Lodges square off move to temple

By JOSEPH TERNOWETSKY

ROCKHAMPTON'S Masonic Centre is moving to the Salvation Army Temple.

It marks the end of an era in the old Douglas Lodge building. The beautiful heritage-listed building in Kent Street was in desperate need of renovations that would be too costly for the Freemasons, said Russell Mair, outgoing Master of Douglas Lodge.

Douglas Lodge members will now join the other six clubs already located at the Salvation Army Temple.

"It was just becoming too much trouble to upgrade,'' Mr Mair said.

The move had uncovered many old memories, traditions and rituals.

"We have found so many old artifacts and belongings of times past,'' he said.

The old hall had been built in 1900 but Freemasons had been practising in Rockhampton for more than 124 years, he said. There were currently over 500 Masonic members in Rockhampton and lodges met nightly.

"We are still very active and membership is strong,'' Mr Mair said.

The Masonic Centre will hold a dedication ceremony on August 13 to officially open the temple. The ceremony is open to the public from 3.30pm.



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