Lodge Sylvania No. 853
Realising the need for a lodge to cater for the ever-growing number of Masons in the Sylvania area, Very Wor. Bro. Matt Speedy called a meeting of interested Brethren on 20th April 1952.
The meeting was attended by 35 Brethren who enthusiastically adopted the proposal that a new lodge be formed, to be known as Lodge Sylvania. Very Wor. Bro. Speedy was authorised to approach Grand Lodge for a petition.
At a second and third meeting 54 Brethren signed the petition and with Lodge Sutherland the sponsoring lodge the petition was approved on 10th September 1952. Through the good graces of Wor. Bro. Round, the petitioners were allowed to have regular meetings at the Royal Motor Yacht Clubhouse at Kangaroo Point, so the lodge went along with a good launching! At these meetings the future members were able to study the calibre of aspiring candidates for office.
The lodge was consecrated on 3rd November, 1952, by the Provisional Grand Master, Most Wor. Bro. John Hodgson, and was unique in two ways.
First of all it had eight members of the Speedy family among its members, with five of them in office: Very Wor. Bro. Matt Speedy, Foundation Master, Bro. Bill Speedy, Treasurer, Bro. Sid Speedy, Secretary, Bro. Charlie Speedy, Steward and Norm Speedy, Tyler. Indeed the lodge had a speedy beginning.
The second was that the Consecration Card had the photographs of the Grand Master, Most Wor. Bro. Sir John Northcott, the Pro. Grand Master, Most Wor. Bro. John Hodgson, the Foundation Master, Very Wor. Bro. Matthew Speedy, the Foundation Officers, and the Foundation Members. This was the first time the complete record of the members of a new lodge had been kept in this way.
Due to the size of the Crush Room of the Sutherland Centre, all lodges meeting there used the School of Arts for the South, but as this was not available on the third Tuesday of each month, the brethren resolved to hold the South at the Boomerang Hall, Sylvania. Although some time was lost because of this, the brethren had very good meetings in the Hall. It was also used for Social Nights and being handy to the shops near the bridge which kept open late at night, it was a good place to hold a picnic supper night.
A Ladies Auxiliary was formed and, from social evenings, sufficient money was raised to purchase all the crockery etc. needed to provide suppers. It was the boast of these Ladies that they could see when the lodge meetings were over by the procession of cars coming down the Princes Highway towards the Hall.
The first of two candidates to be initiated were the sons of two foundation members. One of these, John Speedy, brought the list of that family up to nine. The son of Harry Garvin was the other.
Matt Speedy was like his name, speedy, and always impressed on the members the need of running to a timetable. At the first anniversary when Matt was installing his successor, Bro Ray Sargent, he had his watch openly exhibited on the dais as a hint to the G.L. representative. However, the representative on this occasion, happened to be Most Wor. Bro. Sir Frank McDowell, who calmly turned the watch upside down and then proceeded to respond to the welcome given by the Master.
In 1972, membership in Lodge Sylvania was 120.