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Reprinted from The Freemasons Magazine and Masonic Mirror; Apr 1, 1858; Page: 715, under the heading “Colonial”
A number of Freemasons of Collingwood, feeling the want of a second Lodge in that thriving district, have united together and formed one at the Zetland Hotel, East Collingwood, with the title of the Combermere Lodge, and under the English Constitution – the first Lodge holding under the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
The Combermere Lodge is to meet (until a warrant from the Grand Lodge of England be obtained) under a dispensation from the Honorable Captain Clarke, MLA, the Prov. G.M. of Victoria. The Master of the Lodge is to be Mr. J. J. Moody, town clerk; his Wardens, Messrs M. Hall and T. G. Atkinson, amd the Treasurer and Secretary, Messers John Barnet and Charles Le Cren; with other officers.
The lodge was named “Combermere” in honour of the celebrated Field Marshall, Viscount Combermere, G.C.B., &c. &.c., Prov. G.M. of Cheshire and whose Prov. G. W. Bro. Moody was for some years when resident in this country.
The Lodge room is spacious, being about 44 feet long and 15 feet wide, and proportionally high. The walls were of oak, formed in panels, segmental styles and dados, enriched with mouldings, surmounted by frieze and cornice of the Corinthian order; the whole highly varnished, the woodwork being painted and finished in unison.
The dais for the Master, and those for the Officers, and the floor along the centre, are to be covered with painted canvas in mosaic, with indented border, and along the side with carpet. The room is fitted with splay-backed cedar seats upholstered with crimson maroon. The panels in the walls are to contain, in heraldic shields, the emblazoned arms of Lord Combermere and of Captain Clarke, the Prov. G. M. of Victoria, with various emblems and devices, and portraits of celebrated Freemasons. A superb canopy of blue and white damask with cornice of white enamel, gold, and crimson is placed over the Masters chair and the windows are tastefully draped with the same material.
The Master and Wardens chairs are upwards of six feet high, in oak, a combination of the Elizabethan and Renaissance styles. They are enriched with ornamentation, in relief, on the backs, sides, arms, and legs, with gilt emblems at the backs, of the rank of the respective occupants, and upholstered with crimson damask, Three magnificent columns, of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders of architecture, upwards of six feet high, each comprising pedestal, shaft, capital, and entablature, adapted from the best examples of Palladio and Scamozzi , and every part being in true architectural proportion, are placed respectively near the Master’s and Wardens chairs. The shafts were formed from graduated conchoid diameters, from elaborate drawings to full size. These columns are richly gilt in water gilding, mat and burnished, and are placed on triple plinths, in mosaic.
Three pedestals, of the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders of architecture, are placed respectively before the Master’s and Wardens chairs, and are in the same strict architectural proportion as the columns. These pedestals are of cedar finished in white enamel, with gilt Masonic emblems in front of each. Upon each of the pedestals is a gavel, in oak, enriched with ornamentation in relief, of the Corinthian order, and partially gilt, with Masonic emblems thereon of the respective Officers for whose use they are designed. Upon the Ionic and Corinthian pedestals are to be placed small columns of these orders, in white and gold. On the Master’s pedestal is a crimson velvet cushion, on which is placed am illustrated quarto Bible, elegantly bound and tooled, with gilt metalled edges, and massive gilt clasps. The name of the Lodge is in gilt letters on the cover and on the first page, in illuminated ornamental letters, in the style of the illuminated missals of the middle ages, executed by an accomplished scribe.
An upholstered oak stool, of mediaeval pattern, with floral embellishments in relievo, is placed near the entrance, where is a sword, whose blade, hilt and guard are of beautiful workmanship. An antique winch, lever, and ashlar, tools of the various degrees, rough ashlar, jewels chastely engraved with the rose, shamrock, and thistle, &c., will complete the paraphernalia of this elegantly furnished Lodge.
The Combermere Lodge was opened in due form at four’ o’clock on February 10th, there being a strong attendance of Masons among whom were the RW Prov, G. M. Capt. Clarke; the R,W. Prov.G,M., under the Irish Constitution, the Mayor of Melbourne, Prov, Grand Officers, Worshipful Masters, and other well known Brethren. Bro. J .J. Moody, P. Prov. J.G.W. for Cheshire, was formally installed as W. M. of the Combermere Lodge.
After the ceremony of inauguration was completed, the Brethren withdrew from the Lodge room in which the installation banquet was then laid. About seventy Brethren sat down to table, presided over by the W, M. of the Combermere Lodge, Bro. Moody; the S.W. of the Lodge, Bro. M. Hull, acting as croupier. To the right and left of the chair respectively sat Capt. Clarke and the Mayor of Melbourne . The cloth having been removed, and thanksgiving sung, the usual toasts were drunk and responded to.
The toast of “Our Brethren of, and the Army of India” was received with Masonic honours. Bro. Clarke, R. W. Prov. G.M. for Victoria, responded in a feeling speech, in which he called upon the Brethren to be true to the principles of their Order, and show charity on any occasion when it was more than ordinarily demanded.