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Lodge History


Thistle Warrant

Thistle Warrant

Thistle Lodge No 490 was established in 1960 by 24 Freemasons from other lodges petitioning the United Grand Lodge of Queensland (UGLQ) to form a new lodge in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, the Capital city of the State of Queensland in Australia. Since two-thirds of these Freemasons belonged to Brisbane Kilwinning Lodge, this lodge became our sponsoring lodge or ‘mother’ lodge. The other Freemasons came from a variety of lodges, namely General Glasgow, Bon Accord, Sir Wylie Norman, Stafford, Milton of Torwood, Rutherglen, Mount Gravatt and Toowong. Meetings to discuss the formation of the new lodge commenced in March 1960.
The name ‘Thistle’ has no connection with Scotland but was the name of the street in the nearby suburb of Lutwyche in which one of the original officers of the lodge lived. A Masonic Centre had been built in the suburb of Kedron during the 1950s, so it was decided the lodge would meet regularly there on the first Thursday night of most months, with the Installation ceremony (annual change of officers in the lodge) to be held on the first Saturday night of September each year.

The new lodge was Consecrated and the first Installation ceremony carried out on the 15th September 1960 by the Grand Master MW Bro HB Milliner and other Grand Officers in the Grand Hall of the Masonic Memorial Centre in Ann St, Brisbane, the actual location of UGLQ.

Wor Bro WR (Ray) Perry was installed as the Foundation Master, Wor Bro AR (Barney) Brown was the Foundation Immediate Past Master, Wor Bros DS (Dave) Yule and AR (Arthur) Taylor were Foundation Wardens, Bro WB (Bill) Bingemann was Foundation Secretary and two of our current members, RW Bro JH (Jim) Dodds and RW Bro AR (Rod) McNaught were two of the eight Foundation Stewards.

Over the early years, Thistle Lodge received much support from members of Brisbane Kilwinning lodge and our ‘sister’ lodge Fortitude. We still have a portrait of Wor Bro Ray Perry, which we display in the Banquet hall on annual Installation nights. We also have the Past Masters memorial jewel once belonging to Ray Perry, which is traditionally worn by each Immediate Past Master for 12 months.

Over the 50 years, 187 members have been recorded on our roll. Most of these have joined Freemasonry for the first time by being initiated into Thistle lodge (ie by doing their 1st degree in our lodge). Like our Foundation members, others have come from another lodge, sometimes because they have moved to Brisbane and sometimes because their lodge has closed through insufficient numbers to remain viable. Many of course have since passed to the Grand Lodge above (passed away).

The original annual membership fees were ₤4/4/- (about $8.20 in today’s currency). They are now $145 per year. The original Initiation fee for new candidates joining Freemasonry was ₤15/15/- (about $31.50 in today’s currency). It is now $48.50.

From the first we encouraged an active participation in the social activities of our families who responded with enthusiasm at our many successful Installation banquets, picnics, theatre nights, Xmas functions with Santa, etc. Our widows are also invited to all of our social activities.