G.L.Q.
SOUTHPORT LODGE, No, 62, U.G.L.Q.
The Albert Lodge was consecrated and afterwards dedicated on October 11, 1889, by the Rt. Wor. D.G.M. Hon. A. C. Gregory, C.G.M.M.L.C., assisted by the Wor. Dep. D.G.M., Barron L. Barnett, P.G.D., Eng., W. Bro. A. J. Stevenson and Bro. Alex Corrie.
W. Bro. Rev. W. D. Meiklejohn was installed as the first W.M., Bro. H. W. Shaw as S.W. and Bro. John Palmer as J.W.
The Lodge was carried on in the School of Arts, Scarborough St., until April 23, 1896, when various members having resigned and others left the district, it was found impossible to form a Lodge.
The next meeting of the Lodge was held on August 25, 1900, W. Bro. J. G. Appel in the chair. The by-laws were revised and the night of meeting altered from Friday to Saturday. W. Bro. J. G. Appel continued as acting W.M. until October 6, 1900, when W. Bro. H. Courtenay-Luck was installed as W.M. At this time the meeting place of the Lodge was altered from the School of Arts to the Court House, where meetings were held until land was purchased, and a new Temple erected in Nerang St. This Temple was consecrated and dedicated on October 3, 1906, by the Rt. Wor. D.G.M., A. J. Stevenson, assisted by W. Bro. Alex Corrie, Dep. D.G.M., and served as the meeting place for the Brethren of the South Coast Lodges until the present Temple was dedicated by the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. H. B. Milliner, on January 30, 1960.
The only records available for Albert Lodge for the period from 1909 to 1922 are a minute book which covers the period 14-1-19 to 9-5-22. It is obvious from these minutes that from the time the Lodge moved into the new Temple in Nerang St., it increased steadily in numbers, and remained in a sound position with regard to members and finance.
Very little is known of Lodge Nerang, 1001 S.C., and the only available records are some of the attendance registers. From these we can ascertain that the inaugural meeting of the Lodge was held at Nerang on Saturday, November 18, 1905. The principal officers installed were W. Bro. J. H. McDougall W.M., Bro. Matthew Sharp S.W., and Bro. Colin G. Frew J.W.
It is interesting to note that at this time, W. Bro. J. H. McDougall was also I.P.M. of the Lodge Albert.
It is believed that the Lodge continued to meet in Nerang until November, 1906, when the Lodge transferred to Southport, when the meetings were held in the Presbyterian Church, until 1922, when the amalgamation with Lodge Albert took place.
The following extract from the minutes of the meeting of Lodge Albert on 22-2-21 appears to be the first move towards the amalgamation of the two Lodges;
“Special attention was directed re the letter from Lodge Nerang, enquiring about renting the Hall for Masonic purposes. After discussion W. Bro. Free-man gave notice to rescind the motion standing in the minutes against leasing the Hall. It was resolved that the W.M. and one of the older members personally interview the Officers of Lodge Nerang.”
Correspondence between the two Lodges continued for some months. Lodge Nerang was offered the use of the Hall for the sum of ten shillings per week. Apparently this was not acceptable so on 21-5-21 Lodge Albert appointed W. Bro. Olney, W. Bro. Forster and Bro.
Stephens to meet with the members of Lodge Nerang and discuss the matter of the two Lodges amalgamating for the good of the Craft.
Having agreed on amalgamation, the members of the two Lodges held four meetings to finalise arrangements. The first meeting was held on 6-12-21 with W. Bro. G. A. Carter in the chair, and 27 Brethren present. A ballot was held to decide the name of the new Lodge, and “Southport” was preferred to “Albert”. The officers were elected and the meeting night set for the first Tuesday in each month. W. Bro. John Grant, who was elected to be the first W.M., had been Master of Lodge Albert on three occasions – 1901, 1902 and 1911.
At the second meeting the Secretary of the new Lodge was instructed to forward a copy of the minutes of the first meeting to GRAND LODGE, with a request for a charter. This meeting also resolved that the First and Second Degrees would be worked from the E.C.
Ritual and the Third Degree from the S.C. Ritual.
The third meeting drafted a new set of by-laws for the Lodge and the fourth meeting was concerned with arrangements for the Installation, which was held on 15-7-22, with W. Bro. Buckham as I.M., and 38 members and 48 visitors present.
When a history is compiled, prominence is given to all the notable events or achievements of the prescribed period. In Southport Lodge we cannot claim any outstanding characteristics. Our claim lies in the fact that we, as a Lodge, have practiced, and continue to adhere to the Masonic Principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, so ably prescribed for us by the members of the two Lodges, Albert and Nerang, who became the foundation members of this Lodge.
To our knowledge there are only two surviving Foundation Members. These are W. Bro. G. Kingston, who was installed as Master of the Lodge in .1925, and Bro. H. Pilling, the last candidate initiated in the old Albert Lodge, who resigned from Southport Lodge in 1924.
In the early years of the new Lodge, the members were very active in the promotion of Freemasonry in the South Coast area. At the first regular meeting of the Lodge a petition was received from the proposed Lodge Coolangatta, which was duly signed on the motion of W.
Bro. Forster and Bro. Burrows. Six members represented the Lodge at the Consecration and Dedication ceremony on 18-11-22. At the meeting of the Lodge held on 2-10-26, a petition to form a daughter Lodge, signed by the W.M., six Past Masters and nine Master Masons was presented for discussion and ballot. This daughter Lodge, “Stradbroke”, was duly formed and Consecrated and Dedicated on 10-9-27.
As early as 1923 the Brethren realised the need for larger Lodge premises, and the first of many Building Committees was formed. This Committee recommended to the Lodge that the existing building be enlarged by adding 26ft. to the length, and 12ft. to the width, at a cost of £700. After much discussion the Lodge thanked the Building Committee for its efforts and directed them to go further into the matter and consider the construction of a new building of brick and stone at a cost of £3000. It was to be nearly 40 years later that the new Temple was erected under the direction of a Building Committee comprised of members of the three Lodges then meeting in Southport.
The working of the First and Second Degrees from the E.C. Ritual was discontinued in 1923. The W.M., W. Bro. W. W. Greer, addressed the Brethren explaining the difficulty experienced in endeavouring to work with the two Rituals, and invited them to express their opinion on the matter. No reply was received so W. Bro. Greer then announced that he would carry on the workings with the S.C. Ritual for all future meetings.
Through the years the Lodge has continued to prosper and increase in membership. We have been fortunate to have had the services of many capable and dedicated Freemasons, who have chosen to serve in key positions in the Lodge for long periods of time. The most notable of these are W. Bro. Edgar A. Bailey who became Secretary of the Lodge on 9-1-23, when the Foundation Secretary, W. Bro. G. A. Carter, resigned, and held that office until June 1944. His successor, Rt. W. Bro. C. McRoberts remained in office until June 1971, except for a break of two years – 1958, 1959.
To these two Brethren, who have held this important office for almost the lifetime of the Lodge, must go much of the credit for its success. With their sound and natural knowledge of both the practice and ethics of Freemasonry their advice and guidance has been an invaluable asset to all those Brethren who have occupied the Master’s chair.
Rt. W. Bro. A. F. Williams held the office of Treasurer from 1938 to 1959. Rt. W. Bro. W. Tyley was organist for a period of 22 years, while Bro. J. Pritchard, the Foundation Tyler, remained in that office until 1948.
No Lodge can function with any degree of success unless the Master and his Officers can rely on the full support and co-operation of all the members in the well ruling and governing of the Lodge.
Throughout the years the Masters of the Lodge have been blessed with this support and we trust it will continue in years to come, so that the Masonic traditions of Peace, Love and Harmony may be maintained in Southport Lodge.
Source: Installation card for 1972-1973 of Br. J.A. Gallagher 8th of July 1972 Southport Lodge No.62 UGLQ