The Founder of Knight Templar Freemasonry in Queensland was Brisbane’s first Town Clerk, William Martin BOYCE, who on the 7th March 1865 became the first “Commander” of the Hinxman Encampment No. 82 E.C. (1). Other well known Freemasons who were involved were A. W. Manning (Principal Colonial Under Secretary) and A. C. Gregory (Surveyor General and E.C. Dist. Grand Master)..The Hinxman Encampment held it’s last meeting on 6th May 1885. The majority of the members of the Hinxman Encampment were members of the now defunct Prince of Wales Lodge No. 3 and Prince of Wales R.A.C. No. 1.

The oldest Preceptory in Australia is Pembroke Preceptory of Australia previously No. 51 E.C. formed in Melbourne on 7th May 1857. The formation of Hinxman Encampment is mentioned in the minutes of Pembroke Preceptory of Australia now No. 1 Great Priory of Vic.

The next attempt to form a Preceptory in Queensland was on 4th July 1901, when H. C. Luck became the first Preceptor and Prior Duke of Albany Preceptory No. 171 E.C. (now No. 1 Great Priory of Queensland.)

THE PROVINCIAL PRIORY OF QUEENSLAND was inaugurated on 26th April 1928 and the first Provincial Prior was Alexander Corrie who appointed William Taylor as Provincial Sub Prior and William Henry Greenfield as Provincial Chancellor. At this point in time the Provincial Priory controlled five (5) E.C. Preceptories in Queensland.

By 1964 thirteen (13) Preceptories had been formed by the Great Priory of England in Queensland and were under the control of the Provincial Priory of Queensland, which operated in a manner similar to a District Grand Lodge.

In the early 1980’s a move was made to form a Great Priory of Queensland and a Committee was formed from the English and Scottish Branches of the Order. On 1st June 1985 the Great Priory of Queensland was consecrated in the Grand Hall Ann Street Masonic Centre.

For a list of the Brethren who have occupied the Office of Grand Master since then click here.

The Great Priory of Queensland commenced with seventeen (17) Preceptories which included four (4) from the Scottish branch of the Order. The list read as follows:-

No. 1 Duke of Albany Brisbane, 1900.
No. 2 North Queensland Townsville, 1921.
No. 3 Beauceant Toowoomba 1926.
No. 4 Carpentaria Cairns 1926.
No. 5 Capricorn Rockhampton 1928.
No. 6 *Vexillum Belli Brisbane 1930.
No. 7 *Sir William Wallace Ipswich 1934.
No. 8 Mackay Mackay 1935.
No. 9 Walter de Clifton Wondai 1936
No. 10 Wide Bay Maryborough 1936.
No. 11 *Alexander Innisfail 1950.
No. 12 *Qld. St. Pieter Southport 1960.
No. 13 Cooroora Maroochydore 1961
No. 14 Burnett Bundaberg 1963.
No. 15 De Conlay Warwick 1963.
No. 16 *Central Highlands Clermont 1963.
No. 17 Alpha Brisbane 1964.

The Great Priory of Queensland consecrated a Preceptory at Mount Isa – No. 18 Leichhardt Encampment Mount Isa 1990. ( Since reformed 2009 Sherwood)One interesting fact about the Leichhardt Encampment Preceptory No. 18 at Mount Isa was that it worked the Knight Templar Degree patterned on the English ceremony and the Malta Degree of the Scottish Ceremony.

*Note indicates closed/dormant.

The Great Priory of Queensland attempted decentralisation by forming a “Commandery of the North” in 1990, to include Central Highlands, Mackay, North Queensland, Leichhardt Encampment, Alexander and Carpentaria Preceptories. The two (2) Brethren who occupied the office of Commander were:

1990-1991 R. E. Kt. A. R. Grant KCT Townsville.
1991 *R. E. Kt. J. E. Benson GCT. Mackay. *Deceased.

The idea was abandoned in 1991 by the Great Priory of Qld. The senior Preceptory in Queensland Duke of Albany will have been operating for 119 years on the 4th July 2020, whilst in North Queensland, N.Q. No.2 will have functioned for 97 years. N.Q. No. 2 had an interesting aspect to it’s early history. The meetings alternated between Cairns and Townsville in the years 1923 to 1927. One must remember that the rail line between Cairns and Townsville was not connected until 1924, so the trips would have been by coastal steamer.

  1. See Hinxman Encampment No 82, by A. R. Grant pub. 1987 by W. H. Green Memorial Masonic Study CircleTownsville.
  2. See North Queensland No. 2, by A. R. Grant pub 1996 by N. Q. Preceptory No. 2 to celebrate it’s 75th Anniversary.
  3. A. R. Grant K.C.T. Great Historian Great Priory of Queensland , 14th March 2009.
    The author wishes to acknowledge information obtained from the Pamphlet “Provincial Priory of Queensland” written by A. O. C Davies Provincial Chancellor and thought to be published in the years 1961-1963.

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