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Grand Master's Newsletter - Freemasons NSW & ACT

Published 23 December 2020

Click here to download a print version of this newsletter

Derek Robson AM Grand Master

Best Wishes

At this time of the year, we look forward to taking a break and spending time with our families. We look forward to the fun and laughter that the festive season encourages, and we certainly look forward to the enjoyment that a family holiday can offer.

It is becoming clear that this year might be quite different, and as COVID-19 circumstances continue to evolve with lockdowns and border closures, perhaps some of our well-worn plans may have already been put aside.

We need to stand tall, acting as the resolute and caring father figure to give our families the confidence they need. This will certainly be a different and perhaps difficult time for our families, but with kindness and love, we will prevail.

It is important that we consider those of our membership who are not in the best of health, those who will continue to face difficulties, and the widows and families of those who have passed away during the year, and particularly we reflect on the friendship of those to whom we were not able to give a dignified masonic farewell due to attendance restrictions.

Importantly also, this is the time for us to consider those who will not be able to take part in the fun of family, those for whom a holiday is never an option and those whose lives will not be any different at all.

Charity takes many forms brethren, and we should always be mindful of being charitable to others, to our family, and to our community.

I extend best wishes to you all and trust that you all have an enjoyable festive season.

Derek Robson AM
Grand Master

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Freemasons to the Rescue

Freemasons to the Rescue - 1st Avoca Beach Scouts

Freemasons on the Central Coast (FotCC) supplied 1st Avoca Beach Scouts with 34 personal floatation devices (lifejackets) and 42 new paddles to help relaunch their activities after a trying year.

Like many of us, the Scouts had been restricted to virtual meetings for the last ten months. A tough situation for an organisation based around practical outdoor activity! When they were finally able to resume meetings, a safety inspection of their gear revealed that some of it was in dire need of replacement due to lack of use. It was then that Freemasons on the Central Coast came to the rescue!

The leadership of the group reached out to FotCC and explained their predicament. In response, FotCC donated lifejackets in a selection of sizes for different age groups, each emblazoned with the name of the troop (which will come in very handy at the next regatta!) along with new paddles of various styles to replace those which were in danger of breaking due to age or wear.

Freemasons to the Rescue - 1st Avoca Beach Scouts

To present the new gear, FotCC were invited to a Scout meeting on 14 December. The evening commenced with a parade at which Chairman, Geoff Bown and Director, James Noble presented the gear to Group Leader, Peter Oliver. The donation was celebrated with a rousing BRAVO! and a great rush to the water to put it all to the test!

Since 2009, Freemasons on the Central Coast have donated more than $1.2 million in equipment to local organisations.

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Freemasons NSW & ACT Community Service Award

Freemasons NSW & ACT Community Service Award - Period Pack's Lily Harrison - Freemasons Community Service Award - photo courtesy of ABC News

Period Pack's Lily Harrison - Freemasons Community Service Award - photo courtesy of ABC News

The purpose of the 7NEWS Young Achiever and the Freemasons Community Service Awards is to acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of all young people in NSW & ACT up to and including 29 years of age as of 31 December each year.

Freemasons NSW & ACT proudly sponsor this award as it represents not just the principle of charity, one of our core values, but also the future of the community we as Freemasons are an integral part.

This year has brought us many challenges and difficulties and now is the time to recognise any young member of our community who went above and beyond their duty to alleviate the pain of 2020.

This is also a great opportunity to show that our lodges are engaged with our local communities.

Do you know someone amazing? Refer them before nominations close on 11 January 2021.

The simple nomination form can be found on this link.

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Sydney Masonic Centre end of year closure

Sydney Masonic Centre and Grand Secretariat will close midday, Thursday 24 December 2020 and re-open on Monday, 11 January 2021

Please note that the Sydney Masonic Centre and Grand Secretariat will close midday, Thursday 24 December 2020 and re-open on Monday 11 January 2021.

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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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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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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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Freemasons NSW & ACT logo

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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