RW Bro Leslie Hinett and W Bro Leo Werth were neighbours in Kosmos, on the north shore of Hartebeestpoort Dam. One evening, over a beer, they were looking across the dam at the area round Pelindaba, which was being planned for residential development, and the District Grand Master speculated on the pleasing thought of being able to go to lodge by boat.
So they got in touch with W Bro John Ilsley (an employee of the Atomic Energy Corporation and a Past Master of Corinthian Lodge) and having located 19 founders, the petition for the new lodge was submitted and granted. The original intention was to meet at the masonic hall in Beatrix Street pending the anticipated residential development but in the event the development scheme was cancelled. So the lodge remained at Beatrix Street until the premises were sold in 1982, and after three years in temporary accommodation (described by the Lodge Secretary as ‘devastating for Freemasonry in Pretoria’) the lodge moved into the new complex at The Willows.
Shortly after the lodge was consecrated the Charter Master, John Ilsley, fell victim to a serious – indeed potentially terminal illness and returned to the United Kingdom where, fortunately, he was successfully treated.
1987 was an unhappy year for the lodge, with the Junior Warden dying in May, and the Senior Warden being killed in a car accident in July, also two successive candidates proved unreliable, and overall the lodge – never a large one – went through a difficult period. However, with two candidates and two joining members in 1993, Hartebeestpoort Lodge is, hopefully, set on a better course.
Reference: ‘A Century of Brotherhood’ by A A Cooper & D E G Vieler
What a nice website and what a wonderful way of welcoming me!
Fraternal greetings from the Netherlands, De Schakel Lodge No. 246 in Dordrecht.