Close Nav
Image 1 for The 1st Grand Master

The 1st Grand Master

29 April 24

The United Grand Lodge of Freemasons.

The following article appeared in the Sydney Mail on September 22, 1888.

The installation of His Excellency Lord Carrington as Grand Master of the United Masonic Grand Lodge of New South Wales took place on Tuesday evening in the Exhibition Building, Prince Alfred Park, in the presence of a vast assemblage of masons, and under circumstances which made the ceremony the most imposing, and the spectacle the most striking, ever witnessed in the history of masonry in this or any other of the Austral Asian colonies. Great trouble and expense had been incurred in the efforts of the ceremonial committee to decorate and furnish the interior of the building in an attractive and fitting manner; and the general effect which the decorations and the furniture presented to the view was very complete and pleasing.

Suitable masonic emblems and devices worked in flowers, or upon shields, and surrounded or surmounted with palm branches or ferns, and artistically grouped flags, ornamented the pillars which support the gallery, and appeared also in pretty relief upon drapery which had been hung underneath the gallery and along the walls on either side and extended the length of the building in such a manner as to impart an attractive aspect to the spaces on the east and west of the nave, as well as to the nave itself.

Over the dais, on which during the ceremony the Grand Master and other high officers of the craft were seated, had been, placed the arms or insignia of the United Grand Lodge, encircled in a setting of flags, and directly facing it from the front of the southern end of the gallery were the arms of Great Britain, also in the midst of a grouping of flags.

Festoons of green leaves hung all round the nave from pillar to pillar, and under-neath the gallery; and these with palm branches, the brightly coloured flags, and the floral emblems and devices, produced throughout a contrast of colour and gracefulness of arrangement which gave quite a gala appearance to the building, and at the same time did not in any respect transgress the principles of good taste.

The nave of the building was furnished for the purposes of the ceremonial as a grand lodge room, and upon the dais were the chairs for the grand lodge officers, the visiting officers of high position in the order, and for the choir, composed of members of the liedertafel Societies. Close to the choir, and on the right side of the dais was the organ, which had been specially lent for the occasion by the Hon. R. H. D. White, M.L.C., and which, presided over by Mr. A. Gehde, together with the choir, under the conductorship of Mr. Rivers Allpress, did much towards the success of the evening's proceedings.

The Articles of Union, engrossed by Messrs. S. T. Leigh and Co.; and the jewels, which during the course of the ceremony were handed to the United Grand Lodge officers, were prominently displayed in front of the dais, and near this point arrangements had been made for the seating of all masons of high rank, and not officers of the United Grand Lodge.

The provision made for seating those who attended to take part in or witness the proceedings was very extensive, and, on the whole, very satisfactory. Over 4000 chairs were available. Worshipful masters, past masters, wardens, secretaries, and treasurers of lodges sat in one division; Grand Lodge officers elect, and past grand and District Grand Lodge officers in another; the dais was reserved for members of visiting Grand; Lodges, Past Grand Masters, and Past District and Deputy Grand Masters, and the remainder of the space in the building, principally under the gallery, was occupied by junior officers of lodges and the brethren generally. On some reserved seat close to the dais sat his Honor Sir Frederick Darley, C. J., his Honor Mr Justice Windeyer, his Honor Mr Justice Foster, the Hon. J- F. Burns, Colonial Treasurer, and the Mayor of Sydney (Alderman John Harris) in his mayoral robes.

The building began to be crowded soon after 5 o'clock, and at the time the proceedings of the evening commenced —soon after 6 — there was a great assemblage present, filling the floor of the building and thickly lining the railings of the gallery. Every person was of course a mason and dressed in Masonic regalia, and the whole scene was very picturesque and striking.

The lodge was opened by Pro Grand Master Dr Tarrant, Past Deputy Grand Master W. H. Simpson acting as Senior Grand Warden, and Past Deputy Grand Master H. E. Vaughan as Junior Grand Warden; and the proceedings having in this manner begun, the choir sang an appropriately worded opening hymn. At the conclusion of this hymn, Grand Lodge officers from other Grand Lodges were announced, and having entered, were received with Grand Lodge honours.

First came the Deputy Grand Master of Queensland under the Irish Constitution; then the Grand Master of Queensland under the Scotch Constitution; following him the Grand Master of Victoria, accompanied by his Grand Lodge officers; and finally, the Grand Master of South Australia and his Grand Lodge officers.

The Grand Master elect entered the hall and received a Masonic ovation, the choir and assemblage singing an anthem.

The installation and investiture -were performed by Grand Master Chief Justice Way, of South Australia. In his address G. M. Way referred to the consummation of Masonic union in New South Wales, the gathering together of 175 lodges and 10,000 members of the craft into one constitution, as the most memorable achievement in Masonry which has happened in Australasia. It was fitting and auspicious that this gathering should be held in the first year of the second century of Australian settlement! and during the Governorship of Lord Carrington.

The distinction of the occasion was, he said, further increased by the presence in the Grand Master's chair of a brother who is at once a past grand officer of exalted rank in the mother Grand Lodge of the world and the Governor of this great colony. In closing his eloquent address, which was frequently applauded, the Grand Master said: ' I congratulate you, and I congratulate this United Grand Lodge, and all the brethren under your jurisdiction, on your being completely installed in the Grand Master's chair. Long may you rule over your brethren in New South Wales with honour to yourself, to the great advantage of Masonry and to the satisfaction of. the Great Architect.'

The Grand Master of Victoria, Bro. David Munro congratulated Lord Carrington on behalf of the Victorian Grand Lodge and its officers. Grand Master Lord Carrington said: With great respect, I rise to offer my grateful thanks to my Most Worshipful brethren for the kind words they have been pleased to say this evening; and with a full heart do I offer my grateful thanks to my brothers of New South Wales, who have accorded me the highest honour which it is in their power to bestow. (Applause.)

I trust that with the assistance of the Great Architect of the Universe, I may be able to maintain the ancient principles of Masonry, and I rely with confidence on the support of my Grand Officers, as well as on the support of the whole of the craft in the great colony which it is our pride and high privilege to be connected with. (Applause.) I have now to announce that I have appointed the Most Worshipful Brother Harman John Tarrant as Pro-Grand Master. (Applause.)

Pro-Grand Master Dr. Tarrant was then duly installed into the office to which he had been appointed, and following this was the investiture of other Grand Lodge officers, and the presentation of representatives of other Grand Lodges. The Grand Lodge was then closed, the choir singing a closing hymn, and finally the national anthem.

Immediately following the ceremony of installation, a banquet was held in the Elite Skating Rink. Covers were laid for 1170 brethren; every seat being occupied. The. M. W. Grand Master his Excellency Lord Carrington presided, and directly over the head of his Excellency was a brilliant representation of a Grand Master's jewel, the diamonds being: replaced by electric lights. The effect of this feature in the profuse decorations was striking. The decorations of the hall reflected great credit upon Messrs. Sale and Dare, for whom Mr. Herbert S. Thompson supervised.

A number of suitable toasts were honoured.

The article is courtesy of


Ready to take the next step in life but feel like something's missing?

Discover truth & knowledge, build towards your potential and find the clarity you've been searching for. Find out more about Becoming a Freemason today and embark on a journey of self-discovery, moral growth, and lifelong brotherhood.

Experience the empowering ethos of Freemasonry, and sculpt your mind to be upright, knowledgeable, and morally strong.

Find Out More