Lodge Helensburgh No. 566

It has been pointed out that the first lodge in the District could have been Lodge Helensburgh in 1913.

In 1913, a block of land had actually been selected for the building of a Masonic Centre, but when the movement fell through; the land was allowed to go.

It was not until 1925 that the suggestion of starting a lodge in Helensburgh was again bought up and a meeting was held at the home of Bro. G.H. Logan. The meeting decide that the time was opportune and Lodge Bulli. No. 31, was asked to sponsor the petition to G.L. It was first proposed that the meetings be held in the main hall of the Empire Theatre. The Grand Architect, however, refused to sanction this and the idea was abandoned. Negotiations then took place with the proprietors of the Band Hall. Certain alterations were carried out at a cost of £20, and the Grand Architect agreed to the meeting place. It is interesting to note that the rent of this hall was 17/6 per month with 10/9 for any additional night, the lodge had a lease of the hall for 3 years.

A charter was approved and the lodge was consecrated on 2nd  October, 1925, by the then G.M. Most Wor. Bro. John Goulson. Attendance at this meeting was 14 G.L. members and 32 visitors. The Foundation Master was Wor. Bro. Sydney Cook, S.W. Bro. G.H. Gotley and J.W. Bro. F.H. Cox.

At the first meeting after his Installation, Wor.Bro. Gotley gave the lodge, a block of land, situated at Ryde, to be sold and the proceeds to go towards a building fund. In the first year 14 meetings were held and 7 candidates initiated.

During the mastership os Wor. Bro. W. McCulloch in 1927, it was decided to approach the Metropolitan Coal Co. for lease of a piece of land in order to erect a Masonic Centre. In this year 14 meetings were held and a further 12 candidates initiated. Lodge Sutherland visited the lodge fraternally at the August meeting and carried out the work.

The year 1928 was a momentous one when Wor. Bro. Sutcliffe occupied the chair. The Metropolitan Coal Co. gave the lodge a lease of the property in Robertson Street and tenders called for the erection of the building. The centre was constructed by Mr. H. Greathead at a cost of £1,231. Most Wor. Bro. John Goulson laid the foundation stone and the building was dedicated to him in 1928. After the dedication was completed, 2 Brethren were initiated into the lodge with the assistance of some of the G.L. Officers.

Many worthy Masters have occupied the Chair of Lodge Helensburgh and it has introduced some fine Brethren to Freemasonry.

Lodge Helensburgh is in an unusual position, being midway to the Sutherland Shire and lodges on the South Coast. The majority of visitors come from the Shire and thus it has sought to remain in District 36.

In 1972 lodge membership exceeded 100.