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Germiston Lodge No. 2498

Consecrated 2nd June 1894

Meeting at: Germiston - Temple Sinai, 60 Grace Str., Parkhill Gardens

Meeting Dates: 3rd Wednesday (ex Dec) Inst May

Contact 072 349 6043

Lodge History

One of the twelve lodges constituting the District in 1895. Germiston, founded in 1887, expanded rapidly with the development of gold mining along the Reef and a group of local masons, with the support of some leading brethren from Johannesburg, met and agreed to petition for a new lodge.

The Lodge was fortunate in finding temporary premises readily adaptable through the generosity of two brethren - to masonic purposes and, characteristically of new lodges formed in those hectic years, Germiston Lodge had 66 members by the end of the first year, and met 60 times, with 45 initiations, 38 passings and 41 raisings in the next two years! A site suitable for permanent premises, in Meyer Street, was acquired, under long lease, in 1895 and the Lodge's own masonic hall was completed and brought into use by June 1896. The financing was largely by way of debentures and this was to cause a series of problems which were only finally resolved in 1923. In the first place, the Lodge agreed that debenture holders could surrender their claims in exchange for life membership - a dubiously valid procedure, and one that left the Lodge in some financial difficulty because of the high proportion of 'non paying' members. Then the records were lost during the South African war and the matter more or less fell into abeyance until 1920, when a Lodge widow claimed repayment of her husband's debenture, plus interest. This claim was met, and the District Grand Registrar was consulted and pointed out that only honorary members could be 'non paying'; so a compromise was worked out and a 25 year old problem resolved. In the meantime the Lodge had been pleased to accept an offer from Consolidated Goldfields, in 1905, to grant the Lodge a 'free and untrammeled lease' of the Meyer Street site.

The practice of holding two or three meetings a month continued after the South African war, despite the comments of the District Grand Master, during a visit, as to the need to admit 'none but worthy men'. As, at the time, wastage almost matched intake, there could have been substance to the comment, but in any event the rate of development of the area slowed down, and the Lodge intake with it.

The Meyer Street property was developed over the years - including the building of five cottages - and lodges of other constitutions were welcomed as tenants.

The Lodge went through a fairly quiet period until about 1944, when quite a number of emergency meetings were held, including two at each of which three brethren were raised to the third degree, resulting in a reprimand from District. But by 1951 the membership had grown to 117 and the Lodge decided to sponsor a daughter lodge, Delville, which was consecrated in the following year.

The Meyer Street masonic hall, with its improvements, and increasing use by masonic tenants, had sufficed for 70 years but in 1967 the need for new premises was recognised and the Lodge bought a property called 'Temple Sinai' in Haley Street, and developed it into the very active masonic centre it is today. Other lodges were gradually brought in as shareholders and ownership of the centre is now spread between ten lodges of the four constitutions.

W Bro Eric Lake, who spearheaded the project, well deserved the Grand honours accorded to him in 1973. He was ably supported in development and management of the new masonic centre by W Bro Bert Jackson, also an active District officer, who received Grand honours in 1980. Three other recipients of Grand rank, over the years, included W Bro M Cron, WM in 1908/9, and Tyler and caterer for the Lodge for many years, whose 60 years in the, Craft was fitly celebrated in 1962.

In 1975 the Lodge sponsored St Michael's Lodge, and provided its Charter Master, W Bro Peter Walker. Since then the Lodge has maintained an even course, completing its century with a flourish in 1994.

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