Freemasonry is

Published November 2019

From the Grand Master

Brethren, this edition of the Grand Master's Newsletter shows how diverse and active our jurisdiction is. I have been visiting lodges far and wide and addressed the many challenges we face. Freemasonry is vibrant and exciting once again and this shows we are on the right path forward.

As always, I hope that this Newsletter can be used by the Lodge Secretary as an insert to your regular Notice Paper. And I trust that it will be a constant reminder that we all should face our daily challenges with Integrity, Loyalty and Respect.

Working for Freemasonry across our whole Jurisdiction

True leaders lead from the front and don't hide at the back.
Leading Freemasonry isn't different. Over the past 12 months our Grand Master has done the miles and seen up close the challenges all our Jurisdiction face. He then assembled the Grand Master's Task Team and started fixing the issues and spearheading Freemasonry forward. The results are now visible. Lodge Bland featured below in this newsletter is a great example of how things are being turned around.

And all this work isn't being done from behind a desk. Just in the past several weeks, our Grand Master has visited NSW extensively to places such as Coffs Harbour, West Wyalong, Tweed Heads and also been overseas representing us at the New Zealand Grand Installation.

December Grand Communication & Dinner

The December Grand Communication will be held on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, in the Grand Lodge Room at the Sydney Masonic Centre with video links to regional Masonic Centres; it is open to brethren only and will start at 7:30pm.

The Grand Master, MW Bro Derek Robson AM, and Gael Knox are hosting a Festive Dinner at the Sydney Masonic Centre (only) after the Quarterly Communication on 11 December 2019, and would like to invite Brethren, Ladies and Guests to join them to celebrate the end of another Year.

Tickets for the Festive Dinner are $50.00 per person for a two course plated dinner. Price includes tea and coffee on arrival. Beer, wine and soft drinks will also be available for purchase.

All bookings will be handled by Eventbrite. To make your booking, please copy and paste the following Eventbrite link into your web browser:

The Grand Master also encourages family and friends to support their regional Masonic Centres live streaming the Grand Communication. and to afterwards enjoy each other's company. Our live streaming provides us with an opportunity to truly be "All of one company", enjoying each other's company while enjoying the Grand Communication. Go to your regional Masonic Centre and make a night of it!

Note: there is no booking required for the regional Masonic Centres with live stream of the Grand Communication, just sign the attendance book and enjoy!

100 years and a new lease of life

The Grand Master and distinguished brethren attended West Wyalong for Lodge Bland's centenary meeting and an initiation in October.

Over the past 12 months our Grand Master, his Ceremonial Team and the Grand Master's Task Team have all given great support to this wonderful lodge which has been struggling over a number of years. Thanks to this support and much hard work by the brethren of West Wyalong, Lodge Bland is now forging ahead with new members and an air of excitement. There really is a very bright future for this wonderful country Lodge.

True to his "lead by example" attitude the Grand Master was even seen helping out with a bit of gardening to ensure that the building was looking its best for the next day's festivities. On Friday evening the Grand Master, his partner Gael, Andy and Barbara Conlon all attended a wonderful dinner at the Club Inn with a group of over 30 people.

On Saturday the ladies were taken on a mystery bus trip where they visited the hot glass gallery and an art gallery and afterwards joined the brethren at the Club Inn for the festive board. During the ceremony, a certificate of appreciation and a 50-year certificate were presented by the Grand Master to the Worshipful Master of Lodge Bland.

Grand Master supports the OSM

The Grand Master, MW Bro Derek Robson AM, welcomes and congratulates Most Worthy Bro Lynden Norgate on the occasion of his Grand Installation as Most Worthy Grand Supreme Ruler.

MW Bro Derek Robson AM also supported the Most Worthy Brother Lynden Norgate at his first outing at the OSM Sydney Conclave No 1.

It is great to see our Grand Master out there supporting the other Masonic Orders. Congratulations to both the Grand Master and Most Worthy Brother Norgate on a great display of masonic friendship.

Grand Master supporting Coffs Harbour

The Grand Master MW Bro Derek Robson AM witnessed a fabulous event at Coffs Harbour Daylight on Monday 28th October. Taking part in the ceremony were three generations of the Bertram family with VW Bro John Bertram, his son W Bro Phil Bertram and grandson Bro Josh Bertram. Congratulations to VW Bro Gary Chandler who was installed as Worshipful Master by RW Bro Doug McCumstie. The GM wished Gary every success during his term as Worshipful Master.

It was also good to see W Bro George Williams return to Freemasonry. George was a foundation member of Coffs Harbour Daylight and had been unattached for many years. When he read about the Grand Master's retention initiatives and the fact that the Grand Master would be visiting Coffs Harbour personally he couldn't wait to get his affiliation papers in and he was absolutely amazed to be welcomed back to the Craft personally by the Grand Master.

At the banquet everyone was treated to an interesting presentation and a great show of thanks by the CANDO Cancer Trust. CANDO is a major beneficiary of Coffs Freemasons and Masonicare.

To date, with the help of Masonicare, over $248,000 has been donated to CANDO and it is wonderful to see such community spirit and support on display in this small coastal town.

The Grand Master spoke at length about the important work his Task Team had been doing throughout the jurisdiction. After lunch he and Gael both enjoyed some wonderful country hospitality as they toured the grounds of the RFBI Retirement Village followed up by an important visit with the brethren from the village that were not able to attend the meeting.

$52K for Westmead Children's hospital

Lodge Woollahra and the Grand Master with the help of the Masonicare donated $26,000 to the Westmead Childrens Hospital on the day of their 2019 Radiothon when the hospital had a sponsor matching every donation dollar for dollar. Which effectively means the Childrens hospital recieved $52,000 because of our donation.

With months of planning involved, Lodge Woollahra held a charity night on 12 of October just 6 days before Westmead Childrens hospital held their Radiothon. This was by no coincidence. Bro Mark Annesley of lodge Woollahra had been in talks with the hospital and knew that if a donation was made on the day of the Radiothon it would be matched dollar for dollar.

A bus load of ethos and camaraderie for Bombala

On Saturday 12 October, The Mountain Lodge in Bombala held a historic meeting when they had their first Initiation in several years. Not only that, but the candidate was the great great grandson of the foundation Worshipful Master way back in 1861!

A fraternal of 21 Canberra based masons representing 4 different lodges filled a bus and made the trip to help The Mountain Lodge celebrate this momentous occasion. The Grand Master congratulates them for their selfless efforts and notes that these Canberra masons have made it their business to travel regularly to The Mountain Lodge offering up their support and assistance to their country neighbours and by doing so also providing support to the Bombala community.

The brethren entered as a single fraternal, led by the WM of Lodge Ethos and with the WM Elect acting as Director of Ceremonies. The brethren were treated to a lively south of home cooked country fare and, as usual in Bombala, no one went home hungry or thirsty.

Sydney Masonic Centre end of year closure

Please note that the Masonic Centre and Grand Secretariat will close midday, Friday, 20 December 2019 and re-open on Monday, 6 January 2020.

In case of emergency during the above period please contact the Grand Secretary, RW Bro Stephen Green on 0488 331 855.

Masonic Education Papers

Brethren are reminded that the College of Masonic Studies is seeking expressions of interest from the jurisdiction to submit masonic education papers for peer review by the Education Committee and College.

To submit papers and for more information please contact

Send Your Story

Do you know of an interesting story? Has your lodge done something special? How about that recent fundraising, social activity you organised or visit from the Grand Master? Why not share it?

If you have something to tell, write a paragraph or two, add a good large photograph and send it to

Your article will be considered for this newsletter, the next Freemason magazine and might even feature in our official facebook page. Just make sure you have permission from all mentioned and depicted for their image to be publicly published.

The Grand Master's Newsletter
An official publication of the Freemasons NSW & ACT

Please submit your articles and photographs to and make sure you have permission from all mentioned and depicted for their image to be publically published.

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United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT
279 Castlereagh Street Sydney • PO Box A259 • T 02 9284 2800 • F 02 9284 2828


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