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Lion Of The North Lodge No. 3640

Consecrated 18th April 1913

Meeting at: Louis Trichardt - Masonic Hall, 127 Munnik Street

Meeting Dates: 3rd Thursday (3rd Sat April) Inst Apr

Contact 082 493 3897

Lodge History

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An usual feature of the Consecration ceremony was that it was conducted not by a 'Chainbearer' but by a Past District Junior Grand Deacon, W Bro J Venning, of Star of the North Lodge No 2640. Possibly the fact that the Charter Master, W Bro C E Schlesinger, was a very active member of Star of the North (which merged into Pietersburg United in 1916) had something to do with it, as well as geographical convenience. Bro Schlesinger who was to occupy the chair of Lion of the North three times had for years regularly cycled the 140 miles from Louis Trichardt to Pietersburg and back to attend his mother lodge and overall he most clearly merited the Grand honours accorded to him.

A portion of a stand in Burger Street was donated to the Lodge and the masonic hall built there served as a home for the Lodge until new premises in Munnik Street were completed in 1952.

In 1934 the Lodge sponsored the Messina Lodge No 5483 and the friendship and cooperation between the two 'far north' Lodges has contributed greatly to keeping them going in increasingly difficult circumstances. Another encouraging factor has been the pairing of Lion of the North with Corona Lodge, which has successfully demonstrated the value of such linking between town and country lodges.

The building and maintenance of suitable premises in 'one lodge centre' invariably places a strain on lodge finances, and Lion of the North has had to struggle to meet its liabilities and at the same time to respond to District appeals, but it has soldiered through.

However, further deterioration of the condition of the masonic hall during the recent severe drought has been followed by extensive consultation, with and expert advice from District Grand Lodge; and although rains recently have provided some alleviation of the position, the basic problem remains unsolved.

Bro Schlesinger could be said to have started a 'tradition' of Lodge stalwarts,which was to come to include two more members who earned Grand honours, namely Bro Chaim Brenner (WM in 1949/50) and Bro Harry Coxwell (WM in 1960/1). And Bro George Grobler joined the Lodge on moving to Louis Trichardt in 1960, and went through the chair in 1967/8 prior to returning to Pretoria where he joined United Services Lodge No 2967, became active in the District and was appointed Assistant District Grand Master in 1978.

In addition to worthy support for the District charities, the Lodge has several 'Memorial Funds' in the names of deceased Brethren, which are used to provide support for local charities.

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

The Spanish flu of 1918 and the Great War.
(It's effect on Lion of the North Lodge)

In October 1918 the Spanish flu epidemic swept around the world and in about six weeks had spread to every sea-port in the world. The Secretary had ordered ceremonial candles from the Cape Town Masonic suppliers Rhodes & Company. He received a reply dated 18th October 1918 from Rhodes and Company to the effect that: "the candles cannot be supplied just now owing to the business being temporally closed on account of this influenza" The minutes reveal that The influenza travelled the almost 2000 km from Cape town to Louis Trichardt at about same speed as the letter.

Three weeks later on the 7th November the lodge held a special meeting to attend the Masonic funeral of Bro. W P van Breda, who as a Lewis was initiated at the age of 20 on 1st June 1916 . The secretary recorded the WM as "dwelling most pathetically on the terrible toll the Spanish influenza was taking in the universe and on the very sad occasion on which we are here to pay our last respect to our late Bro W. P van Breda, who fell victim in the prime of his life and on the eve of his marriage too."

On 11th November the war in Europe was finally over , but the celebration of peace was tempered for the lodge as on 25th November another special meeting was held to attend the Masonic funeral of W. Bro Lloyd.

On 4th January 1919 the Secretary was instructed to write to Bro. A Money and console him on the loss of his wife. At the same meeting the W. Master " spoke on the Happier occasion of our meeting this evening now that success had been attained the Allies and peace had come" He also remarked that "25% of our Brethren had been away (at the front) and none had yet made the Great Sacrafice (sic)" The joy of the peace was tempered by the great loss caused to the lodge by the influenza and the master remarked on this.

In total 10 Brethren were recorded in the minute books as being "at the Front" and all of them returned unscathed.

The Thirty odd members who remained in Louis Trichardt for the war period faired a lot worse – seven of the brethren who remained at home died during the period. (That May be eight - Bro Macdonald's unprotected grave at Mahita's Kop was referred to by the WM on 1st Nov 1917. But I cannot find reference to him as a member of Lion of the North or a note of his death in the minutes)

(The candles had obviously arrived in the meantime as the account for them was passed for payment on 4th January 1919.)