On 25th of July, a great celebration took place in the lounge of Canadian Pines attended by Royal Freemasons senior leaders, employees, residents and their families after the late VWBro. Kenneth James Leckie, PGIWkgs, through his brother Neil Leckie, donated the amount of $50,000 to Royal Freemasons Canadian Pines Assisted Living and Royal Freemasons Ballarat.

The donation will be used in accordance with the Leckie family wishes on a special project within each facility in honour of Ken Leckie.  Once again, thank you to the Leckie Family for supporting Royal Freemasons.

James Leckie, a carpenter, brought his wife Mary and children James Junior, John Adam, Jane and William to Australia from Scotland, landing at Geelong on 5 January 1853. The family arrived in the goldfields of Ballarat three days after the Eureka Uprising on 6 December 1854.

James Junior became a miner and had some success. Eventually he would become a ‘Top Manager’ (above ground) at the Prince of Wales Mine in Sebastopol.

On 22 May 1862, James married Jane McTaggart at Dunolly Victoria and later returned to Sebastopol where they lived in a small cottage until he built ‘Blythewood Grange’, a large double storey bluestone house in Sebastopol.

James and Jane had eleven children, seven of whom lived to reach their majority. Arthur, the eighth child, trained in carriage-making and ironmongery. He married Edith ‘May’ Robertson in 1914 and moved into Ballarat. They had a son and two daughters. Arthur and May’s son, Arthur Junior known to all as ‘Jack’ moved to Melbourne in the Depression years of the 1930s seeking work. He found long-term employment in the hosiery manufacturing industry.

Jack married Edna Caddell from Thornbury in 1943 and the couple had two sons, Kenneth and Neil. At an early age Kenneth joined the Lodge in Melbourne. He remained a mason with the Lodge for almost 60 years until the day of his death in August 2017. Ken was devoted to Masonry and was Master of Elrona Lodge as well as holding many other positions within that Lodge and with Masonry Victoria over many years.

While Ken died intestate he had given some thought towards the disposal of his estate. He indicated that some of this estate should be given to his lodge, Elrona, Lodge Number 384 at Greensborough. He also wanted some to go to the Greensborough temple.

Consideration was given to providing nursing scholarships to the Freemasons Hospital, but since the Freemasons Hospital as Ken knew it is now a part of Epworth Hospital and no longer owned by the Freemasons, those funds have been given to the Albert Coates Memorial Trust to be awarded as Albert Coates Memorial Scholarships for nurses. Sir Albert Coates grew up in Ballarat and with the family’s Ballarat connection. Neil Leckie is very sure that Ken would be pleased to see these scholarships being awarded through a Ballarat based organisation.

Lastly, Ken indicated that he wished to support some Lodge homes. Again, with the family’s Ballarat connection I am sure that Ken would be happy to see these funds going to the Royal Freemasons Ballarat Homes and Canadian Pines.