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Portrait of
RW Bro Barron Lewis Barnett
from the foyer of Lodge Room No.4,
Masonic Centre, Ann St., Brisbane

Lodge History

Barron Barnett Lodge of Research was consecrated on the 15th August, 1903. It was consecrated by the District Grand Master R.W.Bro.Gregory of the District Grand Lodge of Queenland, English Constitution. District Deputy Grand Master R.W.Bro.Barron Barnett not only participated in the consecration but also became the Foundation Master and eponymous namesake of the Lodge.

R W Bro Sir Augustus Charles Gregory
R W Bro Sir Augustus Charles Gregory

Queensland Freemasonry at the Turn of the 19th Century:
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Masonry in Queensland consisted of 54 Lodges under the District Grand Lodge of England, 59 Lodges under the District Grand Lodge of Scotland and 31 Lodges under the District Grand Lodge of Ireland. These District Grand Lodges had limited powers and were continually frustrated by the tyranny of distance which caused long delays in communication with, guidance and permission from, the respective Grand Lodges in the United Kingdom.

The constituent Lodges of the above District Grand Lodges tried unsuccessfully in 1887, 1889, and 1897 to form a United Grand Lodge of Queensland.

In 1902, various Lodges approached Bro.Sir Samuel Walker Griffith and later, Bro.Augustus Charles Gregory, to head the movement towards unification, but both declined. In April 1904, 25 Irish and 14 Scottish constitution Lodges established the Grand Lodge of Queensland with M.W.Bro.G.S.Hutton as Grand Master. No Lodges from the District Grand Lodge of England joined their ranks.

The Genesis of Barron Barnett Lodge of Research:
In June 1903, at Quarterly Communications of the District Grand Lodge of England, the District Board of General Purposes recommended the establishment of a Lodge of Instruction upon the lines of the Emulation Lodge of Instruction in London, UK. The primary purpose would be to establish some uniformity of ritual.

On Monday August 10, 1903, an inaugural meeting of 17 Installed Masters, mostly prominent members of the English District Grand Lodge, was held to form a Lodge of Instruction. The chairman of this meeting, was R.W.Bro.Barron Lewis Barnett, Deputy Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of England.

According to R.W.Bro.Ken Wells who prepared a history of Barron Barnett Lodge in 2003, the first critical resolution submitted to the meeting in 1903 by R.W.Bro.Alexander Corrie was that “It is expedient to form a lodge and to present a petition for a Warrant”. It was seconded by W.Bro.J.D.Reeve.

The second resolution, also moved by R.W.Bro.Corrie, and seconded by W.Bro.F.G.Nevill was “That the lodge be called “Adorim Lodge”. There was an amendment for the lodge to be called “Dormer Lodge” and a second amendment that it be called “Unity Lodge”. Both amendments were lost and the original motion was put and carried.

However, a later resolution in the next forty-eight hours, signed by 43 brethren decided that the lodge be called “Barron Barnett Lodge”.

Lodge Consecration:
In short order, on Saturday 15 August, 1903, five days after the original meeting, Barron Barnett Lodge No.3011 English Constitution, was duly consecrated and dedicated by the District Grand Master, R.W.Bro.Augustus, Charles Gregory, Deputy District Grand Master, Barron Lewis Barnett and Grand Officers. Indeed, many members of the Board of General Purposes were present and became foundation members of the Lodge.

District Grand Master Gregory called on his Deputy R.W.Bro.Barron Barnett to perform the consecration and dedication. The petition specified that R.W.Bro.Barnett was the Master, R.W.Bro.Corrie the Senior Warden and R.W.Bro.Reeve the Junior Warden. The District Grand Master Gregory then installed R.W.Bro.Barnett as Foundation Master of the Lodge.

Notwithstanding the proposed Lodge names mentioned in R.W.Bro.Ken Wells' 2003 history of Barron Barnett Lodge, in a 1979 biography of Barron Lewis Barnett, W.Bro.N.E.Booth stated that the new lodge was to be called the Lodge of Installed Masters, Warrant No.3011, United Grand Lodge of England.

Whatever the truth of these varying records, and they are not mutually exclusive, both writers agree that the foundation members of the Lodge unanimously agreed to change the planned name to Barron Barnett Lodge in recongnition of the great service given to Freemasonry in Queensland by R.W.Bro.Barron Barnett.

Barron Lewis Barnett had been Deputy District Grand Master for the District Grand Lodge of the United Grand Lodge of England for 23 years and was, as stated above, Foundation Master of the Lodge.

Uniquely, R.W.Bro.Barnett not only officiated at the consecration of his eponymous Lodge but was also its first Master.