Past and Present DGMs

Fordsburg Lodge No. 2718

Consecrated 21st April 1898

Meeting at: Johannesburg - Freemasons Hall, 8 Park Lane, Parktown

3rd Monday of Feb 19h00, Jun 19h30, Aug 19h00 and Oct 19h30, 3rd Tue Apr (I) 18h30

Contact 084 966 5510

Lodge History

Fordsburg Lodge was formed to cater for the needs of English freemasons living between west Johannesburg and Roodepoort. The nearby Crown Mine was then fully active and Fordsburg drew many of its early candidates from the mine staff and those making their living within the mining community - and so the list reflects not only miners, but occupations such as speculator, mounted policeman, cyanider, detective, commission agent and a music teacher. Later, as the area developed, member ship was extended to the general community.

From 1898 to 1966 the Lodge met, as a tenant, at the Fordsburg masonic hall. This was sold in 1966, and over seven years the Lodge moved successively to Jeppestown masonic hall, the Oddfellows Hall in Turffontein, St. Mary's Church Hall and finally, in 1973, to the new Southern masonic centre in Rewlatch, where it is a participating shareholder.

A lodge cannot survive all but 100 years without stalwarts and Fordsburg has had many, but pride of place among them must go to W Bro Ronnie Sandeman, who attained Grand rank in 1978 and was promoted eleven years later. His strong and sustained support extended beyond Fordsburg to all the lodges meeting in the south, as well as to the Transvaal District. W Bro Frank Topharn (primarily of Civil Service Lodge) also served Fordsburg well, while W Bro Ron Coville, secretary of the lodge for many years, received the District Grand Master's Certificate of Service to Masonry in 1989. W Bro Sir William Napier, Bart, (Worshipful Master in 1962/3) was a descendant of the Scottish mathematician John Napier, who published his wellknown theory of logarithms in 1614.

The Lodge historian recalls that the Fordsburg masonic hall was directly opposite the Mynpacht Hotel and that the Tyler often had an additional task at Installations - that of hastily recalling brethren who 'slipped out for a quick one' during the inner working.

Most unusually, three blood brothers (W Bros J, A and G Ferguson) occupied the chair of the Lodge in successive years (1967 to 1970).

The Fordsburg Lodge has had its good and bad times but it is encouraging to record that membership of, and enthusiasm within, the Lodge is on an upwards trend, thanks to an influx of keen, younger brethren and the support of dedicated Past Masters.

Reference: 'A Century of Brotherhood' by A A Cooper & D E G Vieler