A Middlesex Mason Down Under

In early September W. Bro Paul Huggins, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, visited the sub-tropical City of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia to visit his brother Simon, also a Middlesex Mason now living ‘Down Under’.

Simon had emigrated some eight years ago having married Michelle, an Australian professional singer and musician.

“My brother Simon is a member of a very active Lodge, which meets in the suburbs of Brisbane.

Australian Masons have a high regard for English Masonry and I was asked if I might present a talk at the regular meeting of Camp Hill Lodge, No. 388 on the preparations for the Tercentenary Celebrations to be held in October in the United Kingdom.

The Lodge is active with an abundance of candidates and on this occasion I was fortunate to be able to witness my brother acting as Senior Deacon during the Ceremony of Raising

The brother raised was an expatriate Filipino whose family just happened to run a restaurant.

Whole suckling pig was the order of the day, whereas normally, because of the number of meetings during the masonic year, the regular fayre is sandwiches and “stubbies” (squat bottles of beer of about 375cl).

My luck was in that night as I won the first prize in the Lodge raffle which was a large pack of barbecue meats. No surprises there.

Whilst in Brisbane I took the opportunity to see the Grand Temple and was shown around by the Grand Secretary who knew my brother.

He was very proud to show me the Victoria Cross display in the museum and as he was shortly to visit London, was keen to see the VC memorial paving stone at Great Queen Street.

Incidentally, the Brisbane Grand Temple is the only other one in the world, next to Grand Lodge in London, which was built as a World War 1 memorial.

Apart from my own family connections with Brisbane, it appears that at the Harrow Masonic Centre, outside the Prince Michael of Kent Temple, there is a wooden model on the wall of the Brisbane façade with a certificate inside donated by the late Queen Mary.

It appears that one of her household who happened to be a Middlesex Mason donated it.

Have a look next time you are at the Harrow Masonic Centre.”

In Camp Hill Lodge’s magazine ‘Cornerstone’ the article about Paul’s visit read: ‘Distinguished visitor, Bro Paul Huggins, brother of our Senior Deacon Bro Simon. Bro Paul is Provincial Grand Master-Elect of the Province of Middlesex. He’s so nice that we invited him to visit for every meeting!’

I’m not sure our Pro knows of Paul’s promotion !!!

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Following this article appearing in The Mercury Lite, W. Bro John Briggs has provided the photographs below of the model of the Brisbane Masonic Temple which is located at the Harrow District Masonic Centre.

Text below frame:-

This frame was given by Her late Majesty Queen to W. Bro. T. D. Williams, M.V.O., a member of her Household, and later passed into the keeping of the Hounslow Lodge, No. 5415, by whom it is loaned.

It is constructed of a variety of Australian woods, and the two leaves represent the facade of the Masonic Temple at Brisbane.

Behind the leaves is the illuminated address presented to H. R. H. the Duke of Gloucester, by the Freemasons of Australia on the occasion of his State Visit to Queensland, in 1934.

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