Archive for June, 2009


King William of Orange – main symbol of Orange Orders

Kiama had a number of Orange lodges, the 5th one formed in Australia after they were no longer illegal in 1845.

List of Kiama District Lodges (not just Orange but Oddfellows, Buffaloes and Freemason )from Dr Bob James of the Fraternal Studies Centre in Newcastle.

LOI APDA 40 Kiama Kiama -1903 -1904

GUOOF 8435 Lighthouse Kiama 1910 -1910

GT IOGT 282 Oakleaf Kiama -1887 -1900

Sands IOOFMU 68 Star of the South Kiama 1876 -1918
‘orig No:113’ NSWR IOR 124 Kiama Kiama -1934 -1938

LOI LOL 12 No Surrender Kiama -1903 -1921
see No 5 LOI LOLL 361 Lest We Forget Kiama -1909 -1919

Reg-81 PAFS 45 Kiama Kiama 1877 -1909

BuffaloR RAOB-A 126 Kiama Kiama -1941 -1941

Sands SF(IC) 294 Samaritan Kiama 1875 -1888
was 12 GL NSW;with Minamurra into SF-NSW 35 UGL SF(SC) 749 Minnamurra Kiama 1887 -1888

(These  last two were Freemason, I believe. )

You only have to read the obituaries of prominent citizens of Kiama, and you realise how many and how strong these orders were, Kiama even had a lodge of the Foresters and the Grand United Order of Gardeners! Also the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes,   the Knights of Labor and Catholic orders such as the Knights of the Southern Cross and fraternal health benefits societies such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians. In addition there would have been Orange Lodges at Gerringong and Jamberoo, and other centres locally as well.

What were the Orange Lodges ? A pro-British lodge (based in Northern Ireland but Scottish and other national lodges existed) movement modelled on Freemasonry which was anti–Catholic. In Australia it seems to have been a milder British defence league (though violence occured  between Orangemen and Catholics in Australia and elsewhere) except for the  famous ‘Kiama Ghost ‘ speech of Henry Parkes, member for Kiama, but clearly the Orangemen in Kiama were heavily involved in the local militia and local Kiama politics.
Henry Parkes, as member for Kiama, made a inflammatory speech at Kiama, ablely re-enacted by the Kiama and District Historical Society and for sale as a DVD at the Pilot’s Cottage. It captures the flavour of a speech which blamed the attempted assassination of the Duke of Edinburgh at Clontcarf, NSW in 1868 on a Fenian conspiracy, and not on a lone disturbed individual, Henry James O’Farrell (who was quickly hung for it).
This speech was blatently opposed to the facts in the case, but helped spur a tripling of membership in Orange Lodges in the next few years. It also had a follow-up local incident where someone took a shot at prominent local Orangeman, ‘Loyal’ John Gray of Loyal Valley. The detail given said it was after threatening letters were sent for hosting the Orange Lodge meeting at his house, only the horse rearing prevented him being shot, and it was so close the powder burnt his face.
Captain Samuel Charles, local landowner and future MLA, had three of his Irish labourers charged with this attempted murder of a local landlord, in the grand old ‘Ribbonman’ style of Ireland.
Fenian outrage at Gerringong
ScreenHunter_02 Nov. 08 17.42
May 12th, 1868 in a NZ newspaper (Grey River Argus).
A descendant of Captain Samuel Charles, who is writing a history of this prominent Kiama pioneer has suggested that the evidence in the trial was a put up job, both the shot fired and the threatening letters were faked. Though John Gray’s house burned down on Jan 15th, 1869, and in the inquest in clearly felt it was Fenian revenge.
Samuel Charles paid for their successful defence, and went on to replace Henry Parkes as Member for Kiama in 1875 and his career was noted for its ‘violent opposition’ to Henry Parkes. It is worth noting he was married to Sarah Ann Gray, daughter of the former MP James Mackay Gray and was probably a sister to ‘Loyal’ John Grey
I would argue that Henry Parkes was supported by the local Kiama Orangemen,and Samuel Charles was supported by the more moderate Freemason Protestants.



Here is a more specific look inside the rituals, and critical of their movment.


but explains the roles of the Black Preceptories and the Purplemen (the Kiama Orange were Purplemen) very well.


Orange Lodge symbols


In the University of Wollongong archives can be found  all the original documents including their ritual book, and codes for recognising new passwords,  as well as a Charter of an Purpleman from Fermanagh in 1825, of the Gerringong True Blues Orange Lodge (who were secretly Purplemen!)


Purplemen symbols


D145 Royal Orange Lodge –

Gerringong True Blue No. 115 
1 Minute book. 18 January 1886 – March 1920.

2 Treasurer’s Account Book. 1877 – 1883.

 3 Correspondence. 1879-1884, 1907, 1917-1924.

4 The History of the convenant / by Pastor Daniel Allen. – Sydney: Lee & Ross pr, 1877. – p.53-66. (Part

5 The Watchman: the weekly gazette of Pitt Street Congregational Church. – vol, no.20, 15 June 1895.

6 By-laws of no. 115 Loyal Orange Lodge Geeerringong – Kiama: Joseph Weston pr, 1881. – 4p.

7 Manual for 1920 and directory of Loyal Orange Lodges and Royal Black Preceptories in the state of N.S.W. – No. VI)’

Oddly,  the historically important Purple charter is not listed!

Orangemen marching in Northern Ireland (Londonderry)recently.



Most Kiama residents know of the Freemasons’ Temple in Hindmarsh Park, but do they know of the role of the Orange Lodges and the OddFellows, who were a mutual friendly society, and the Temperance movements, which were against the drinking of alcohol. The current Kiama Leagues Club is built on the site of the Kiama Oddfellows (the Grand United Order provided health benefits for its members) Hall, and the original cellars, which were used for meetings of the lodges, still exist. The Freemason Hall was bought from the Sons and Daughters of Temperance, for a fifth of what they originally offered, who used to put down a roller-skating rink in the hall in the 19th Century. Certainly it is much more dignified there with much more modern thinking these days. The Orange Lodges were fervently pro-Empire and anti-Catholic and Kiama was the home of the start of Freemasonry and the Orange movement in NSW, with Dr Tarrant of Kiama as the first Grand Master of the NSW Freemasons, and Robert Barr, the first Grand Master of Orange for NSW,  worked as a printer at the Kiama Independent, starting the first Orange Lodge in NSW.
It is fascinating to me that in fact there were two inner societies with the Orangemen, the Black Preceptories, who keep the lodges on the right path and had a lot of knightly titles and the breakaway Purplemen, who were more reactionary. It is clear that nearly all members around Kiama were in fact secret Purplemen (this is in fact borne out by the original minute book of the Gerringong True Blues who only referred to the Order of the Arch Purple in their minutes as ‘A.P.’)
and Kiama was mainly settled by Northern Irish Protestants, and as such Orange Lodges and Freemasony was rife in the area, It is arguable that British military service (we had a number of Waterloo veterans settle in the region) and membership of the Orange movement was a major criterion in assisting their migration. There is strong evidence that the 24 laborers employed to clear James Robb’s Riversdale were in fact ALL related, and constitute a ‘clan’ migration. Certainly many of the Ulster villages, especially in Fermanagh, Antrim and Armagh that  Kiama residents are descended from are strong areas of Orange even today. The Kiama (Tory’s) Hotel was originally known as the Fermanagh Hotel, and the movie house down on Surf Beach (now demolished) was known as the Antrim Theatre.

 There are many reports of the Orange Lodges in the Kiama Independent since they formed, and even mentioned in Sydney papers such as this

The Sydney Mail – Jul 28, 1888


 Kiama had, according to Richard Reed in ‘History of the Irish in Australia’ had the best example of ‘chain migration’ in Australia, who were Northern Irish Protestants.
He features a membership ticket for the Gerringong True Blues as his entire inside back cover.

It is clear that the fraternal societies (especially the Oddfellows, the Oddfellows Hall, which could seat a thousand, was on the site of the current Kiama Leagues Club), and the Temperance movement (mainly the Sons and Daughters of Temperance but also the Independent Order of Recharbites which still operate nursing homes in Victoria, wearing the Blue, rather than the Orange or the Green) were important as well. The role of private welfare, a community banding together for mutual survival was the answer to many problems. Private welfare played the role that public welfare plays today, as shown by the private, local free ( a shilling a treatment,with 90% paying nothing, and surviving on fundraising) Kiama Hospital.

Living at Gerringong just after the period of Henry Parkes’s speech was in fact a famous Fenian, John ‘Golden’ Goulding.
Here is some of his history, I am sure the Orangemen locally kept a wary eye on him!
This is the story of why he became a Fenian.
“One day he and his faithful dog were going down fishing when the landlord’s agent, in his coach, came out of his estate, John’s dog frightened by the horses, barked at them resulting in the agent ordering his coachman to shoot John’s pet and family treasured dog.”
He took part in the 1867 Kerry revolt, (The rebels, estimated at around 500, captured the coastguard station at Kells. After that the rebellion fell apart for as a later Kerry republican said “the Iveragh men rose but they rose alone”. John O’Neil Goulding (1841-79). A constable tesified at Goulding’s treason-felony trial “He said part of the plan was to seize all the arms from the coast-guards and police stations, and from all the gentry who had them, and there was a list of these prepared for the night of the rising.”
transported for five years, was there when the famous ‘Fremantle Conspiracy’ rescued many prominent Fenians and was freed in 1869 along wiht many others..
Here is his Gerringong story.
“For John, the tide turned in Sydney when he was befriended by an Irishman, John Feehan, who had emigrated to Australia in 1841, married and took up a leased farm near Gerringong south of Sydney. John Feehan offered Golden a job on his farm, which he readily accepted. Whilst employed on that farm, John fell in love with Ellen, John Feehan’s daughter and married her in 1875 in her parent’s home. After their first son was born, John and Ellen moved to Jamberoo where he worked as a carpenter on the building of a new Catholic Church there, living in a cottage quite close to the granite church still as solid as ever today. From there they moved to nearby Broughton Creek where he worked on the buildings that would become Berry, living at 33 Prince Alfred Street. They had seven children, the last one born after John died on the 2nd September 1883. (His Beloved Ellen died in 1938). John was buried in Gerringong Cemetery by the sea under a Celtic cross, which bears the inscription “God Save Ireland”.”
His death certificate

The Gerringong Museum publish and sell….
“A GERRINGONG FENIAN” The story of John O’Neil GOULDING and the Fenian uprising in Co. Kerry in 1867. John was subsequently transported to Australia on the last convict ship, and is buried in the Gerringong Cemetery.

‘The first Grand Lodge was opened in Sydney in 1845, Pro. Robert Barr being the first Grand Master, and Bro. Andrew Alexander, the Deputy Grand Master. Bro. Alexander was the Grand Master the following year.

The institution grew and prospered; No.2 Lodge was opened in 1845, No.3, No.4, and No.5 (in Kiama on the New South Wales South Coast) in 1846.

It is significant that the first Orange Grand Master in Australia was Robert Barr, who later published a newspaper (the Kiama Reporter sued into oblivion by Alexander Berry after publishing the famous ‘Shoalhaven Devil’ letter by John Dunmore Lang) and later was the printer for the Kiama Independent ( while running a pro-Orange paper in Sydney).

A fascinating catalogue of ritual machines made by the De Moulin Brothers can be found here, including goats to be ridden, shaky bridges and trick chairs, and much more exotic things, mainly as part of rituals of trust while blindfolded, to advance to the next degree of a  order.


A great set of Orange songs ( Mainly political satire to annoy Catholics) can be found here.

 l&ots=hRfiF9gmrW&sig=dO2qGrT36oQ1wA8EOBumzBlY2rY&hl=en&ei=jQo9SqWDIILEM5qasaEO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3 http://books.google.com.au/books?id=bwBKAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=Purplemen+orange&source=b

The most famous was ‘The Battle of the Boyne’ which would have been a major feature of the Orange marchs held in Kiama each July 12th. (the day of the battle where William of Orange defeated the Catholics). A major feature would have been the unique Lambeg drum only used by Orange marches and orange bunting on shops and cermonial arches across the street .  Orangemen’s Day is  an official public holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada on July 12th even today.


Another great resource is the book ‘the faithful tribe’ by Ruth Dudley Edwards who gives a fairly sympathetic but quite in depth appraisal of the Loyal Oranges lodges, in light of the Drumcree confrontations over Orange marches in recent years.


The  Catholics held similiar festivals to celebrate St Patricks Day and it is known the local Catholics in Kiama did not celebrate Empire Day as St Patricks was seen as the national day. Empire day was in fact started in NSW by Sir George Fuller, Premier  and Kiama resident who was prominent in Kiama Protestant politics. Tensions clearly arose for example over the railways strike in 1917 which led to the national strike, especially over a court case involving money missing from the Kiama railway office, referenced in the minutes of the Gerringong True Blues. One can only speculate if the the Great Kiama Fire of 1899, which destroyed 26 buildings in Kiama, as part of a pattern of ten fires over five years, was part of  these tensions in Kiama!

‘The Battle of the Boyne’

A kingly host upon a stream,
a monarch camped around
Its southern upland far and wide
their white pavilions crowned;
Not long ago that sky unclouded showed,
nor beneath the ray,
That gentle stream in silver flowed
to meet the new-born day.
Peals the loud gun-its thunders boom
the echoing vales along
While curtained in its sulfurous boom
moves on the gallant thrown.
And Foot and Horse in mingled mass,
regardless all of life,
With furious ardor onward pass
to join the deadly strife.
Not strange that with such ardent flame
each glowing heart beats high,
Their battle-word was William’s name
and Death and Liberty!
Then Ouldbridge, then they peaceful bowers
with sounds unwonted rang,
And Tredagh, mid thy distant towers,
was heard the mighty clang.
The silver stream is crimsoned wide
and clogged with many a corpse,
As floating down its gentle tide
co- mingled man and horse;
Now fiercer grows the battle’s rage,
the guarded stream is crossed,
And furious, hand-to-hand,
engage each bold contending host.
He falls-the veteran hero falls,
renowned along the Rhine-
And he whose name, while Derry s walls
endure shall brightly shine;
Oh! would to heaven that churchman bold,
his arms with triumph blest,
The soldier spirit had controlled
that fired his pious breast.
And he, the chief of yonder brave
and persecuted band,
Who foremost rushed amid the wave
and gained the hostile strand,
He bleeds, brave Caillemonte-he bleeds
-tis closed, his bright career,
Yet still that band to glorious deeds
his dying accents cheer,
And now that well-contested strand
successive columns gain,
While backward James yielding band
are borne across the plain;
In vain the sword green Erin draws,
and life away doth fling-
Oh! worthy of a better cause
and of a bolder king.
In vain thy bearing bold is shown
upon that blood-stained ground;
Thy towering hopes are overthrown,
thy choicest fall around;
Nor, shamed abandon thou the fray,
nor blush though conquered there;
A power against thee fights today
no mortal arm may dare.
Hurrah! Hurrah! For Liberty,
for her sword we draw,
And dared the battle while on high
our Orange banners flew.
Woe worth the hour- worth the state,
when men shall cease to join
Wit grateful hearts to celebrate
the glories of the Boyne!




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