Lodge Name Victoria Falls Lodge No 5327 EC
Location Livingstone
Meeting place Freemason’s Hall
Date of Consecration Saturday December 29th 1931
Regular meeting day First Thursday
Installation Second Saturday September
   
Worshipful Master Chris Hopes
Senior Warden Sanjay Bhukan
Junior Warden Jasu Nayee
Secretary Wor Bro C.Hopes
Contact details all communication through the secretary
P.O.Box 61160, Livingstone

(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)

(compiled by Wor Bro W.J.D.Godsall)

Victoria Falls Lodge was consecrated on December 29th 1931.  The Consecrating Officer was Wor Bro William Dawn Copely, D.D.G.M., P.A.G.D.C., assisted by Wor Bro Major C.Duly, D.S.O., D.A.G.D.C. as SW, Wor Bro F.Rettie R.W.M. of David Livingstone as JW, plus other Officers.  44 people signed the attendance register and this included brethren as far afield along the line of rail.  It is worth noting that after completing this Consecration the D.D.G.M. and his party then traveled to Mufulira to perform a similar duty on January 2nd 1932.

Before the formation of the Lodge preliminary meetings were held through the year to determine modalities of operation.  Most of the meetings took place at either private houses or at the Railway Refreshment Room.  One of the main issues to decide was which Constitution to adopt – Irish or English (there was already a Scottish Constitution Lodge- Lodge David Livingstone consecrated February 11th 1924).

In the early years there appears to have been some conflict between the two Constitutions.  Lodge David Livingstone already had their own Temple and wanted to charge Victoria Falls Lodge a rental of £ 75 per annum.  The fledgling Lodge could not afford this so the search was on to find an alternative.  This took the form of returning to the Girl Guides’ hut used before consecration, use of a room in a Government school as well as either purchase of a hut from the government and construction of a purpose building.  Ultimately a hut (built of iron and wood and which had served as single quarters) was leased in 1934.  Acoustics in this proved to be a challenge especially when performing workings.  The discussion to purchase/build a property was taken at a special meeting held on October 14th 1937.  Ultimately it was decided to shelve any decisions, and on March 7th 1946 (subsequent to the conclusion of World War II hostilities) it was decided to sell and then rebuild.  While building was underway Victoria Falls Lodge found refuge in the Lodge David Livingstone Temple (rent £ 24 per annum).  The ceremony of laying the Foundation Stone was celebrated on November 11th 1950 and the first meeting in the new Temple was recorded on November 1st 1951.  The new building was named Victoria Hall.

Important names in the history of Victoria Falls Lodge include those of Wor Bro A.J.Johnson, Wor Bro D.F.Lucas and Wor Bro F.L.Wood.  Wor Bro Johnson occupied the Chair of King Solomon twice – in 1934/35 and again in 1962/63, and served the Lodge in various offices for many years.  He was recognised with district honours in both Craft and Chapter.  WorBro Lucas was initiated, passed and raised in 1959 and then moved to Ndola where his untimely passing to the GLA caused widespread mourning and regret.   Wor Bro Wood was the first Deputy Grand Master in the District of Zambia, initiated in 1951 and then moved to Lusaka becoming Master of Eagle Lodge in 1958/59.  He continued to support Victoria Falls Lodge throughout his masonic career, travelling regularly to Livingstone to support the Lodge and its Chapter.

On December 5th 1957 Victoria Falls Lodge agreed to sponsor a new Lodge under the English Constitution at Hwange (formerly Wankie) and which was consecrated on July 18th 1959.  “We went down to the Consecration at Wankie in two cars.  The one car broke down and I loaded up all the people from that car in my car.  Then my driver – when I go on a trip I always take my driver with me – took us down to Wankie, then he went back to Livingstone, took the break-down van, went back, picked up the broken down car, took it to Livingstone and then came back to Wankie to pick us all up again.  And on the way home I rolled down the mountainside.  No, not my car but me personally,     I suppose I was a bit unbalanced”. (Wor Bro A.Kohler).

The Victoria Falls Royal Chapter was consecrated some eleven months after the Lodge, on December 3rd 1932.  Consecration was carried out by Wor Bro W.I.Storm, P.A.G.D.C.  The Chapter had a ‘travelling’ Charter which enabled it to hold Convocations outside the normal place of residence.  Thus there were meetings held in Nkana (Kitwe) (at the Astra Cinema) and in Kabwe (Broken Hill).  At these ‘away from home meetings’ it was not uncommon to hold exaltations for aspiring candidates.  Originally the Chapter used the Perfect Ceremonies, but this was changed to Aldersgate for uniformity within the Group.  (It is of interest to note that Wor Bro Storm was also instrumental in formation of the Victoria Falls Mark Lodge No 912.).  In 1949:  “Ex Comp Johnson stated that the Brolund Royal Arch Chapter at Broken Hill, which had been in recess for some time, was being resuscitated under the banner of Lodge Lusaka.  At their request the Chapter’s regalia and banners had been lent to them and forwarded to Lusaka.  They had been promptly returned when they had served their purpose.” (Reg Conv. 20th Jan. 1949)

In the early years Victoria Falls Lodge was strong and vibrant.  However as the country developed the centres of importance moved away from Livingstone and this impacted on the Lodges.  Both Constitutions struggled.  At the roposed formation of the District Grand Lodge of Zambia the brethren of Victoria Falls voted 14 to one against the formation, a reason being quoted “………we were financially not in a position to donate £ 100 towards the expense of forming the District Grand Lodge of Zambia,………..”.  This however did not preclude holding of the first District Quarterly Communication on August 5th 1967 in Victoria Hall in Livingstone.  Similar challenges were faced in the Royal Arch, an effect being no Conventions held between September 1969 and September 1970.  This continued through to later years with the Charter falling into dormancy.  The Craft warrant has been maintained but the Lodge has struggled to hold Regular meetings due to not having a quorum.  Visiting brethren from outside the District have been welcomed to the Lodge, but this has tended to be haphazard, whilst Installations have been well supported by the D.G.M.