THE DISCOVERY

In 1950 V.W. Bro. Dr Alexander Hayward Parker, a local medical practitioner, called at the home of one of his patients at 35 Loch Street, Campsie. To his amazement he discovered that the central panel of the window at the end of the small verandah featured the Coat of Arms of The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales in stained glass.

This, naturally, aroused the curiosity of such a keen Mason as V.W. Bro. Dr Parker. He enquired of the occupants and later the owner of the house as to the reason for the stained glass panel being installed on the front verandah. He was informed that the house was built in 1910 by a Mr. Abbott for his own use. The timber and material came mostly from the old Masonic Hall in York Street which was then being demolished..

Mr Abbott built the house and lived in it with his family for some time before moving to Balmain. He was not a Mason, but his son eventually joined the Craft. His son, however, was only a child when the family lived in Campsie and consequently was not aware that the stained glass panel was the Coat of Arms of the United Grand Lodge.

V.W. Bro. Dr Parker immediately apprised Grand Lodge of his discovery, but was informed by the Deputy Grand Secretary of the day that he must not interfere in the matter as the Coat of Arms was installed in a private dwelling.

THE RETURN

This reply did not meet with the concurrence of V.W. Bro. Dr Parker who had a nagging and impelling urge to secure that stained glass Coat of Arms for Grand Lodge. After a time he felt compelled to call on Mr Abbott with a view to ascertaining if it were possible to make some mutually satisfactory arrangements for the panel to be removed from its position in the cottage at Campsie and returned to the Grand Lodge.

Mr Abbott was amenable to V.W. Bro. Dr Parker's proposition provided Dr Parker arranged for another. window to be installed in its stead', not necessarily a stained glass panel. This was done with the willing aid of Bro. Stan C. Squire, a local glass merchant and W. Bro. Keith Smith of Lodge Justice, No. 461, who removed the panel from the window and made a box to house it.

So, in 1960, ten years after its discovery, the stained glass panel was returned to Grand Lodge, where it is proudly exhibited as a feature in the prominent position it now occupies in the entrance to the Museum of Freemasonry.

THE HISTORY

The stained glass panel is stated to have been made in Belgium from Belgium glass, sometime around 1888/90. It is not known who submitted the design to the manufacturers or who ordered and paid for it, nor do we know why, when The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales was so newly and enthusiastically formed, the panel was left behind in the old York Street Masonic Hall, subsequently to be taken to Campsie as part of a second-hand dealer's sales transaction.

We are indeed fortunate that V.W. Bro. Dr Parker of Lodge University of Sydney, No. 544, discovered it and by his perspicacity and pertinacity secured it for Grand lodge.

OBSERVATION OF THE PANEL

It is recommended that observers stand back from the panel and look up to the four rondelles on the arms of the Cross of St George on the escutcheon which, from the front, appear to be circular,  you will notice that the glass of the rondelles are shaped from within to give an iridescent sparkle resembling that of stars and also that the light green muffled background glass becomes aerated or bubbly in appearance.

The observer will notice that the colour of the cross in the shield at the right hand side of the escutcheon is blue and that it bears five five-pointed stars on the cross. This was the design of the old unofficial badge of the State of New South Wales. It was superseded by the official badge on 15th February, 1876. The present design showing a golden lion on a red cross of St George on a white field with a golden five-pointed star on each arm of the cross was designed by James Barnet, the Colonial Architect, and Captain Hixson, R.N. (Ret) who was the President of the Marine Board. (For full details of the Coat of Arms see the separate paper entitled "The Coat of Arms of The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales.")