A Review Of Lodge De Goede Verwachting After One Hundred Years
This article was first published in the Centenary Brochure. Lodge de Goede Verwachting celebrated its centenary on the 21st of August 2008. For highlights of this event, read the Report of the Centenary Celebration
In the year 1908 a number of lodges belonging to four Constitutions which operated in South Africa (i.e. England, Ireland, Scotland and The Netherlands) already existed in the Cape Peninsula. Nevertheless, a group of Masons petitioned the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands for the formation of a new lodge. A charter was granted and thus on the 23rd of June in that year Lodge De Goede Verwachting number 96 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands was consecrated with Wor. Bro. C.R. Goodspeed installed as its first Presiding Master.
The lodge grew to become the largest in South Africa with a membership at one time of more than 250 members. There were large attendances at the ceremonial meetings with many visitors being welcomed.
On 4th February 1961, the Grand Lodge of South Africa was established incorporating all the South African lodges which were chartered by the Grand Lodge of The Netherlands and Lodge De Goede Verwachting became No. 23 on its roll. From the time of its inception, the lodge held its meetings in De Goede Trouw Temple in St. Johns Street, Gardens, Cape Town. When the building which housed the temple was sold in 1966, the lodge moved to the beautiful and more spacious Goede Hoop Temple - the home of the mother lodge of South Africa.
The finances of the lodge are in fine shape and this is a tribute to the excellent treasurers who have served the lodge over the years and likewise, the smooth running of the lodge has in large measure been due to the diligent Presiding Masters and secretaries who have played a pivotal role in this regard.
A feature of the lodge is its focus on ensuring that its ceremonial workings are of high quality and decorum. It also encourages its members to study the tenets of Freemasonry and thus enrich their lives.
It is a notable achievement of the lodge that many of its members have been honoured over the years with Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge rank.
Members of the lodge have played a prominent role in public service.
The late Wor. Bro. Morris Alexander was a Member of Parliament.
The late Wor. Bro. Louis Gradner and his son the late Wor. Bro. Walter Gradner both served as mayors of Cape Town.
Brethren of the lodge have also held high office in service organisations as well as in church and synagogue affairs.
V. Wor. Bro. Izzy Wolman served as District Governor and Chairman of the Council of Governors of the Lions Multiple District in Southern Africa.
We are honoured to have as a member Rt. Wor. Bro. Morris Levin who served as Provincial Grand Master (Southern Division), presently holds the rank of Past Provincial Grand Master (Southern Division), presently holds the rank of Past Deputy Grand Master and is the recipient of the Order of Service (O.S.M.) which is the highest award that can be given to any brother and is restricted to only a few. He has a similar title, M.S.A. from the Royal Arch. In addition, he is also the recipient of the Order of Merit from the Grand Lodge of Israel, which is unique as he is not a domicile of that country.
For many years the lodge was the largest contributor to the Masonic Education Fund, sponsored by all four Constitutions. It also subscribes to three senior citizens homes established by the Provincial Grand Lodge in the Western Cape.
A By-Law of the lodge requires that twice a year an outing or entertainment for senior citizens or needy children should be organized. Lodge De Goede Verwachting sponsored four daughter lodges - Lodge Muizenberg, founded in 1934; Lodge Alexander in 1949; Lodge Kaapstad in 1958 and Lodge Peninsula in 1962.
The fact that daughter lodges were consecrated enabled members who aspired to be elevated to higher office in a reasonable period of time, the opportunity to do so, whereas previously they would have waited many years.
Lodge De Goede Verwachting was the first Masonic lodge to participate officially at the annual Community Carnival held at Maynardville, Wynberg. This was due to the initiative of Wor. Bro. Rory Gruss. The outcome of his vision was the creation of a section of the Carnival to become known as “The Freemasons Square” wherein many lodges participate as a group and each year raise a significant sum of money which is distributed to worthy charities supported by the Community Chest. In this way lodges demonstrate to the public a practical example of one of the tenets of the Craft.
The lodge has its own website which contains much information about the Order and excellent articles written by members of the craft. We are appreciative and thankful to both Bro. Desmond Lemmon-Warde and his wife Kathy for creating this website.
This is but a brief review of the lodge on the occasion of its centenary celebration and is based on the memories of Rt. Wor Bro. Morris Levin, Rt. Wor Bro Sydney Raymond and V. Wor. Bro Izzy Wolman as well as an article written when the Lodge celebrated its 75 anniversary. It is interesting to note that the combined length of membership of these three brethren totals 184 years. The lodge was named “ De Goede Verwachting” meaning “good expectations”. Have the expectations of our founders been fulfilled? We believe that indeed, they have!