100 years of Freemasonry in Wingham

ONE hundred years of Freemasonry in Wingham will be honoured on July 5.

The Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of NSW and ACT, Derek James Robson AM will attend the Wingham Lodge to join with local Freemasons to mark the day.

Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest and largest fraternal organisations.

Made up of five million Freemasons around the world, it has adopted the fundamental principles of integrity, goodwill, and charity as foundations for an individual's life and character.

"It's not a religion," secretary Phil Mitchell said, "we offer a community service."

"Freemasonry is based on brotherly love, relief and truth." 

The 22 current members or 'brethren' in Wingham meet on the third Monday of the month.

Recently they combined with other local lodges to raise $80,000 for palliative care on the north coast.

A celebration banquet will be held on Saturday July 5 at the Wingham Golf Club to be attended by 90 guests.

Manning Great Lakes Police Inspector Christine George will give a speech on the evening to the wives and partners on 'women in the police force.'

New members are always welcome; please call secretary Phil Mitchell on 6552 3155.

History of Freemasonry in Wingham

LOCAL Freemason Max Cross has compiled the history of Freemasonry in Wingham and said the first meeting held in Wingham was on Thursday April 16, 1914.

The purpose of the meeting was the formation of a Masonic lodge in Wingham.

Here is an excerpt from Max's history files:

Meeting held at the home of Mr Edward McCreery O'Shea Hill in Bent Street, situated where the Wingham and District Memorial Services Club is now.

Names of the Brethren present were: James Stitt, farmer from Cedar Party; Edward Lindeman Rowling, CBC Bank Manager; Ethelbert William Moxey, hardware and grocery; George Washington Irvine; John Alfred Grant; Henry Machin, mill owner; Edward McCreary O'Shea, chemist.

There were apologies from William Fotheringham, Thomas Dickson, William Thomas Keating and William Scott Hunter.

Previous attempts to form a lodge failed because a suitable building could not be found.

Bro Machin moved, seconded by Bro Moxey that Bro Rowling be the chairman of committee, Bro Hill was honorary secretary.

The government at the time was about to sell blocks of land in Wingham, an opportunity was offered to Masons to erect a hall.

The secretary Bro Hill read a letter from Bro Henry Bennett of Taree, ex-inspector of works approving of the idea offering some suggestions.

After some discussion, moved by Bro Grant and seconded by Bro Machin that a block be purchased to erect a hall.

Proposed by Bro Moxey seconded by Bro Machin "that a committee consisting of Bro's Rowling, Fotheringham, Stitt and the secretary Bro Hill be appointed to view blocks of land."

The secretary, Bro Hill was instructed to write to the Grand Lodge asking various questions about opening a lodge.