Published 11 June 2020

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Safety First

Brethren, I miss our traditional lodge meetings as much as you do. I miss meeting my brothers face to face and the opportunity to practice Freemasonry in the lodge room.

I want to be able to return to physical meetings as soon as viable, but at the same time I am very well aware that we must exercise caution in these difficult times.

The risks are just too great and we cannot afford to make any imprudent mistakes. We must prioritise the safety of our brethren and their families.

Rest assured that we are working on protocols, guidelines and checklists to ensure we are prepared to return when the time comes. Meanwhile we are seeking both legal and medical advice to be better informed of the possibilities and also risks we take when returning.

Brethren, we all want to resume our traditional meetings, but it is our duty to err on the side of caution and defend a Master Mason as well in his absence as in his presence.

So mote it be

Cessnock Freemasons Hall is finally getting its much needed renovation

Cessnock Masnic Centre

Work started last week on the next phase of the restoration work on Cessnock's Freemasons Hall.

Since 2016 work has been under way to give the historic hall - built in 1907 and the home of Cessnock Freemasonry ever since - a much-needed facelift.

It has been a work in progress ever since, both with council and in acquiring the necessary funding.

The first phase in 2016 included giving the exterior a fresh paint job, its first in 43 years, and to replace the roof for the first time since its construction.

Funding issues for stage 2 were finally resolved this year when the Federal Government agreed to give the Cessnock Freemasons $20,000 for the project through its Building Stronger Communities Grant. This was topped up in March when Grand Lodge, through the Building Fund, granted a loan for the balance of the transformation project.

"This Hall as been a part of Cessnock's skyline since 1907 and we cannot wait to bring the hall into the 21st century while also being proud of our shared history," said W Bro Max Katz-Barber, Chairman of Freemasons Hall Cessnock.

DA approval meant a number of local heritage issues had to be resolved, and also to repair much of the building structurally after it had been savaged by termites. This has meant work on this stage includes:

  • Complete new flooring system;
  • New electrical;
  • New plumbing;
  • New commercial kitchen;
  • New toilets with provisions for disabled toilets;
  • New disabled-friendly access to the building;
  • New air-conditioning,
  • Restoration of ornate features in the main public hall.

VW Bro Fred Beveridge, a long time director of the Freemasons Hall Cessnock said the works had been a long time in the making, but it was exciting now that the work was finally under way.

"Cessnock deserves a state of the art community space and once completed it will be a fitting home for Freemasonry to flourish in Cessnock," he said.

100 Years Young

VW Bro Robert Humphrey and his wife at the Lodge Advance 695 Annual Ball on the 1 June 1963, just two months after being installed as Worshipful Master.

VW Bro Robert Wallace Humphrey is now accustomed to celebrate his birthday. After all he is about to blow the candles for the 100th time this Saturday.

Bro Humphrey joined Freemasonry back in 1957 when he was initiated in Lodge Advance 695. He progressed through the offices until he became the Worshipful Master in April 1963.

Lodge Advance consolidated and became Lodge Artarmon 285 in 1983.

After moving to Port Macquarie, Bro Humphrey affiliated with Lodge Hastings 69 in 1984 and Port Macquarie Daylight Lodge 991 in 1989.

In 2008 he was a founding member of Lachlan Macquarie Lodge 1042.

Happy Birthday Bob!

Letter

Thanks MEN

I would like to thank all the brethren involved with MEN (Masonic Education Network) program and zoom meetings.

You brought a different level of enthusiasm and enlightenment to my understanding of the craft.

Better still, being an ardent reader, these meetings gave me enough new books to read for the next 6 months.

However even better, is the new friendships we have developed.

Thank you all and I hope that this program continues still after these restrictions.

Bro Joe Scicluna
Lodge Toukley 933

Thanks for the Coolroom

Back in 2016 in a joint effort from the Freemasons from District 11 and Masonicare a mobile coolroom was donated to the local Rural Fire Service.

The presentation of the cheque was made by the Grand Master, MW Bro Derek Robson AM at the Tweed Heads Masonic Centre.

Fast forward three and a half years and the mobile coolroom has played a very important role in supporting the local RFS throughout many difficult circumstances.

The unit has been deployed at Mullumbimby, Casino and Broadwater in the recent fires and helped to provide 30 to 60 meals a day.

It is run by Andrew Preston and his mother Millie Higgins along with a team of volunteers.

Andrew thanks the brethren of all local lodges for the tremendous support. In Andrew's words: "they could not have coped without the unit".

Whilst they continue to thank Freemasons of this district for their contribution we are greatly indebted to their work and respectfully thank them for supporting the RFS.

Upcoming events

Entered Apprentice Freemasons Q&A
Masonic Education Network
Thu, 11 June 7pm
Register Now
Q&A run every Thursday alternating between EAFs and FCFs.


Saturday Zoom Room
Masonic Education Network
Sat, 13 June 3pm
Register Now
Saturday afternoon meetings run every week with a different topic of discussion.


"North@Night"
Live Stream to MEN Facebook Page with W Bro Jerry Madulid
Masonic Education Network
Mon, 15 June 9:30pm
Register Now


"The Trades Guilds of Edinburgh"
Masonic Education Network
guest speaker: Bro Ian Robertson - Scottish Constitution
Wed, 17 June 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, 18 June 7pm
Register Now
Q&A run every Thursday alternating between EAFs and FCFs.

Are your contact details up to date?

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.

How is your lodge staying connected?

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.

Hosting a zoom meeting?

If you are hosting an online meeting and want to invite other brethren, send the meeting link to news@masons.org.au and we will publish it in the next GM's Newsletter.

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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