2017 October - Furniture Renovation
(May 2022 update at the bottom of the page)
Abbotsford Hall is the main hall within the historic Collingwood Masonic Centre.
Freemasonry in the local area has a history beginning in the mid 1800's, initially meeting in local pubs like the Grace Darling and Friendly Society Hotel (now known as the Carringbush), they later established their own buildings such as the Collingwood Masonic Centre. You can find a history of the Centre here.
Today, Freemasons continue to meet at the Centre and are members of one of the several vibrant groups meeting in the building. Enjoying a renaissance, these groups comprise men who have been Freemasons for more than 70 years, to newer members in their twenties. They are all members of the largest and oldest Fraternities in the world.
The building which contains Abbotsford Hall exists to provide a place for Freemasons to meet. In addition to the main and smaller halls were dinner is held and will be well known to users and visitors, the building also contains the Lodge Room. Open for Melbourne Houses in 2014, 2015 & 2016 like many areas of the building, the Lodge Room contains original fittings and furniture dating from the 1920's when the Centre was constructed.
Generally well looked after, nonetheless almost a century of constant use has taken its toll. In addition to the historic patina of age, some of the furniture is now in need of repair. The Committee of Freemasons which runs our Incorporated Association which owns and administers the hall, is now looking at giving some of this furniture some attend to see it into the next century.
We recently had a stool reupholstered, and are looking at renewing the seats of the Wardens chairs.
Special thanks to Navascues Upholstery of Preston for assistance with this project. Confidently recommended to us, we've since discovered several clients of theirs among our ranks. Navascues Upholstery's web site can be found here http://www.navascuesupholstery.com.au/
Images of work done to the stool are below.
Above: the repaired kneeling stood returned to its station.
Springs and webbing have failed in several of our chairs, a close recent inspection revealed that the original coconut fiber webbing is still in place. Our next furniture project is expected to be these chairs, some images taken during our inspection are below.
Above; rear of chair showing strapping and springs from the 1920's
Above; decades of rubbing and age has seen the coconut webbing decaying.
Above, bottom of the chair is in surprisingly good order, but the springs have failed
Junior Warden's chair on its side - probably the first time this has been moved in decades.
Update in May 2022
Back in 2017 we had received quotes to repair and renovate the Junior and Senior Warden's chairs in the Lodgeroom. Unfortunately the cost was very large, but also quoted for a full rebuild rather than repair.
In May 2022 a Fellowcraft member of Lodge Devotion organised for the Senior Warden's seat to be repaired with new cushioning and springs and foam - a great job and thanks to Bro Wayne for organising this !