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Grand Master's Newsletter - Freemasons NSW & ACT

Published 21 October 2020

Click here to download a print version of this newsletter

Keep it Simple and remain Safe

Derek Robson AM Grand Master

Brethren,

As COVID regulations and protocols change every day to make our lifestyle that little bit more relaxed, some things will not change - we will be faced with less opportunity to gather in any numbers for some months yet and our personal safety must remain paramount.

It would seem that Zoom business meetings and smaller social gatherings will be the norm until well into next year, and while there might be some exceptions presenting themselves over time, the practice of Freemasonry as we know it, will be difficult to manage.

I note that there will be a few Installations occurring over the next few weeks and these will be much smaller gatherings, with clearly defined social distancing and regular cleaning practices in place. While it is appreciated that some lodge officers simply cannot continue to hold office for some personal or business reasons, we should endeavour to make these changes with a minimum of fuss and with the simplest and safest ceremonies.

This is the time to think outside the square and perhaps it might be a good opportunity to take the family for a drive around the countryside. Combining the drive with some retail therapy would be much appreciated in these small communities. You might also have the time to catch up with some of the local Masons. Perhaps join the members of Lodge Federal United in Harden this Thursday, 22 October as they conduct their wood raffle in the main street. Drop in on the Mobile Masons in Moruya this weekend for a barbeque, or drop by the magnificent Masonic Centre in West Wyalong. A simple call to the lodge secretaries could ensure any access is provided to you and in any case, the historical features of these communities and the heritage architecture is something to see.

While out and about, you can promote the Craft by involving yourself in the Freemason Fotos competition, and no matter what you are doing, please consider the safety of each-other, your families and your community.

I trust that you and your family are well.

Derek Robson AM
Grand Master

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Ballina Hot Meal Centre to Reopen

Ballina Hot Meal Centre to Reopen

For over 20 years Ballina Hot Meal Centre has been preparing up to 300 sit down and takeaway meals for homeless, disadvantaged, and lonely people at the Ballina Masonic Centre. Unfortunately, all meal centre activities were suspended during COVID-19 - but some recent developments have cleared the way for the resumption of this unbelievably valuable community facility.

During the shutdown, Ballina Masonic Centre has undergone important renovations thanks to a loan from Grand Lodge. It now offers a first class facility available for use by the community.

The way is now clear for the resumption of activities of the Meal Centre which will be controlled and supported by Ballina Masonic Centre Inc and Lodge Ballina United.

The return of this community service has been facilitated by the efforts of RW Bro Col Lee OAM and W Bro Perry Wells who secured a significant grant from the Cherry Street Sports Club, whose sponsorship amounts to $25,000 per year over three years.

According to Mrs Beatrice Gray, the Centre Co-ordinator, the two days a week lunch service has been a life saver for many people who rely on the Meal Centre for their main wholesome meals. Mrs Gray said she was 'over the moon' to have the Meal Centre running again and providing about 300 meals twice a week.

The Meal Centre has donated fruit and bread available to people who are struggling financially. Besides that, it is also a place where people can find opportunity for friendship and social interaction.

The Ballina Hot Meal Centre is just an example of how Freemasons can exercise their principles in supporting their communities and helping to build a better and fairer society for all.

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Extension of Deadline

Freemason Fotos - See the light through the craft

The Freemason magazine is all about being fair. The COVID-19 situation has affected the postal service and a large proportion of magazines were received later than usual. This resulted in a short time frame to submit Stage 1 entries of their photo competition.

The deadline for Stage 1 will be the same as for Stage 2: 15 January 2021. This will give everyone a little more time to be creative.

The deadline for Stage 3 remains 15 April 2021.

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Triple Major Celebrations

>W Bro Major Craig Youll and Bro Major Roland Millbank with their 50 year certificates

W Bro Major Craig Youll and Bro Major Roland Millbank with their 50 year certificates

W Bro Major Craig Youll and Bro Major Roland Millbank received their 50 year certificates and jewels at Lodge Army and Navy's last regular meeting. Both are retired Majors having a combined service of 60 years in the Australian Army.

The Major event coincided with the passing of Bro Major Yanal Abzack to the Second Degree. Bro Abzack is a retired Major from the Royal Jordanian Army who chose Australia as his home some five years ago.

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Upcoming events

"1st Tracing Board" continuation
Masonic Education Network
Wed, 21 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, 22 October 7pm
Register Now
Q&A run every Thursday alternating between EAFs and FCFs.


"The Trivium - Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric"
Saturday Zoom Room
Masonic Education Network
Sat, 24 October 3pm
Register Now
Saturday afternoon meetings run every week with a different topic of discussion.


"1st Tracing Board" continuation
Masonic Education Network
Wed, 28 October 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, 29 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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