Top Banner

Orphic Lodge No. 5949

Consecrated 17th April 1944

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

Meeting Dates: 1st Monday (ex Jan, July) Inst Feb

Contact 083 417 7193

Lodge History

The lodge was formed so it is stated in the first paragraph of its original by laws - 'for the convenience of English and Greek speaking brethren and the main objects of the lodge shall be research and instructions with lectures and discussions, on masonic and related philosophic and biotic matters'.

The moving spirit in founding the lodge was Bro A J Boyazoglu, a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Witwatersrand University, and the first Senior Warden of Orphic. The Charter Master was W Bro L F Maingard and amongst its 26 founders were the wellknown names of Harry Laver, District Grand Master (SQ, his Deputy, Thomas Chard Smyth, Jack Folly (then District Grand Director of Ceremonies) and Albert Ernest Oliver, the District Grand Secretary, The first honorary members were RW Bro Vernon Fairbrass, RW Bro His Majesty George 11, King of the Hellenes, and MW Bro Papageorgiou, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Greece, while Bro the Hon Sir Evelyn Baring, the British High Commissioner, was added a year later.

The first few years were marked by a period of frenetic activity to build a strong membership. In the 19 month period from June 1944 to December 1945 the lodge held 19 regular meetings and 18 emergency meetings, and by February 1948 the membership stood at 90. In earlier years lectures and discussions Were combined with rehearsals.

An interesting tradition was the singing of the Greek national anthem at the festive board after the initiation of a Greek speaking candidate, with an English translation being available. The original clear distinction between English and Greek speaking brethren - at one time admitted alternately - has long been abandoned. However, the lodge retains many members of Greek ancestry and two of these RW Bro Gerry Fotinakis, now District Grand Master, and W Bro Costas Carides, District Grand Registrar in the Craft and Royal Arch - have made very marked contributions to leadership and administration of the District.

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