1875: Levuka official Masonic lodge opens

“The first charter had been obtained by a Capt. Alexander Barrack from Lodge Robert Burns in Sydney (of which he was a member),.

Lodge Polynesia – 562 SC. The Lodge Polynesia has been in existence since 1871 and has held a charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland since 1875. The history of the lodge is intertwined with the history of Fiji and of Levuka Town in particular. It is the oldest masonic organisation in Fiji.

On 1st February, 1875: the Grand Lodge of Scotland granted a charter to erect a Lodge. The first charter had been obtained by a Capt. Alexander Barrack from Lodge Robert Burns in Sydney (of which he was a member). The Lodge worked under this charter for some years until it was discovered that the charter was not in order, and that new Freemasons had been made illegally. The brethren quickly moved to rectify this.”On 1st February, 1875 the Grand Lodge of Scotland granted a charter to erect a Lodge and hold Masonic meetings under the name of “Lodge Polynesia”. All Freemasons made under the previous charter had to be initiated again.<

Debate over 1912 temple construction: The early meetings of Lodge Polynesia were held in various parts of Levuka town. The legacy of Bro. P. W. Murray, who left money and property to the Lodge allowed the building of a Temple, that was consecrated on 14th July 1913 and stood for almost 90 years. The building of the Temple was not without controversy as the trustee of the legacy, Bro. W. Wilson resigned as trustee, as he believed that the legacy had been established solely for charitable purposes. The building of the Temple was assisted by the generosity of Bro. P. Morris (of Morris Hedstrom fame) who donated the land that the Temple stood.

Temple burned down in 2000: “Lodge Polynesia progress rose and fell with the fortunes of Levuka Town. It has survived numerous hurricanes in which its records and regalias were completely destroyed or lost. In the wake of the political turmoil of 2000, its Temple, registered under the National Trust of Fiji was razed to the ground. Undaunted, lodge members have continued to meet at the Temple of Lodge of Fiji, in Suva”

http://www.freemasonry.org.fj

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