Creswick Havilah Lodge No. 26
Creswick Havilah Lodge is one of Creswick’s oldest organisations. Established in May 1859 it passed its 170th anniversary in May this year (2019).
The name Havilah was chosen for the Lodge by its founding members for the relationship between the gold of Creswick and the gold of the biblical land of Havilah, referred to in the second chapter of Genesis, where it is stated in relation to Havilah, “The gold of that land is good”.
For the first 31 years of its existence the Lodge met in the lodge room it shared with other fraternal organisations in Creswick’s American Hotel, but in the late 1880’s, with increasing numbers of members and overcrowding becoming a problem in the hotel room, the Lodge decided to build its own premises.
Adding an adjacent block of land purchased for £35 to a block donated by one of its members, and with the necessary funds provided by members and a loan from the Miners’ Association, tenders were called, a builder was engaged, and construction of the new premises began in March 1890.
The “foundation” stone of the building, and three other commemorative stones, were laid with great masonic ceremony on May 14, 1890, the proceedings then being fully described in the columns of the Creswick Advertiser.
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Two of the three commemorative stones laid that day support the columns at the front of the building and are readily seen from the footpath, the third is in the southeast corner at the rear, and the true foundation stone, as is traditionally the case, is in the northeast corner.
Passers by may be puzzled by the year number visible on the stones at the front of the building. It is shown as AL 5890. AL is an abbreviation for the Latin anno lucis, the year of light, an early Christian estimate of the year of the creation, 4000 years before the birth of Christ.
The Lodge moved into its impressive new building, completed at a cost of £650, in August 1890, and has continued to meet in it ever since.
Features of the building include the depictions of the working tools of an operative mason moulded across its façade, the impressive plaster ceiling added to the lodge room at a cost of £53 shortly after it was opened , and the highly decorated walls of the Lodge room, displaying masonic motifs and symbols, painted in 1895 at a cost of £26.5.0.
With almost a thousand men having been members of the Lodge since its inception, it is inevitable that some of these will have been notable in public life. Amongst these are a number who have served in government at the federal, state or local level, the most prominent one of them being Sir Alexander Peacock, a former Premier of Victoria and Minister in a number of State Governments, who was a member of the lodge throughout his public life and Grand Master of Victorian Freemasons from 1900 to 1905.
Location: 96 Albert Street, Creswick, Victoria, 3363
When: 4th Thursday of each month.
Dress Code: Dinner suit and regalia.
Secretary: Right Worshipful Brother Bob Orr, Past Deputy Grand Master
Phone: (03) 5345 2165