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Bohemian Lodge No. 4475

Consecrated 4th December 1922

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

Meeting Dates: 1st Wednesday Feb, Apr, June, Aug, Oct, Dec Inst Dec

Contact 082 452 8459

Lodge History

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Brewer defines 'Bohemian' as 'a term applied to artists, writers and others of unconventional, loose or irregular habits.' And the brethren who petitioned for the Bohemian Lodge may have been unconventional, in that they were largely drawn from the entertainment profession, and - because of the calls of that profession of irregular habits. But loose they were not, or they would not have been so anxious to have a lodge which they could regularly attend. So the first 'daylight' lodge in the Transvaal was duly consecrated in 1922 and met in the afternoon of the second Tuesday of the month. The Lodge was very active, with weekly meetings for instruction and sometimes two ceremonies at a meeting. A remarkable feature was the number of visitors, often greatly outnumbering the members and including many theatrical and musical personalities from overseas, such as members of the D'Oyly Carte Company in 1933 and of Jack Payne's band in 1936. Particularly close contacts were maintained, through correspondence and exchange of notices, with 'theatrical' lodges in England, especially the Chelsea No 3098 and Proscenium No 3435 Lodges in London.

With the passing of time the lodge became less specialised in membership, but continued to serve the particular purpose of a 'daylight' lodge until 1962, when it changed the date and time of its meetings to the first Wednesday evening of the month. This was a natural, but sad consequence of the falling off of the theatrical connection, partly as the result of the 'depression years', followed by the Second World War.

The Lodge has had its ups and downs and one 'down' was in the 1970's, when there was some internal dissension. This was followed by a removal from Park Lane to Kensington in 1980, which lasted only a year. However since the return of Bohemian to Park Lane it has re established itself as a fully active lodge, albeit at a lower membership level than in the past.

The Lodge's one and only Grand Officer was Jerry Idelson, who was initiated in 1928 and went through the chair four years later. Although small in stature, Bro. Idelson - one of Johannesburg's leading violinists - was to prove a tower of strength in the lodge and in its Royal Arch Chapter, for many years.

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