Southern Cross Lodge: Spirtuality in Johannesburg, Gauteng
Closer to home, two of our fellow tenant Lodges at the Southern Masonic Centre, Rewlatch, were also consecrated in 1952. These were Lodge Braemar No 1469 (Scottish Constitution), consecrated 24th March and Losie Dromedaris No 1471 (Scottish Constitution, working in Afrikaans, consecrated 1st May.
According to the history of Lodge Braemar, "50" Not Out, the founders of their Lodge wanted a more "Scottish" Lodge than those existing in the Southern Suburbs at that time. "Initiates and Affiliates having a Scottish connection" were required. Quite obviously the founders of Losie Dromedaris were desirous of having a Lodge working in their own mother tongue. In fact, Losie Dromedaris was the first Scottish Lodge ever to be given dispensation to work in Afrikaans. So why was it deemed necessary tohave another English Lodge in the Southern Suburbs?
Rumour has it that Southern Cross was founded to accommodate Brethren of the Ancient Faith. There certainly were a large number of Jewish names on the membership list in the early years and on more than a few occasions it was necessary to apply for dispensation to change meeting dates as they clashed with Jewish Religious Celebrations and holidays. The officially accredited story is that when the late Rt. WBro JH Vivian attended his first Installation meeting as District Grand Master at the Ionic Lodge No. 3235 in May 1951, he suggested that the time had come for the forming of a new Lodge working under the English Constitution in the Southern Area of Johannesburg. WBro R Sandeman and Bro VR King acted on this suggestion and in co-operation with Brethren from the Fordsburg and Ionic Lodges, held a meeting at the residence of Bro King on 21st November 1951. Five Brethren attended this meeting. Further interested Brethren soon joined in and in due course application was submitted to Grand Lodge, the sponsoring Lodge being Ionic Lodge No. 3235, co-sponsored by Fordsburg Lodge No 2718. WBro R Sandeman was formally proposed as Charter Master Designate, Bro PJ van der Westhuizen as Senior Warden Designate and Bro VR King as Junior Warden Designate. Several names for the proposed new Lodge were suggested, the final choice being " The Southern Cross Lodge".
The Southern Cross Lodge No. 7226 E.C. was consecrated in the Alpha Crucis Hall, Main Street, Rosettenville Johannesburg on Tuesday 9th September 1952. The first ten years in the life of our newly-born Lodge were marked by a period of much activity and growth. Fifty-three candidates were initiated during this period, of which fifteen went on to become Master of Southern Cross. These were busy times with Southern Cross Lodge holding twelve regular meetings per year, one of which was the annual installation meeting.
The last time our Lodge met at the Alpha Crucis Hall was the Installation meeting of September 1955. The Lodge then moved to the Kenilworth Hall and then again in 1958 to the Fordsburg Masonic Hall. The necessity of constantly changing venues prompted the Lodges meeting in the South to look for a permanent Temple of their own. A consortium of Lodges purchased an old Dutch Reformed Church at Rewlatch, which was then converted and modernised to become the Masonic Temple for the southern suburbs.
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