Lodge Kirrawee No. 903
Early in 1956, a number of Freemasons who were employed by a local engineering firm, decided to initiate moves to form a new lodge to meet at Sutherland. Preliminary meetings were held in the lunchroom of the firm and afterwards in the Sutherland Masonic Centre. From these meetings Lodge Kirrawee was born.
Very Wor. Bro. Frank McNeil, then 75 years of age, was elected the Worshipful Master of Lodge Kirrawee.
The lodge was consecrated on 17th September, 1956, at the Sutherland Masonic Centre then situated in Eton Street. Very Wor. Bro. Frank McNeil was installed as Worshipful Master with Bro. T. Brophy, Senior Warden and Bro. Charles Whichelo, Junior Warden, 38 members were present at the consecration with 126 visiting brethren. The ceremony was conducted by Most Wor. Bro. Tom Warren, Grand Master.
Having adopted an aboriginal name, the lodge designed a crest depicting an aboriginal warrior looking over the countryside. This theme has been incorporated in the honours for visiting brethren.
Lodge Kirrawee is proud of a most unusual Past Master’s board. This board, in the shape of a warriors shield, is engraved with aboriginal motifs. Several rows of miniature boomerangs are affixed to the face of the board with Past Masters names inscribed on them.
Lodge Kirrawee suffered a great loss in 1957 when their Secretary, Wor. Bro. John Daley, died at the age of 42. A great Masonic example was then shown by the brethren of Lodge Kirrawee. Wor. Bro. Daley was, at the time, building his own home, which was partly completed at the time of his death. The brethren immediately went to the house and completed the home sufficiently for Mrs. Daley and her children to occupy. Arrangements were made at a later date for the children to be educated at the Masonic Schools.
One of the best-known charitable activities of the lodge was its annual Mother’s Day flowers project. Considerable quantities of white flowers were sold by the brethren at strategic points and all proceeds were donated to Masonic Charities.
In 1961, the brethren of Lodge Kirrawee with their wives, commenced visits to Frank Whiddon Masonic Homes to assist in the work of maintaining the lawns and gardens, while the ladies assisted in any sewing or mending repairs required by the residents. These visits were later expanded to a monthly district function with each of the 14 lodges rostered on a monthly schedule.
Prior to the establishment of the Kirinar Hostel for aboriginal children and also since it has been completed, the brethren of Lodge Kirrawee, individually and as a lodge, assisted the fulfilment of this venture.
In 1972 Lodge Kirrawee had 80 members.