Lodge St Andrew 

The first meeting of brethren who wished to form a Masonic Lodge in Brisbane, Australia under the Scottish Constitution was called by “public advertisement” and was to be held in the Masonic Hall, Queen Street, Brisbane with the blessing of sister lodges. The meeting was held on Monday, 12 April 1864. Bro. W.M. Boyce was called to the chair for the occasion.

By: Brother Kenneth C. Jack, Past Master, Lodge St. Andrew, No. 814, Pitlochry
Lodge St. Andrew No. 6, United Grand Lodge of Queensland
(formerly Lodge St. Andrew No. 435 (S.C.)

The first important motion was to open a lodge in Brisbane under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The motion was proposed by Bro. J.Y. Bonar and seconded by Bro. W. Murray. The motion was of course carried.

The lodge was to be called Lodge St. Andrews of Queensland, a title proposed by Bro. W.C. Whitehill, and seconded by Bro. R. MacGavin, and this too, was carried unanimously.

However, in the minutes of the Lodge dated 30 November 1865, the name of the Lodge is given as Lodge St. Andrew, without any explanation for the change.

It seems the former title was a misprint, and it should have read Lodge St. Andrew all along. A resolution was also carried to apply to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Scotland in Sydney for dispensation to form the Lodge.

Dispensation was subsequently granted by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Scotland in Sydney and was read at a meeting of the Lodge on 27 May 1864 by Bro. W.M. Boyce of North Australian Lodge, No. 796 (E.C.).

He had signed the petition for the Lodge. Lodge St. Andrew, No.435, on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland was subsequently inaugurated.

Bro. J.Y. Bonar was installed into the chair of the Lodge by said Bro. W.M. Boyce, as were his office-bearers: consisting of Senior and Junior Warden, Chaplain, Treasurer, Secretary, Senior and Junior Deacon, Inner Guard, and Tyler.

The Lodge proceeded to carry out its work, and in September 1864, Bro. W.M. Boyce was installed as Master.

In January 1865, the Grand Lodge of Scotland agreed to establish Queensland, Australia, as one of their provinces, and requested that the Lodge submit a nominee as Provincial Grand Master. The Lodge nominated Bro. Boyce.

In August 1865, a new Masonic Temple was erected at the corner of Ann and Albert Streets, Brisbane, the cornerstone of which was laid at “high noon” by the District Grand Master of the English constitution, assisted by the Provincial Grand Masters of the Scottish and Irish constitutions. Two hundred Masons and their friends were present.

In April 1866, the charter confirming Bro. W.M. Boyce as District Grand Master in the Colony of Queensland, which had been issued by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on 2 August 1865, was received in Queensland; an indication of time and distance in those days.

In 1868, the Lodge introduced “the antient workings” which were reported as those according to the ritual practiced in Scotland, and which were adapted successfully.

By 1879, Lodge St. Andrew, No. 435, (S.C.) operated under the District Grand Lodge of Scottish Freemasonry in Queensland.

In November 1907, the last District Grand Master, Bro. Thomas S. Burstow was installed, and held this office until April 1920, when the Queensland Grand Lodge was formed under one Grand Master.

On the formation of the Queensland Grand Lodge, Lodge St. Andrew, No. 435, surrendered its Scottish Charter, and in January 1921, received a warrant placing them No. 5, on the roll of that Grand Lodge.

The Lodge subsequently became No. 6 on the roll of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland.

As a former Scottish Lodge, they are entitled to continue to use Scottish ritual and customs.
[This is a brief summary of the history of the Lodge, gleaned from the booklet: “One hundred and twenty-five years’ history 1864-1989,” produced by the Lodge in 1989]

Article by: Kenneth C. Jack

Kenneth C. Jack  FPS is an enthusiastic Masonic researcher/writer from Highland Perthshire in Scotland.

He is Past Master of a Craft Lodge, Past First Principal of a Royal Arch Chapter, Past Most-Wise Sovereign of a Sovereign Chapter of Princes Rose Croix.

He has been extensively published in various Masonic periodicals throughout the world including: The Ashlar, The Square, The Scottish Rite Journal, Masonic Magazine, Philalethes Journal, and the annual transactions of various Masonic bodies.

Kenneth is a Fellow of the Philalethes Society, a highly prestigious Masonic research body based in the USA.

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