Media Release

50th Anniversary of Dallas Brooks Masonic Centre Heralds New Beginning for Historic Site


Freemasons Victoria

The Grand Master of Freemasons Victoria, Don Reynolds has used the 50th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone for Dallas Brooks Masonic Centre on 18 March 1967 to pay a tribute to the past leadership of Freemasons Victoria who had the vision and courage to commission and construct one of the most historically significant Melbourne buildings of the 1960s.

The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Hon Linda Dessau AC, this morning celebrated both the 50th anniversary of the laying of the Foundation Stone and a new beginning for the historic site in Albert Street, East Melbourne.

The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Hon Linda Dessau AC; Don Reynolds, Grand Master, Freemasons
Victoria and Mirvac General Manager of Residential Victoria, Elysa Anderson pictured following the unveiling of the Foundation Stone.

Mr Reynolds said "The Dallas Brooks Hall, named after former Victorian Governor and Grand Master of Freemasons Victoria, Sir Dallas Brooks, had become the highly visible centre for Victoria's Freemasons and also played a part in many social and political events in Melbourne for nearly five decades."

The Dallas Brooks Hall, which could seat up to 2,300, had been a major venue for public events such as school speech nights, graduation ceremonies, concerts, public meetings and lectures since its construction and many Victorians have special memories from outings there.

It was also a major venue for musical events, especially pop music in the 1970s, with notable local and overseas acts performing including Skyhooks, Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross, Billy Joel and The Wiggles.

Dallas Brooks Hall was the venue for the first televised Brownlow count in 1970, won by Swans great Peter Bedford, when the Club was known as South Melbourne.

Mr Reynolds said today's special unveiling of the original gold inscribed marble foundation stone and the historic ceremonial silver trowel used to cement the foundation stone, comes at a time when the final demolition of the building is being completed. This will enable the construction of a new Masonic Centre as part of the prestigious and innovative Eastbourne project by Mirvac.

The historic Foundation Stone from the Dallas Brooks Hall against the backdrop of the Dallas Brooks Hall development activity today.

The original foundation stone will be part of the Freemasons Victoria's Museum exhibition and permanent collection.

"The redevelopment arrangement with Mirvac will allow Freemasons Victoria to provide significantly improved accommodation and services for our members while maintaining our historic Masonic flagship presence in East Melbourne," Mr Reynolds said.

Mirvac General Manager of Residential Victoria, Elysa Anderson, said The Eastbourne is re-imaging urban life in East Melbourne. It is the beginning of a new story for this landmark site steeped in history and memories for Melburnians. Whilst continuing to be home to Freemasonry in Victoria, it will welcome a host of new residents.

"What we are building at The Eastbourne is a strong community through a partnership that delivers a bright future for a historically important organisation."

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Media Communications, Freemasons Victoria - Mobile: 0417 329 201