Craft Lodges – Blue Lodges

Alan B Gordon  Bethulie # 3528 EC(Established in 1911)

Meetings held on

Installation 3rd Saturday in October
Regular meetings in January, April and July

Address

PO Box 12945 Brandhof 9324
Meet at Masonic Temple
31 Pretoria Street
Bethulie

Contact Details

Master W Bro CFW Schreiber 0828817578 carlschreiber@telkomsa.net

Secretary W Bro I Botham 0744775973

History –  Masonry in Bethulie started with a Lodge of Instruction established in 1908 as a satellite of Evening Star Lodge in Burgersdorp. The independent Alan B Gordon Lodge was established in 1911 as part of the Eastern Division which at the time included the Free State . It was named in honour of the then District Grand Master of the Eastern Division, Bro Alan B Gordon of King Williamstown

Before long, Lodges were established in several neighbouring towns in the southern Free State , among them Springfontein, Trompsburg and Smithfield . Sadly all later closed or moved northwards and today Alan B Gordon is the last surviving Masonic lodge in the southern Free State . However, it retains strong ties with Lodges in Aliwal North, Burgersdorp and Colesberg, all three part of the Eastern Division.

Most of Alan B Gordon’s members are living in and around Bethulie though the Lodge also attracts members from other towns. From 2000 the Lodge went through a difficult period when membership dwindled and activity was limited. It has since revived and is developing bold plans for the future.

Ficksburg Lodge #3553 EC (Established in 1911)

Meetings held on

Installation 1st Saturday in November
Regular meetings 1st Saturday every month (Except in January)

Address

Meet at Masonic Temple
Lang Street
Ficksburg

Contact Details

Master W Bro J du Toit 0828534592 Jandutoit.mason@Gmail.com

Secretary RW Bro CR Pedlar 0828744822 thepedlars@lantic.net

History –  The lodge was consecrated in 1911 and in the early period of its existence the most prominent member of the Lodge was Jonathan Todd.

Todd was a stonemason by profession and arrived in Ficksburg in 1903.  During his tenure in Ficksburg he built the NG Church as well as the Ficksburg High School hall – both out of sandstone and both still standing today. The school relocated to new premises but the Hall has remained the property of the High School and houses an internationally acclaimed collection of art – including several murals by Pierneef and can be viewed by arrangement. Todd later became Mayor of Ficksburg and became Master of Ficksburg Lodge in 1920.

Todd’s sandstone home on the corner of Kestell and Lang Streets still stands today.  He also owned several erven behind his house and donated land to Ficksburg Lodge on which the existing premises are located on the corner of Lang and Piet Retief Streets.

Golden Hope # 3059 EC (Established in 1905) In Recess

Ivan Haarburger # 3582 EC (Established in 1912)

Meetings held on

Installation 4th Saturday in February
Regular meetings Third Thursday of every month (Except Jan, July & Dec)

Address

PO Box 12945
Brandhof
9324
Meet at Masonic Centre, Spitzkop, Bloemfontein

Contact Details

Master W Bro HD Castelyn 0723244070 hdcastelyn@yahoo.com
Secretary Bro R Paton 0715462316 general.rpaton@gmail.com

History – The Lodge was founded in 1912 and like the other lodges in the southern part of our present District, in those days fell under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Division. The lodge was established in Trompsburg through the efforts of a group of masons living in the town and was sponsored by Rising Star Lodge,Bloemfontein .

W Bro Ivan Haarburger PAGDC after whom the lodge was named, was a Past Master of Rising Star Lodge and a remarkable mason about whom much has been written because of the extraordinary role he played in Freemasonry and the community generally during the years of the Anglo Boer war. Very appropriately, Bro Ivan Haarburger became the founding Master of the new lodge.

In later years, the name of the lodge was changed to Trompsburg Lodge. Towards the end of 2004 the lodge was moved from Trompsburg to the Masonic Centre, Bloemfontein and two years later, reverted to its original name.

The Lodge celebrated its Centenary in 2012.

Rising Star # 1022 EC (established in 1864)

Meetings held on

Installation the Saturday closest to St John’s Day in June
Regular meetings 1st Tuesday of every month (Except in January)

Address

PO Box 12945
Brandhof
9324
Meet at Masonic Centre, Spitzkop, Bloemfontein

Contact Details

Master W Bro WA Cilliers 0823703055 altus@hugoprok.co.za
Secretary RW Bro J van Zyl 0829023399 jacvzyl@connix.co.za

History – The Lodge was inaugurated on the 31st of May 1864, but the actual signed Charter was only received from Cape Town on the 4th October 1864.

On the 4th January 1865 at “High Noon” a Past Master W Bro West performed Inauguration Ceremony. That evening nine new members were initiated.

The Lodge was consecrated and dedicated on 24th June 1868 .  Amongst the dignitaries present was W Bro JH Brand, President of the OFS Republic .

Sadly during the 1stWorld War Bros Baumann, Miller and Goldberg paid the supreme sacrifice

Rising Star in March 1928 became the first of only three Lodges in South Africa to be awarded the Hall Stone Jewel presented to Lodges who donated funds to rebuild part of Masonic Hall in London, the worldwide headquarters of English Freemasonry, in the wake of World War I.

Sir John Brand Lodge of Installed Masters # 3035 EC

Meetings held on

Installation Last Saturday in February
Regular meetings Third Thursday – May, August and November

Address

PO Box 12945
Brandhof
9324
Meet at Masonic Centre, Spitzkop, Bloemfontein

Contact Details

Master W Bro ND Olivier 0721169190 neil.nre@gmail.com
Secretary W Bro R Allam 0842078997 roberta6@absamail.co.za

History –   When the Lodge was formed on 10th May 1905 in Ladybrand, it fell under the authority of the District Grand Lodge of Natal as did other Lodges in the Eastern Free State and Lesotho (then Basutoland ) at the time. The Lodge took its name from Jan Brand, later Sir John, President of the Free State Republic from 1847 to 1874. Sir John Brand was a mason initiated in De Goede Hope Lodge, Cape Town .

Sir John Brand Lodge transferred from Natal to the District Grand Lodge of Orange Free State in 1969. The Lodge celebrated its Centenary in 2005. In 2007 a decision was taken, to convert to a Lodge of Installed Masters which relocated to Bloemfontein , its present venue.

Mimosa Lodge No 4396 EC

Founded in Zastron in 1922

Date of Warrant 1stFebruary 1922

Consecrated on 3rdMay 1922

First Master W Bro IC Potgieter 19222 – 1923

Current Master W Bro JL Botham 2015 – 2016

The Lodge was in recess during 2009 and was moved to Bloemfontein with effect of 23rdJuly 2011

It is currently our University Lodge aimed at students etc.

Star of Bethlehem # 2522  EC (Established in 1894)

Meetings held on

Installation 4thSaturday in January
Regular meetings 3rd Saturday in March, July, November

Address – 16A Union Street, Bethlehem

Contact Details

Master W Bro ND Lezar info@agriweigh.co.za
Secretary RW Bro CR Pedlar 0828744822 thepedlars@lantic.net

History – The Star of Bethlehem Lodge was established under the auspices of the District of Natal and the Warrant was granted on 6 June 1894 by HRH Edward Albert, at that time Prince of Wales and Grand Master of the Order.  It is not clear where the first meeting was held but the Lodge building was erected before November 1894.

The foundation stone of the present Temple which is in Union Street, Bethlehem, and can be seen at the entrance to the Temple was laid on 3 December 1903 and consecrated on 2 May 1904. The existing Temple was built by Bro Dick ‘Birdie’ Kaplan.

The Mayoral Chair in Bethlehem was occupied by Masons on 23 occasions and Masons of the Lodge figured in the Dorpsbestuur as Councilors, Magistrates and Ministers of Religion.  Mention must be made of Bro Reverend Tom Elliot who was a stonemason who rebuilt part of the existing Methodist Church.  Several members of the Lodge were also members of Parliament or Senators and many streets were named after Masons in recognition of their service to the town.

The sports stadium ‘Goble Park’ is named after W Bro Percy Goble who was a member of the Lodge, and W Bro Laesecke was a founder member of the Bethlehem Golf Club.

Royal Arch Chapters – Red Lodges

King Edward VII Royal Arch Chapter # 1022 EC (Established in 1910)

Meetings held on

Installation on Saturday closest to St John’s Day in June
Regular Meetings 3rdTuesday of February ,May, August and November.

Address – Masonic Centre, Spitskop, Bloemfontein

Contact Details

Most Wise Sovereign E Comp R Allam 0842078997 roberta6@absamail.co.za
Scribe E E Comp I Botham 0744775973

History – King Edward VII Chapter was granted a Centenary Charter with effect from 11th November 2010. During the hundred years of its existence the Chapter has drawn its membership from Rising Star Lodge No.1022 and the other English lodges now operating in Bloemfontein but has also attracted Masons from other Constitutions in the region.

The Chapter was formed in 1910 under the District Grand Chapter of South Africa (Eastern Division) and in 1936 was transferred by mutual agreement to the District of Transvaal under which jurisdiction it remained until the formation of the District Grand Chapter of Orange Free State in 1967. The Chapter continues to play a major role in the Order in the central region of South Africa.

Mimosa Royal Arch Chapter # 4396  EC (Established in 1940)

Meetings held on

Installation 4th Saturday in November
Regular meetings Second Saturday May, August, February

Address

PO Box 12945
Brandhof
9324
Meet at Masonic Centre, Spitzkop, Bloemfontein

Contact Details

MEZ E Comp I Botham 0744775973
Scribe E E Comp R Allam 0842078997 roberta6@absamail.co.za

History – The Mimosa Chapter was founded in 1940 and shared a home with Mimosa Lodge.
In 2008 a decision was taken to sell the Masonic Centre in Zastron, since neither the Craft or Royal Arch could sustain themselves .Fortunately, means were found to rescue the Lodge and Chapter by relocating them to Bloemfontein.

Orangia Royal Arch Chapter No 2522 (Established in 1942)

Meetings held on

Installation 0th Saturday
Regular meetings 3rd Saturday in March, July, November

Address

Meet at Masonic Temple, CURRENTLY BEING RELOCATED TO BETHLEHEM
Union Street
Ficksburg

Contact Details

MEZ E Comp
Scribe E E Comp

History – Orangia Chapter was originally attached to the Star of Bethlehem Lodge, which was founded in 1894. The Chapter was founded, albeit falteringly, during the Second World War in 1942, before emerging in 1948 and finally gaining strength in 1956. This was also the start of major changes in the North-East and Central Orange Free State. Farmers had learnt to dig deeper and find coal and gold.

E Comp P A Laesecke PGADC was the first MEZ of the Chapter from 1942 to 1951. He was still a member in 1977 when the Chapter had 16 members. E Comp B J van Rensburg, Grand Superintendent, was already active at this time and he became the next stalwart, being a member until 2004, when he was tragically killed returning from a meeting in Ficksburg.  in the earlier years seven English Lodges (three within 60km) provided members to the Chapter in Bethlehem. By 1985 only three remained within 100Km. This was reduced further when Golden Hope Lodge in Heilbron relocated in 1990 to Sasolburg. In May 1991, the chapter decided to transfer from Bethlehem to Sasolburg due to low attendance.  Although Orangia Chapter was actually 20 members strong, Golden Hope Lodge had candidates wanting to join a chapter.

Sir John Brand Royal Arch Chapter # 3035  EC (Established in 1986)

Meetings held on

Installation 1st Saturday in November
Regular meetings 1st Saturday quarterly in March, May and July

Address

Ficksburg Masonic Lodge

26 Lang Street, Ficksburg

Contact Details

MEZ E Comp Dr Yaw Gyasi-Agyei 0824926392 yaw.gyasiagyei@jpc.co.ls
Scribe E ME COMP CR Pedlar 0828744822 thepedlars@lantic.net

History – Sir John Brand Royal Arch Chapter No.3035 was consecrated on 15th March 1986 at Ladybrand where it was attached to Sir John Brand Lodge meeting at the Masonic Hall in Prinsloo Street. The Chapter was well supported over the years by the nearby Maseru Royal Arch Chapter as well as by Companions from Ficksburg and Bloemfontein. In 2007 the Chapter was transferred to Ficksburg where it now provides a Royal Arch home for Brethren of the active Ficksburg Lodge.