Most Wor. Bro. W.H. Green - A Mason of Distinction
Most Worshipful Brother William Herbert Green, O.B.E., after whom this Townsville Research Lodge is named, played a significiant role in the development of Freemasonry in general and the early development of the District Grand Lodge of North Queensland and the United Grand Lodge of Queensland in Particular.
He was born in Brisbane on the 11th. October, 1878 and died there on the 18th. March, 1968 at age 89.
Craft Lodge History:-
He was initiated at age 26 on the 21th. January, 1905 in Lodge St. Andrew No. 819 Scottish Constitution (now St. Andrew of Townsville No. 94). Fifty years later on the 10th. November, 1955 he received honory membership of that Lodge. He was passed on the 9th. February, 1905 and raised on the 13th. April, 1905.
He was invested as Junior Steward in 1905, Secretary in 1906 and 1907, Senior Warden in 1908, Wor. Master on the 21st. July, 1909. (Four and a half years later - who now says that promotion is rapid today?) Presumably he was I.P.M. in 1910, then Secretary in 1911, and Treasurer in 1916 and 1917. He received from St. Andrew of Townsville the magnificient 9 ct. and 18 ct. Past Master, Secetary and Treasurer's Jewels still worn on the collars of the Worshipful Master, Secretary and Treasurer of that Lodge.
Green affiliated with Joseph Botton Lodge No. 258 (Townsville) on 15th. June, 1927 and resigned in 1931.
Founder- He was the Founder of Unity Lodge No. 1236 Scottish Constitution (now Unity 300 Q.C.) on the 19th. July,1920 and resigned from it in 1930. Unity Lodge was a S.C. Lodge which did not join the U.G.L.Q. when it was formed in 1921 and came over several years later. Unity Lodge presented Green with an elaborate "Foundation W.M.'s Jewel' which like those of St. Andrew of Townsville is now worn on the W.M.'s Collar in that Lodge.
North Australian Lodge No. 1. Green affiliated with this famous Lodge on the 19th. July, 1928 and was eventually made an Honory member.
Barron Barnett Lodge No. 146. He affiliated with this Lodge and remained a member until 1955.
District Grand Lodge Of North Queensland S.C.
From a Quarterly Communication Paper (held in my library) and dated the 31st. May, 1919 it can be seen that Green played an important role in the organisation and managment of the Scottish District Grand Lodge of North Queensland.
He held the office of "Chief District Grand Superintendent" - an imposing title. His report at the quarterly communication mentioned above included sections on Lodges he had visited, and included reasons why he was unable to visit Hinchinbrook Lodge No. 779 S.c. at Ingham, Cordelia Lodge No. 1160 S.c. at Halifax, and Innisfail Lodge No. 1160 S.c. at Innisfail. The reason given was "owing to epidemic and industrial trouble." ( The deadly influenza epidemic was raging at the time.)
District Grand Lodge of North Queensland U.G.L.Q.
At the consecration of the District Grand Lodge of North Queensland, under the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, on the 25th. October, 1922 Most Wor. Bro. C. Stumm K.C. (Later Judge Stumm) installed Rt. Wor. Bro. W.H. Green as the Foundation District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of North queensland. This meeting took place at the Waterside Worker's Hall in south Townsville.
United Grand Lodge of Queensland
Most Wor. Bro. Green held the following offices in Grand Lodge :-
Assistant Grand Master 1924-25 Deputy Grand Master 1925-29 Grand Master 1929-31 Grand Master 1932-34 Pro Grand Master 1931-32 M.W. Bro. Sir John Goodwin, Governor of Queensland was Grand Master Pro Grand Master 1934-46 M.W. Bro. Sir Leslie Wilson, Governor of Queensland was Grand Master
During his first term as Most Worshipful Grand Master the Ann Street Masonic Centre in Brisbane was dedicated. He personally conducted the dedication of the Grand Hall.
Debate over a "universal" ritual: On the 7th. September, 1932 he chaired a "lively" communication of Grand Lodge at which it had been proposed that all Lodges adopt the ritual approved by the U.G.L.Q. The motion was lost, after much debate. This was an historical decision in terms of the rituals to be used by existing Lodges.
New Lodges: During Most Wor. Bro. Green's two terms as Most Wor. Grand Master eighteen new Lodges were concecrated and three new Masonic Centers were dedicated. (Included in these was the Masonic Centre at Springsure Lodge No. 41 in which I was initiated). There is no doubt in my mind that the influence of Most Wor. Bro. W.H. Green on the Craft in Queensland, shaped the future of Freemasonry for many years after he retired as Pro Grand Master in 1946.
Royal Arch Chapters
Townsville R.A.C. No. 207 S.C. (Later No. 104 S.G.R.A.C. Q)
W.H. Green was a member of this chapter
Herbert River No. 442 S.C., Ingham (Later No. 101 S.G.R.A.C. Q)
He was the foundation Scribe Ezra of this Chapter, and organised the loan of Charters Towers Chapter's Collars for the consecration meeting. He was held responsible when their return to Charters Towers was delayed.
He was a member of Mylne Rose Croix Chapter No. 3 A.C. in Charters Towers and was perfected on 31st. August, 1916. He was advanced to the 30th. Degree on the 10th. September,1920 in the North Queensland Soverign Council No. 12 at Charters Towers and became it's Grand Commander in 1931. The Council became dormant between 1923-1930. Green was eventually promoted to the 32nd. Degree.
Bro. Kt. Green was installed a K.T. in Vexilium Belli Preceptory No. 6 in Brisbane.
Education and Business Life
Bro. Green's father, Charles, was an ironmonger, and became a partner in a Mackay foundry. Bro. Green was educated at Mackay Public School. His education was continued at Way College, a Methodist College, in Adelaide. Bro. Green was apprenticed as a pharmacist to Mr. Cromwell Ridgley of Townsville in 1896. He completed his professional studies at the Queensland College of Pharmacy.
He returned to Townsville and bought out Ridgley's Pharmacy. He was a competant business man, and by 1914 he owned four pharmacies and by 1920 eight branch pharmacies. By 1933 he owned sixteen branch pharmacies and the pharmacy act of 1933 forced the break up of the company.
He served briefly in the First World War as a sergent on Thursday Island. In 1920 he was elected Mayor of Townsville and was also elected to State Parliament. He was a member of the Northern Country Party, and was defeated at the next election in 1923. At one time he was Mayor of Townsville, a member of State Parliament and District Grand Master. Green stood for the Federal seat of Kennedy in 1926 and was defeated.
He moved to Brisbane permanently in 1930, and became chairman of the Equitable Probate and General Life Insurance Ltd., and chairman of the Indooroopilly Toll Bridge Co. He was also a director of the Atlas Insurance and Busby's Ltd. Until a few years ago the pharmacy of Green and Rawkins practiced in the Townsville Mall in the W.H. Green Building across from the City Library.
Bro. Green, like his father, was a lay preacher in the Methodist Church for over fifty-five years. He served on most of the committees of the Methodist Church and was secretary for many years of the Methodist Loan Fund. He served fopr twenty-five years as treasurer of King's College, a student residential college at the University of Queensland. He was a founder member and president of the Interdenominational Queensland Council of Churches. He laid the foundation stone of the West End Uniting Church in Townsville. His wife laid the foundation stone of the old Baptist Church in Sturt Street West In Townsville.
Bill Green was a great advocate of the Temperance Movement and was treasurer of the Queensland Temperance League from 1940 to 1965. He was vice-president of the World International Bureau Against Alcoholism and represented Australia at several International Temperance Conferences. Even Wattle Royal Arch Chapter and Unity Lodge had clauses in their by-laws forbidding the consumption of alcohol at their festive boards, other than at special occasions. He was chairman of the Temperance Hotels in Sydney, Brisbane and Toowoomba. He was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1958 for his services to religion, charity and the community. Green Street in West End, Townville approximately 250 meters from where he hived in Townsville is named in his honour.
He received a 50 year Jewel from the United Grand Lodge of Queensland on the 1st. June, 1955 and on the 3rd. March, 1965 he received his 60 year Jewel. The most notable thing about Green was that he was the leader as Most Worshipful Grand Master and Pro Grand Master of the fledgling United Grand Lodge Of Queensland for 17 of it's first 25 years. I do not know of a jurisdiction in Australia where this has happened before. It was said at his funeral by his son-in-law, the Reverand Arthur Preston, that "....his was a life so full, a life that was so useful, a life that was so dedicated to humanity..."
The motto of the W.H. Green Memorial Masonic Study Circle: "Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat" is particulary appropriate when we think of Bro. Green - "He who deserves the trophy, let him bear it."
Equally appropriate is the name of the Study Circle Magazine: "LAMPADA" The Torch.
This paper was deliverd at the second meeting of the W.H. Green Memorial Masonic Study Circle Townsville on Thursday 29th. January,1987 by Rt. Wor. Bro. A.R. Grant, P.S.G.W., and foundation president. It was again delivered by him at the Quarterly Communication of District Grand Lodge of North Queensland held on 12th. September, 2001 to celebrate the Centenary of Federation.
Reproduced here by kind permission of Rt. Wor. Bro. A.R. Grant.