|Lodge Name||Roan Antelope Lodge No 5278 EC *|
|Location||Luanshya / Lusaka|
|Date of Consecration||Saturday July 27th 1931|
|Regular meeting day||In recess|
|Contact details||contact District Grand Secretary
P.O.Box 71112, Ndola.
A Very Brief History, compiled by Wor Bro W.J.D.Godsall
(with excerpts from “History of English Freemasonry in Zambia to 1970”, by A.M.L.Entzinger, compiled at the request of the District Grand Lodge of Zambia, Ndola, Zambia, MDCCCCLXXI)
Roan Antelope Lodge No 5278 was consecrated on July 27th 1931. The ceremony was held in the mine guest house which at that time was not large enough to hold all visiting brethren (84 people in total). Those who were unable to attend the ceremony were made welcome at the banquet which was held at the mine mess (and to which ladies were also invited). The Lodge was sponsored by Lodge Luangwa No 4820 EC and the consecrating officer was the District Master, Rt Wor Bro Major R.H.Everett C.B.E. He was accompanied by Wor Bro H.B.Maggs as Senior Warden and Wor Bro G.Bobeson as Junior Warden and other Officers.
From consecration to 1937 meetings were held in the same building. Membership was affected by losses through brethren continually moving away, resulting in occasions were the Lodge had to rely on visitors from David Ogilvie to make a quorum. Several meetings were also held in Ndola. During this period the Lodge had the foresight to set up a building fund for construction of a new Temple this was completed in 1937, just in time as the old residential area disappeared with the ground collapse caused through mining. The Installation on 13th July 1937 was held with Special Dispensation in a private house at 44 E Avenue and was carried out with minimal working. Although the Lodge was affected by the depression of the 1930s (in terms of numbers) the onset of hostilities with the second World War did not have the same impact (similar to Lodges elsewhere domiciled in mine towns).
Common to the period the Lodge paid many visits to other Lodges. “In the olden days there was no bridge across the Kafue River, it had to be crossed by pontoon. That led to many adventures of course. One of us used to take a .303 with him. Since the operators of the pontoon had their huts on the Luanshya side, when we had to come home at any time during day or night and we couldn’t draw their attention by waving or shouting, we just fired a shot off in the air. Coming home from Mufulira one night about one o’clock, we fired the usual shot and then one of the fellers said: ’Look at that big dog walking around’. We found the big dog allright, there were more than one and they were lions. We stayed there till three o’clock in the morning before we could on across the river. On another occasion we had come to this side when we hit a young lion. Some of our people, very brave of course, got out and stuck it on the big mudguard of the motor car we were driving, hoping to show it off at home. It was beautiful moonlight night and suddenly we felt a shake and there the lion toddled off into the bush. We were all stunned”. (WorBro A.Hosken)
The new Temple was dedicated on March 21st 1938 in a ceremony conducted by the D.G.M Rt Wor Bro Dawn Copely. The building went through several stages of development linked to fraternal activities in the town. The original building constructed in 1937 had no sewerage and used a bucket latrine (common everywhere). In 1950 the first extension was undertaken and developing cracks were shored up and supported. This was also intended to accommodate two new lodges in the town – Tranquilty Lodge No 7278 of the EC (consecrated November 28th 1953) and Lodge Luanshya St Andrews No 1481 of the Scottish Constitution (consecrated in 1953). In 1956 a new refectory was established and a new kitchen in 1968. In 1970 a fresh extension was added to the refectory. The building was of great service to the community through to the 1990s when Roan Antelope Lodge No 5278 went into recess and the building disposed of.
Roan Antelope Lodge produced many fine masons. Two of prominence were Wor Bro A Wroth who became the Deputy District Grand Master of Rhodesia (and who initiated his son in the Lodge on January 5th 1961) and Wor Bro Frank Duretic who contributed to all the Constitutions in Zambia but was particularly prominent in the English where he was initiated on August 12th 1941. The Lodge also provided two District Grand masters of Zambia, namely Rt Wor Bro Mac Hector McDonald and Rt Wor Bro I.C.Milward.
Luanshya Royal Arch Chapter was consecrated on Saturday July 13th 1946 with Sir Ellis Robins (D.G.M.) as the Consecrating Officer. This date preceded the Consecration of the District Grand Chapter of Rhodesia by some nine years, with the District holding its first Quarterly Convocation under the banner of Luanshya on December 3rd 1955. Wor Bro E.S.Speck (resident in Mufulira and the first D.G.M of the District Grand Lodge of Zambia) was exalted in Luanshya Royal Arch Chapter (prior to establishment of a Royal Arch Chapter in Mufulira).
Retrogressive economic times in the 1990s and early 2000s affected the Lodge dramatically (effects already having impacted on the other Lodges in Luanshya). The Lodge went into recess and is currently dormant. The Warrant has been retained by District Grand Lodge with the intention of applying it to the University Scheme where there exists untapped potential for development of the fraternity.