One Hundred and Twenty Years' History
The Lodge of Tranquillity No. 42
Compiled and delivered by
V. Wor. Bro. N. H. Milston,
Secretary, 17th May,1995.
On 11th February,1875, the Lodge of Tranquility No. 1552, English Constitution, held its Foundation Meeting at The Masonic Temple in York Street, Sydney, permission having been granted by the Grand Lodge of England to hold meetings in January, 1874. The Original Charter No. 1552 is dated 3rd June, 1875, and is signed by the then Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England Edward, Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII. The Foundation Master was Wor. Bro. David Mitchell. This handwritten charter and two volumes of the Sacred Law, one in English and the other in English and Hebrew are proud and prized possessions of the Lodge today. The original spelling of "Tranquility" with ONE "L" in 1875, changed to the current spelling of TRANQUILLITY about 1887/88, with the formation of the U.G.L of N.S.W. The Lodge then surrendered its English Charter and became "The Lodge of Tranquillity No. 42, U.G.L., N.S.W.
All Foundation Members were of the Jewish faith, but very shortly afterwards the Lodge comprised Christian and Jewish Brethren. About 40 years ago a Brother was obligated on the Koran.
The Lodge has had only three meeting places in its 120 years:1875-1882, York Street, Sydney; 1882Ä1972 Castlereagh Street, Sydney; 1972-1979 - (due to rebuilding the present Masonic Centre), the Lodge moved to West Ryde; 1979-1995, The Masonic Centre Sydney.
A most unusual and arguably unique Initiation occurred at the1938 December meeting of Tranquillity, when the late Wor. Bro. Mark Owen occupied the chair, and initiated his youngest and seventh son, Septimus Owen, aged 18. The other six sons of Wor. Bro. Mark Owen occupied the various offices of the Lodge. In 1951, Lodge Mark Owen 828 was consecrated in honour and memory of Wor. Bro. Mark Owen, who passed away in 1946. Both Lodges, Tranquillity and Mark Owen as Mother and Daughter Lodges, enjoy a close relationship.
World War I -1914 to 1918:
Two members of the Lodge paid the supreme sacrifice and one of these was Bro. Harold Ellis Herman who fell at Gallipoli in August1915. In 1922, a Lodge called Harold Ellis Herman No. 428 was formed, the Foundation Master being Wor. Bro. O.K. Nickless of this Lodge. It is unusual for a Lodge to be named after a Master Mason and Lodge Harold Hemman Unity No.428 ( present name), has always had a close relationship with Tranquillity. The Lodge Honour Roll from World War I was made in 1919 and is beautifully handÄpainted and carefully framed.
World War II.1939 to 1945:
The Lodge also has a proud record of service during WWII, when four Brethren gave their lives; one being awarded the Military Cross. Two other Brethren who are present Lodge Members were awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Efficiency Medal respectively.
One Brother (now deceased) served with the R.A.A.F. in Vietnam.
Prominent Masons who have been Members of Tranquillity include:
Right Wor. Bro. O. U. Nickless, initiated in1907 and served as Lodge Secretary for a record 46 years. At the time of his passing to the Grand Lodge above in 1963, he had completed 56 years in Masonry and Tranquillity.
Right Wor. Bro. Leo M. Grouse P.A.G.M., was initiated in Lodge United Service No. 24 in February1911, and had a strong association with Tranquillity as Organist and Member from 1920 to his passing to the Grand Lodge above in 1980 at the age of 92 years and 10 months, having been a Mason for 69 1/2 years.
Right Wor. Bro. Emanuel Joseph P.J.G.W. served Freemasonry and Tranquillity for almost 50 years passing to the Grand Lodge above in May1992.
Like most Lodges our membership has declined over the past 40 years, from a peak of almost 150 in the early1950's to the present 34 in May 1995. However, the Lodge had three initiations June 1994 - March 1995, and should have two
Initiations in June/July1995. Our attendance is close to 50% of our metropolitan membership and we also have three Master Masons in progressive offices. In August 1995 our No. 1 Brother, Wor. Bro. Harry Picket should celebrate his Anniversary in Tranquillity. Our No. 2 Brother, Wor. Bro. Keith Aird should celebrate his 58th Anniversary in August 1995. Three of our Members have completed at least 50 years in Tranquillity.
Our Wor. Master, Wor. Bro. Raymond A. Leonzini, first took the chair of Tranquillity in1990 and served as W.M. until 1993, then back again in 1994/95, and now tonight, Proclaimed as W. Master for 1995/96.
One of the keenest Masters to occupy the Chair of King Solomon, Ray's enthusiasm is contagious and his publication of our Lodge Newsletter keeps Brethren well informed of our Lodge's activities.
Tranquillity goes into its 121st year looking forward with much confidence to the future!
HONOUR ROLL - GREAT WAR1914 to 1918
* COZENS, F.J. * HERMAN, H.E.
HONOUR ROLL - WORLD WAR II1939 to 1945
ALEXANDER, L.J. ELLIS, J.H.
* HENDRY, J.G. (M.C.) MILSTON, A.K.
MILSTON, N.H. (E.M.) PRICE,A.L.
PALMER, H.G. (D.S.M.) ROSSEN, B.
* SOLOMON, I.M. * SOLOMON, L.J.
* SOLOMON, R.M. WATKINS, V.J.
Fifty Years' History
The Lodge of Tranquillity No. 42
Compiled and delivered by
V. Wor. Bro. 0. U. NICKLESS,
Secretary, 11th June,1925.
At the onset I must say that The Lodge of Tranquillity No. 42 has been singularly unfortunate in that many of the records have either been destroyed or lost.
This has necessitated much laborious work in an endeavour to bridge over those periods, and, at the same time present to you something authentic by reference to the few words placed in various books not minute books.
Such a serious 1oss as that of the early minute books is, at times, made up by the supplying of very valuable information by old members. Here, again, the Lodge is unfortunate, in as much as there is not a member living or, at least, I have been unable to trace one who could afford any information.
In January,1874, a dispensation to hold meetings was granted by the Grand Lodge of England. A Charter was subsequently granted to the Lodge of Tranquillity, under the English Constitution, on the 3rd June, 1875, and bore No.1552. The petitioners, as recorded on the Charter, were Bros. D. Mitchell, E. Cohen, R. W. Myers, L. Levy, I. L. Isaacs, M. Saber and A. Myers. The first Master was Wor. Bro. Mitchell, the S.W. being Bro. E. Cohen, and the J.W., Bro. R. W. Myers.
It seems certain, according to the details in the Cash Book, that the following Brethren were also foundation members, viz., Bros. E. Gerson, J. Isaacs, L. Samuel, H. Solomon, J. Solomon, S. Meyer, E. Gabriel, P. Millengen, B. Rittenberg, S. Benjamin, J. H. Levy, L. Lipman, and A. Lipman. On this point, however, I am in touch with our Grand Secretary with a view to having the relationship established without doubt through the Grand Lodge of England.
It is interesting to note that just as Bros. L. and A. Lipman were foundation members fifty years ago, we now have Bros. L. and A. Lipman active members of this Lodge. I have not been able to distinguish the connection, but may be able to do so before the actual history is delivered.
The Lodge surrendered its Warrant under the English Constitution, and on declaring allegiance to the United Grand Lodge of N.S.W. of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, was granted a Charter in substitution thereof, which bore date 24th June,1888.
I trust the Brethren will remember the two dates, viz.,1874, the date of the original Charter, and 1888, that of the Charter under the N.S.W. Constitution as my paper is based on these dates.
As is well known, the original Charter was granted solely to Jewish Brethren (the names of the foundation members should be amply sufficient in this connection, they being distinctly Jewish).
The first Worshipful Master was Bro. M. D. Mitchell. Many years elapsed before the Lodge was ruled by other than a Jewish Master, but that was merely due to the fact that the whole of the foundation members were Jewish, and for no other reason.
Undoubtedly a very fine class of men constituted the Lodge at its inceptionmen who prized Masonry at its true worth, and it is not strange that the Lodge should, very shortly afterwards, have become equal, or nearly 80, in strength of membership, as regards Jews and Gentiles; nor is it to be wondered at that very few extraneous matters crept in during the period the foundation members remained attached to the Lodge.
When one reads and I suppose I have the undivided privilege of doing the names of those who from time to time became members of the Lodge men of the highest standing in the then life of the State religious, professional, political and commercial it can only be conjectured how these Brethren used to regularly meet and exert their very utmost in order that "The Lodge of Tranquillity" should aptly bear its name and be their haven of refuge after the cares and worries of the day that it might be always a place where a peaceful, tranquil, instructive, and wholesome evening might be spent. I venture here to remark that nowadays we are too prone to think of and take notice of outside influences rather than confine ourselves to all that is for the well being of our Lodges, and the placing on the highest pedestal of the world those wondrous teachings of Freemasonry. It should never be possible to have the slightest discord in any Masonic Lodge. After a while it seems according to the scanty records of early days to have been a tacit understanding that all offices in our Lodge should be occupied, alternately, by Brethren of the Jewish persuasion and those of other religions.
At times this became extremely difficult, but nevertheless it was a good arrangement, and one that should, if possible, be carried into effect; for we, Gentiles, should never forget that, had it not been for the kind consideration of the original Jewish Brethren, in allowing us to enter the portals of this wonderful Lodge of ours, we should never have been able to experience that beautiful fraternising influence.
Our first Secretary was Bro. Lewis Samuels, who, although not an adept at keeping minute books in the way they are now done, was, nevertheless, considered of such value in his position that the Brethren elected him for a continuous period of thirteen years. He has long since passed away, and it is only fitting that the tribute of his present successor should so far laud his efforts as to say, in the words of Owen Meredith:
"That man is great, and he alone,
Who serves a greatness, not his own,
For neither praise nor pelf:
Content to know and be unknown:
Whole in himself."
The first Treasurer was Bro. J. L. Isaacs, who, however, only occupied the position for one year, although in1884 he was again elected to the position, which he occupied for a further period of three years.
The first declarant for initiation was Raphael Haardt, late of Brussels, whose declaration bears date the 11th March,1875.
It is apparent that the Brethren constituting the Lodge, from its foundation, until it merged into the N.S.W. Constitution, always took a most active interest in Masonic lore, and ever kept the Lodge in the highest degree of efficiency.
The social side also seems to have been very much in evidence, and the Cash Book - which is complete from1874 - shows that many functions of a social character took place.
Floral decorating of the Lodge on nights of Installation was a most distinctive feature, and was kept up until the Temple was remodelled, and thus rendered impossible the retention of this custom. Wives, mothers, sisters, and lady friends of members, used to meet early in the day, work assiduously and transform the Lodge-room into a veritable bower. Ladies and members all lunched together in one of our supper rooms, the toasts usual on such an occasion being duly honoured.
It is to be sincerely regretted that circumstances have rendered this custom impossible of continuance, for it is an undoubted fact that for many years our ladies played a very important part in the well-being of the Lodge, and I venture to express the opinion that they, unknowingly, exerted a most wonderful influence over all of the members. If the older members of the Lodge will carry their minds back to those days, I feel certain they will, one and all, agree with me on this point.
Undoubtedly, there have been many excellent Masters in the chair of K.S. of this Lodge, but as I have previously mentioned, there is no information available concerning the original members, with the exception of two. Those Brethren who had the pleasure of hearing our Deputy Grand Master R.W. Bro. McDonald at our last meeting, will remember the pleasing references he made to the sterling qualities of Wor. Bros. Gabriel and Solomon.
Wor. Bro. Solomon, in his day, seems to have been a man gifted with the power of understanding men, and this gift seems to have been greatly availed of in furthering Masonry generally, and especially The Lodge of Tranquillity.
The Brethren will observe that a photo of Wor. Bro. Solomon is always displayed on the dais, and those members who have failed to notice it should take the first opportunity of viewing it. This photograph (framed) was presented to the Lodge by Wor. Bro. Bernheim, in July, 1901. Brethren should also inspect the Charter issued by the United Grand Lodge of N.S.W., on the reverse side whereof is the original Charter granted by the Grand Lodge of England.
Another evidence of the popularity of Wor. Bro. Solomon is the fact that he occupied the Chair of K.S. on three occasions, viz.,1879, 1881, and 1883.
Wor. Bro. Mitchell, the foundation Master, occupied the Chair on two occasions, and a similar honour was conferred on Wor. Bro. Gabriel.
So much for the original, or older, members of the Lodge, whose efforts, you must agree, did 90 much in placing our Lodge on such a firm footing.
I now propose to say a few words concerning those members whose activities in later years were 80 much in evidence, i.e., after the Lodge came within the jurisdiction of the U.C.L. of N.S.W., in1888.
With such stalwarts as Wor. Bros. Adams, J. Herman, Ayers, McKay, Carpenter, F. Smith, Wride, Costa, Spencer, Hogbin, Packer, and others, there was no reason why the Lodge should have receded an inch on the other hand, circumstances showed that success was the keynote of the Lodge, and it progressed by leaps and bounds. The great financial crisis was responsible for a falling off in the number of members, but by the hard work of those in office at that time, and notably, our late Treasurer, Wor. Bro. Carpenter, the storm was weathered, and the Lodge soon got on its feet again. Of course, the Lodge has never been large in numbers, the records available showing that about 150 was the highest reached. The Lodge now numbers 110.
How the Past Masters I have mentioned used to vie with one another in their endeavours to effect the one object, viz., the well being of the Lodge, must have been patent to everyone who held membership during the time they were attached to this Lodge. I will also endeavour to show you, as I go along, the class of men they were of course, speaking generally. Brotherly love and all it stands for permeated everything with which they engaged themselves in the Lodge, and lo to him who dared anything destined in the slightest degree to be a source of bitterness, or to be made possible of wrong construction.
We all, Brethren, at some period in our lives, go through a painful process-a chance word or a thoughtless remark- but if it has the effect of broadening our ideas and eventually bringing us to the right way of thinking, then the contraptions of that master of evil have had a salutary effect.
So much for generalities. I will now proceed to supply dicta of some of the important episodes in the career of the Lodge, and to present them to you as briefly as possible 80 and not to be wearying.
The entries in the supposed minute book, from1884, leave very much to the imagination, but it is more likely to be a fact that there was nothing of very grave importance to record, otherwise some references would have been made therein.
From November,1901, onwards, the minutes have been kept as records, and show that Wor. Bro. F. R. Bretnall held the office of Secretary at that date, and Wor. Bro. W. L. Carpenter that of Treasurer.
The office of Secretary from the inception of the Lodge has been filled as follows:
Bro. L. Samuel,1875 to 1888.
Wor. Bro. Bretnall,1901 to 1906.
Wor Bro. Tampion,1906 to 1908.
Wor Bro. Rosen bloom,1908 to 1920.
Wor. Bro. Nick less,1920 to date.
The office of Treasurer has been occupied as follows:
Wor. Bro. Carpenter,1901 to 1921.
Wor. Bro. J. Smith,1921 to 1922.
Wor. Bro. Fred Baker,1922 to date.
The Lodge pursued the even tenor of its way, and for many years nothing of note occurred in regard to matters of internal administration. However, at the regular meeting on the 13th July,1905, Wor. Bro. Jacob Herman proposed as candidates his two sons, Sidney and Victor, also his nephew, Harry Joseph. Wor. Bro. Herman's sons were Lewis's.
Wor. Bro. Tampion, W.M. at the time remarked that the occasion was one calling for something special, and accordingly requested Wor. Bro. Herman to occupy the Chair of K.S., and carry out the initiation ceremony. The honour was accepted with the greatest pleasure, and by arrangement the offfice~ of the Lodge were filled by the following Past Masters, i.e., Wor. Brow. Ayers, McKay, Mallinson, F. Smith, Bernheim, Wride, Spencer, and Costa. VOW. Bro. Keen an acted as Chaplain. Those who assisted in the ceremony were Wor. Bros. Ayers, Spencer, Carpenter, and Adams.
It was a memorable evening, and one that impressed itself on all the members present.
That the Brethren were wise in their choice of candidates has been amply evidenced by the fact that each of these initiates, later, occupied the Chair of K.S. Bros. Joseph and Sidney Herman were Masters of this Lodge, and Bro. Victor Herman, Master of Lodge Baddeley, Pambula.
These Brethren had further honours conferred on them when taking their Third Degree, the Chaplain's duties being undertaken by Bro. Rev. Rabbi Cohen, who is such a highly admired and respected Brother.
Eight years after, Wor. Bro. Herman had the honour of initiating his youngest son, Harold. This Brother, however, did not long enjoy the privileges of Freemasonry, as on the outbreak of the Great War, he enlisted, and was accepted, but was killed at the landing at Gallipoli.
It is worthy of mention here that a Lodge, meeting at the Masonic Temple, Queen Street, Woollahra, bears this young Mason's name, and has been dedicated by the Brethren to the memory of those who lost their lives in the Great War, particularly those who made the supreme sacrifice at Gallipoli.
The foundation Master of Lodge Harold Herman also occupied the Chair of K.S. in this Lodge.
In1915 a similar honour to that bestowed on Wor. Bro. J. Herman was conferred on Wor. Bro. Packer, when he initiated his nephew, Bro. Norman Block. Bro. Block was a Lewis, and a son of a former member of this Lodge. This Brother, Norman Block, now occupied the J.W.'s Chair.
As hitherto, the various offices were filled by Past Masters.
Again, in1920, Wor. Bro. Packer was granted the privilege of initiating his son, Dr. Norman Packer. This Brother was attached to the British Military Forces at the Ruhr Frontier, but was accidentally killed by being thrown from his horse in endeavouring to attend to an urgent case requiring his medical skill.
On this occasion, also, Past Masters occupied the various offices in the Lodge.
In1921 history repeated itself, in that VOW. Bro. Hog bin initiated his twin sons. He also initiated, at the same time, the son of Bro. J. A. Martyn, of this Lodge. All were Lewis's. On this occasion the several offices of the Lodge were filled by Past Masters, and the whole of the ceremonial work performed by them. But the most unique occurrence in the Lodge as regards initiations has yet to be mentioned.
On the 9th March,1922, the four sons of Bro. Mark J. C. Owen, of this Lodge, were introduced into Freemasonry, two being under the age of twenty one years.
Two of these Brethren are Doctors of Medicine, and are at present in the United Kingdom perfecting their knowledge. The other two, with their father, are active members of the Lodge, Bro. Sid Owen being a pillar of strength in assisting at social functions. The many kindnesses of Drs. A. B. S. Owen and H. Owen in attending sick Brethren is recorded.
On 12th July,1923, Bro. C. H. New, Junr., a Lewis, and son of Bro. C. H. New, of this Lodge, was initiated, and he has thus far given tangible evidence of his attachment to the Lodge. We trust he will continue his active interest in Masonic welfare, and ultimately attain the highest office in this Lodge.
Two months later, Wor. Bro. Write was granted the honour of initiating his three sons. Again, as on former occasions of a similar nature, the offices of the Lodge were filled by Past Masters, as follows: S.W., Wor. Bro. Spencer; J.W., Wor. Bro. Shakespeare: S.D., Wor. Bro. Coker; M.D., Wor. Bro. Joseph; I.G., Wor. Bro. Costa. Among other instances of immediate relatives being initiated, one might mention the case of Wor. Bro. James Smith, who was initiated by his brother, R.W. Bro. Frank Smith, and also Bro. J. Shakespeare who was privileged to be shown the light by his brother, Wor. Bro. T. M. Shakespeare.
Attention may also, in this regard, be drawn to the fact that Bro. Walter Brand is a nephew of a very old member, Bro. Jacob Brand, and Bro. A. Himmelhoch, a son of our esteemed deceased Brother, Isaac Himmelhoch. The two brothers of Wor. Bro. Blanks, viz., Brow. Charles and Fred Blanks, were proposed by Wor. Bro. Geo. D. Blanks.
Bro. Hubert G. Schachtel was proposed by his father, Bro. George Schachtel. Both of these Brethren are very much admired in the Lodge.
Bro. H. F. Burford proposed brother, Bro. F. N. Burford.
Bro. Leonard Lipman proposed brother, Bro. Alfred Lipman.
An item which will very likely interest you is the fact that a choir was formed as far back as1906, under the directorship of Bro. A. R. Richards, who, some of our older Brethren may remember, was an excellent tenor, and one of the foremost in his day. There are no records to show whether Bro. Richards was successful in his efforts, but it is well known that for many years he charmed one and all with his magnificent voice.
The choir evidently lapsed, as, after a few years mention of Bro. Richards in this connection, the references gradually faded away.
After a lapse of many years, Wor. Bro. Packer, who was ever anxious to do something for the Lodge, made most valiant efforts in an endeavour to revive the choir, but his untiring efforts met with but scanty response. He engaged a choir master, and supplied all necessary music, but only a very small number took advantage of his kindness. It must, however, be stated in fairness to this Worshipful Brother, who spared no expense in the matter, that his efforts were to a degree successful, as for two years items were rendered, both in the Lodge and in the South. At a later period, however, the choir dwindled away to nothing, and eventually died a natural death.
After this experience it is not to be expected that any further efforts will be made in the near future, although we hope sincerely that our new Director of Music, Wor. Bro. Feldwick, will infuse warmth, and perhaps be able to produce something from the very limited talent at his disposal.
In1905 the first reference occurs in respect to the establishment of a Lodge Benevolent Fund, and by dint of his forceful manner, of which we have had ample evidences, Wor. Bro. Spencer launched a scheme. Many months were spent in its perfection, and it was ultimately accepted unanimously. For various reasons the fund was never used to a very great extent, and on the revision of the Lodge by laws, in 1921, it was abolished.
Not to be deterred, Wor. Bro. Spencer again introduced the measure as a form of marking the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge, and again he was successful. This fund comes into operation to night, the Trustees for the first twelve months being Wor. Bro. Sanders (W.M.), Wor. Bro. Fred Baker (Treas.), Wor. Bro. Spencer, Bro. M. J. C. Owen, and Bro. L. S. Beckett. The cheque from the Lodge forming the nucleus of the fund, has been paid over, and one case has been placed before them for consideration, it being outside the Scope of the Board of Benevolence.
In1906, Wor. Bro. Costa came to the front with a motion to subscribe to the N.S.W. Freemasons' Orphan Society. He also was successful in his efforts, and the Lodge is still a subscriber thereto. For many years we had no necessity to call on this fund for assistance, but the rainy day eventually came along, and the fund proved of inestimable value. Wor. Bro. Costa is to be heartily and sincerely congratulated for his foresight.
In addition, the Lodge contributed a fair sum to the Grand Masters' War Benevolent Fund, which was very welcome to many returned maimed soldiers.
On the occasion of the Masonic Bazaar, held at the Town Hall, the Brethren of this Lodge took very active interest, and on the 12th April,1917, at our regular meeting, R.W. Bro. F. Smith moved that the thanks of the members were due to Wor. Bro. Packer and his wife for their indefatigable efforts in doing their utmost to ensure success; also that the fact be recorded in the Lodge minutes. The undoubted success of this function is well known to all Masons.
From time to time lectures on various subjects have been delivered in the Lodge.
Wor. Bro. Spencer has the honour of being first in this respect, as in1906 he delivered a lecture on Freemasonry.
In1911 Wor. Bro. Coker read a paper on the "Connection between the ancient mysteries and modern Freemasonry," and in 1912 Wor. Bro. Beale, by invitation, delivered a lecture on "Our interest in the early Roman Empire."
This evening Wor. Bro. Beale will again delight you with a discourse on "Glimpses of Alaska and the Yukon."
For many years the Lodge of Tranquillity was generally and truly known as the Mutual Admiration Lodge, and it justly earned this title. Everyone seemed to go out of his way in an endeavour to show what a happy family we were, and many and often have been the occasions when the proposer of a toast to the visitors in a sister Lodge has referred in the most wonderful terms of the love and admiration which existed among all of us. We are still at it, and hope to show our visitors that even if we lapsed for a few years, the phoenix has risen from the ashes, and "All is merry as a marriage bell."
As an evidence of our love for our Lodge, note these presentations:-
In1906, Wor. Bro. Jacob Herman,new gauntlets for W.M., I.P.M., and Wardens.
1907, Wor. Bro. Packer, set of W.T.s and gavels.
1909, Wor. Bro. Price, altar cloth and pedestal Coverings.
1911Wor. Bro. Packer, silver mounted ebony stick for use in connection with
1913, Wor. Bro. Shakespeare, new ceremonial cards.
1916, Mrs. Packer, on behalf of the wives, mothers, sisters and lady friends of members, a complete new regalia.
1916, Bro. J. A. Martyn, a pair of bound covers for new ritual working instructions.
1917, Bro. Schwartz, Tyler's sword, made entirely by himself. There were many other presentations of a more or less minor nature.
Wor. Bro. H. Adams presented the Lodge with the Director of ceremonies' baton which is still used. In addition he, in19i9, presented the Union Jack, which is displayed at all our meetings.
R.W. Bro. F. Smith, Capes for candidates.
And then to show what the Brethren thought of each other, apart from the usual presentations to retiring Masters, I have found the following records in the minutes:-
Presentations to Wor. Bros. J. Herman, M. G. Cotta, and L. Packer on the celebrating of silver wedding days. R.W. Bro. Frank Smith, a Past Senior Grand Warden's jewel from the Lodge members, and a loving cup presented to him by Wor. Bro. Herman.
To our late Secretary, Wor. Bro. Rosen bloom, to Brow. H. Joseph, L. Price, L. Abraham, L. Patterson, J. K. White law, and many others, on the eve of their marriage, and in addition many gifts to Brethren to mark the birth of their first born.
To omit such an occasion as this is still considered a crime in this Lodge. May the wonderful fraternal spirit ever continue, and may the usual proposer of this toast be called upon at no distant date, together with his W.M., to respond and so reverse the order of things.
At all these functions, presentations, or the like, the brunt of the proceedings usually fell on the shoulders of three worshipful Brethren, viz., Wor. Bro. J. Herman, R.W. Bro. F. Smith, and Wor. Bro. Packer, and I don't think I would be out of place in wishing a recurrence of these happy times within the lifetime of all of our present members. "To err is human, to forgive divine."
And when the Lodge was at its highest the Great War broke out, and those who could duly enlisted in His Majesty's Army. To mark their heroism a Roll of Honour was prepared, and always occupies a prominent position in the Lodge. On it are enacrolled the names of those Brethren who enlisted and were accepted, but it will only be necessary to mention the names of those who Jaw active service at the Front, viz.:-
Bros. A. Himmelhoch, W. S. Jordan, S.N. Bradley, F. J. Cozens, P. C. Levy, E. Solomon, F. O. Clapcott, J. L. Neustadt, H. E. Herman, Moxham, B. R. Gallant, Pedder.
Of these Bros. Cozens and H. E. Herman made the supreme sacrifice.
"All honour to our brave dead."
The following Brethren received the highest honour the Lodge can bestow individually, viz., Life Honorary Membership: Bros. L. Samuel, T. Boyle, H. Hains, A. T. Schwartz, Wor. Bros. G. F. Garland, F. R. Bretnall, W. L. Carpenter, H. Adams. Of these only Bros. Boyle, Schwartz and Wor. Bro. Carpenter are now alive.
Grand Lodge Honours have, 90 far as 1 have been able to ascertain, been conferred on the following Brethren of this Lodge: R.W. Bro. Frank Smith, V.W. Bro. Charles Solomon, V.W. Bro. Bretnall VOW. Bro. Hogbin, V.W. Bro. Nickless.
It is to be sincerely hoped that other Brethren of the Lodge will take such an active interest in Masonry that the Lodge will never be without a living representative in this respect.
It behoves all to try and realise the wonderful honour the conferring of V.W. or R.W. is to a Mason, but it should never be aspired to unless in a whole hearted manner, and might I quote in this connection the following lines from one of our writers:-
"Glory is sweet when our heart says to us that the wreath of honour ought to grace our head."
And now just a few words regarding some of our Brethren who have gone west. Among those Brethren there were many who did yeoman service in the Lodge will, however, to night restrict my remarks to just a few, Viz.:-
V.W. Bro. Solomon, whose memory will always be revered.
Bro. Lewis Samueb, who bore the brunt of the Secretaryship for the first thirteen years of the existence of the Lodge.
V.W. Bro. Bretnall, for his six years Secretary, and an excellent ritualist.
Wor. Bro. Hyam Rosenbloom, Secretary for twelve years, and as lovable a man as could be found anywhere, at any time.
Wor. Bro. Henry Adams, who died recently, and whose wonderful personality earned for him the love, respect, and esteem of all who had the honour of knowing him. His masterly delivery of the Final Charge in the Third Degree will live for ever.
And now, Brethren, I have almost finished my paper. In conclusion, I would like to make just a few general observations, the essence of which appears in the Lodge records, but which have been elaborated just a trifle from my own memory.
For many years this Lodge was renowned for the activity of its Past Masters, and the excellent work of these Brethren when assisting in Lodge ceremonies was invariably drawn attention to.
Wor. Bros. Coker, Campion, Joseph, Abrahams, S. Herman, and perhaps a few others, were what might be termed expert ritualists, and also men who could deliver charges with the proper emphasis, so much so that at all times the attention of every Brother was riveted on each and every one of them until the particular work undertaken had been performed.
In mentioning these Brethren, only, this evening, I do not wish in any way to detract from the ability of other Past Masters or Master Masons in the Lodge many of whom are now the support of our Worshipful Master, but it must be a source of sincere regret to all, that we, toÄnight can only claim two of the Past Masters I have mentioned, viz., Wor. Bros. Coker and Tampion.
The loss of so many of our P.M.ís has been severely felt.
During the past five years we have lost the services of Wor. Bros. Maurice Price, Bond, T. M. Shakespeare, Henry Joseph, Sidney Herman, Victor Herman, Leonard Abrahams, Stanley Smith and V. Wor. Bro. Hogbin, and our only addition has been that excellent P.M., Wor. Bro. Fred Baker.
Now, Brethren, no Lodge can progress without being provided with the sound advice of its Past Masters, and it behoves us to do everything in our power to enlist the regular attendance and assistance of our remaining Past Masters, and to induce them to help us in every emergency.
And now, Brethren, my paper is finished. I thank you all most sincerely for your kind attention.
It is only to be expected that many of the Brethren here assembled will remember events not mentioned by me to-night.
To have drawn attention to everything would have entailed much time, and I feel that even now I have exceeded the number of minutes allotted to me.
I trust everyone will understand that I have done my best to interest you, and if I have Succeeded in but a small measure 1 shall feel happy and amply repaid for the self imposed task of writing this paper.
Towards the end of1873 a small but dedicated number of Freemasons met in Sydney, then the capital of the Crown Colony of New South Wales. The purpose of this meeting was to plan the formation of The Lodge of Tranquillity.
In the January of1874, dispensation to hold meetings was granted by The Grand Lodge of England. During that year the original by-laws were drawn up and this historic book is still in use today providing a direct link with our foundation brethren.
The first recorded meeting was held on the 11th February,1875 with Wor. Bro. David Mitchell in the chair. At the very next meeting on the 11th March, 1875, Bro. Raphael Haardt became our first initiate.
The original charter No. 1552 dated the 3rd June,1875 was issued under the authority of The United Grand Lodge of England. This document is hand written and signed by the then Grand Master of The United Grand Lodge of England, his Royal Highness, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Victoria and later to become King Edward VII of England.
It is interesting to note that "tranquillity" was at this time spelt with one "l" whereas in today's modern spelling the word is usually given with two "l's".
The foundation members of The Lodge of Tranquility were all of the Jewish faith and for many years The Lodge was composed of all Jewish brethren. Subsequently Christian brethren were admitted and in true Masonic spirit the two have since worked together in peace, love and harmony.
Many of the original jewels and furniture of The Lodge are still in use, including two volumes of the sacred law-one presented by the first senior Warden, Bro. Alias Cohen and the other by the first junior Warden. Bro. R. Myers.
The Foundation Master, Wor. Bro. David Mitchell returned to the chair for a second term in1880/1881.
On the formation of The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales in1888, The Lodge of Tranquility surrendered its English warrant and was granted charter No. 42, declaring allegiance to The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales on the 24th June, 1888.
In October 1907 Bro. Osmund Uther Nickless was initiated. From his initiation he took a most active part in the affairs of his beloved Lodge, becoming Wor. Master 1915/1916 and was later elevated to Grand Lodge rank. Right Wor. Bro. Nickless (fondly known to all as Nick) was Secretary to The Lodge for a record period of 46 years. During his term as Secretary he compiled the 50 years' history of The Lodge as well as a narrative for the period of1874/1961. At the time of his passing to The Grand Lodge Above in 1963, Right Wor. Bro. Nickless had completed 57 years' continuous service to Freemasonry in general and to his beloved Lodge of Tranquillity.
Many Brethren of The Lodge of Tranquillity enlisted for active service during the First World War. A Roll of Honour was made and still occupies a proud place in The Lodge room.
One of the Brethren who paid the supreme sacrifice at Gallipoli in the fateful August of1915 was Bro. Harold Ellis Herman. This Bro. was initiated into The Lodge of Tranquillity as a Lewis on the 13th March, 1913 when his father, Wor. Bro. J. Herman occupied the Chair. His brother, Wor. Bro. S. Herman raised Harold to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason at the September meeting in 1913.
In1922 a Lodge bearing this young Mason's name, Lodge Harold Herman No. 428 was dedicated on the 22nd August. The Foundation Master was Right Wor. Bro. O. U. Nickless and Tranquillity has been and still is closely associated with Lodge Harold Herman.
Family tradition led to an historic event which occurred in The Lodge of Tranquility in1938. This really began on the 14th July, 1921 when Bro. Mark Owen was initiated into The Lodge. Following on in March 1922 four of his seven sons were initiated; Allan, Sydney, Hyam and Barney. On the 13th October, 1927 Alexander Owen was initiated and on the 11th March, 1937 his sixth son Morris. Finally, on the 8th December, 1938 Wor. Bro. Mark Owen occupied the Chair to initiate his seventh son, Francis Septimus Owen aged 18. This must surely have been a truly unique occasion in Freemasonry with all the offices of The Lodge being filled by the six Brothers of the Initiate.
A framed photograph of Wor. Bro. Mark Owen and his seven sons taken on the occasion of this historic Masonic event now hangs in the foyer of the Double Bay Masonic Temple.
On the passing of Wor. Bro. Mark Owen to The Grand Lodge Above in December1946 a decision was taken to form a new Lodge to perpetuate the memory of this most illustrious Brother.
Accordingly, with Tranquillity as a sponsoring Lodge, Lodge Mark Owen No. 828 was dedicated on the second Wednesday in August1951. The Foundation Master was WorO Bro. Allan Owen who had been Wor. Master of The Lodge of Tranquillity 1938/1939, the eldest son of Wor. Bro. Mark Owen.
Lodge Mark Owen still meets at Double Bay and a close association has been maintained over the years with The Lodge of Tranquillity.
With the advent of the Second World War, many Brethren enlisted and served with distinction in the various armed services.
During the 100 years of its history The Lodge has met in only three locations. The first of these was at the Australasian Freemasons Hall in York Street, Sydney. With the opening of the "new" Masonic Temple in1881 The Lodge moved to Castlereagh Street, Sydney where it remained until May 1972. With the demolition of the Castlereagh Street Temple The Lodge moved to its present meeting place at West Ryde where our first meeting was held on Thursday 15th June, 1972 when The Lodge was very warmly welcomed to the Temple by Lodge West Ryde.
Once the move to West Ryde, the numbers of Brethren attending regular meetings has shown a heartening increase and it is confidently expected that this trend will continue. It is interesting to note that the number one Bro. on our Membership Register is Bro. Seville Max, now living in Queensland who was initiated in The Lodge on 14th October,1915 while our latest initiate, Bro. Denis Price, son of Wor. Bro. Alf Price, was initiated on the lath April, 1974. Also worthy of note is our revered Right Wor. Bro. Leo Grouse who was initiated in Lodge United Service No. 24 in February 1911 and who this year celebrated 63 years in Freemasonry.
Our 100th Worshipful Master Wor. Bro. Phil Schachtel was initiated on the 14th July,1948 by his father the late Wor. Bro. H.G. Schachtel.
Having passed through the various offices of The Lodge, Wor. Bro. P. G. Schachtel was installed as Wor. Master for the year1948/1949.
Since that time he has played a most active part in The Lodge, being a most regular attender at all Lodge meetings and functions.
The Brethren were unanimous in their selection of Wor. Bro. P. G. Schachtel as their Wor. Master to rule and govern The Lodge of Tranquillity in its Centenary year1974/1975.