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Provincial Masonic Hall sold - at long last.

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The PMH located in Rosemary Street Belfast, PGL Antrim (IC) is now offically reported as sold and the current office and museum are to be vacated by end of June. With only 3 months to empty the building the membership is again bemused as the circa 50 Lodges, RAC etc had relocated in 2007 and that a slow, planned, methodical closing was not undertaken. Lodges have recieved letters advising that any records held by PGL and not collected by the respective lodges will be disposed or auctioned.

In 2008 a previous attempt to sell the only Provincial Hall in Ireland was rejected by the members as the fall in property prices emerged. Although this purpose built Hall of 35000 sq ft was only constructed circa 1950 the Order had set up special committees comprised of Senior Rank to sell it since 2002. All rather sad as the Province is currently getting geared up to celebrate 150 years of founding.

Years of mismanagement by Officers is accepted since taking 15 years to announce a desire to sell the Hall to complete a sale (subject to contract). As to location of the new office in 3 months time the Order has nothing agreed. As to what happens to the proceeds (£1.6m) the Order has decalred it is uncertain.

The famous Masonic Mural by artist John Luke was not sold. In 2002 its value on PGL artefacts valuatiion in 2002 was £3m. Again the Order has not concluded any plan for this either. All rather sad indeed.

Personally I fully endorsed and supported an idea by three members who became known as the Retention Team in 2008. They had full backing at a Board meeting to keep the Hall, much to the disgust of Senior rank. However fairly soon afterwards the three members were suspended at a special meeting which excluded them from attending.

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From authoritative blogger Rt W Bro Bob Bashford.


An update regarding the mismanagement of Provincial Masonic Hall of Antrim.  The control of the Masonic Mural is now in the hands of the developer.  Not  bad - sell a building for £1.6m and get possession of a unique Mural for free.

Successive senior officers had been managing the sale of the Hall for some 15 years previous and paid consultants. 

A happy and prosperous new year for the developer is assured.


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An update on hall (mis) management.... 

PGL Antrim sold its purpose built hall, which was only 50 years old and choose to rent 4th flloor office space above a betting shop at the nearby High Street. This 2017 arrangement was much praised by the hierarchy.   

Whilst the proceeds of the sale were never disclosed on annual accounts it is now published in the Antrim newsletter that savings of £40,000 per annum will now be made by relocating out of Belfast capital city to a village in Templepatrick near the airport to an abandoned Masonic hall. 

However the newsletter states, '' It was explained that the proposed refurbishment to the premises, was estimated to cost between £145,000.00 and £200,000.00, but due to the spiralling costs of materials, the costs could be as high as £400,000.''

So five years of apparently excess costs of £40k have been incurred despite 10 years of prior planning upon the sale of its former offices and now a proposed refurbishment tf a property which has an unknown cost, but likely to exceed estimates by £255.000.  

The PGL Antrim treasurer in 2017 was jailed for stealing £120.000 from the Order. I wonder has he now started a building company !!  

Happy and prosperous new year to all.  


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