The foundation stone for the Manchester Unity Oddfellows Hall was laid on 30 April 1863. The builder was Stephen Stanbridge Senior. The Building cost 270.5.0 pounds and the furnishing 10.11.0. pounds.

Photo: P.H.S.Collection


No. 4225, M.O.


The Loyal Paterson Union Lodge No. 4225, M.O.


The Minute Books of the Paterson Branch of the MUIOOF still survive, safely held in the Noel Butlin Archives Of Business and Labour, Australian National University, Canberra.


When the lodge was established it was know as Loyal Paterson Union Lodge No. 4225, M. O.. This number was the number allotted in England but as the movement strengthened in New South Wales it became independent of the mother lodge in England. Therefore new numbers were granted and Paterson became Loyal Union Lodge No. 012. However, the earlier number seems to have been retained for some time as it was embroidered on the 1901 banner.


When the lodge was formed, the first meeting was held at the Paterson Hotel where Mr Edwin Brown was the licensee. Meetings continued at this venue for one year. On 14th April 1847, the meeting was held at the Bush Inn, a well known and popular hotel of that time owned by Captain David Brown. Apparently, this remained the mmeting venue for many years.


During this first year, one of the members, Mr Stephen Stanbridge, who was a local and well-known carpenter and builder, was asked rto supply a regalia box, at the cost of one pound, and a lectern and ballot box, for one pound. After the move to the Bush Inn, Mr Stanbridge received three shillings payment for putting up the lodge dispensation box and making a sliding panel for the lodge room door.


The building of the hall was contemplated for a long period and members worked diligently towards their objective. The Maitland Mercury of 20 December 1862 reported on the success of a bazaar held 'in aid of the erection of the hall' and listed the name of the ladies working for the project.


The laying of the foundation was reported upon on the Maitland Mercury of 30 April 1863. Some controversy must have arisen over the price or the plan itself for it was not until the meeting of 12 January 1864 that Stephen Stanbridge's tender was accepted, along with alterations suggested by himself, for the sum of two hundred and seventy pounds and five shillings.


On 11 July 1865, the first meeting was held in the new hall. New furniture, comprising a table, two seats with back rails, ten forms, and frosting for the windows, had also been supplied by Mr Stanbridge at an additional cost of ten pounds eleven shillings and three pence.


The hall was built in a commanding position in Church Streetm Paterson, and during its lkife it served other usefull purposes in the community.


On 27 May 1875, the Maitland Mercury recorded that the hall was being used to accommodate the children when the first public school was begun in Paterson. The school was eventually built on the opposite side of the road to the hall. Over the years, the hall was used on several occasions to accommodate the children of the school.


The hall remained a community landmark for over one hundred and thirty years. Membership of the lodge fluctuated as population movements were dictated by economic conditions, but always numbers were stable enough to allow the lodge to function. However, by the 1970s, the modern day world, so different from the lodge's beginnings, finally caught up. Membership became too low to be viable and the lodge closed its doors. The few remianing faithful members transferred their membership to the Maitland branch and so closed a chapter in Paterson's history.


When lodge meetings were no longer haeld there, the building was sold to a private buyer. Althoug the histroric facade of the building remains, much additional brick and timber work has been added to the back and side of the building to make it into a comfortable dwelling.






In the minute book of the Lodge, in 1901, it was recorded that the Lodge should have its own banner. The decision was that it should be the best banner available. Despite the fact that manufacturers were making banners of reasonable quality in New South Wales an order was sent to George Tuttil in London for supply and dispatch of a banner. To meet the cost of a subscription list was organized with a programme of balls, dances and sports days.


The banner (shown above left)