The story is closely allied to the erection of the Memorial Centre at 133 Ann Street Brisbane.
Shortly after the establishment of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, R.W. Bro. F.W. Buckham suggested it was timely “to erect a significant building to house the Headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland.” A site was chosen at what is now 133 Ann Street, when Most Wor. Bro. Alexander Gorrie was the Grand Master in 1921-1922. His successor R.W. Bro. Charles Stumm, who was Grand Master from 1922 until his death in 1929, was the real force behind the erection of the new Centre, being ably assisted by the Grand Secretary R.W. Bro. C.H. Harley. These worthy Gentlemen came upon an idea to raise the monies required for the erection of this building.
***Paragraph 6, Clause (a) on page 158, provides that all Queensland Masons (outside the Districts of North Queensland and Carpentaria), who are on the Register of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland on the 1st July, 1925, shall pay a levy of £4, at the rate of 4/- per half year, payable by each member with the half-yearly Lodge Dues, to the Lodge Secretary, who will forward the moneys so collected to the Grand Secretary together with the Lodge Dues. Should a Brother be a member of more than one Lodge he can elect through which Lodge he will pay his levy.
If any member of a Lodge so desires, he can pay the full amount of £4 in one sum or any part thereof in advance, and by so doing he will assist to expedite the erection of the Temple. Anyone joining the Craft, either by Initiation or by Affiliation after 30th June, 1925, will have to pay the levy for unexpired time that the levy is in force from the date of his joining until the levy ceases.
Clause 6 provides that every Initiate after 30th June, 1925, to any Lodge on the Register of Grand Lodge (including District Grand Lodges) shall pay in addition to the Initiation Fee provided in the By-Laws of the Lodge the sum of £1/1/-, which shall be remitted to Grand Lodge and credited to “The United Grand Lodge Building Fund.”
On page 159 of the Proceedings reference is made to the scheme, known as “The Hall Stone Jewel Fund”, this is a purely voluntary scheme, but it is hoped that the majority of Lodges will support it.****
The qualification of a Hall Stone Lodge was a voluntary contribution, which may have include a donation from the funds of the Lodge, but irrespective of the Levy, of a minimum of £2 per member, excepting Country Members which was to be £1 each. The total was calculated on the members at the end of the quarter in which notification of intention to qualify was received by the Grand Secretary. The minimum amount for which a Hall Stone Jewel cuould be obtained was £50.
Brethren belonging to more than one Lodge who subscribed not less than £2 in respect to one of their Lodges were to be counted at the £1 rate in respect of any other Lodge of which they were members. Subscriptions to the Hall Stone Lodge Fund could be spread over five years if desired.
Every Lodge qualifying as above was to be recorded in a suitable manner in the new building as a Hall Stone Lodge, and was entitled to a special jewel, to be worn as a collarette by each successive Wor. Master during his year of Office. Hall Stone Jewel Lodges were to be noted in any printed list of Grand Lodge by a special symbol.
Hall Stone Jewels were presented in Grand Lodge by the M.W. Grand Master, or his representative, to the Masters of Lodges, which had paid to the Grand Secretary of this United Grand Lodge the necessary amount to qualify them.
It was anticipated that a number of Brethren would also avail themselves of the opportunity of furthering so worthy an object as the erection of a Masonic Temple for Queensland by contributing voluntary sums towards it. The Board of General Purposes trusted that the amount received from voluntary contributions wouldl be considerable.
In total, there were 117 Hall Stone Jewels presented, resulting in £73,760 ($114,500) being raised in this manner. Lodges holding a Hall Stone Jewel are permitted to add the letter “H’ after their Lodge numbers. Some of these Jewels were awarded to Royal Arch Chapters. The colour of the ribbon is sky blue, and the Jewels are numbered and are inscribed with the name and number of the Lodge holding same, Jewel No. 1 going to Prince of Wales Lodge No.3 “H’.
The Memorial Temple, the Parliament of Freemasonry in Queensland, was officially opened and dedicated on Wednesday December 10th, 1930.
Construction of the Jewels:
The Jewels were made by Wallace Bishop Jeweller of Albert Street Brisbane. The actual Craftsman who constructed them was Eric Faux, to a design by R.W. Bro. F.J. Wilkes, who also designed the Grand Lodge Standard, the Grand Lodge Crest and the clock in the Grand Hall. Bro. Faux was initiated in North Australian Lodge No. 7 in 1910.
The Jewels were made from gold sovereigns that had just been withdrawn from Australian Currency. They were composed of gold 22ct alloyed to 9ct, melted and rolled to 16 gauge roughly in the form of a square. These were placed in a lathe and recessed, leaving two rims. The letters Hallstone Jewel UGLQ were stamped on the die (a block of steel) and soldered in position.
The wreath at the bottom, was cut out by hand, the silver disc enamelled blue and surmounted by UGLQ Coat of Arms and silver-lined was also stamped on the die and fixed in the center of the Jewel.
Above the Jewel, the Square and Compasses, and the Letter “G” were mounted on a cube. They were all hand made, the cube being shaped from a block. The frame above this section was cast in “cuttlefish” i.e. two halves, one with the template impressioned and the other half plain, and the two sections wired together for the molten gold to be poured in.
Inside the frame, the name of the Lodge is enamelled in dark blue. Jack Love whose business was in Burnett Lane just off Albert Street did all the engraving on the Jewels. All the jump rings, as well as the fastener at the ribbon around the neck are 9ct gold.
At the bottom of the Jewel on the reverse side is stamped W.B. 9ct.
Both Eric Faux and C.W. Bishop were members of Brisbane Lodge No. 279 U.G.L.Q. The years 1925 to 1930 were times of the Great Depression. The average weekly wage at that time was the equivalent of $11.17. Today, the average weekly wage is computed to $500 plus. These early Brethren sacrificed more than one - third of their week’s wages to build our magnificent Centre. Are we as generous today?
The Masters of Lodges granted Hallstone Jewels were among the Official guests at the dedication of the Temple on the 29th December, 1930. No further Hall Stone Jewels could be struck after this date.
Consider and wear with pride your Hallstone Jewel. Their present material value is over $3000 and are no longer replaceable. Their Masonic worth is beyond price.