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Leonardo da Vinci Lodge

No. 238 in the Register of the Grand Lodge of 
South Australia and the Northern Territory

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Cedars of Lebanon in January 1919, on Mount Lebanon:

Here are two scans of b/w photos.  The photographer was apparently a Trooper H G Miell of the Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment. These photographs were found in the year 2000 in a paperback book (seemingly employed as as bookmarks) on the streetstall of a second hand book dealer.  Trooper Miell became a Freemason in South Australia in the 1920's and his last record at the Grand Lodge is in the mid 1950's. Snow can be seen on the ground, and perhaps some idea of the height of the trees might be gained from examination of the small foreground figures in one of the photos. This grove of cedars still exists on the slopes of Mount Lebanon and was said in 1919 to be the last remaining such grove. 

note tiny foreground figures of Australian troops in front of the cedars, January 1919

The origin of the name Cedar is somewhat doubtful; it is probably a Semitic word allied to the Arabic "kedre," meaning "power."  The most striking characters of the Lebanon Cedar are the numerous large and wide-spreading horizontal branches and the broad and flattened summit of the full-grown tree.

Australian troops in the snows of Mount Lebanon, overlooking the cedar grove, January 1919

The mountain is covered with snow during a great part of the year.  About 400 of these majestic trees still stand at the foot of Jebel Makmal (123 km from Beirut), at an altitude of about 6300 ft. The age of these Cedar trees ranges between 200 and 1500 years. The largest is about 82 feet in height and 40 ft. in circumference.  The Cedar tree has become the national symbol of Lebanon and is represented in the centre of the country's flag. 

Further reading:

9th Light Horse uniform colour flash
The Ninth Light Horse Regiment was formed in South Australia in October 1914 for 3rd Light Horse Brigade. Departed Melbourne Karroo 11 February 1915 and Armadale 12 February 1915. 
Battle Honours: Anzac, Defence of Anzac, Suvla, Sari Bair, Gallipoli 1915, Romani, Maghdaba-Rafah, Egypt 1915-17, Gaza-Beersheba, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jerusalem, Jordan (Es Salt), Megiddo, Sharon, Damascus, Palestine 1917-18
Egypt, Gallipoli, Sinai, Palestine

Darley, T. H. (Thomas Henry) .  With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War. (Adelaide : Hassell Press, 1924)

On-line history of Ninth Light Horse
Australian War Memorial site for Light Horse
The Waler - 'Australia's most useful horse'

Cedars of Lebanon:
References to cedar in the Bible
Detailed article about the cedars in Lebanon (no photos) 
Tourist visit to the cedars
Phoenicia and King Solomon's Temple:
The climate, trees and vegetation of Phoenicia
Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem
created 10.2001, rev 04.05