Egyptian Room Masonic Temple Petersham is the showpiece of the Order, the Egyptian Room, was originally incorporated in 1927 in the Royal Arch Temple built in College Street Sydney. This building stood until late in the 1960’s and after being sold and before demolition the focal point of the Egyptian Room, the frieze, was dismantled and stored until re-erected at the new Royal Arch centre at Petersham in 1977.
The frieze depicts certain scenes or vignettes from the Scroll of Ani dating from the 18th Dynasty; The scroll, a papyrus roll 23.78 metres long and 381 mm wide, was found at Thebes and purchased by the late Egyptologist Sir Wallis Budge in 1888. The Scroll which is now in the British Museum in London, depicts in pictorial form, and by text, the author’s version of the life hereafter based on an ancient beliefs. Another feature in the Egyptian Room is the funerary stele (pictured) which dominates one of the walls of the room and dates from the 20th Dynasty
The vision of leaders of the Order in the early 1920s in creating the Egyptian Room and the engagement of Rayner Hoff to sculpt the vignettes has left a lasting legacy, which is classified by the National Trust. Rayner Hoff was himself a Freemason and later became famous for his work on the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park in Sydney.