Monday Memories – Part 2 – The GFS Lodge

Continuing our MM of the GFS Lodge, you will recall that The Society agreed to purchase a property. Mr Vincent a prominent Perth business man whose wife has been an Associate of St George’s Cathedral branch for many years and a friend of Mrs Ethel Burt co-operated with others to put up the required amount and soon afterwards he and Mr Loton became such generous benefactors to the Society.
The building at 240 Adelaide Terrace was in a poor condition when purchased and needed extensive renovations to make it suitable for its purpose. The Honorary Architect was Mr Herbert Parry and he worked tirelessly to develop a practical and attractive Lodge on the site. The cost to build the centre block and kitchen and renovate the existing buildings was 1,600 pounds (approximately AUS$162,000 in todays value).

Lady Barron, who was the wife of the Governor and also Patron of the Society, raised 1,000 pounds in a personal fund raising campaign. A leather bound book in which the donations are recorded are held in our archives. The GFS branches also contributed to the appeal. It is interesting to remember that during that time men earned approximately 1 pound per week!

The GFS Lodge was official opened by the Governor Sir Harry Barron on 5 June 1915 in the presence of a large gathering of people and officials. It was Lady Barron’s aim that the Lodge should be free of debt before she left WA and she made a special appeal in 1917 before she left. By 1920 1,874 pounds, plus interest, had been paid off the load, with 900 pounds still wing to Messrs Vincent and Loton. This they very generously liquidated, leaving the Lodge free of any debt and owned by GFS. In addition, money collected by the President, Mrs Riley, in a special appeal was returned to her by Messrs Vincent and Loton. This money was later used to help establish a hostel at Fremantle.

First photo is of Lady Barron and second is of Mr Loton (Mayor of Perth)


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