The Grand Lodge team are pictured outside Montville Masonic Lodge in 2015, at the Wor. Master John Watson’s Installation ceremony Image Ross Robertson
The Freemasons have historically been shrouded in mystery to the uninitiated, so it is good to read how a local Lodge was formed, thanks to the information garnered from Wor. Master John Watson.
Freemasonry in the Blackall Range/Sunshine Coast region was established early in the 20th century at Waverley Lodge (Woombye) 1906, Palmwoods 1915.
Montville was at this time served only by a primitive road to the Palmwoods railhead. It was therefore inevitable that Montville Freemasons would eventually seek to establish a Lodge on the Range.
On October 4, 1917 at the Montville School of Arts (now the Montville Village Hall) at least six of these Freemasons met, presided over by Worshipful Brother W.H.Harvey.
It was decided (proposed Brother C.H.Bundy, seconded Brother D.G.Unwin) “that a Masonic Lodge be formed under the Scottish Constitution”.
The Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Queensland was petitioned to grant a charter to this yet-to-be-born Lodge, together with seeking his concurrence that the School of Arts Hall be used as the Lodge’s venue. The meeting adjourned for 14 days to await a response.
The Lodge was consecrated on March 9, 1918. The District Grand Master (Right Worshipful Brother Thomas J Burstow) travelled to Palmwoods by train, and thence by buggy to Montville to conduct the ceremony.
He was assisted by Worshipful Brother Harvey and a full complement (14) of Grand Lodge officers. The Lodge was designated “Montville Lodge Number 1173, Scottish Constitution”.
Among those invested was Brother GJ Butt, Great Grandfather of W Bro Graham Butt, who continues an unbroken line of Butts from inception to today.
In 1921 the Lodge transferred from the Scottish Grand Lodge to the newly created Queensland Grand Lodge. In the same year the Lodge removed from the School of Arts Hall to a new building on the present Lodge site.
As part of the transfer across, the Lodge was designated first as Lodge Number 189 (provisional) and then to its present identity: Lodge Number 260.
In 1965 the Lodge was burgled: five bottles of beer and eighteen of soft drink. Possibly not organised crime – even in those days.
By 1980 the new Lodge building was not so new, and in 1981 a new building was erected. The foundation stone was laid by Right Worshipful Brother (RWBro) Harry Butt and the lodge was consecrated on September 25, 1982.
In 1987 an award was created, the Harry Butt Memorial Citizenship Award, and has thereafter been presented to a pupil leaving Montville State Primary School.
On March 6, 1993 the Lodge celebrated its 75th Jubilee.
On March 17, 2018 at 2pm the Lodge will celebrate its Centenary. The Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland and a team of his Grand Lodge officers will formally conduct a reconsecration of the Lodge.
This is an open meeting to which the non-masonic public are welcome. Gentlemen attending are requested to dress accordingly. A tie would not be out of place.