Some 160 years ago … on Tuesday 4 March 1856 at Bro. Robert Ramsay’s Napoleon Bonaparte Hotel in King William Street, Adelaide (photo taken 1893), was held the first meeting of Duke of Leinster Lodge No.363, following notice given in the press. It is said preparations for the meeting were so hasty that the principal officers sat on cloth covered gin cases
A day or so earlier the Warrant had arrived by ship. It was issued by the Grand Lodge of Ireland in November 1855, signed by Augustus Frederick, Third Duke of Leinster, Grand Master, and also by John Fowler in his capacity as Deputy G. Secretary.
The first WM was W.Bro. Richard McClure (photo taken some 20 yrs later). Weeks later he moved to Melbourne.
Several weeks later Archibald Cooke of Cooke’s Plains, a good 2 days ride away by horse, was the first initiate, at an emergency meeting. To get to Adelaide he would have forded the final reach of the River Murray; there being no bridges across the river in those days. Today a ferry operates at this site, Wellington township.
The Lodge later met in stables at the rear of the Freemasons’ Tavern in Pirie Street (pictured, 1862), before the Alfred Masonic Hall was built in Waymouth Street at a site purchased in 1866.
Brethren, I’m sure you will all join with me in good wishes to Wor Bro PA Creer the current Worshipful Master of Duke of Leinster Lodge No 363 I.C. his Officers and Members, as they mark this magnificent achievement for Irish Freemasonry on the far side of the globe. And I’m particularly grateful to Wor Bro Rick Num, their Irish Italian Secretary, who keeps us all well briefed and up to date on Antipodian Masonry.