There was a general expansion of Freemasonry throughout the District after the Second World War and although a new lodge (Pretoria No 6017) had been consecrated only in 1945, its growth was seen as justifying the sponsoring of another lodge within seven years. And the consecration of this new lodge, Arcadia, was to be a unique occasion in South Africa, for the ceremony was conducted in the presence of the MW the Grand Master, the Earl of Scarbrough, with over 1000 brethren filling the Pretoria City Hall. As W Bro McAdam, Deputy District Grand Master, said, in a memorable oration:
‘The presence of the Head of our Order at the consecration of a lodge.. ..in the Transvaal.. ..is without precedent in our annals. We greatly rejoice in the unexampled boon we thus enjoy, which will make this gathering memorable to us for all time.’
The Lodge had 31 founders and its Charter Master was W Bro Dr F J Hauptfleisch, who was to become an Assistant District Grand Master in the following year. W Bro W S McAdam, was also a founder and the list included 13 Past Masters and 18 Master Masons. However, only four of the latter were to go forward to the chair and early recruits included Bro R G Hauptfleisch, son of the Charter Master and Master of the Lodge twice, and Bro P J L Groenewald, likewise twice through the chair and ultimately the recipient of Grand honours in 1988.
As with all but one of the ‘English’ lodges in Pretoria, Arcadia met at Beatrix Street until the masonic hall was sold in 1982, then after almost two years in temporary premises the Lodge moved to the new complex at The Willows.
The 1980s were difficult years for the Lodge with membership falling from the 40s to about 25. However, the WM for 1992/3, in his report, expressed the aim of the Lodge as being ‘to regain the high esteem’ of twenty years ago.
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.