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Gaborone Lodge No. 8781

Consecrated 2nd July 1977

Meeting at: Gaborone - Masonic Hall, Block 9 off Santandibe Road

Meeting Dates: 4th Fri Jan Apr May Jun Aug Sept Oct Nov 2nd Fri Jul 4th Sat Mar Inst Mar

Contact (00267) 716 50628

Email: gaboronelodge@gmail.com

Lodge History

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Prior to 1977 there was only one English Constitution lodge in Botswana, Pikwe No 8715, which had recently been formed to meet in Selibe Pikwe. It fell under the jurisdiction of the District Grand Lodge of Zambia, but there were obvious problems of distance, and the group of brethren who sought to establish a lodge in Gaborone visualised it as falling directly under Grand Lodge administration from London. However, there was a problem over accommodation as while the Scottish Constitution Lodge Notwani had built their own masonic hall in Gaborone, its members felt that there was not room for another lodge. So the next thought was to meet initially in Zeerust, just over the border in South Africa. But while El Dorado was happy to sponsor the new lodge, meeting in Zeerust was another matter and neither Grand Lodge nor the District Grand Lodge of the Transvaal found the idea acceptable. As a result the petition, signed early in 1977 by twelve brethren, provided for the Lodge to meet in Lobatse in Botswana, but fortunately fairly soon after consecration - a better understanding was reached with Lodge Notwani and it was agreed that Gaborone Lodge should become tenants of the Scottish lodge's hall in Gaborone.

At the request of United Grand Lodge, the District Grand Master of the Transvaal had consecrated the Lodge on Grand Lodge's behalf, an invitation which had been willingly accepted, and the result was to establish a 'rapport' between the Lodge and the Transvaal District which helped towards the decision, in 1981, to include Gaborone Lodge - together with the Royal Arch Chapter consecrated in that year - in the Transvaal District.

When the Lodge was formed, the main source of recruitment was expatriates on contract, for limited periods, in Botswana. There was no shortage of candidates - on the contrary there were more than could easily be accommodated in the Lodge programme - but a high proportion were only to be in Botswana for a few years. So, in order to develop a strong lodge, multiple workings were practised almost as a matter of course and despite losses through repatriation and transfers there has been a heartening growth in numbers to around 80.

Also, by 1987, the outgoing WM was able to report the attainment of 'excellent relations' with Lodge Notwani, which had led to close co operation in improving the facilities at the masonic hall. However, there remained a potential problem in that the premises were on short lease, and a new masonic home had to be sought.

An Irish Lodge, Kgale No. 918, was formed under the Grand Lodge of Ireland, in 1994, and who also use our temple for their meetings.

In 2001 we moved to a brand new Lodge building, which was built, and paid for, by the masonic fraternity in Gaborone. Apart from the Craft meetings there are 2 x Chapters [English & Scottish], Mark, RAM, 18th [Scottish] and KT's [Scottish]. These 'side orders' are fed by members of the three constitutions.

The Masonic Hall is open every Thursday as a 'social' night, where family members, visitors, respective candidates etc. are more than welcome to attend

On the "memorabilia wall" of the Lodge, we have the Masonic regalia belonging to Ruth William's brother. Ruth Williams became Lady Ruth Karma, wife of the first president of Botswana (Sir Seretse Karma), and who donated her brother's regalia to us – he was a member of 2 Lodges in the UK

The Masonic Hall is in an area known as Block 9, off Santandibe Road, Gaborone

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