Ayr’s Masonic Temple now heritage listed

One of the most stately and beautiful buildings of its kind has been entered into the Queensland Heritage Register.

Ayr’s imposing two-storey Masonic Temple, on the corner of Mackenzie and Macmillan streets, built on land obtained by the Freemasons for £30 in 1903. (Image © Queensland Government.)

The Ayr Masonic Temple, described at the time of its opening as “one of the most stately and beautiful buildings of its kind in Queensland”, has been entered into the Queensland Heritage Register.

Built in 1935, the Queensland Heritage Council (QHC) entered the Ayr Masonic Temple into the register on 25 February 2022.

QHC Chair Leslie Shirreffs said Ayr’s Masonic Temple was important in demonstrating the development of Freemasonry in Queensland.

The temple was described as one of the more impressive temples built in Queensland in the interwar period, an interesting feat given Ayr’s relatively small population at the time.

“The present-day Ayr Masonic Temple replaced an earlier highest timber Masonic Hall built in 1903 on the same site, to cater for Ayr’s first Masonic lodge, formed in 1896,” said Ms Sherrifs.

The earlier hall survived Cyclone Leonetta in 1903, which had levelled most of Ayr and Brandon. It was replaced 32 years later when it could no longer accommodate the town’s three Masonic Lodges.

Ms Shirreffs said the Ayr Masonic Temple was a beautiful building featuring a well-composed and prominent temple-front and high-quality design and construction.

“The temple’s overall features have remained relatively unchanged over the years, and it retains its aesthetic significance as a highly intact masonry building in an impressive ‘Interwar Classical’ architectural style.”

The foundation stone for the Ayr Masonic Temple was laid on 9 December 1934. The opening on 22 June 1935 was attended by Masons from across Queensland.

The spacious ground-floor ballroom of the Ayr Masonic Temple, heritage listed on 25 February (Image © Queensland Government.)

Since opening, the Ayr Masonic Temple has catered for Masonic functions, dances, public meetings, parties, wedding receptions, sport and craft groups, and church services and funerals. The grounds also hosted community markets.

The application to enter the Ayr Masonic Temple into the register was made by a member of the public.

Places entered into the Queensland Heritage Register are protected under the state’s heritage legislation, ensuring they are maintained and retained for future generations.

Further information on the Ayr Masonic Temple is available at https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=650273.

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Catherine Duffy is a budding writer with a background in creative writing, English literature and journalism. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines both locally and internationally. She has a particular interest in regional and community-based news stories. ... more