UNION LODGE No. 247
The Lodge we know as
In the early days the Lodge was said to have met in the Union
Coffee House, address given as ‘Lots 7 and 8 front of Vlissengen’.
Apparently the hotel Victoria subsequently stood on the site. Neither building
stands today. Whether the name ‘
Because of financial difficulties, there were two management agreements for the building first between Union and Concord administered by “Freemasons Hall Building Committee” and secondly between Union, Concord, Mt. Everest, Rorima and Silent Temple lodges, administered by “Freemasons Management Committee” and then eventually in 1970 District Grand Lodge took over the administration of the building. However, title to the land and buildings still remains with Union Lodge.
Union Lodge went into a period of dormancy from 1833, during the period of emancipation activities, and several epidemics until 1853, when it was revived, and has remained continuously active ever since. On its revival, the original building at Company Path had fallen into disrepair and the Lodge was forced to meet in a building at 125 South Cummingsburg, described and located at the corner of the South end of Parade Ground in Carmichael Street. The efforts of the brethren led to the construction of the first phase of the present Freemason’s Hall building which was completed in July 1862 for the sum of $2,150. The Lodge was extended and improved between July 1874 and January 1873. These improvements resulted in a building of essentially the same form as the present building except that the original imposing tower was removed in 1960 as being too expensive to repair.
Union Lodge has played a prominent role in a number of significant events in the history of the country. Among these was the laying of the foundation stone of St. Phillips Church for which dispensation was obtained to proceed in full regalia to the Church site to perform the ceremony. Similarly, the foundation stone of the Carnegie Library, now the National Library, was laid in 1908 with full Masonic Ceremony.
Union Lodge was involved in the foundation of the first Phoenix Lodge number 1183 in Berbice in November 1867. This was to become dormant, but happily a new Phoenix Lodge was consecrated in 1996. Union Lodge together with Ituni Lodge and Mt. Olive Lodge, were the founding lodges of the District Grand Lodge of British Guiana in 1899. A Past Master of the Lodge R. W. Bro. Thomas Daly was appointed the first District Grand Master with W. Bro. F J Bankart also of Union Lodge as his Deputy.