The Formation Cooroora Preceptory

In July 1959, four Bro. Knights discussed the idea of forming a new Masonic Order on the Sunshine Coast, Bro Kt Ross Kerr; Bro Kt Bertie Mitchell; Bro Kt Wm. Ramm; and Bro Kt R.H. Garland. It was suggested by the then Scribe Ezra that they should consider the Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine. However, there were only two members of the current Nambour Companions that were members of that degree (Comp Ramm and Ross Kerr). It was also broached that ten Bro Knights lived in the Nambour District and a Preceptory could be formed. In 1961, when all the certificated were obtained, some from London, fourteen Bro. Knights, all from Wide Bay Preceptory, put forward a petition to the Provincial Prior (V. Em Knight Dr. L.T. Jobbins) who was enthusiastic to have the new Preceptory formed. Dr Jobbins did not care for the name Nambour Preceptory, so Bro Kt Kerr suggested the name Cooroora (the original name of the electorate) be adopted. Dr Jobbins agreed and the petition was sent to London.

In September 1960 it was discussed who to be the first Foundation Eminent Preceptor and it was decided that Bro Kt B Mitchell be awarded the honour with Bro Kt Ramm to follow.

The final meeting before the Consecration of the Preceptory was held at 2.30 pm. on the 28th August 1961 at the Nambour Masonic Temple, with some trepidation.

“Another dismal discussion then took place in which it was agreed that the Preceptory was doomed to failure and we should stop now.” Bro Kt Garland spoke with feeling on this matter. It was pointed out that they only had twelve members. It was also pointed out they had gone too far and they were duty bound to continue.”

Knight TemplarThe original Consecration was planned for the 3rd Saturday in September, but it was finally decided to approach the Grand Preceptor for permission to change the date to the 5th Saturday in September as there were a large number of other Masonic functions on that date. A majority of the Preceptory furniture was made by various Bro Knights or members of other Masonic Orders, reducing the set up costs significantly (the furniture alone if purchased from England would be in excess of £250). Wide Bay Preceptory donated £25 for the initial running of the Preceptory.

The Consecration of Cooroora Preceptory No. 372 took place in the Yandina Masonic Temple on Saturday 30th September 1961.

The Officers of the Preceptory were practiced in the movement for the ceremony during the afternoon by the Officers of the Provincial Preceptory – lead by the Provincial Prior, Dr. L.T. Jobbins. The setting up of the Preceptory was also carried out by the Provincial Preceptory and when this was done it was a credit to all concerned.

The visiting Preceptories were well represented and the chamber looked magnificent with the furnishings of the visiting members in full regalia. The service of the Consecration was the first to be done in 32 years. Of all those present, only one member – M Em Preceptor Kelly, had ever seen the work done before.

The evening’s proceedings opened at 5.45 pm and closed at 10.00 pm.

A very successful banquet followed that was arranged by the wives for the ravenous members. The banquet finished at 11.30 pm.

Each of the new Preceptory members expressed their personal delight at the whole proceedings.

After that Cooroora Preceptory met at Yandina Masonic Centre until July 1973 when they moved to Nambour as the Yandina centre had become too small to hold their meetings. It is interesting that the Charter recorded Nambour as the meeting place. This was because the Temple committee decided to sell the old Temple and seek new premises and the only place left was Maroochy (Yandina).

On the 30th January 1982, Cooroora Preceptory petitioned the Rt Em Provincial Prior to investigate the formation of a Grand Priory of Northern Australia “freeing members, at least partially from the financial burden now imposed by London”. On the 30th June 1984 a Special Meeting to determine if Cooroora wished to come under the Jurisdiction of the Priory of Queensland or remain under the present Grand Priory. It was unanimously carried to join the Great Priory of Queensland, Number 13 on its roll.

In September 2005 the Preceptory moved to Maroochydore Masonic Centre where the 50 year reconsecration was undertaken.

Brothers that are interested in joining the Knights Templar are advised to contact the registrar.

V.E.Kt. V.G. (Vernon) Flood
Ph: (H) 5476 0615
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