Consecrated 12th May 1951
Meeting at: Nelspruit
Meeting Dates: 4th Thursday, 3rd Sat May (ex Dec) Inst May
Contact 082 746 5588
RW Bro Fairbrass's retirement as District Grand Master in 1950 was linked with his personal retirement to live in White River. But one thing was missing, namely a convenient 'English' lodge - the nearest was in Barberton and the linking roads were not tarred, so it is not surprising that Vernon Fairbrass became actively involved in proposals to form a lodge in White River, and in the event he was to be its Charter Master. A Grand officer among the founders, W Bro C J Bergh of Belfast Lodge, made a small hall on his farm available to the Lodge for its meetings, with the festive board being in his home. And in 1952, Bro Leslie Hinett then Past Master of a Scottish lodge - joined White River Lodge and went through the chair in 195617.
So with a number of experienced brethren around, including a past and a future District Grand Master, the Lodge was off to a strong start and to quote from the short history prepared in 1977:
'Degree workings were always of the highest standard and every aspect of masonic thought and truth was disseminated to those who joined the Lodge'.
Another founder, W Bro R N Aling, donated a stand in White River to the Lodge and the masonic hall was built in 1954/5.
The Vernon Fairbrass memorial cottage (see chapter 12) was completed in 1983, adjoining the masonic hall, and for a number of years was made available to brethren and their wives for periods of convalescence or restful holidays.
All went well with the Lodge until the late 1980s, when the membership declined from 50 in 1983 to barely half that number eight years later. Lodge plans for development of its premises were shelved and attendances suffered from fear of violence, especially among those who lived at a distance from White River. Also it became difficult to maintain the memorial cottage and it was ultimately let as a private residence, while the Lodge's Royal Arch Chapter, and its linked Mark Lodge and Rose Croix Chapter, experienced similar difficulties to the Craft Lodge.
Hopefully a solution will be found but it will not be easy until economic conditions improve and a sense of security returns to the area.
Reference: 'A Century of Brotherhood' by A A Cooper & D E G Vieler