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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Masonic Lodge, 5 Mason St, Dandenong, in 1967

The 1919 township plan of Dandenong shows a cottage on Lot 12, the site where the Masonic Hall is now built. No documentation could be located on the date of its demolition.

The history of the Masonic Lodge in Dandenong commenced in 1876 when the Lodge of Sincerity (then 1701 of the English Constitution) now no. 179 on the register of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria, was consecrated. 64 The first meeting to consider the forming of the Lodge of Free and Acceptable Masons was held on 3 September 1876 but the lodge was
closed in 1881.

It wasn’t until 1896 that the re-opening of the Lodge was reconsidered. Members from the original Lodge joined this new Lodge of Sincerity and brought with them regalia, furniture and money. The new Lodge was consecrated on the 24 August 1896, and meetings were held on a monthly basis at the Lodge Room of the Mechanics Institute at the Shire Offices. The Lodge was known as the Lodge of Sincerity no. 179 under the United Grand Lodge of Victoria.

In December 1907 members decided to set aside part of the members dues and initiation fees for the future construction of a Masonic Temple. In the 1920s, the Lodge was struggling for space due to a large increase in memberships and on the 7 September 1922 the Lodge held a meeting to discuss the possibility of building. A contract was entered with Bro. G. Snell to have plans and specifications drawn up for the cost of £2,800. Tenders were called and a building contract was signed with Bro. N. A. Taylor for the total sum of £2,530.

The building was completed in 1923 with all furniture and fittings for the supper and lodge room donated by members.

On 22 December 1923, the Lodge held their first meeting in the new building. On the 16 August 1924 a ceremony of dedication was held and the foundation stone was unveiled. In 1931, £274 was spent for concrete rendering and other improvements. In 1940, 1955 and 1979/81 alterations were made to accommodate and upgrade female and male toilets.

In 1991 the Dandenong Masonic Temple as well as those in Springvale, Mordialloc and Chelsea closed. They all amalgamated to use a new building in Keysborough.

In 1992 the building was used by the “Recycle Workshop”. By September 1996 the building had been acquired by Mick and Rosa Valenti. In December 1996 they leased the building to the Spanish Christian Church for three years with Guillermo Esquivell as the Senior Minister. The building is now vacant as remodeling and construction of neighboring land takes place..

Information courtesy of Greater Dandenong Heritage Study
Image origins unknown at time of posting.

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