No record exists of preliminary meetings regarding the formation of a Masonic Lodge in Maleny, but Nambour dentist, Wor. Bro. E.R.P. Wainwright who paid regular professional visits to Maleny was influential , as was Bro. C.H. Dinning both members of Nambour Lodge.
Bro. Dinning used to ride cross country to attend meetings in Nambour. They gained support from members of Nambour Lodge and formalities were completed in 1913. Sufficient interest was generated that some potential local candidate were initiated at Nambour to become foundation members of a lodge in Maleny. Thus Maleny became a de facto daughter lodge of Nambour No 50 of the Grand Lodge operating at the time..
Eighteen brethren made up the Foundation Members,, comprising 8 from Maleny, 9 from Nambour and 1 from Woodford. The meeting venue was the Union Church, the first Master was Wor. Bro. E.R.P.Wainwright and the Secretary Bro. S.A. Sallaway.
The Lodge was titled “Dunlop Lodge” in honour of Bro. Francis Dunlop, who became the Lodge’s first Treasurer and probably a benefactor.
Consecration took place on 13th October 1913 with M.W. Bro. A.M. Hertzberg presiding. Investiture of Officers was carried out by Deputy Grand Master, M.W.Bro.W.M.Jones. They had travelled by train to Landsborough and were transported to Maleny by buggy and wagon.
The Lodge was numbered 60 on the Register of the first Queensland Grand Lodge formed with the support of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. The Lodge was now operational.
A Temple at Birch Street.
The Lodge Meeting Place had moved to the Baptist Church and during 1914 as the Lodge prospered a move started to establish its own Temple.. Bro. Dunlop offered to donate a site, but the Lodge chose to buy land nearer town in Beech Street at a cost of 35 Pounds.. He donated 15 pounds , Wor. Bro. Dinning donated 10 pouinds, and various brethren made up the rest. A quote of 424 pounds for the new building was accepted with five brethren acting as guarantors. This amount included furniture and fencing. Specialised furniture was made and donated by Wor. Bro. Sallaway who was a gifted craftsman.
In spite of some 20% of lodge brethren serving in World War I the building proceeded and on 8th December 1916, M.W.Bro. Hertzberg attended again to dedicate the new building., Wor. Bro.Sallaway was installed as Master on the same night.
The Lodge purchased and organ for 15 pounds in 1923 and a supper room was built under the Lodge in 1924 at a cost of 44 pounds, eighteen shillings. A Master’s Chair was donated by Bro. A. Templeman in 1928 and electric light was installed in 1940.
World War II again placed strain on the membership, but the small band of Past Masters and brethren remaining kept the lodge functioning successfully. The Lodge celebrated its first 50 years with a Golden Jubilee Meeting in 1963. In 1964/65. Bro.Outridge was granted honorary membership for his services as organist .
Beech Street Temple was showing its age.
Tamarind Street Centre.
Around 1969 discussions commenced on the advisability of building a new Temple leading to formation of a building committee. Chairman was Bro. Rowley Gilliland and his enthusiasm saw the work started. On his transfer to Toowoomba, Bro. Frank Geritz took over and Chairman to see the work completed. Bros. George Gibson and Reg Gittins donated the land in Tamarind Street.
To finance the project, the Beech Street Temple was sold on 29th January 1970, and a loan obtained from the Grand Lodge Country Building Fund. Additional financial support came from members, and countless hours of voluntary work were given.
First meeting in the new venue took place on 9th September 1970, Bro. Trevor Moore being initiated. Dedication of the Lodge was yet to come. Dedication and Name Change. On 14th November 1970 The Grand Master M.W.Bro.J.A.R.Thompson presided over the Dedication Ceremony following which Bro.Hawkins was installed as
Wor. Master. To more clearly identify the lodge, its name was changed to Maleny Lodge on this date.
In June 1977, R.Wor. Bro. V. Waddell presented to the Lodge, on behalf of his two sisters and himself a Memorial Jewel to commemorate the over 50 years service of their father.
In 1980, Foundation Member, Wor. Bro. Dinning, at age 100 years, was presented with a 70 year Service Jewel. In 1982, the Lodge congratulated M.W. Bro. Walter Burnett on his elevation to Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, which office he held for the customary 3 years. On completion of this service, he was knighted by the Queen, becoming Sir Walter J. Burnett in 1987.
Meticulous recorder of the minutes from which much of this information is extracted, Wor. Bro. George Guille PSGW served as Secretary for over 20 years, retiring in 1989, but continued serving occasionally as Assistant Secretary until prevented by age and ill health.
Through the nineties and to the present, Lodge business has been largely normal. In 1991, Master of Montville Lodge, Wor. Bro. Jack Wallis proposed that the two lodges assist one another with stewards at installations, an arrangement that has expanded to bring the two Lodges close together. An international event was the initiation of a young Italian man, Cristiano Toselli, in Maleny to stay with his father’s cousin to perfect his English. His father, a member of Guiseppi Mazzini Lodge in San Remo, came out from Italy for the ceremony. Cristiano has since returned to Italy.
Socials and Ladies nights are recorded intermittently, with Monthly BBQs, first at brethren’s homes and subsequently as facilities improved, in the Lodge Supper Room. Remodelling of the kitchen took place in 1988 and a hot water system installed.
The Lodge has supported, and continues to support various local charities from time to time. Regular projects include Book Presentations on Anzac Day, a Bursary to two High School students annually, and assistance to the Show Society, manning a gate at Show Time.
The Masonic Centre. In the last 10 years, a steady improvement of the building has been ongoing, with assistance from the UGLQ Country Building fund and a lot of volunteer labour. Ramps at the entrance, and internally between the ante-room and the lodge room have made the premises wheelchair friendly. Kitchen facilities particularly have been raised to a very high standard. The grounds have been landscaped and the building presents well to passing traffic.
Music. In 1988, the Lodge had been several years without an organist and lacked a proper instrument. Montville’s organist helped out for Karl Michel’s Installation, leading to him taking the honorary office and an organ being purchased. The present organ was donated by Wor. Bro. Gordon Gentle prior to him moving to Hervey Bay.
The Future. With the fraternal co-operation of Sunshine Coast Lodges and steady membership, including younger members, the Lodge looks forward to the future with confidence.