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Grand Master's Newsletter - Freemasons NSW & ACT

Published 30 September 2020

Click here to download a print version of this newsletter

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Derek Robson AM Grand Master and Gael Knox

Brethren,

Any devotee of the television nightly news would be encouraged to hear that many of the restrictions we have been faced with over the past few months are now being relaxed. It is great that we can take the opportunity to get out and support small business, visit outdoor cafes, restart our exercise programs, and generally spend more time in the open with our families.

Of course, the basic premise of social distancing will be with us for some time and we will still be facing restrictions to our masonic activity for some time yet. I note that several lodges have held very carefully conducted meetings in the past week, and all we can ask is that you continue to observe all the protocols set out in our Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 documentation. We owe it to ourselves and our community to ensure the safety of everyone.

Many lodges are now holding regular Zoom meetings and introducing various masonic talks and other informative knowledge into these gatherings. It is important that we continue to honour our Obligations in this regard and strive to enhance our masonic knowledge. Our Obligations require that we 'devote a fair proportion of our time to the study of the liberal arts and sciences' and 'make some daily progress in the acquisition of Masonic knowledge'. This can easily be achieved by attending one or more of these meetings or spending some time going over the words of the degrees which we have all pledged to support. For those who do not have access to this avenue of learning and involvement, please be reminded that the Masonic Education Network hosts regular gatherings and these are noted on the back of this Newsletter.

There is so much we can do and with Integrity, Loyalty and Respect, we will prevail.

I trust that you and your family are well.

Derek Robson AM
Grand Master

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I wish our Jewish brethren Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year) and Chag Sameyach (Happy Festival). With the hope that the pandemic would disappear from our life.

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Middle Harbour is back

Lodge Middle Harbour is back

Lodge Middle Harbour was the first Lodge in any Australian state to resume full meetings with a South. It returned to business on 13 August in its recently renovated Mosman Masonic Centre.

"We are fortunate to be in a jurisdiction that took a pro-active approach to returning to normal meetings." said Middle Harbour WM Tony Sulengkar.

Mosman Masonic Centre registered as a COVID Safe business in early June so its commercial tenants could in turn comply with their requirements.

"From then, it was relatively simple for the Lodge to submit its COVID-19 plan and we got a very rapid response from Grand Lodge, giving us clearance to meet.

Lodge Middle Harbour observing social distancing in the South

Lodge Middle Harbour observing social distancing in the South

"We are now looking at ways to incorporate the Zoom meeting format into our regular meeting schedule," he said.

"We picked up two candidates via Zoom and also re-connected with brethren who had not been attending the physical meetings for various reasons.

"Certainly online meetings make it easier for prospective candidates to get to know members of the lodge rather than the sometimes awkward process of only being able to attend Souths or social functions.

"One model might be that we conduct our business (motions, correspondence, confirmation of minutes) online and then reduce our physical meetings to just what has to happen (ballots, degree work or presentations). Our members think this would streamline things."

The lodge has a strong calendar ahead. Initiations in October and November, a double Second in December, and an Extended First Tracing Board in February.

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East Maitland, Morisset and Toronto Masonic Centres

Left to right: East Maitland, Morisset and Toronto Masonic Centres

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Upcoming events

"1st Tracing Board" continuation
Masonic Education Network
Wed, 30 September 7pm
Register Now
Every Wednesday a guest lodge takes the centre stage and conducts the presentation on a topic of their choosing


Entered Apprentice Freemasons Q&A
Masonic Education Network
Thu, 1 October 7pm
Register Now
Q&A run every Thursday alternating between EAFs and FCFs.


"Egypt Masonic References"
Saturday Zoom Room
Masonic Education Network
Sat, 3 October 3pm
Register Now
Saturday afternoon meetings run every week with a different topic of discussion.


"TBA"
Masonic Education Network
Wed, 7 October 7pm
Register Now
Every Wednesday a guest lodge takes the centre stage and conducts the presentation on a topic of their choosing


Fellowcraft Freemasons Q&A
Masonic Education Network
Thu, 8 October 7pm
Register Now
Q&A run every Thursday alternating between EAFs and FCFs.

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STAGE 1 - PREPARE THE BUILDING

All Masonic Centres are required to register as a COVID Safe business and prepare the building in accordance with steps that will be provided to them by the Grand Secretary.

NOTE: Once all buildings have been prepared we can then move on to Stage 2.

STAGE 2 - PREPARE YOUR LODGE

Once all Masonic Centres have completed Stage 1 it will then be necessary for each lodge to prepare their meeting place (lodge room) in accordance with further steps provided to them by the Grand Secretary.

NOTE: When lodges have completed Stage 2 and following further directions from the Government Health Authorities we can then move on to Stage 3.

STAGE 3 - RETURN TO LODGE

Once lodges have completed Stage 2 requirements and after ensuring we comply with all regulations directed by the authorities, the Grand Secretary will advise those lodges that they may consider their return.

NOTE: The Grand Secretary will provide further advice on any meeting restrictions that may apply as a result of further directions from the Government Health Authorities.

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Are your contact details up to date?

Freemasons NSW & ACT website profile page

To continue to receive the Freemason magazine, emails and invitations to online meetings it is important your contact details are up to date.

Please update your details on the Grand Lodge website or with your lodge secretary and urge your fellow brethren to do the same.

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How is your lodge staying connected?

Send Your Story

Write a paragraph or two, add a good large photograph and send it to news@masons.org.au.

Your story 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.

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

Please submit your articles and photographs to news@masons.org.au 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
www.masons.org.auwww.facebook.com/Freemasonsnswact
279 Castlereagh Street Sydney • PO Box A259 Sydney South NSW 1235
T 02 9284 2800 • F 02 9284 2828

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