Originally Published: October 1984
Lodge Tweed, the first lodge formed in the Tweed Valley is about to enter its centenary year.
To mark the occasion the Grand Master of NSW, Harold Coates, will visit the Tweed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and attend the lodge’s installation ceremony and banquet on Saturday.
The lodge was consecrated on January 13, 1885 on a charter granted from the United Fraternity of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England under a petition received from a Sydney lodge. The first Worshipful Master was William Collins, senior warden Henry French, junior warden Alfred Green, senior deacon William Warner Julius, junior deacon Henry Robert Cazalar, treasurer Leopold Hirsohn, secretary Ronald Duncan McLennan and inner guard Otto Vetter. There was 15 foundation members and the first meetings were in the Junction Inn at North Tumbulgum.
Fittingly the incoming lodge leader who will be installed on Saturday is a Tumbulgum resident George King.
During 1886 a hall was built at North Tumbulgum and the first installation in it was on February 15, 1887. The lodge continued until the amalgamation of all lodges in NSW in 1888. It was issued with a charter as the Tweed Lodge No. 136 on June 24, 1888. The first meeting held under that charter was in the Masonic Hall Tumbulgum on July 28, 1888. Fire destroyed the hall in 1893 and the lodge was authorised to transfer its meetings to Murwillumbah old School of Arts. A building committee was formed in July 1902 and a hall was erected in Condong Street and it was used until 1909 when a temple was erected. The lodge continued to meet in the temple until it was destroyed by flood in 1954. The lodge met in the Anglican Parish Hall in Nullum Street and later at the Tweed Agricultural Society’s pavilion in the showground.
The present Masonic Temple in Banner Street, Murwillumbah
venue for the Installation banquet and other functions this week.
Another building committee was formed and the foundation stone for the present temple in Banner Street was laid by the late D.K. Lucas then chairman of the Masonic Hall Trust on June 4, 1960. The new temple was opened on October 8, 1960 the 75th anniversary of the founding of Masonry on the Tweed.
Many distinguished members have passed through the lodge over the years from all walks of life. They have included a Mayor of Brisbane William Galloway, two mayors of Murwillumbah, Peter Street and Isaac McIlrath, two Members’ of Parliament, Fred Stewart and Mr A.E. Budd, and Mr E.F. Nicklin father of the Premier of Queensland.
The lodge has more than 80 members and continues to be a force for good in the community and in District 66 and beyond. The longest serving members are Messrs A.A. Budd 64 years, L.D. Plumb 62 years and C. Daniel 51 years.
Lodge Tweed, the first formed in the Tweed Valley used to meet in this building
in Condong Street, Murwillumbah. However it was later converted to a soil shed for the
Murwillumbah Bowling Club when washed off its foundations by flood in 1954.
A full program has been arranged for the visit by Harold Coates who was elected by Grand Lodge as the Grand Master elect and installed as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of NSW on July 21, 1980. A native of Hampton in the Lithgow area he is a company director and had a life-long association with the family company in sawmilling, timber and hardware merchants at Lithgow. His other civic activities have included being the Member for Blue Mountains for four terms, acting Speaker in the NSW Parliament for eight years and he served on a number of select Parliamentary committees. He has also had a long and distinguished career in local government including being mayor and deputy of the Lithgow City Council for a number of terms.
Mr Coates will arrive at Coolangatta on Friday morning and inspect the Twin Towns temple complex before coming to Murwillumbah in the afternoon. He will be given a civic reception by Tweed Shire Council at 4pm and attend a dinner at night at the Murwillumbah Memorial Services Club. On Saturday he will inspect the Uki Temple and tour the Clarrie Hall Dam before the installation, ceremony, at 4pm and the banquet that night. On Sunday, following attending All Saints Anglican Church, he will visit Mullumbimby and inspect the Masonic temple Lodge Brunswick. He will also visit areas along the Tweed Coast before leaving Coolangatta at 3.50pm.