Freemasonry began in Singapore in 1845 with the consecration on 8 December of Lodge Zetland No 748 at the “Masonic Room” in Armenian Street. There were meetings at seven places in the town before the consecration of Freemasons’ Hall in Coleman Street on the 27 November 1879. Here English Lodges have now met for a century.
From the “Masonic Room” in Armenian Street, very close to the present Freemasons’ Hall, Lodge Zetland on 9 March 1846 moved after a few months, to “a mare commodious house” in High Street.
In 1856, Lodge Zetland moved its meeting place to the Esplanade, to the corner of what is now St Andrew’s Road and Coleman Street. Then there stood a house in which Thomas Church, the Resident Councillor, had lived for many years. Today the land is covered by a part of City Hall.
In 1871, Lodge Zetland and The Lodge of St George No 1152, consecrated in 1867, moved their meetings from the Esplanade to 15, Beach Road. Kampong Glam. The Hall was consecrated on 10 March 1671.
The two Lodges moved again in 1873 to 10. Beach Road and in 1875 to 59, Hill Street, where they met until they moved into Freemasons’ Hall, Coleman Street, in 1879.
A land grant made on 27 September 1878 for space in Coleman Street was issued in favour of R.W. Bro. William Henry Macleod Read, District Grand Master and Past Master of The Zetland in the East Lodge No.508 E.C., and his successors in office for the use of Masons under the United Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of England. There was an express condition that a building to be used as a Lodge should be erected within two years of the issue of the grant.
The foundation store was laid on 14 April 1879 and the Overland Journal of 15 April 1879 reported that this was done by R.W. Bro. Read, supported by many Brethren, with Grand Masonic Ceremony.