De Goede Hoop Temple – Wisdom, strength and beauty in the heart of Cape Town.
Compiled from various sources, including a few editions of the Spring ball Brochure. Please be patient. There are some beautiful pictures that may take some time to load.
Just beyond Stal Plein (an early site of the Dutch East India Company’s stables and one of the City’s historic squares) lies De Goede Hoop Temple. Built-in 1804, it has been described as one of the most elegant Masonic buildings of all time. The gateway to De Goede Hoop (above left and below) is recognised as a structure of great beauty and a fitting entrance to a Temple used, and loved, by many South African brethren. Together with the Phiroze Gorvalla Temple, a smaller and younger counterpart adjoining the building, De Goede Hoop is home to the majority of Southern Division Lodges on the roll of the Grand Lodge of South Africa.
As seen above (top), the gateway lies just next to the State President’s Office, which is just a few steps away from the South African Parliament Buildings. Indeed, this is an impressive neighbourhood and much has been speculated about he reasons for choosing this vicinity to house one of South Africa’s oldest Temples. After driving through the magnificent archway, you’ll find yourself at the Temple façade:
Samuel Eusebius Hudson (1764-1828), a novelist, playwright, artist, historian, teacher and customs officer wrote the following about De Goede Hoop Temple:
“There has been built a new Lodge for the freemasons at a very considerable expense. It is situated by the side of the Government Garden and has every convenience for the accommodation and reception of a numerous brotherhood. The whole is admirably planned and finished in a style of simple elegance, strength and beauty and made to go hand in hand. The preparing rooms are superior to anything of the kind I ever saw. The whole was under the direction of Mr Thibault, the same architect who planned the public fountain. [ Brother Thibault completed the project with the assistance of Bro. Schutte and Bro. Anreith.]
The Free and Accepted Masons are numerous in this colony. Nearly the whole of the respectable part of the inhabitants belong to the Grand Lodge. After lectures and the business of the order is done, a grand dinner for the brothers and visiting members;
in the evening a ball and supper for the ladies, which is conducted upon a scale of magnificence equal to those kept in Queen Street, London; for it is the pride of our African brothers to make every exertion to excel, even in extravagance.” A glowing account of a Masonic gem that is shared by (and is the pride of) so many Brethren of our Order. Yet, the outer walls cannot possibly depict the treasures within. Masonic ceremonies are comprised of so much more than mere words and the surroundings in which a candidate is welcomed is paramount to the enjoyment of the degree being worked. So here, then, is what lies behind the Temple
We think you’ll agree that Samuel Hudson’s kind remarks were not misplaced or exaggerated. We pray that it remains so for another 200 years, so that the glory of T.G.A.O.T.U. may be enjoyed in as pure and as beautiful a place as this forever.