Top Banner

Lodge Cornwall No. 3490

Consecrated 10th December 1910

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

Meeting Dates: 2nd Saturday Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov Inst Nov

Contact 082 348 6627

Lodge History

Cornwall Lodge Banner

It is not surprising that Cornwall, with its mining background and its internationally famous School of Mines at Camborne, should have been the source of many emigrants to South Africa, seeking work - and fortune - first on the diamond and later on the gold fields. Indeed two District Grand Masters of the Transvaal George Richards and James Howard Vivian were born in Cornwall and a third, Charles Mapl Polmear, 'next door' in Devon, followed by his becoming a mason in Cornwall.

The last named was to be a founder of Lodge Cornwall, all thirteen signatories of the petition were to come from that county and for many years only Cornishmen, by birth or direct descent, were accepted for membership of the Lodge.

The Lodge decided to meet on the second Saturday of the month and this date - chosen to suit the members' daily avocations - has been maintained ever since. It was to bring the Lodge into close and friendly contact with Travellers' Lodge No 5820, consecrated in 1939, which meets on the same evening.

One of the founders, Bro M A Rodda, who became the second Master of the Lodge, lost his life on active service during the First World War.

The Lodge first met at Plein Street, and later moved to Claim Street, Kerk Street and eventually to Freemasons' Hall in Parktown. For many years Lodge Cornwall mide a special feature of having musical entertainment at the festive board - and the records rather suggest that anything that might unnecessarily prolong the Lodge meetings got the 'thumbs down', such was the keen anticipation of the after proceedings. However, the workings were taken seriously, under the direction of Preceptors such as W Bro C H Pearce, who held the position for 33 years.

Two members of the Lodge, Bros W Bawden and T J May, were Deputy Mayors of Johannesburg.

In 1951/2 the Lodge decided that it could no longer retain its strict 'Cornish' membership requirement without threat to its survival, and became an 'open' Lodge. Until the move to Parktown, the Lodge's own officers carried out the Installations, but from 1960 the Lodge acceded to the District Practice of supporting the Installing Master with a District team of officers.

In recent years there has been a slight falling off in membership to just below 40, but the Lodge has maintained a full programme, including some lectures, and many meetings and workings shared with Travellers Lodge.

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