Freemason NSW & ACT - April 2024

Page 1

The Craft in Changi

Humility – Kindness –

OThe Official Journal of The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons

This issue of the Freemason is produced under the direction of:

Editor & Chairman: Bro Terry McCallum

Committee: Bros Ted Simmons, Richard Dawes (Secretary), Simon Pierce, Derek Robson, Max Katz-Barber, Kim Nielsen, Les Hicks, Alan Gale, Rick Atkinson, Owen Sandry and Mrs Lynne Clay

Design & Production: Bro Simon Pierce, Megan Baumann and Pam Gill

Freemason is published in January, April, July and October. Deadline for copy is 1st of the month preceding month of issue.

All matters for publication in the journal should be addressed to:

The Secretary

Freemason Editorial Committee

The United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT PO Box A259, Sydney South, NSW 1235

Telephone: (02) 9284 2800


Published articles do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of The United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT.

Publication of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of the product or service by The United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT.

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Bro Simon Pierce

APM Graphics Management

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Telephone: (02) 4344 5133


Freemason is proudly designed and produced by APM Graphics Management

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Distributed to all NSW & ACT brethren and sister Grand Lodges in Australia and worldwide.

INCLUDED WITH THIS ISSUE: RFBI Charity Envelope – see advertisement on page nine, and A Start in Life Brighter Futures newsletter

COVER IMAGE: Australian prisoners of war in the Changi Gaol. Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial


Aims of the Freemason magazine

R To uphold and promote those values, morals and virtues which Freemasonry believes are universal and enduring.

R To foster a better understanding of Freemasonry within the general community.

R To provide a forum for discussion on masonic issues.

R To publicise the charitable works of Freemasonry.

R To provide articles of interest and education and to disseminate masonic news and views.

R To recognise masons who make significant contributions to the Craft and the wider community.

Electronic versions of FREEMASON can be viewed or downloaded at and

ISSN 1836-0475 or ISSN 1836-0513 (Online)

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© 2024 Copyright: It should be noted that copyright for all text, photographs and illustrations (except where otherwise indicated) rests worldwide with Freemason


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22 32 Apr–Jun 2024 2 Contents • Editorial 3 • Quarterly Communication 4 • Project Celestial 6 • The next Grand Master 7 • From the Grand Chaplain 8 • Two lodges merge 10 • Famous mason 12 • We will give 5,000 meals 14 • Mini Masonry 16 • What’s On 17 • Masons on the web 18 • Young Masons 20 • The birthday paradox 22
• About our aprons 23 • It runs in the family 24 • Journey into Fatherhood 26 • Freemasonry in Cinema 28 • Journey to the Chair 30 • Australia Day Honours 31 • Changi prison masons 32 • Masonic news 35 • Initiates 44 • Cryptic Puzzle 45 • Service Certificates 46 • The quiz 47 • The Nek 47
18 28 6 12

Uplifting numbers

Hello, everyone. This edition of your Freemason magazine is again loaded with news and stories from around the lodges, as well as articles of general interest to you the reader.

Chief among the points I wish to make in this editorial is the resurgence of attendance at masonic events. Covid left so many lodges empty for so long, but as time passed, the brethren returned – until their numbers now lift the hearts of everyone. To a great extent, it is the creativity of lodges that has contributed to the success in attendances, either by doing things a little differently or by highlighting something unusual about their event.

Three shining examples of this took place very recently on 23 and 24 February. I’ll leave you to read about them in this magazine, but between an initiation at Lodge Condobolin, a Raising in Cowra and an Installation in Sydney, over 300 masons donned their regalia to attend. Three wonderful

events and an amazing turnout, with numbers we wouldn’t have dreamed of just a couple of years ago.

The progress of the new UGL website continues apace. As it grows, more and more avenues for information and learning are becoming readily available to all masons. The work of lodge secretaries is becoming progressively more streamlined, and any mason wishing to learn a charge for their lodge now has a professionally read version for them to listen to.

Go to ‘’ and log on. Your old password will no longer work, so you’ll need to set up a new one. All very simple and well worthwhile. It’s also a great opportunity to update your information.

And don’t forget – you can also read an online version of this very magazine – back issues too.

Log on and give it a go!

By the time this issue goes to press the Grand Communication will have passed, and our next Grand Master will be known. This also means that our current Grand Master – Most Worshipful Brother Lesley Norman Hicks – is approaching the end of his third term of office, and will be stepping down. All brethren would be aware of the tremendous workload that is upon any Grand Master, and MW Bro Hicks has taken it on with pace and energy. He certainly deserves to sit back and put his feet up after his time as GM (although I suspect he won’t be doing that!).

My thanks go to the Editorial Committee for their work and skill in putting this publication together.

Enjoy your read!


PS: Whilst still compiling this Editorial I was made aware that Worshipful Brother Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO, DSO, DSC, RAN (Rtd), Past Master of Lodge Army and Navy, passed to the Grand Lodge Above on 5 March. He was 101 years old.

During his time as a Commodore he was Captain of the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne when it went to Darwin after Cyclone Tracey as part of a naval taskforce to help with the recovery effort.

May he rest in peace. Apr–Jun 2024 3
Better than shouting! We’ve made it easier to get your message out to fellow masons! Our updated advertising options cover our most requested features: R Smaller, more economical adverts to support your magazine for less. R Our new Classified section where you can post messages, sell items, promote your company/organisation and more. This includes and expands on our What’s On section to cover any listing you want to make. All our advertising options feature increased digital visibility – your advert will remain available online with the digital version of the magazine including all live links. To see our new advertising options, simply scan the QR code or email Bro Simon at PRECISION GRELLMAN v56 Jan–Mar Humility–Kindness–Generosity MASONRY THE PÉROUSESTORY FREEMASONRY CINEMA n2 Apr–Jun2024 Humility–Kindness–Generosity e Craft in Changi


FThe occasion of an election for the next Grand Master meant that the March Communication at SMC was filled to overflowing, and with it being streamed to so many centres around NSW and the ACT it was an event in which so many brethren participated. ...a very convincing

ollowing the usual ‘housekeeping’ items of all Quarterly Communications (welcomes, apologies, minutes, etc), the business went straight into the election for the next Grand Master.

The two contenders were RW Bro Khris Albano DGM and RW Bro Richard Collins PDGM, Past Grand Treasurer. Once the rules of the voting process were covered, the ticks were applied and the voting slips collected. After the results from SMC and the Regional Centres were added, the result was a very convincing win in favour of RW Bro Albano. His success was announced to great congratulatory applause.


The next Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication and dinner will be held on Wednesday 12 June 2024 at 7:30pm

The Communication is open to all members of Grand Lodge, which includes all Master Masons. Other brethren are invited to attend as observers.

win in favour of RW

Bro Albano.

Whilst the counting was taking place, brethren were treated to a recital on Grand Lodge’s brand new Hauptwerk Mixtuur virtual organ, which has the capability of replicating famous pipe organs from around the world. Grand Director of Music RW Bro Ian Cox explained that ‘Hauptwerk is a powerful software program based on MIDI that enables the user to load data from organs that have been meticulously sampled.

‘The sound of each individual pipe of the sampled organ has been individually recorded – including the attack transient of the pipe, the development of the note, and the release,’ he said.

There were two musical recitals given during the evening: the first by Organist Simon Niemiński and the second by Chris Sillence. The quality of sound from the new organ was nothing short of amazing.

After the first recital, the Grand Master delivered his Address. He spoke of being in the closing stages of his three year tenure, and how proud he was of what has been achieved during that time, and of how confident he was in the newly announced Grand Master

Elect. He spoke with enthusiasm regarding the ongoing implementation of Grand Lodge’s new CMS software, and of how – when completed – it will bring so much benefit in the areas of administration, education and cost.

A full coverage of the Grand Master’s Address is available on the Grand Lodge Website.

The Board of Management Reports were submitted, and a quite significant Notice of Motion was put regarding the Term of Office for future Grand Masters, proposing that the term of office be extended from one year to three. A sitting Grand Master will have the option to stand down before the expiration of his three year term if he wishes, and the next Grand Master will begin a new three year term.

The Notice of Motion will be put to the vote at the June Quarterly Communication.

I think all who attended the Grand Communication will agree that it was a momentous and enjoyable night.

Quarterly Communication
Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Apr–Jun 2024 4
Organists Simon Niemiński and Chris Sillence at the console of the new organ


The full reports are available in the members’ section of the Grand Lodge website.

Three-year term for Grand Master proposed

At the next communication, a motion will be put to members that provides for the Grand Master to be elected for a three-year term. Grand Masters are currently elected (and in most cases then re-elected) for a series of one-year terms.

Under the proposal, Clause 3.1.1, relating to the election of Grand Master will read:

(a) That the Grand Master elected at the 2024 election shall be elected annually until the expiration of his term as Grand Master. This Clause shall cease to be effective at the expiration of the term of office of the Grand Master elected in 2024.

(b) The Grand Master shall then be elected for a three-year term and thereafter each elected Grand Master shall serve a three-year term before another election is called.

If a Grand Master, for any reason, chooses not to serve for a three-year term then the next elected Grand Master will commence a new three-year term.

Each Nominee for the office of Grand Master shall lodge a nomination form with the Grand Secretary in the form prescribed by him no later than 4.00 pm on the first working day in February in the year in which the election is due, setting out the information detailed in Clause 3.1.2, provided that in each case the nomination shall be signed by two

nominators who are members of Grand Lodge and by the Brother who is being nominated.

Fees and Dues Increase

Grand Lodge accepted the recommendation of Grand Treasurer RW Bro Ian Hogan that there be increases in some fees and a reduction in another.

The capitation fee was increased by $5 a member to $145 a year (a rise of 3.57%, compared to the Core Inflation rate of 4.2%). The membership promotion fee rose by $2 to $10 and the re-joining fee reduced from $220 to $183.70.

The Grand Treasurer noted a purpose of the re-joining fee is to close a loophole being exploited by some lodges that were removing members from their books in June and reinstating them in August to avoid paying the annual capitation fee.

He said the Membership Promotion Levy has not risen for a considerable time and, with the increase in expenditure required for promoting the Craft via electronic media and other means, this Levy rises by $2 from $8 to $10 per Member per year. It is reflective of the Board of Management’s concerted efforts in this area.

Financial performance

The UGL General Purpose Fund has performed $370,211 better than budgeted, in the six months ending 31 December 2023, as has the Sydney Masonic Centre ($13,578 better). The Museum of Freemasonry was $3,122 under budget for the same period and the Grand Charity Fund, Benevolence, Scott Young Trust and the Disaster Relief Fund recorded a $75,874 higher surplus than budgeted.

Ritual Updates

Delivery of Charges

The ruling that Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts may not deliver a charge except with the dispensation of the Grand Master has been enforced.

As a reminder, Master Masons deliver the MOP, WTs and TBs. Those above the rank of IM deliver Obligations, Signs and Secrets, Final Charges, the NE and SE charges, Traditional History, Retrospect, Raising, Extended Signs and the three Addresses at Installation ceremonies. Master Masons can and are encouraged to deliver the WTs at installation ceremonies.

Delegation by Worshipful Master

The Worshipful Master may not delegate all work and should deliver both the Obligation and the S&S, the only exception to be when there are multiple Raisings.

Closing in Third Degree

Whilst an abbreviated version of the closing is offered, it should only be used when there has not been the full degree ceremony. When a Lodge has conferred a Third Degree, the full form of the Third Degree closing should be used.

Masonicare grants

At the December and February board meetings, InterACTION grants totalling $39,000 were approved to be donated to eight community groups around the state. Lodges are encouraged to plan fundraising events in conjunction with Masonicare. Apr–Jun 2024 5
Fundraising watches, organised by GM-Elect RW Bro Khris Albano A packed Grand Lodge room for the March Communication

A star-studded raising

Some 150 brethren made a pilgrimage to Cowra in February to witness a double raising held under the strong glimmering ray of a full moon on a warm and cloudless night.

Lodge Highway 837’s travelling warrant was put to good use when it hosted an evocative Third Degree on Deputy Grand Treasurer RW Bro Joe Corrigan’s property Lachballin, some 12 kilometres to the south east of Cowra in the Central West of NSW.

Dubbed Project Celestial, the combined efforts of surrounding lodges and many brethren created an open­air lodge room seating 150 in a cathedral of trees and

‘banquet hall’ for 130 by the banks of the Lachlan river.

Brethren came by motorbike, car and bus; some camped overnight on the farm, one brother flew in and parked his plane on the farm airstrip and there wasn’t a spare hotel room in Cowra.

‘The big three’ were also there – Grand Master Lesley Hicks, Deputy GM Khris Albano and Assistant GM Paul Schultz with the GM and DGM delivering charges.

The fortunate brethren to be raised in such unique circumstances were Bros Peter Linsdell of Lodge Bland 337 and Andrew Lippett of Woollahra 341, both of whom told those present it was a powerful experience.

Organisers chose the night –24 February – with care. It was a Saturday night close to the full moon at a time of year when the weather is usually warm and dry.

The Great Architect did not disappoint. It was truly a ‘braw, bricht, muinlicht nicht’ and the susurration of the trees was a powerful backdrop to a ritual that is even under normal circumstances deeply moving, let alone in such a stunning space.

The work was shared between several lodges and the Grand Master said it was an active demonstration of how imagination and tenacity can create memorable events.

‘This shows just how flexible, imaginative and meaningful Freemasonry can be when men of imagination, willing

and skill get together,’ Grand Master Les Hicks told the assembled brethren.

‘I am hoping this becomes an annual event and draws even more brethren and their families to the next one.

‘It was simply an awesome night, in both the traditional and modern sense. Both awe­inspiring and absolutely excellent,’ he said.

Lodges from surrounding towns donated fixtures and fittings, much of which is now stored on Lachballin, making the next meeting easier to organise.

Lodge Highway WM (and current Grand Director) RW Bro Joshua Newman was fulsome in his thanks to all those who helped his lodge stage such a logistically difficult meeting.

‘It’s one thing for people to come up with an idea, but putting it into action and successfully making it happen was a massive task.

‘In particular, RW Bro Corrigan must be thanked for his generous support: not only providing the venue but also coordinating much of the event, surmounting the daunting logistical challenges and making sure all those who attended were well catered for in every way.

‘Highway also thanks Lodges Canobolas­Lewis, Mark Owen, Cowra, Oberon and brethren from Bathurst, Orange, Condobolin, Bland, Parkes, Sydney and Tweed Heads who helped make the night the success it was.’

Apr–Jun 2024 6 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason
Project Celestial
RW Bro Alan Gale
A dramatic backdrop for an outstanding evening Lachballin shining a light in the darkness

The next Grand Master

Grand Master Elect

At the Quarterly Communication on the evening of 13 March, RW Bro Bernie Khristianne (Khris) Albano, DGM was elected as the next Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

In speaking of his election success, RW Bro Albano told Freemason: ‘I am truly humbled by the result and I will serve as Grand Master for all brethren.’

Knocking on the door of Freemasonry in 1997, Khris Albano was initiated into Freemasonry at Dalisay Lodge No 14 (Grand Lodge of the Philippines) in August 2002, completing his journey to Worshipful Master in 2007. He was appointed as District Grand Lecturer in 2010. After relocating to Australia, he affiliated with Lodge Jose Rizal No 1045 in 2011, serving as Preceptor for exemplification teams demonstrating the three degrees in various international jurisdictions. He later became the Foundation Worshipful Master of Elysian Lodge No 418 for the 2018–19 term.

He joined the Ceremonial Team in 2012, advancing through each of the roles until he reached the position of Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2019. Serving as Assistant Grand Master in 2021 and Deputy Grand Master in 2022 through to the present, he proved his dedication and commitment by his attendance at countless masonic events and functions throughout the jurisdiction in addition to his duties on the Board of Management, the Executive Council and involvement in various Grand Lodge Committees.

The current Grand Master MW Bro Les Hicks mentioned that RW Bro Albano has progressed actively from Grand Office to Grand Office serving in each role officially, so has never yet held a ‘Past’ rank. In presenting RW Bro Albano with his Past DGM jewel, the Grand Master said ‘It gave

me great pleasure to be able to present him with his first “Past” jewel – that of Past Deputy Grand Master, which he can wear now that he is the Grand MasterElect. It is a position and jewel he will be wearing for only a few months, but I know he will wear it with great pride.’

In paying tribute to his successor, the Grand Master said that RW Bro Albano’s landslide election is a fitting acknowledgement of his commitment and dedication to Freemasonry.

RW Bro Albano lives in Sydney. He is married to Caroline and is the principal of Albano Migration, which provides assistance to intending migrants around the world in their migration journey to Australia. He holds professional qualifications and experience in the fields of engineering, supply chain logistics and business.

When asked how he saw his role as the next Grand Master, RW Bro Albano

said: ‘Each brother I meet wants his experience of Freemasonry to be relevant to his everyday life and the best it can be. It does require a collective effort to ensure that we enhance the relevance and the experience of Freemasonry for ourselves, our new members and our communities. I give my commitment that my term of office will be dedicated to pursuing this object with considered focus and passion and to the best of my ability. I pledge to do this whilst always seeking advice and ideas from brethren about better ways to work together for the betterment of our Craft.’

He added: ‘As Grand Master, I will continue to be aligned with the brethren’s expectations and enforce good corporate governance, tight fiscal management and the need for balance and relevance in our traditions and aspirations.’

The date for the Grand Installation is set for Saturday 3 August 2024. Apr–Jun 2024 7
Caroline and Khris RW Bro Albano has joined a select band of brethren GM Elect RW Bro Khris Albano

Showing care for each other

I wish to begin with a personal story about my wife, Frances. In late 2021, she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Come February 2022, Frances underwent a major surgery to remove the lower lobe of her right lung. Upon returning home, we were both moved by the numerous people who mentioned they had prayed for her. Throughout that year, regular check­ups showed no signs of cancer. Frances firmly believes her recovery is thanks to her surgeon’s expertise and the power of many prayers

In late 2022, my own health declined, and during 2023, I was hospitalized six times. Each time I was discharged, I was informed of the many prayers sent my way. ‘This made me feel very humble knowing that so many people would care about me.’ Later in the year, I received a diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma. The prognosis seemed grim until I learned about immunotherapy. Despite its potential side effects, I embarked on this treatment, buoyed by ongoing prayers. I am pleased to report that the treatment is effective, and I have been spared any severe side effects.

I am convinced that our world would be immensely improved if we all showed care for each other, Freemasons or not.

I am convinced that my improved condition is a result of both the medical intervention and the prayers I received.

Our masonic ritual urges us to pray for all Master Masons. It’s worth reflecting on how often we heed this call. In our lodges, we learn of brothers facing hardships and often visit them, knowing our presence offers solace. Telling them

that we will pray for them could bring even greater comfort.

Our initiation includes the phrase ‘by the help of God,’ signalling that the Great Architect of the Universe is ready to assist. I believe that if we seek divine assistance for ourselves or others, our prayers will be heard.

Freemasonry teaches us that its foundational principles – Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth – help make good men better. Embodying these principles enriches not just our lives, but also the lives of others.

I am convinced that our world would be immensely improved if we all showed care for each other, Freemasons or not. When we encounter someone suffering, whether in mind or body, demonstrating compassion can be profoundly impactful. Offer to pray for them, and you’ll likely see a positive reaction. But it’s crucial to follow through with your promise to pray. Let your daily prayers be a reminder to think of all those in need.

Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Apr–Jun 2024 8
Chaplain By
From the Grand
RW Bro Robert Drysdale



RFBI donated $2,000 to the Glen Innes Public School’s breakfast program, in partnership with the Glen Innes Masonic Lodge.

Help us, so that we can continue to help others

Help us, so that we can continue to help others

It’s our Appeal Quarter and we are asking you to once again give generously so that we can continue to improve the lives of people in our communities. All donations are gratefully received and will be applied faithfully towards our programs.

It’s our Appeal Quarter and we are asking you to once again give generously so that we can continue to improve the lives of people in our communities. All donations are gratefully received and will be applied faithfully towards our programs.

For 144 years, RFBI has been making a difference in the lives of people in our communities.

For 144 years, RFBI has been making a difference in the lives of people in our communities.

Over the last 10 years RFBI has provided over $13 million to assist individuals and families in need, fund important research and health programs:

Over the last 10 years RFBI has provided over $13 million to assist individuals and families in need, fund important research and health programs:

• Currently supporting eight individuals and families, providing $4000 per month through our Annuities Program.

• Currently supporting eight individuals and families, providing $4000 per month through our Annuities Program.

• Provided over $500,000 to fund a registered nurse to travel with the Men’s Health Education Rural Van (MHERV) to provide free health checks with the goal of reducing the number of preventable deaths in regional men.

• Provided over $500,000 to fund a registered nurse to travel with the Men’s Health Education Rural Van (MHERV) to provide free health checks with the goal of reducing the number of preventable deaths in regional men.

• Gave $500,000 to support farmers and their families during the 2019 - 2020 drought.

• Gave $500,000 to support farmers and their families during the 2019 - 2020 drought.

• Provided over $75,000 to purchase medical equipment, aides and supports needed by members of our local communities.

• Provided over $75,000 to purchase medical equipment, aides and supports needed by members of our local communities.

• Provided 32 defibrillators to Masonic Lodges across NSW for the benefit of their members and their local community (at a value of $90,000)

• Provided 32 defibrillators to Masonic Lodges across NSW for the benefit of their members and their local community (at a value of $90,000)

• Given $550,000 to community groups, clubs and organisations including the Rural Fire Brigade, Australian Family Support Fund, Glen Innes Breakfast Club, Can Assist and Red Cross.

• Given $550,000 to community groups, clubs and organisations including the Rural Fire Brigade, Australian Family Support Fund, Glen Innes Breakfast Club, Can Assist and Red Cross.

To make a donation, please visit or use the envelope provided.

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For all enquiries regarding donations and bequests, please contact 02 8031 3200 or email

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Donations of $2.00 and over are tax deductible and every dollar we receive goes to helping people in need.

Donations of $2.00 and over are tax deductible and every dollar we receive goes to helping people in need.

Strengthening mid-north coast Freemasonry

A New Chapter for Lodge The Raleigh 241 and Lodge Fitzroy

In an event marking an historic transition for Freemasonry on the Mid­North Coast, Lodge The Raleigh 241, beautifully situated in the region’s scenic hinterland, embraced a bright new beginning. On 28 November 2023, this esteemed lodge celebrated its fusion with Lodge Fitzroy, carrying on the proud number 241. This merger symbolises a forward­looking step in the evolution of Freemasonry in the area.

VW Bro Peter Collins, the Worshipful Master of Lodge The Raleigh, addressed the gathering, reflecting on the lodge’s rich heritage while expressing optimism for its future in partnership with Lodge Fitzroy. This move is seen as a strategic and positive development for both lodges, promising a stronger, more vibrant masonic presence in the community.

Distinguished masons, including the Regional Gand Councillor, RW Bro Phillip Robertson, District Grand Inspector of Workings, RW Bro Garry Chandler, and the Chairman of Operations, RW Bro John Jacobson, together with 35 masons and a fraternal

The union of Lodge The Raleigh with Lodge Fitzroy is more than just a merger...

visit from Lodge Star of Wauchope, joined the assembly, acknowledging this momentous occasion. Emotions of pride and anticipation filled the air as the Junior Warden, in a symbolic gesture, declared a new beginning for the lodge.

Post­merger, members, their families, and guests gathered to celebrate this new chapter. The evening was a blend of reflection and excitement, filled with toasts and reminiscences of Lodge The Raleigh’s storied past and aspirations for the future.

W Bro Stan Gordon, the lodge’s Secretary, provided a captivating overview of Lodge The Raleigh’s journey. Founded over a century ago, the lodge’s origins trace back to the pioneering cedar getters and timber workers of the Bellinger Valley. Its rich history includes the establishment of Lodge Argyll in 1883 and its evolution through various constitutions and locations, including the iconic building in Bellingen, now an art gallery.

The lodge’s history is marked by resilience and adaptation, from its early meetings by moonlight to its relocation and revival in the early 20th century. The laying of the foundation stone of their unique three­ story lodge in 1911 marked a significant milestone, cementing the lodge’s presence in the community.

Lodge The Raleigh’s history is a tapestry of tradition, resilience, and community spirit that spans over a century. The origins of Lodge The Raleigh date back to the early days of the Bellinger Valley, a period when the area was just beginning to be settled by non­indigenous people. Among these early settlers,

Apr–Jun 2024 10 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Two lodges merge By W Bro Stan
and RW Bro
The assembled brethren of Lodge The Raleigh

including cedar getters, boatmen, and timber workers, were men who were already practicing masons.

The discovery of red cedar in 1841 attracted a wave of workers to the area, and it was from these pioneers that the foundations of Freemasonry in the Bellinger Valley were laid. In 1883, a group of these masons came together with a shared vision, applying for a dispensation to establish a lodge of Free and Accepted Masons on the Bellinger River. This led to the formation of Lodge Argyll, with Bro Thomas C. K. McKell as the Worshipful Master, marking the start of a formal masonic presence in the valley.

Initially meeting in private homes and later in a joint venture Temple in Fernmount, the Lodge navigated through various changes and challenges. It joined the United Grand Lodge of NSW under the English Constitution in 1888, adapting to the evolving landscape of Freemasonry. Despite financial difficulties in the late 1890s leading to a temporary surrender of its charter, the spirit of the lodge persisted.

In a remarkable revival, former members of Lodge Argyll re­established masonic traditions in the Bellinger Valley in 1904, forming Lodge The Raleigh. The lodge faced early challenges, including finding a suitable meeting place and

navigating restrictions from the Grand Lodge. However, these obstacles only strengthened their resolve.

A pivotal moment came in 1909 when Lodge The Raleigh purchased land for a new building, a significant step towards establishing a permanent home. In 1911, the foundation stone for this new lodge was laid, a symbol of their enduring commitment to Freemasonry. The building, uniquely constructed on steep land with locally made sandstone bricks and timber, served as their home for over eight decades.

Throughout its history, Lodge The Raleigh has been more than just a

gathering place for masons; it has been a cornerstone of the community, with its members actively involved in local development and philanthropy. The lodge’s journey, marked by perseverance, adaptability, and a deep sense of brotherhood, reflects the core values of Freemasonry.

The union of Lodge The Raleigh with Lodge Fitzroy is more than just a merger; it is an harmonious blending of histories, traditions, and communities. It opens the door to new possibilities, ensuring that the legacy of Lodge The Raleigh continues to thrive, now as part of a larger, more dynamic masonic family on the Mid­North Coast. Apr–Jun 2024 11
The home of Lodge The Raleigh

The La Pérouse story

The Sydney eastern suburb of La Perouse is an attraction for tourists and locals as part of the network of beaches and various local interesting sites.

But few people are aware that the suburb was named after a famous French explorer and naval officer, who was among the first to sail to the land called Terra Australis and explore the southern waters of planet Earth.

Jean­Francois de Galaup, Comte (Count) de Lapérouse (variant spelling La Pérouse) was born into nobility on 22 August 1741 at the Castle La Guo near Albi in Southern France – about 60km north east of Toulouse. He soon became simply referred to by his title of ‘La Pérouse’.

After leaving local school at age 15, he reported to the naval training establishment at the port of Brest. In 1759 he was wounded at the Battle of Quiberon Bay and taken prisoner.

After two years he was repatriated from England and returned to naval duties, where he worked on his ability as a seaman and navigator. During a later visit to India he met and married Elenore Brouden in June 1783.

Promoted to Captain in 1780, he took part in the American war with significant success. This led to his selection in 1783 when the French government decided to send an expedition to the Pacific to complete the unfinished work of Captain Cook, exploring the possibility of a north­west passage in the Bering Sea.


a two vessel

comprising La Boussole and L’Astrolabe. They left Brest in August 1785 sailing to Brazil, Chile, the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), Alaska and California before sailing across the Pacific in the direction of what was known as New Holland.

Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Apr–Jun 2024 12 Famous mason By RW Bro Ted Simmons OAM
Pérouse was appointed captain of fleet Louis XVI giving his instructions to La Pérouse by Nicolas-André Monsiau. La Pérouse is pictured on the left. An illustration imagining the fate of La Astrolabe and La Boussole in the Solomon Islands by Louis Le Breton

attacked a party from one of the ships, killing 12 men including the second in command to La Pérouse.

He did not take any reprisal action and sailed to Norfolk Island and was sighted off the coast of NSW on 24 January 1788 but bad weather prevented the French ships from entering Botany Bay.

The arrival of the two ships caused some concern amongst members of the British First Fleet who were unsure from which country they had sailed. Captain Arthur Phillip decided they were French on a voyage of discovery.

In courtesy calls between the two groups, the French explained they were seeking to replenish supplies and in doing so erected a small timber stockade on the northern shore, just inside the head of Botany Bay. In their talks, La Pérouse said that he expected to be back in France within 15 months and that he needed three years supply of provisions.

There were meetings between staff members of (by then) Governor Phillip and the French vessels but there was not any record of a meeting between La Pérouse and Governor Phillip.

On 10 March 1788 it was reported that guns were used against the local aborigines who were believed to be creating a threat. La Pérouse recorded that the

On the same day La Pérouse sailed from Botany Bay and was never heard from again.

Relations between France and Britain deteriorated and unfounded rumours spread in France blaming the British for the tragedy which had occurred in the vicinity of the new Australian colony.

However while visiting what is now the Solomon Islands in 1826, Irish captain Peter Dillon bought several swords which locals believed had belonged to La Pérouse. The locals also said the swords

It was not until 1964 that the wreck of La Boussole was finally discovered on the island reefs and the fate of La Pérouse and his crew was known.

Bro Jean­Francois La Pérouse was made a mason at Brest in France on 26 July 1765, passed to the Second Degree on 26 August 1765 and raised to a Master Mason on 12 April 1766. He was also admitted to the rank of Perfect Master Scottish Elect of what is now known as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Apr–Jun 2024 13
Brest – 1 August 1785 Tenerife –20–30 August 1785 Santa Catarina Island – 9 November 1785 Cape Horn – January 1786 Concepción –24 February 1786 Rapa Nui (Easter Island) – 10 April 1786 Maui –28–29 May 1786 Mount Saint Elias – End of June 1786 Macao –3–5 January 1787 Taiwan –6 May 1787 Hokkaido –15 August 1787 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – 6–29 September 1787 Norfolk Island –17 January 1788 Samoa – MidDecember 1787 Botany Bay –24 January – March 1788 Estimated final route of La Pérouse Map of La Pérouse’s ill-fated scientific voyage, showing a selection of stops. A woodcut illustrating La Pérouse’s visit to Rapa Nui in 1786, interacting with the Rapa Nui people and examining the Moai (statues).

Feeding five thousand

In a remarkable journey of community service and unity, Lodge Novacastria 765, led by Worshipful Master Joseph Balasabas, embarked on a mission to alleviate the hardships faced by those struggling with homelessness, addiction, and other societal challenges.

Their initiative, Reaching out for REACH, exemplifies the masonic values of brotherhood, compassion, and collective action.

In early 2023, Lodge Novacastria 765 identified a pressing need within the community – the rising challenges due to the high cost of living. The lodge, known for its commitment to charitable endeavours, decided to tackle this issue head­on, aiming to provide support to those most affected. This goal set the stage for an inspiring journey that would not only challenge but also highlight the strength and generosity of the masonic fraternity and its supporters.

In an ambitious project, the lodge planned a large­ scale charity event named Reaching out for REACH. This endeavour required organizing a raffle fundraiser that would engage not just masonic members but also the wider community, including sponsors and the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association (MRA).

The choice of conducting a raffle was strategic, and the amazing raffle prizes on offer were an incredible incentive for participation. They included a brand new Model KTM Duke 200 motorcycle (won by Jarred Villanueva), a two­night accommodation at Port Macquarie (claimed by Arlyne Bernardo) and a $250 Moonshadow Cruises Nelsons Bay Gift Voucher (awarded to Mila P Lam).

It was a resounding success, raising a gross of $17,255, giving a net donation of $11,000 to ‘Reach Homeless Service’ in Newcastle. This significant contribution was earmarked to create over 5,000 meals, a gesture that would touch the lives of many, providing not just

nourishment but also a message of hope and solidarity.

The culmination of the fundraiser saw Lodge Novacastria 765 significantly impacting the lives of many through their generosity. Lodge Novacastria was proud to hand these funds over to Reach Homeless Service Newcastle, marking the successful completion of a cycle of kindness and support.

This goal set the stage for an inspiring journey...

Reflecting on the project, it’s clear that Reaching out for REACH was more than just a fundraising event; it was a demonstration of the values that underpin the masonic fraternity – Humility, Kindness, Generosity. The initiative not only provided practical assistance to those in need but also fostered a sense of community and collective achievement, beautifully encapsulated in the motto ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’.

The efforts of Lodge Novacastria and all involved – Widows Sons MRA and sponsors like FELK Trailers and Engineering, Sayas Ink Tattoo Clinic and others, even the volunteers who sold tickets – highlight the profound impact that compassionate action can have on society. This story is a testament to the power of community, the joy of giving, and the enduring spirit of Freemasonry in making a difference in the lives of others.

Apr–Jun 2024 14 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason We will give 5,000 meals By RW Bro Owen Sandry

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Table Lodges and Small Masonry

On 7 July, as part of its ongoing research into ritual history, the Discovery Lodge of Research No 971 presented a Table Lodge from circa 1785. What started as an historical investigation however soon took on a contemporary application. It turns out that small numbers attending a lodge meeting is nothing new.

Discovery re-creates a lodge meeting from the 18th century

The lodge opened and closed their regular meeting with minimal business in Lodge Room Five, and then proceeded to erect trestle tables and chairs for 20 members. The room proved far too small, and after a similar failed attempt in Lodge Room Three, ended up in Lodge Room Two (with the centre management staff’s help).

The tables were set out in a u­ shape with the WM seated at the top table and the wardens at the top of each spigot. As narrator, W Bro Martin Bowen set the scene and described the pub’s ambience and the upper room where the meeting took place. While the work was ‘loosely’ based on the Bromley and West Kent lodge rituals, it was indicative of most masonic meetings anywhere in the anglophone world at the time.

Changes were made to accommodate references to the NSW Grand Lodge and abridged to allow members time to have a meaningful discussion on what they had witnessed, including the pattern and form of the lodge. Under the direc­

Maybe we need to leave large Masonry behind and be happy and OK with a dozen members present for meetings

tion of the WM VW Bro Neil Morse and Secretary VW Bro Ian Shanley, the members of Discovery enthusiastically became actors and hammed it up, playing along as the officers of the lodge often in period language of the 1780s. The ceremony progressed with W Bro Luke Spickler playing the part of the candidate.

After the opening and a few toasts, the ceremony of initiation was exemplified.

This finished with an open discussion led by the WM on what they had seen. As you would expect from a Research Lodge, this included notes on historical points and the details of the ritual itself. The evening concluded with what would be a very familiar closing and the Tyler’s toast, and ‘a good night was had by all’.

However, as well as being a glimpse into our ceremonial past, the physicality of the table lodge experience gave the members of the Discovery Lodge of Research insight into how the Masonry of old worked with restricted space and numbers, and the possible applications it can have in our current day.

Even since before COVID­19, members were aware of the declining attendance levels in lodges. While it cannot be denied there are some highly successful lodges in terms of member engagement and attendance, the majority of masonic bodies (in all Orders) have significantly lower average attendance these days.

Although we’ve all heard the stories of the glory days as late as the 1990s when

Apr–Jun 2024 16 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Mini Masonry By W Bro Martin Bowen

70 brethren would attended a typical suburban lodge, this look into Freemasonry through the table lodge shows us that most lodges were initially held in the back room of a coffee house, hotel or pub. By the very nature of the space available, there might only be a dozen or so members seated around a table. This was the norm. They conducted degrees and discussed philosophy, ethics, and the liberal arts and sciences. When the first recorded masonic ceremony in Australia occurred on a French ship, (likely a form of the AASR), space would have been equally premium. We know that as our ceremonies evolved with deacons accompanying the candidate and the officer list growing – physical space was as much a driver as anything. The move to dedicated temples allowed


Lodge Highway No 837

Lodge Highway events

6 April – We will ride to Gloucester to hold a joint initiation with Lodge Novacastria 765.

8 June – RW Bro Joshua Newman GDC will be installing his successor Bro Cameron Holmes according to Ancient Custom in the Northbridge Masonic Centre. Visitors are most welcome to join us!

For more details contact Basil Freedman on 0417 880 991 or email

...enthusiastically became actors and hammed it up...

more freedom and accommodated the larger membership of that era, including the post­war booms.

Maybe we are once again in the era of small Masonry – which arguably was the norm for most of its 300 years. Maybe we need to leave the ideal dream of large Masonry behind and be content with a dozen members present for meetings. Large numbers are great, but

we should be aware that procedures once existed for much smaller regular attendances.

The lessons of the past have a role in us thinking about how we take our Masonry into the next 100 years.

Understanding where we came from is key to understanding where we are going. Certainly a sizeable individual lodge membership has not always been the norm, and a large lodge membership model is not essential to successful and meaningful Masonry.

Discovery Lodge of Research intends to repeat this event in the coming year. When it does – take the opportunity to attend, step into the past and look into the future. Remember you will need to book early because seating is limited!

Port Macquarie Daylight Lodge No 991

Friendship and fraternity!

Meets at the Kempsey Masonic Centre, 24 Tozer Street, Kempsey on the first Saturday every month (December and January excepted)

Come to our Installation, to be held on the first Saturday in May!

For further information please contact David Robertson on 0405 478 718 or email:

International Order of the Rainbow for Girls

Rainbow Girls meetings

Now meet on 4th Sunday of each month at 11.00am at the Blacktown Masonic Centre 5/1 Carnegie Place, Blacktown

For further details please phone

Talese on 0401 213 800 or email:

All masonic brethren welcome!

ATTENTION ALL MASONS: Got something to sell? Want to promote your business? Planning an event? Let masons around the state know, and support your magazine! List in What’s On for as little as $15 per issue ($60 for four listings) or $25 for a classified ad. Email for details. Apr–Jun 2024 17
W Bro Luke Spickler played the role of a candidate for the meeting The brethren enjoying an opportunity to stretch their acting muscles!

Your Grand Lodge Website

Behind every website you ever visit is a remarkable amount of software. The ease and usability of the website depends hugely on the quality of that software, and the research that went into what the software was required to do.

Like so many things we use in life, we pick it up, we use it, we put it down, without a thought of the work that has gone into us being able to complete that simple task.

Thanks to the generous cooperation of RW Bro Randall Wilson, Project Manager for Grand Lodge’s transition to our new website, I can perhaps cover some of the changes to Grand Lodge’s website and the reasons for them.


Until 2022 we used the iMIS System. The license cost was very high for the service we were receiving, and the cost of changing or fixing things was also very expensive. The database was so complex that enhancements were far more difficult to implement than they should have been.

Worst of all, as our membership expanded, iMIS could not accommodate our growing needs regarding service and capability. iMIS had to go, and be replaced by a more modern, manageable and comprehensive system.

The Change

In September 2023, UGL implemented the new Combined Management System (CMS). Like all major changes, it didn’t come without a few hiccups, but as time passed the wheels wobbled a little less, and the system soon became a more stable and robust entity than its predecessor, all with the following major benefits:

R UGL owns it! No license fees for the core system – ever. This will be a huge saving over time.

R The highly complex set up of 992 interconnected databases with iMIS was reduced to just 17 in CMS.

R This reduction in complexity means a much faster and cheaper implementation of enhancements when required.

New Features

UGL’s website now provides features that simply could not be provided on iMIS.

R Rank assignments: Content access restrictions: For instance an Entered Apprentice Freemason cannot access Fellowcraft Freemason content. EVERY member was manually reviewed and

assigned a rank. More than a hundred volunteer hours were used for this.

R Role assignments which have term dates: (ie: begin­end dates) for easier handover at Installation time for both UGL and Private Lodges, controlled by the Executive Officer return eform.

R ‘Find a Lodge’ capability: This is available to both Members and the public, and has amazing features. To enable Find a Lodge, more than a hundred hours was spent manually updating the lodge records, associating each one with a property. The property records were also manually updated with the correct street address, including geocodes (longitude and latitude) for precise locations on maps.

Apr–Jun 2024 18 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Masons on the web By RW Bro Randall Wilson and RW Bro

Over to you!

1) Log on to and create an account. You’ll need a new password – your previous one for iMIS is no longer relevant. Enter your details so that we can have an updated record for you. Once you’ve done that, treat yourself to an exploratory tour of the website, and find out what it can do for you.

2) If you encounter anything that is either not working or could work better – LET US KNOW via ‘contact us’ on the UGL Home page.

3) You may also find that your query may be covered in the ‘FAQ’ section in the menu on the left hand side of the page once you have logged in.

R A map of where the lodges meet.

R For the FIRST TIME, a ‘landing page’ for every lodge. Yes, every lodge now has a webpage.

R The ‘landing page’ has the detailed meeting and installation dates, times and exceptions.

R The lodge can have a picture and description (controlled by the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries)

R The lodge can provide multiple ‘news’ items (like a blog), containing one picture and description, with an effected date and the Secretary’s and Assistant Secretary’s ability to edit and delete the individual news items. This is a great feature for promoting social and charity events, interesting topics, accolades for Members Initiated, Passed, Raised, Conferred and Anniversary celebrations!

In the previous iMIS system, the Find a Lodge capability used the Secretary’s home address as the lodge address, publicly exposing the Secretary’s personal details. This has now been fixed. Also, we have now implemented the ability for the secretary to create a lodge generic email address to keep their personal email address private. The lodge generic email address (e.g. can now be stored in the lodge record. If the lodge email address is empty, CMS will use the Secretary’s email address.

R The Lodge Monthly Return (LMR) has been enhanced with the

capability of enabling FCF, MM and Mark Man ceremonies performed in a lodge other than the Member’s mother lodge (known as the visiting lodge). The secretary and assistants of both the visiting lodge and the mother lodge can now do the LMR for these individuals. Also the new LMR has simplified the strike­off, call­off and deceased record updating.

R Background enhancements are in place for the Capitation process as we are including the Member’s details in the actual invoice to the lodges.

Looking ahead

Future enhancements in the planning stages include:

R Subscription billing for fees, dues and Masonicare charitable contributions

R RSVP for the lodge South

R Create a smartphone and iPad app

R The ability to subscribe and pay for The College of Masonic Studies courses (both online or on­ site)

R The ability for a secretary to export their lodge’s membership information to a spreadsheet

R Enhancements for a secretary/assistants ordering of certificates for their members (this includes complete automation for specific certificates)

R Generic email addresses for all Lodge Secretaries

R Members and lodges will be able to choose to opt­in to payment methods

and generic addressing (i.e. not mandated when available).

Payback on the CMS investment is expected in 3–4 years and to date we have only spent $2,700 in additional enhancements. Our CMS, being a better architected system compared to iMIS, and many hundreds of donated volunteer hours, are giving Members a very good return on investment.

The Grand Secretariat and the Board of Management are listening to your discovering problems and recommendations, and are focused on fixes and enhancements as we also work on the future projects. Apr–Jun 2024 19
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An interview with Bro Andrew Murie

RW Bro Owen Sandry started writing stories about young masons a few years ago. It was so popular that Freemason asked if the idea could be used in the magazine, and we’re delighted that he said ‘Yes!’

What year did you become a Freemason and where?

I became a Freemason in January 2023, initiated into Lodge Star of Wauchope No 310 How old were you and how old now?

I was 43 years old, now 44.

What current position do you have in the lodge?

I was just raised to the 3rd Degree on 13 February. I don’t have a specific position yet but am looking forward to taking up the various positions within the lodge.

What made your initiation special (can you remember anything about the night, were friends there etc.)

Having my Uncle Steven (who is a mason) present and being a part of my initiation was very special to me. Why did you want to become a Freemason?

After my nan passed, I was visiting my Uncle Steven in Queensland. After talking about various family things, I found out he was a Freemason as well as my Pop and that being a Freemason runs in our family. Being intrigued I quizzed him about it all. Although he couldn’t tell me much about the happenings behind lodge doors, the mystery kept me wanting to know more. He told me once I was ready, to get in contact with a local lodge and start my application to join.

A few years later I made contact through the Grand Lodge Facebook Page and here I am.

What have you been able to contribute to Freemasonry and what has it given you?

Although I’m new to the Craft, I haven’t been able to contribute a lot that I can think of. I have however been there helping with BBQs and various other events we provide help and assistance for. Being there on lodge night as well as other gatherings and helping my fellow brethren to become better, would be a main contributing factor.

Freemasonry has given me a better sense of self­worth. Having brethren from all types of backgrounds listening to me and giving me advice on all things big and small has helped me out a lot.

What have your experiences been of visiting other lodges?

Visiting has been amazing so far; meeting new people and seeing how they conduct lodge meetings is great. Sharing stories and making friends for life is very rewarding. I look forward to visiting more and encourage others to do it when they can.

I should have become a Freemason earlier in life...

What is your occupation?

I’m employed as an overseer in Public Service on the Mid North Coast. Family…would you like to share if you’re married, how many kids you have and their ages.

I’ve been happily married for over 10 years now and have four wonderful kids. A boy who’s 20 and three girls aged 10, 14 and 16.

What are your interests?

I love sports. I’ve played or competed in various sports – rugby league, cricket and all types of martial arts. I’ve won Grand Finals or titles in all sports I’ve competed in. Currently I play and coach football for the Camden Haven Redbacks (soccer as everyone here knows it). I coach an all­girls team who are aged between 14 and 16 and play premier league reserves.

Thinking about yourself before you became a Freemason, what can you tell yourself now about Freemasonry?

I should have become a Freemason earlier in life; I’ve met a great range of men from all different walks of life, that I feel comfortable around and I have things in common with. Attending regular meetings and get togethers, just to talk, games night or other stuff is very rewarding. I’m more comfortable with public speaking and feel like I’ve come out of my shell a little, I’m still a bit of a rough stone but I now have all the tools to work on building a better me. Overall, the way I deal with life and things in general has become better and more enjoyable.

Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Apr–Jun 2024 20
Young Masons By RW Bro
Owen Sandry and Bro Andrew Murie



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Hazardous maths ahead!

Editor’s Note: For safety reasons – please ensure your head is securely screwed on before reading this piece.

You may recall an article from the Oct–Dec 2023 issue ’Three for Aquarius’ (Have Your Say), where three masons in a group of 60 realised that they all shared the same birthday. The piece ended with the Editor inviting any brethren to calculate the odds of this happening.

How did you go? Well, way back in the dawn of time I used to teach Electrical and Electronic Engineering at East Ham Technical College in London. The subjects were highly technology oriented and we got into some really heavy maths. I also worked as a quality control engineer for a while, and that whole field is based largely on the laws of probability.

So, with my historic feet in each of the maths and probability fields, here’s my offering.

The Concept – one step at a time

As you can imagine, the higher the number of people, the greater the probability that two of them will share a birthday. If you have 367 people in a

group, you can GUARANTEE at least one birthday match.

So what is the answer to the question at the end of the last issue’s article? The odds are far greater than you might think. In fact, when you reach a group size of only 23 people, there will be about a 50% chance that two of them will share the same birthday. It’s a very common and popular question among mathematicians, and it is known as ‘The Birthday Paradox’.

For simplicity – let’s forget 29 February and just pretend that there are 365 days in each and every year. If you want to complicate it with Leap Year Day then do it in your own time.

The theory is based on the assumption that all birthdays are spread evenly throughout the year. There’s a problem straight away, because a large portion of the population are born in the ninth month because... y’ know... Christmas and New Year celebrations and alcohol and merriment and...

y’ know. So in month number nine, the fruits of your Christmas ‘labours’ are born (literally). The same applies to nine months after Anzac Day and Easter, but not so much.

Bang goes our uniform distribution of birthdays, but we’ll continue anyway.

The mathematics of it is based on the idea that in any group there are PAIRS of people that might share a birthday.

As mentioned above, the chance that any two people have the same birthday is roughly 1/365. Not that much. But in a room of 60 (as in this case) there are lots of pairs (30), ie 30 possible dates to produce a match.

Break it down

Let’s get hold of the concept first. For two people (A and B), there is a 1/365 chance of A having the same birthday as B. Let’s show that as A = B.

Now let’s add a third person (C) and look at the possible ‘same’ pairings. The possibilities now are:

A=B or A=C or B=C

We now have three possibilities of matching birthdays – whatever the date – just by adding one person.

Don’t stop there...

Now let’s add a fourth person (D) and again look at the possible ‘same’ pairings. We now have:

A=B or A=C or A=D (3 chances)

B=C or B=D or C=D (3 chances)

We again added just one person but doubled the odds of a birthday match. Six chances for only four people!

The birthday paradox
22 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Apr–Jun 2024

OK, one more – but I think you’re getting the picture...

Now let’s add a fifth person (E) and repeat the exercise. We now get:

A=B or A=C or A=D or A=E (4 chances)

B=C or B=D or B=E (3 chances)

C=D or C=E or D=E (3 chances)

This time, adding just one person increased the possibilities by another four; 10 chances of a shared birthday! And we’ve only got five people!

This increasing paradox is fuelled by the fact that for each person added there is an extra date to choose from as well as more people in the group.

Go figure!

Before we expand our brains to calculate for three (as per Oct–Dec issue’s article) let’s first calculate for two people out of 60 sharing the same birthday.

Imagine our 60 people all lined up in a column. Go to the back end and count how many people are in front of the last person in the column (ie 59). 58 are ahead of that 59th person and so on. Now add all those numbers up (ie 59 + 58 + 57 + (and so on down to) +1). It works out to 1,827 (and yes – if you can smell a little bit of reverse Fibonacci in there you are kind of correct, but not really).

What you have just done is calculate the possible pairings for that group of 60, like we did above for our groups of 2, 3, 4 and 5 above.

So now it’s pretty basic to see that if you repeat something with a 1/365 chance 1,827 times it’s pretty likely you’ll get a good few matches, because you now have:

1,827/365, ie you are very likely to get five pairings in a group of 60.

I’ll let that settle, because for three to match it starts to get serious. I’ll leave this as a cliff hanger. See what you can do with it, and I’ll come up with my version of an answer for three matches in the next issue.

For now – I need to go and have a lie down!

About our aprons

Masonic Aprons

Someone once asked a question regarding the history of why our aprons look like they do. This answer was given by Bill Richards, OAM.

The earliest aprons had no decoration of any kind, not even ribbons (thongs or tapes answered their purpose), and certainly NO tassels, rosettes or levels. It was the replacement of the strings by ribbons which is supposed to have suggested, more or less accidentally, the addition of the tassels in the relatively late period 1827–41. The ribbons passed under the bib, or flap, went around the body, and were tied in front where their decorated ends hung down, and in course of time led to the idea of PERMANENT tassels

It is not known how rosettes came to be added, but a likely suggestion is that they were adopted as a means of distinguishing the grades of brethren. The love of ornamentation was possibly another factor. Contrary to what has been freely written on the subject, it is difficult to see how any symbolical meaning could originally have attached to them.

Perhaps the earliest reference to apron levels is in an order of the United Grand

Lodge, 1814, describing how the levels are to be placed on the aprons. The levels were to be of half-inch ribbon, disposed in ‘perpendicular lines upon horizontal lines, thereby forming three several sets of two right angles’.

THIS WORDING IS STILL RETAINED. These levels were each two and a half inches wide by one inch high.

The earliest aprons with rosettes in the Museum at Freemason’s Hall are of about the period 1815, and the levels about 1800.

Ref: Compendium, B.E.JONES, p455. Read p449 for a detailed paragraph concerning the original leather apron which was adopted by the speculatives. In the YORK RITE SYSTEM English in the MARK DEGREE a lengthy leather apron is worn in the first part by the deacons. A great example of how it began. Apr–Jun 2024 23
Membership enquiries: Basil Freedman – or 0417 880 991 SEEWHAT’SON forournextmeeting!

Five generations – twice!

To have five generations of masons in a lodge is not only something to be extremely proud of, but it is also quite a rarity. So who would have thought it possible that this issue of Freemason would be covering such an occasion TWICE!

One Lodge – five Gavels

In February Lodge Condobolin initiated the fifth generation of the Gavel (rhymes with ‘navel’) family, which has an unbroken family membership dating back to 1905.

Bro Andrew Gavel became the fifth generation of his family to join Lodge Condobolin 185.

It drew the attention of the Grand Master, who attended the occasion.

‘This is an awesome event, that makes me proud to be a Freemason,’ Grand Master Les Hicks told the large number of brethren from throughout the state who attended the historic meeting. ‘Five generations in the one lodge is a tribute to the way the men of the Gavel family have lived Freemasonry, setting set such an example that son after son has followed the father’s footsteps into the local lodge.

‘There is a lot that Freemasonry can learn from the Gavel family,’ he said.

Andrew’s 92­year­old Grandfather RW Bro Richard PJGW (initiated 1959) was in the chair, and his father Bro Paul (initiated 1981) was the Chaplain.

Great Grandfather John was initiated in 1922 and Great­Great Grandfather James was initiated in 1905.

But that’s not the end of the family involvement – there is a brace of in­law relations in the lodge; family member W Bro Rex Presser is the current Senior Warden, and cousin W Bro Robin Sanderson is the current Treasurer. On the maternal side, Andrew has another Great­Grandfather as a past member – James McKeough – who joined in 1950.

Both Grandfather Richard and James McKeough were Masters of Lodge Condobolin and then DGIW.

Other members of the extended Gavel family have also been members of Lodge Condobolin, including Rex Presser’s grandfather – Alfred, who joined in 1921.

The Gray Legacy: Five Generations of Freemasonry in Weston-Kurri Kurri

The February meeting of Weston­Kurri Kurri Lodge featured a significant event: the Initiation of Brother Hayden James

Gray. It marked a continuation of a proud tradition, as Hayden represented the fifth generation of Freemasons in the old Northern Coalfields area of NSW.

Hayden was sponsored into Freemasonry by his grandfather, VW Bro Alan Gray, and his father, W Bro Michael Gray. Sadly, on the evening of his initiation his maternal grandfather, W Bro Graeme Limn (Lodge Weston­Kurri Kurri), could not attend due to serious illness.

The roots of Freemasonry in the Gray family trace back to Hayden’s great­greatgrandfather, W Bro Archibald Gray

Apr–Jun 2024 24 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason
It runs in the family
RW Bro Alan Gale and RW Bro Owen Sandry
Five masonic generations of the Gavel family! Top, L–R: Great-Great Grandfather James Gavel, Great Grandfather John Gavel and Great Grandfather James McKeough Left, L–R: Grand Master MW Bro Les Hicks, Grandfather RW Bro Richard Gavel, Bro Andrew Gavel and father Bro Paul Gavel

(1858–1940), a member of the St Andrews West Wallsend Lodge. Additionally, both of Hayden’s paternal great grandfathers were Freemasons: Bro Archibald James Gray (Lodge Kurri St George) and Bro James ‘Skeeta’ Wilkinson (Lodge Weston). These two lodges eventually merged to form the current Lodge Weston­Kurri Kurri.

Professionally, Hayden is a Senior Executive Officer at Newcastle University. His grandfather Alan, a Freemason for over 70 years, played a significant role in his upbringing. Hayden spent much of his youth assisting Alan in maintaining and setting up the lodge rooms for meetings and functions.

Worshipful Master Ray Leggett commented on Hayden’s initiation, praising his intelligence and commitment. He expressed confidence that Hayden would uphold the masonic values of family and community service, bringing a new energy to the Lodge.

The initiation ceremony was a grand affair, attracting brethren from regions

as distant as the Upper Hunter and Central Coast. It was not just a celebration of Hayden’s entry into the Lodge but also a testament to the enduring legacy and community spirit of Freemasonry.

A footnote from WM Ray Leggett provides a glimpse into the wider influence of the Gray family. He shared an anecdote about ‘Skeeta’ Wilkinson:

‘Hayden’s great­grandfather, a renowned football player both in the Northern Coalfields and on the national stage. Wilkinson’s football career, spanning 24 seasons with 574 first­class games, earned him a place in the Hunter Region Sporting and Australian Soccer Halls of Fame. His legacy extends beyond Masonry, illustrating the diverse talents and contributions of lodge members.’

...Hayden represented the fifth generation of Freemasons in the old Northern Coalfields area... Apr–Jun 2024 25
Left: Bro Hayden Gray (centre) is congratulated by father W Bro Michael Gray (left) and grandfather VW Bro Alan Gray (right). Above: The assembled brethren of Lodge Weston Kurri Kurri on the occasion of Bro Hayden’s initiation
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Freemasonry’s quiet guidance

Becoming a father is a life altering experience, one which can bring forth a myriad of emotions, challenges, and immeasurable joy. But what happens when things don’t go to plan? What do you need to have in your self-survival kit bag, and where do you get it?

Iwill begin with a brief story: The year was 2017, and my wife and I were expecting our first child; we had recently built a house, got married, and felt settled enough in our life to seriously consider children.

Things were very innocuous for all the appointments, pre­natal classes, and scans, with the baby growing as it should, and my wife’s health remaining normal. Things were so normal, that my wife and I decided to align a rostered day off to go to an obstetrician appointment, then get lunch and a movie.

That was a life changing day.

Our baby was 34 weeks and 5 days along. We had just completed our second pre­natal class, and had picked up homework to map out an ideal birth plan – then destroy it with what happens when such and such does not work?

The sonographer started as normal, but then very quickly became quiet, and

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No man is instantly born a parent –we are made.

soon after called the obstetrician. Our baby had not grown since the last scan, my wife had signs of hypertension –we were going to have a baby today! We were told to walk over to the maternity ward in the hospital next door, and the doctor would meet us there imminently.

By 2.19pm our son was born. He was in NICU, weighing less than 2kg, and being able to fit in the palm of my hand. And that began our journey into parenthood, and the first of a 10 day stay in hospital for our son.

So, with this experience, what did I need to ‘man up’ for my wife, and son? And where did I get it from?

No man is instantly born a parent – we are made. We look for those admirable attributes around us, and draw from both the good and bad life experiences we have had.

I know I have mirrored many attributes from my father and grandfather

when it comes to my own son, but more so I have drawn from the many experiences of the men around me at lodge, who nurtured me as a young man and a mason. Luckily for me in my eyes I also had my grandfather, a great mason and a great man. I had him to ask many questions of, and to be quietly taught by.

To me, being a man is more than muscles and testosterone. It is recognising what is important, and being strong enough to prioritise it, even if you feel that you might let somebody else down. It is being a mentor to somebody, whether you know it or not, and finding the light in the darkness – or at least being the person holding the candle in the storm.

Being a man is being a mason. Being a mason is more than the physical: it is to be more, and expect more from yourself.

Apr–Jun 2024 26 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason
Journey into Fatherhood By W Bro Mitchell Perrin

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Warriors of Whiddon, outliving a century!

Warriors of Whiddon, outliving a century!

Whiddon celebrates over 40 birthdays of residents turning 100+ years young!

Whiddon celebrates over 40 birthdays of residents turning 100+ years young!

While Whiddon celebrates over 75 years of caring for older Australians, residents have much more memorable birthdays with many across our care homes reaching a full century.

While Whiddon celebrates over 75 years of caring for older Australians, residents have much more memorable birthdays with many across our care homes reaching a full century.

Earlier this year, resident, Dorothy, from our Easton Park care home celebrated her 103rd Birthday in style – celebrating with family, friends, and employees.

Earlier this year, resident, Dorothy, from our Easton Park care home celebrated her 103rd Birthday in style – celebrating with family, friends, and employees.

Since being a resident for almost 16 years, Dorothy has attributed her long life to the care that Whiddon has provided since 2008 even at 103, Dorothy remains an avid musician and plays the harmonica, enjoying concerts and participating in games of Uno and bingo.

Since being a resident for almost 16 years, Dorothy has attributed her long life to the care that Whiddon has provided since 2008 even at 103, Dorothy remains an avid musician and plays the harmonica, enjoying concerts and participating in games of Uno and bingo.

Whiddon’s commitment to providing great care is unparalleled, as seen by our award-winning MyLife relationship-based care approach, which allows us to get to know our residents and clients, ensuring they continue to have meaning and purpose as they age.

Whiddon’s commitment to providing great care is unparalleled, as seen by our award-winning MyLife relationship-based care approach, which allows us to get to know our residents and clients, ensuring they continue to have meaning and purpose as they age.

Our model of care is underpinned by a strong social approach where staff build deep, personal relationships with residents, delivering better outcomes for every resident. This approach focuses on partnerships with residents and their families, to achieve a highly personalised level of care and improved wellbeing outcomes.

Our model of care is underpinned by a strong social approach where staff build deep, personal relationships with residents, delivering better outcomes for every resident. This approach focuses on partnerships with residents and their families, to achieve a highly personalised level of care and improved wellbeing outcomes.

Whiddon learns about residents’ unique life experiences while working together with families to keep people participating in the things that matter most to them, such as Dorothy’s love for the harmonica and quality time with other residents and staff.

Whiddon learns about residents’ unique life experiences while working together with families to keep people participating in the things that matter most to them, such as Dorothy’s love for the harmonica and quality time with other residents and staff.

If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about Whiddon’s Relationship Based Care, get in contact today by calling 1300 738 388.

If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about Whiddon’s Relationship Based Care, get in contact today by calling 1300 738 388.

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projects Apr–Jun 2024 27

Illuminating the Silver Screen

Throughout the history of cinema, various ‘societies with secrets’ and fraternal organizations have played an intriguing role, capturing the imagination of both filmmakers and audiences alike. Among these mysterious groups, Freemasonry has been a subject of fascination, finding its way into numerous films, often shrouded in secrecy and symbolism.

From ancient rituals to supposed hidden agendas, Freemasonry has left an indelible mark on cinema, offering a captivating glimpse into our enigmatic brotherhood. Memories of the square and compasses are ingrained within the cultural memory of the uninitiated through this medium. In this article we delve into the influence of Freemasonry in cinema

history, exploring its representations, themes, and the enduring allure it holds for filmmakers.

Growing up, I was always fascinated by the silver screen and as a self­proclaimed film buff I have seen my fair share of masonic symbolism placed, covertly or overtly, within the annals of cinema’s traditional history. It is for this reason I have decided on the need for a

...Freemasonry has provided fertile ground for filmmakers to create compelling narratives...

retrospect of the history our on­ screen journey has already undertaken.

As Freemasonry spread across the world, it began to find its way into various forms of art, including literature, theatre, and eventually movies. The mystique surrounding Freemasonry, with its secretive ceremonies and hidden knowledge, made it a compelling subject for filmmakers seeking to create intrigue and suspense onscreen.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry in cinema is the incorporation of its symbols and rituals into film narratives. The Square and Compasses, the All­Seeing Eye, and other emblematic symbols associated with Freemasonry often make appearances, hinting at hidden meanings and hidden agendas within the storylines. Films like National Treasure (2004) and The Da Vinci Code (2006) prominently feature Freemasonry­related symbols and rituals as central elements of their plots, fuelling the audience’s curiosity and fascination.

Freemasonry’s association with secrecy and hidden knowledge has led to the creation of countless conspiracy theories both within and without the film industry. These theories often portray Freemasonry as an organization with hidden agendas, controlling world events from behind the scenes. Filmmakers have capitalised on these conspiracy theories, incorporating them into narratives that explore secret societies, power struggles, and global conspiracies. Movies like Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and From Hell (2001) delve into these

Apr–Jun 2024 28 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason
Freemasonry in Cinema By Bro Kieran J McDiarmid

alleged darker aspects of secret societies and their apparent influence on society. Anyone who alleges that masons run the world need only sit in on an average lodge’s management meeting in order to assuage any and all fears of our organisation’s ability to operate on a global scale. Alas, as is so often the case, reality paints a less compelling picture for audience engagement.

A personal favourite adaptation of our Order in chronicles of the film medium comes from (alleged) Bro Matt Groening in the iconic 1995 release of The Simpsons episode Homer the Great. If it were within my power to make all prospective candidates watch that episode immediately before and after the night of their initiation, I would mandate that quicker than Homer could express his dismay upon seeing the Stone of Triumph.

Freemasonry’s historical significance has also been a source of inspiration for filmmakers. Historical dramas and biopics have depicted famous Freemasons and their impact on society. Films such as The Man Who Would Be King (1975), based on Rudyard Kipling’s novella, and The Lost City of Z (2016), based on the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, explore the adventures and experiences of Freemasons in their respective eras. These films not only shed light on the organisation but also highlight its historical relevance.

Beyond secret societies and conspiracies, Freemasonry has been explored as a means of character development and personal growth in cinema. Films like The Master (2012) and The Ninth Gate (1999) delve into the alleged and real psychological and spiritual aspects of joining fraternities, examining the transformative effect they have on individuals. These movies explore themes of self­discovery, enlightenment, and the pursuit of hidden knowledge and truth, using Freemasonry as a vehicle to delve into the depths of human consciousness.

Occasionally the medium allows for a more in­depth observation of a mason as a person or character within a greater universe. This couldn’t be better displayed than in the sixth season of the

TV adaptation of Outlander, where we see the leading male protagonist James Fraser initiated into the Craft and come to terms with what that means as a Roman Catholic in the year 1753.

From intricate rituals to mysterious symbols and historical significance, Freemasonry has provided fertile ground for filmmakers to create compelling narratives filled with intrigue,

...countless conspiracy theories both within and without the film industry.

suspense, and philosophical exploration. From the incorporation of symbolic elements to the portrayal of secret societies and the exploration of personal journeys, Freemasonry has left an indelible mark on cinema history. As the movie industry continues to evolve, it is likely that the appeal of Freemasonry will persist, enticing filmmakers and audiences with its enigmatic allure for years to come.

And for those reading this that feel so inclined, I cannot more highly recommend the honoured pastime of organising with your masonic contacts an evening of good food, great drink, better company and glorious examples of the world’s greatest actor: Nicolas Cage in the National Treasure films. Apr–Jun 2024 29
Sean Connery in The Man Who Would be King (1975). The film is based on a story by Rudyard Kipling – a Freemason – and both film and story make use of masonic symbology as major plot points.

A bond that ties us stronger together

“My husband, my son, my brothers… my daughter, my sister”.

Our story is not uncommon. It started with a friendship between members of two masonic youth Orders –International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (Rainbow) and The Order of DeMolay. It was only a matter of time before my husband, W Bro Lawrence ‘John’ Callao joined Lodge Blacktown Kildare 393 and I joined Malvern Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star (EOS). We were both drawn to the masonic principles of brotherhood and sisterhood, charity, and self­improvement. With John being a third generation mason it was all about upholding a family tradition. Thus, we actively participated in the reconsecration of a DeMolay Chapter and Rainbow Assembly in Blacktown Masonic Centre, where both our kids Julian Callao, (Master Councillor, Phoenix Blacktown Chapter) and Lauren Callao, (Sister of Hope, Cumberland Assembly) are active members.

Our masonic journey has not been easy, but the family found strength in our masonic principles. We’ve had our share of challenges. The dedication required with masonic involvement often means time away from family events, which can be a source of strain. In our case, it is different; masonic commitments and activities provide an opportunity for us to bond together both socially and in service to the community. The sense of belonging, purpose, and shared values often outweigh any of the challenges we’ve faced.

For many women, their introduction to the masonic family begins when their husband, father or brother becomes a

Our masonic journey has not been easy, but the family found strength in our masonic principles.

Freemason. It often involves attendance at masonic events, supporting their involvement, and embracing the principles of the fraternity. In my case, along with most of my sisters in the Eastern Star, the connection is distinctive. We share a deep understanding of masonic teachings and values, as well as a sense of pride in their commitment to the fraternity. This bond I share with John and the rest of my family which can be a source of inspiration, fostering a profound appreciation for the shared principles of morality, charity, and brotherly love. As a wife of a Freemason, I do not

just support my husband’s participation. We both have been encouraging each other on how we best can lead and be part of the masonic community.

While women cannot become Freemasons, they can join the Order of the Eastern Star (OES) – a masonic organization for women which serves as a way for wives, sisters, and daughters of masons to participate in masonic­related activities. It provides a welcoming space for women to forge bonds of sisterhood that complement the bonds of brotherhood within the masonic fraternity.

Women in the Eastern Star experience their own initiations and rituals, deepening our understanding of masonic principles and values. Through our common values and dedication to charity and community service, the Eastern Star and masonic family continue to illuminate the path towards a more connected and compassionate society. Just like Freemasonry, the Eastern Star is actively involved in charitable activities and community engagement. Chapters frequently organize fundraisers, support local causes, and contribute to various charitable projects. This commitment to making a positive impact on society aligns with the broader masonic commitment to charity and community service.

When younger people join such masonic youth organisations as DeMolay and Rainbow, it marks the continuation of a masonic legacy within the family. As parents we take on a role as supportive mentors, offering

Apr–Jun 2024 30 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason
Journey to the Chair
By Sister Jheannie Callao, Worthy Matron, Malvern Chapter 60, OES My husband’s Installation as Worshipful Master, August 2023 My installation as Worthy Matron, Oct 2023

guidance, promoting the shared values. Seeing them embrace masonic values and rituals can be a source of great pride. We believe that the journey of a masonic family exemplifies the enduring power of the masonic fraternity to connect future generations and build a sense of honour, integrity, and brotherhood and sisterhood.

Our story serves as a testament to the profound impact that Freemasonry can have on families, fostering a deep sense of tradition, unity, and moral uprightness that transcends time and place. Collectively, our journey is one of shared values, commitment to charity, and a deep connection to a centuries­old tradition. We shall strive to contribute to the strength and continuity of the masonic family, fostering a sense of unity and purpose that extends through generations.

We are proud to be a part of the masonic community for all the teachings and values we have grown to live by, not just individually but also as a family. We are even fortunate to be surrounded and supported by brothers and sisters who exemplify similar beliefs and uphold the same principles. This for me embodies the whole­being of a masonic family.

An honour bestowed

Long time administrator of the Australian Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, VW Bro Robert ‘Bob’ Lions PDGIW received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for ‘Service to the community through a range of roles’ in the New Year Honours.

Bob Lions has not only been a voluntary mason, but is also one of those whose life incorporated time as a professional masonic administrator.

Initiated, Passed, Raised and Installed in Lodge University of Sydney 544, he also has links with The Prince Charles Edward Stuart Lodge 1745 and the Discovery Lodge of Research 971.

‘I was DC of University of Sydney for 19 years and Secretary for around seven. I am no longer an office holder but can generally pick-up a task at most meetings,’ he said.

‘University of Sydney celebrates its Centenary on 19 October, so here’s a plug for what’s going to be a superb celebration.

‘Following in my father’s footsteps I was Perfected as a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1970 and became Grand SecretaryGeneral of this national body in 2002.

‘This was a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the Rite and to help it grow.

‘During my stewardship, the Rite gained its own headquarters premises, still close to the SMC, and made a number of changes to its membership structure, becoming universal in character so it could accept all Australian Masons.

‘I am currently the Recorder of two Chapters, so I keep my hand in, but as a Past GS-G, I know the rules and can do my best to avoid them!

‘All in all, I have enjoyed my membership of the Craft and will ultimately leave, believing that I have always got so much more out of my membership than I have ever been able to put in.’

Freemason congratulates Bob on the honour bestowed! Apr–Jun 2024 31
Australia Day Honours
DeMolay & Rainbow BBQ Picnic Day, November 2019 NSW & SA Rainbow Girls have a brand new website! R B F C L Visit to learn about what we do, where we do it and how you can participate! Or email – Faith, hope and charity –
VW Bro Robert Lions OAM

Craftsmen in captivity

With the surrender of Singapore to the Japanese in February 1942, thousands of British and Australian servicemen were captured and imprisoned in the notorious Changi Jail Prison Camp. Among them were masonic brethren.

Sadly, thousands ultimately lost their lives on the notorious Death Railway or in Japanese coal mines. One terrible event occurred when the Montevideo Maru was mistakenly sunk by an American submarine with a loss of over 1,054 Australian lives. Many of those who were thrown into the sea either drowned or died when torn to pieces by sharks.

In the British area of the camp, a meeting of 45 brethren was held on 8 June 1942, presided over by VW Bro H W Wylie from UGLE. VW Bro Wylie was a member of Lodge St George of Singapore. The brethren hoped to hold masonic meetings of some kind, possibly under the Charter of Lodge St George of Singapore.

With the support of the brethren, Wylie and two other POW officers of the Grand Lodge of England approached the British Commandant, Lieutenant General Percival. They assured him that meetings would be confined strictly to

masonic business among existing Freemasons. The general, though not a mason, was most sympathetic and helpful and promised to consult other area commanders.

The commanders gave their approval with the proviso that the brethren carry

...many who survived owed it to the love and care of some brother without discrimination, whether he was a mason or not.

on in a discreet manner and particularly not incur the wrath of the Japanese. Bro Lt Col E Holmes, who succeeded General Percival, gave equal encouragement to the brethren.

While they were anxious not to contravene the UGLE Constitution, VW Bro Wylie decided that, under the patent of his office, he was able to grant authority for meetings for the purpose of practising ritual and delivering lectures but not initiating or progressing candidates.

Meetings were initially held in a room used for educational purposes. Desks and benches were organised along the lines of seating in a regular lodge and then restored to their original position after the meetings.

When that room was later placed out of bounds, meetings were held in the Church of England chapel. Lights were represented by candles or rags soaked in oil stolen from Japanese vehicles. Working Tools were obtained from school boxes of mathematical instruments.

32 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason
The Selarang Barracks were a particularly crowded part of the Changi POW camp.
Changi prison masons

Skilled artificers in metal later replaced them with professionally made Tools using scrap aluminium. Suitably mounted Wands were also constructed for the Deacons; Tracing Boards were skilfully designed, so that except for the absence of masonic clothing, the lodge could be considered to be reasonably furnished.

Degrees were practised using English, Scottish and Irish ritual. Tylers were placed at strategic points to warn of the approach of (Japanese) cowans. Attendances rose from about 50 to over 100 and included Australian brethren until the Japanese restricted the Australians to their own area.

As prisoners, including masonic brethren, were being moved out of the camp by late 1942, it was realised that meetings would have to end. Minute books, Working Tools and other implements were buried in a tin box but never recovered because the area was later levelled, and a new structure erected on the site.

After the meetings originally held under the auspices of the Lodge of St. George Singapore came to an end, some brethren in another part of the camp called a meeting on 18 December 1942 in an officers’ mess lecture­room in the Roberts Hospital, Changi.

The meeting was chaired by Bro F C Stuart (No 392, Victorian Constitution), and outlined some preliminary proposals for the formation of an Association. With the proposal adopted, Bro Stuart was elected Chairman with an executive committee appointed consisting of members of three masonic constitutions. While really conducted as lodges with officers in place, they were described simply as meetings of the Association.

The Association had earlier contacted and successfully gained the approval of VW Bro Wylie in his capacity as an Officer of both the United Grand Lodge of England and the District of Singapore Grand Lodge.

Meetings were held with the knowledge and approval of the Camp Commander subject to the following conditions:

1. That there should be no discussion of political or military matters.

2. That there be no discussion of the conditions of prisoners of war in the camp.

3. That precautions usually observed by Freemasons should be adopted and maintained, to prevent surprise interruption of a meeting.

4. That the President of the Association or other authorised officer should be responsible to the Camp Commandant for the fulfilment of these conditions.

The Association was organised under the Constitution of the UGL of Victoria. It had been agreed that regular meetings should be held at which masonic ritual would be carried out where possible in an exemplary style, with correctness in detail, and that rituals of the various

Constitutions (represented by members of the Association) would, if circumstances permitted, be worked in turn.

With 47 brethren attending the inaugural meeting, membership rapidly increased and later meetings saw attendances of members and visitors numbering 116, 149, 169 and 133.

No candidates could be initiated, but exemplifications of the three degrees and explanations of the Tracing Boards were demonstrated according to the several Constitutions represented. Lectures on a variety of subjects were delivered. Apr–Jun 2024 33
An improvised First Degree Tracing Board

Changi prison masons

When later asked to comment about the standard of the Association’s labours, the usually reluctant VW Bro Wylie praised the brethren for their efforts and high standard of work.

Brethren claiming to be masons needed to be proven by a PM of his Constitution. If successful, his name was placed on a list. Petitions for membership rapidly grew. As great care had to be taken not to alert the Japanese, meetings were held in several locations. Screens of attap or palm fronds and other methods of security were used and several Tylers were always in place.

The brethren casually drifted into the meetings in ones and twos without attracting too much attention from the Japanese guards. Lights and candlesticks were salvaged from the ruins of a bombed church; rags in tins were again used with oil from Japanese vehicles. Two ashlars were fashioned; as before working tools improvised from school boxes of mathematical instruments, subsequently replaced by excellent pieces of craftmanship from skilled artificers. More Deacons’ Wands were made, each being surmounted by the appropriate emblems made from aluminium taken from a wrecked aircraft.

A First Degree Tracing Board was ‘artistically prepared’ and presented by Captain C Pickersgill No 1230, EC, who was soon sent up country to his death on the horrendous railway. A second Tracing Board was drawn and painted by a skilful artist who also lost his life on the Death Railway. Other than masonic clothing the emblems were all in evidence but were carefully hidden when not used.

Meetings opened and closed with the usual odes. Punctilious behaviour and obedience to the Constitutions was always observed as best they could be. The three degrees were regularly demonstrated in accordance with the several Constitutions represented, or else lectures on a variety of masonic and other subjects were delivered, or the Tracing Boards were explained. Where possible, Officers were changed at each meeting so that members of the different Constitutions each took their turn.

Occasionally, books on ancient Freemasonry and King Solomon’s

It had been agreed that regular meetings should be held at which masonic ritual would be carried out where possible in an exemplary style...

Temple were received from Freemasons’ Hall, Singapore. By an extraordinary chance a few books on masonic works reached the brethren!

During the Association’s life, an Officer brother was brought into the Camp Hospital in a dreadful condition. He had been sentenced to four years imprisonment in the infamous Outram Road Jail. At the time of his arrest a masonic ritual had been found amongst his effects. This resulted in terrible beatings and torture. VW Bro Wylie stood at his hospital bedside and heard him whisper a warning suggesting the immediate cessation of masonic activities because the Japanese had started an intensive secret investigation. Wylie discussed this with two senior officers of the British and Australian troops. To have continued would have involved too great a risk, and discovery would have caused torture and possible loss of life. The Association reluctantly closed with its last meeting held on 4 May 1944. Over its 17 months, 21 meetings of the Association were held.

The minutes of the last meeting recorded that:

There being no further business, the closing prayer was recited, and the Lodge closed. The brethren departed in Harmony at 6 pm - being sorrowful at the thought that they had, perhaps, attended the last Regular Meeting of the Association yet mindful of the blessing of the G.A.O.T.U. who had allowed them to have, during this period of stress, strain and anxiety, so many happy evenings together, reviving the Spirit

of the Craft and sharing mutually in the benefits and joys of its message.

The following epitaph was later written by VW Bro Wylie:

The peace and tranquillity of those meetings stood out in great contrast against the turmoil and irritations of the day.

Although it was very hot, and most of the time all of us were in rags, ill, hungry, tired, and dirty, yet it was possible during these meetings almost completely to forget the normal conditions of our lives as prisoners of war. To sit quietly among proven friends and listen to the ceremonies took one’s thought very far from a prison camp and lifted the mind above the reach of petty annoyances, restored one’s balance and demonstrated the possibility of the victory of mind over matter, a very important factor at such a time.

Little help could come to us from outside; many died from malaria and dysentery; many were sick from beriberi. As drugs were not available it was important that mental strength was maintained, and in that sense a great work was done. Indeed, the Craft fully justified its existence thereby and many who survived owed it to the love and care of some brother without discrimination, whether he was a Mason or not.

While Changi was luxurious in comparison with other POW camps it was always very hot, humid and fetid. Certainly, everyone was tired, hungry, dirty and dressed in rags or loin cloths. Everybody appreciated the opportunity to sit quietly with friends and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of those meetings and forget for a short time the turmoil and irritations of life as a prisoner of war.

The masonic ritual briefly took their thoughts away from the prison camp and strengthened their resolve by allowing them to reflect on more pleasant things such as brotherly love, relief and truth.

Apr–Jun 2024 34 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason
Newcastle area Mason RW Bro Bart Richardson OAM PAGM was a prisoner of the Japanese for over three and a half years including time on the Thai-Burma railway. Bart was repatriated to Australia on 4 October 1945. He never spoke of his experiences as a captive of the Japanese.

Send your masonic news by:

Email to:

Post to:

The Secretary, Freemason Editorial Committee

The United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT PO Box A259, Sydney South NSW 1235

On the level

Sharing your stories from around the jurisdiction

Wiradjuri Country Hospitality

A Welcome to Wiradjuri Country was recently extended to Mobile Masons who had travelled to Condobolin for their annual rally.

The headquarters of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation was built for the express purpose of promoting and understanding Wiradjuri Culture. It’s a place where new ways and old have been skilfully blended; we saw computers and electronic whiteboards mingled with elaborate

indigenous murals and carvings. The Centre displays some exceptional furniture, stained glass panels and murals. The visit was enjoyable and enlightening and included a lesson in language and culture.

Mobile Masons who had assembled at Condobolin Riverside Caravan Park for a full agenda of social and sporting activities were treated to some exceptional country hospitality by the members of Lodge Condobolin 185.

Who are the Mobile Masons?

Mobile Masons are financial members of any Craft Lodge and partners, and other persons as approved by the Committee. Membership is open to those who own or have access to caravans, pop-tops, camper trailers, campervans, motor homes, or choose to hire on-site facilities.

The group aims to promote and develop a recreational interest amongst masonic brethren and their families, to provide social activities for members, to aid charitable organisations as decided by the group and to co-operate with similar groups in the interest of members.


W Bro Robin Sanderson and WM W Bro Brett Farrah organised a field trip showcasing many of the agricultural activities in the Condobolin area and W Bro Andrew Earney and his wife Anne hosted a picnic lunch at their Bedgerabong property on the banks of the Lachlan River. The Condobolin Museum, the CWA and local media, all welcomed us in a most generous manner.

The next event on our calendar is a seven-day combined gathering with the Queensland Masonic Touring Club in May this year. The venue is Tenterfield Lodge Caravan Park in Tenterfield with the opportunity afterwards to move to Glen Innes for the annual Celtic Festival. Contact Lynden Norgate on 0431 474 133 for information regarding this event. 35 Apr–Jun 2024
News from NSW & ACT
Masonic news
Mobile Masons Above: Mobile Masons checking out modern agicultural machinery in Condobolin. Left: At the headquarters of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation.

L–R: MW Bro Derek James Robson, W Bro Ugur Igdeci and RW Bro Ghassan Dandachli

Cedars does it in style

Cedars Lodge celebrated the Installation of its new Master on Saturday 24 February, 2024 in an atmosphere of camaraderie, enthusiasm and brotherhood.

The Egyptian Room at Petersham was filled with over 135 members and visitors in the presence of MW Bro Derek James Robson AM CMH PGM and a magnificent Grand Lodge delegation.

Installing Master RW Bro Ghassan Dandachli PDGM took this responsibility

Lodge Canoblas Lewis No. 806

Canoblas’ Christmas Roast

Lodge Canoblas Lewis held their December meeting and then adjourned to the South for the Christmas party.

More than 65 people had a wonderful time and a feature of the evening was a magnificent lechon (a roast suckling pig cooked in the Filipino style) prepared by a group of culinary brethren. A short tour of the lodge room was also provided for partners and children. It was a wonderful night enjoyed by everyone.

out of profound dedication to the Craft that has been his life’s journey for over 40 years, proudly installing W Bro Ugur Igdeci into the Chair of King Solomon.

There was also a sad note in the night of celebration.

The brethren formed a semi-circle on the floor of the lodge facing the East, facing the empty Chair of King Solomon, to reflect in a one-minute silence on the passing of VW Bro Max Abdallah, PDGDC,

IPM, who departed to the Grand Lodge above a few weeks earlier from brain cancer at the young age of 42.

This gesture is a first in Freemasonry with all officers leaving their stations including the Master and joining the brethren to honour the memory of a departed brother. It was certainly a touching moment.

After the ceremony some 105 masons, ladies and friends attended a luscious banquet of Lebanese food and sweets where further toasts, speeches and memories were exchanged in a contagious atmosphere of love, solidarity and vibrancy.

36 Apr–Jun 2024 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason from around NSW & ACT Masonic news
Cedars Lodge No. 1041 The brethren observed a minute of silence to honour the memory of VW Bro Max Abdallah

District 24

District 24 teams up with Vinnies

NSW Freemasons in Leichhardt and Concord West started the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Charity Drive about 40 years ago and have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Christmas hampers to families in need.

District 24 inherited this legacy, and the most recent charity drive was conducted in 2019 because of Covid. We are proud to announce that District 24 has come back strong with the 2023 St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Charity Drive.

Thanks to D24 MAS candidates, brethren and families, 220 hampers were distributed representing a donation of $12,105.

Special thanks are due to the following:

R Bro Troy Carr for liaising with Woolworths for the actual supply of the Christmas hampers.

R VW Bro Gerald Nicholls for organising the whole event.

R The St Vincent de Paul members who helped pack and distribute the hampers.

R Special mention to Gerry Modini from St Vincent de Paul who organised such a great response from his colleagues.

R And finally, all the lodges in District 24 (The Leichhardt Lodge 133, Lodge Horace Thompson Ryde 134, Lodge Chelmsford Technology 261, Lodge Challenge 284, Lodge Pennant Hills 905 and Lodge Axiom 1047).

A mountain social

On a lazy Sunday afternoon in January 2024, the brethren, their partners, family members, and friends gathered for lunch at the Winmalee Tavern. Winmalee is in the Blue Mountains near Springwood and just under one hour from the Hills area of Sydney.

The tavern is in a quiet location behind the main shopping centre which afforded plenty of parking. Very much a familyorientated hostelry with friendly staff who were mostly young and female. The tavern is owned by a member of Lodge Millennium 2000 who provided special rates for the

District 23 donates

A huge thank you to all the brethren of Lodge Ku-ring-gai 1033 and Lodge Wahroonga 674 who donated toys for the families that are supported by the Salvation Army in Hornsby. I had the pleasure of dropping them off in December. Fiona, one of the Salvation Army support staff, was very thankful and assured me they would be gratefully received. She also took a liking to the ‘boxing robots’.

Well done brethren, you have made a difference and brought joy to the lives of some of those less fortunate than we are. 37 Apr–Jun 2024
District 24 volunteers distributed 220 hampers in their St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Charity Drive District 23 Lodge Millennium No. 2000 menu and the excellent food was served on shared platters. A wonderful and relaxed afternoon in the company of family and friends. This photo was taken in front of the main bar amidst other smiling patrons The Salvation Army welcomes toy donations from members of District 23

Combined Lodges Caledonia of Canberra 938, Capitol 612 and Chapter Caledonia

Christmas fundraiser

In front of the beautiful backdrop of Lake Burley Griffin, aided by the Christmas atmosphere, more than 45 lodge and chapter members, including several prospective lodge members, and their families, joined Canberra Yacht Club committee members and community attendees to savour the flavours of BBQ delights and, more importantly, to support the renowned charity, Sailability ACT.

Attendees learned about Sailability's mission to make sailing accessible for people with disabilities. The collaborative spirit of the lodges and the presence of the Commodore of the Canberra Yacht Club Sue Hart, Rear Commodore (Treasurer) Adre De Waal and Rear Commodore (Inclusion) Peter Brown who oversees the Sailability program, and supported by the Canberra Yacht Club General Manager Steve Hart, resulted in a successful fundraising effort.

Companion Graeme Savage, Scribe Ezra of Chapter Caledonia, organised the fundraiser, raising $420 for the charity. The event also promoted awareness of Sailability ACT's cause, with several people with disabilities in attendance. The lodges and chapter donated all costs for the BBQ, and all prizes for the fundraising activity were donated by lodge members, with the venue provided free of charge by the Canberra Yacht Club.

Three-time Special Olympian Bro Allister Peek managed the sailing activities on the

day supported by his father, RW Bro Terry Peek, both members of Lodge Canberra Unity, without whose assistance the event couldn’t have happened. Terry spearheaded the formation of Sailability ACT in 1998 and in September 2020 was awarded a NSW/ ACT Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canberra Yacht Club. They added an inspiring touch to the event.

VW Bro Ron Tattersall managed the BBQ with skill and dedication, ensuring that the culinary delights were a highlight of the day.

W Bro Scott Kovacs, WM of Lodge Capitol and W Bro Brendan Neech, WM of Lodge Caledonia of Canberra and his family graced the occasion with their presence, further enhancing the sense of community and shared masonic commitment to this worthy charitable cause.

The Canberra Yacht Club hosted this memorable Christmas event that blended joyous festivities with a commitment to making a positive impact. As the community, lodge members, and their families shared laughter and goodwill, the collective effort left a lasting impression on the festive season and the lives touched by the support extended to Sailability ACT.

The consensus at the end of the day was that everyone in attendance can’t wait until next year's event, which is bound to be even more successful.

Sydney Legacy Dinner

On 8 December, Lodge John Williams hosted a charity dinner to support Legacy (Sydney). This amazing twocourse dinner was hosted at Tattersalls Club, located on Elizabeth Street, with brilliant views of Hyde Park.

For those unaware, Legacy is an organisation dedicated to supporting the families of veterans. They provide essential services such as financial assistance, education

support, and emotional care. Our dinner not only included masons, but also members of Tattersalls and the general public – all brought together to support such a worthy cause. By sharing a meal, and meeting new people, John Williams was able to raise $500 in profit. Additionally, by partnering with Masonicare, John Williams successfully applied for and received a dollar-for-dollar interaction grant. In the coming weeks John

Lodge 7 Secretary Honoured

Lodge St George and St Andrew is proud of its Lodge Secretary, RW Bro Patrick W Medway AM PAGM, who was recently honoured for his services since 2018 to the Board of Directors of the Australian Veterans Children’s Assistance Trust (AVCAT).

Each year AVCAT helps some 245 sons and daughters of Australian veterans who have served their country in overseas conflicts. Each scholarship is worth $4,000 per student and the AVCAT Board of Directors raises and distributes these funds annually to eligible students to assist them with their education.

The presentation was made by the Chairman of the Board of AVCAT, Major General Bill Crews AO on behalf of the board at the 20th anniversary luncheon on 28 November 2023.

Patrick saw service with the Royal Australian Army, the NSW Police, the AFP and with the United Nations Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) as a war crimes investigator. He has been a member of the RSL for nearly fifty years.

Williams will present the cheque for $1,000 to Legacy, and hope these funds and our dinner model of charity, can continue to assist the families of our heroes.

38 Apr–Jun 2024 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason from around NSW & ACT Masonic news
Lodge St George and St Andrew No. 7 Lodge John Williams No. 148 Lodge John Williams fundraising dinner

Lodge Army and Navy No. 517

Army and Navy OBEs

Lodge Army and Navy had another busy night with the initiation of three new brethren in December. In the presence of VW Bro Charlie Cosoleto, DGIW D38, the Worshipful Master, W Bro Paul Mostowyj initiated Bro Lieutenant Sam Iremonger, Bro Matthew Penfold and Bro James Moloney.

Bro Lieutenant Sam Iremonger graduated from the Royal Military College last year. He is currently serving in Sydney and has begun his career in Freemasonry. Bro Matthew Penfold, a Masonic Assistance Scheme candidate, has a long family connection to the lodge; his grandfather and great grandfather joined early last century. Bro James Moloney is a lawyer who has served in the RAN as a lieutenant and claims to have spent more time at sea than most admirals!

The evening was topped off by our annual OBE (Over Bloody Eighty) celebrations in the South. This year, four of our brethren who have passed that milestone were present. Our youngest member, Bro Harrison Buxton, proposed the toast to

our OBEs which was followed by the cutting of the cake. All our OBEs on the night are retired Army officers.

Lodge Kensington No. 270

A great Knight in

The Installation of W Bro Keith Knights was held on Friday 9 February at the Eastern Suburbs Masonic Centre (ESMC). The lodge room was well populated with eighteen members of Lodge Kensington, ten visitors from lodges in District 37 and twelve Grand Lodge Officers led by the Grand Master’s representative RW Bro Garry Sayers PAGM.

The Installing Master VW Bro Vic Lunney performed his duties with the diligence that Vic is known for. All the charges were delivered with enthusiasm and were a credit to the presenters.

The musical interlude was a first for Lodge Kensington – a duet! RW Bro Alex Parker was joined by RW Bro Alan Gale, accompanied by organist RW Bro Bob Hurndell. The interlude was very well received by all those attending.

After the officers had been installed by the new Master, W Bro Dal Dudalski was presented with a jewel recognising his two years as Worshipful Master.

This was followed with a special presentation by RW Bro Sayers to VW Bro Ron Stracey of a jewel and certificate to mark his 75 years membership of Freemasonry. Ron was initiated in November 1948. The presentation was acknowledged with loud applause by all those present.

A banquet in the South followed the meeting.

A chance encounter

There is always something that happens on a holiday to bring home and talk about. Two members of Lodge Kensington unexpectedly found themselves together in a dinner group while on a February cruise on the Queen Elizabeth to Tasmania.

RW Bro Ted Simmons and partner Doris quickly found a table for four to enable Kensington secretary W Bro Richard Stacey and Karen to join them. It was a delightful evening, good company and an unexpected pleasure. 39 Apr–Jun 2024
L–R: WM W Bro Paul Mostowyj, Bro Lt Sam Iremonger, Bro Matthew Penfold, Bro James Moloney, DGIW VW Bro Charlie Cosoleto. L–R: RW Bro Maj Roland Millbank PDGM, VW Bro Col John Bertram AM PDGIW, RW Bro Col Stewart Grant PAGM, Bro Harrison Buxton, W Bro Lt Jack Stein.

Dawn's 100th

The Grand Master, MW Bro Lesley Norman Hicks, supported by his ceremonial team led by the GDC RW Bro Joshua Newman, brilliantly performed a re-enactment of the consecration of Lodge Dawn.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the Grand Master presented RW Bro George Michael, a long-term supporter of Lodge Dawn, with his 60th anniversary jewel.

The lodge was consecrated in Tweed Heads on 23 September 1923, and has had

87 different masters during its 100 years. Some masters have served a second term (including the GM).

Many brethren (including the GM`s ceremonial team) travelled long distances from Sydney, Penrith, and Brisbane to join us and their attendance was greatly appreciated by District 11 masons.

Ladies and other visitors joined the 88 brethren at the celebration banquet held in Club Tweed following the official ceremony.

Preparing for take-off

Brethren met at Cessnock Airport to discuss the formation of a new lodge.

Trinitarian No. 978

Trinitarian bulletin

Three of our brethren recently celebrated their 40-year anniversaries in the Craft – RW Bro John Macpherson PJGW, RW Bro Graeme Stapelfeldt KGSJ, PSGW, and W Bro Ian Heather

W Bro Ian Heather also recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

Wyaldra No. 238

Wyaldra – past and future

Lodge Wyaldra was inaugurated in 1903 not long after the end of the Boer War. Most of the founding members were heavily involved in local community organisations such as the RFS, farmers groups and Aged Care facilities.

Brethren dug deep to raise the money needed to build the Masonic Hall in Gulgong and 1913 was a year of quiet celebration when Lodge Wyaldra moved into its very own home.

After some initial delays, the first meeting to reconstitute Lodge Aviation has been held. In a former life this lodge had handed in its charter, but thankfully we learned that it was still available.

The meeting was held on Saturday 10 February 2024 at Phil Unicom Aviation

in Cessnock Airport with 12 in attendance. The lodge format was discussed, and a submission has been sent to the Board of Management at Grand Lodge.

In the years that followed Lodge Wyaldra helped many local people and was active in organising regular dances and debutante balls in Gulgong. Unfortunately, times have changed and the call for such social events has diminished.

After 120 years the lodge has consolidated with Lodge Edinburgh St John 38 in Mudgee. The brethren of the consolidated lodge are determined to promote Freemasonry with renewed vigour and strengthen its presence in the Mudgee – Gulgong area.

40 Apr–Jun 2024 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason from around NSW & ACT Masonic news
Lodge Dawn gathered to celebrate a momentous occasion. Lodge Dawn celebrated its 100th anniversary on 30 September in the Twin Towns Masonic Centre. Lodge Dawn No. 511 Lodge Aviation Lodge Lodge

An extraordinary ‘ordinary’ night

Lodge Queanbeyan St Andrew’s February meeting: an Initiation; special for Mr Terrence Lennard, but nothing unusual for such a busy lodge.

How wrong can you be!

Forty brethren; ritual that made a visitor jealous; young officers with little experience doing remarkably well. Most of all, the impression that the ritualists actually understood what the ritual means.

Then VW Bro Howard Mackinder delivered an explanation of the First Tracing

Board. More than good, more than excellent: one for the ages.

And in the South; high-quality selfcatering that brought back memories of the golden masonic days of one’s youth.

A blatant exhortation: visit Lodge Queanbeyan St Andrew No 56; third Tuesdays; you won’t be disappointed!

A Christmas bash in the heart of Bathurst

On 7 December brethren from Lodge Barham 561, Lodge Bathurst United 79 and Lodge Independent Lewis 346 accompanied by their partners met for their traditional pre-Christmas dinner. This was held at The Panorama hotel/motel with about 35 people in attendance.

The event was also an opportunity for three prospective candidates to become

better acquainted with Freemasonry at a social level.

The night also saw the presentation of the District 46 Masonic Service Award by VW Bro Lachie Gelling DGIW D46 to Sylvia Latham, the wife of one of Lodge Barham’s long-standing members and a pillar in the community.

Loftus Macleay social

Lodge Loftus Macleay is not a city or suburban lodge where most members live close to hand; its members come from all over the mid North Coast.

So social occasions are rather special. In February, 18 members sat down for lunch at Telegraph Point (near Rollands Plains) and enjoyed both the meal and the chance to catch up with each other.

The general consensus was, ‘We should do this more often!‘ 41 Apr–Jun 2024
Lodge Queanbeyan St Andrew No. 56 W Bro Mick Handley (left) led the initiation of Bro Terrence Lennard (right) in an unforgettable ritual! Lodge Loftus Macleay No 203 Getting boistrously social at Telegraph Point! Lodges Barham, Bathurst United and Lodge Independent Lewis Sylvia Latham (left), with VW Bro Lachie Gelling DGIW

A journey through masonic heritage

Recently in Gloucester, the closest town to World Heritage Barrington Tops, a significant event unfolded at Lodge Gloucester, marking a pivotal moment in the masonic journey of Brother Joe Xuereb. The lodge was graced by the presence of the Deputy Grand Master, a distinguished delegation from the Grand Lodge, and a gathering of visiting and local brethren.

The ceremony was exceptional, with the Deputy Grand Master, honouring a previous commitment, leading the Raising ceremony of Brother Xuereb to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. This ceremony was not just a formality but a symbol of Brother Xuereb's deep-rooted connection to Freemasonry, tracing back to his Maltese ancestry.

Joe's masonic path began in 2022, sparked by a simple Facebook inquiry about joining Freemasonry in the Gloucester area. His initiation occurred in Lodge Gloucester, followed by his Passing to the Second Degree at Lodge Cowper No 295 in Wingham. However, the true essence of Joe's masonic pursuit is intertwined with his heritage.

In Malta, Joe’s grandfather was a member of the Knights Templar and a Knight of Malta. Joe aspired to follow in his footsteps, a dream set into motion by W Bro Dirk Moller, the Master of Lodge Gloucester. The lineage traces back to the early 1300s in France, where an ancestor of Joe, a Knight Templar named Bereux, fled persecution by inverting his name to Xuereb and seeking refuge in Malta.

The Deputy Grand Master was gifted the gavel used during the ceremony, crafted from century-old reclaimed timber to commemorate the event.

Lodge Secretary, W Bro Rob Sterling, a chef by profession and assisted by his daughter Amanda. The banquet was a communal affair, with contributions from family members and friends, reflecting the spirit of masonic fellowship.

During the celebrations at dinner, W Bro Lee Reilly was presented with a beautifully crafted timber memento by W Bro Dirk Moller the Worshipful Master, in recognition of his service to the Lodge for over 20 years, W Bro Reilly is relocating to North Richmond and takes with him many fond memories shared with Lodge Gloucester through the years.

In a symbolic gesture, the Deputy Grand Master was presented with the gavel he used during the ceremony, a piece skilfully crafted by W Bro Dirk Moller from century-old, reclaimed timber. The event was a celebration of Joe's ascent in Freemasonry and an exemplification of the values and history that the fraternity holds dear.

The Worshipful Master was then presented with his District Service Award and Jewel, which he was awarded at the last Quarterly Grand Communication.

The weekend culminated in breakfast with the Deputy Grand Master and brethren, wrapping up a memorable experience in the serene ambience of Gloucester.

42 Apr–Jun 2024 Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason from around NSW & ACT Masonic news
Lodge Gloucester No. 291

Lodge Morisset No. 441

Lodge Morisset moves

After 1,252 meetings Lodge Morisset has said farewell to its Yambo Street premises, and in future will meet at the Toronto Masonic Centre, which is also the home of Lodge Lake Macquarie.

The farewell meeting was a District 16 combined meeting which was graced by the presence of the Deputy Grand Master RW Bro Khris Albano, who was accompanied by the Assistant Grand Master RW Bro Paul Schultz and the Grand Director of Ceremonies RW Bro Josh Newman.

The DGIWs of Districts, 14, 15, and 16 were also present. In total it was a Grand Lodge delegation of 25.

The Worshipful Master of Lodge Morisset, W Bro Henry Millington occupied the chair of King Solomon and welcomed all the brethren, but especially those brethren of District 16 who filled the various offices and delivered the relevant charges.

The lodge was opened in each of the three degrees with charges or presentations delivered in each degree.

During the Fellowcraft degree RW Bro Khris Albano presented the Sixth Section Lecture with great clarity and consideration for the various levels of experience within his audience. After the lodge was closed, everybody retired to the South to enjoy a Burns Night supper with haggis and the traditional address which was given by RW Bro Tom Shaw. The brethren and the ladies filled the South, and it was a fitting occasion to farewell the grand old building. W Bro Henry Millington expressed the enthusiasm of the members of Lodge Morisset and assured the visitors that Lodge Morisset looks forward to a strong future in its new home in Toronto.

Going bald for Bland

structural engineer completes an assessment the upstairs section cannot be used.

well known for his hirsute visage.

He is threatening to remove it all to raise funds for the repair of West Wyalong Masonic Centre.

On the same weekend as the Grand Communication was being held at Dubbo in December last year, a violent windstorm

removed a large section of the roof of the West Wyalong Masonic Centre.

The building is a 100-year-old two storey icon in the Bland Shire and houses Lodge Bland 337 on the first floor and a newly added community cinema on the ground floor.

Fortunately, the cinema can still operate, so vital rental income continues, but until a

So in March, Lodge Bland 337 will be holding its installation about an hour’s drive away in Temora while it waits for its regular meeting place to be repaired.

‘There will be an appeal, highlighted by my commitment to shave my head, beard and moustache if a target of $50,000 is reached,’ RW Bro Scaz told Freemason.

We are thinking there perhaps should be a counter appeal – to make him keep it all on! 43 Apr–Jun 2024
RW Bro Khris Albano and VW Bro John Khoury in front of the Morisset Masonic Centre West Wyalong masonic identity RW Bro John Scascighini (better known as ‘Scaz’) is Lodge Bland No. 337 Storm damage to West Wyalong Masonic Centre RW Bro Scaz and his endangered hair!

Initiates United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT

Welcome to our new members

AL-KHAZRAJI, Bayder Lodge Warragamba 541

ALLEN, Brett Lodge Kirrawee 903

It’s easy to be nice

ARCE, Mark The Baden-Powell Lodge of NSW 1051

ARCHER, Geoffrey Lodge Liverpool Plains 191

ATRASH, George Lodge Mark Owen 828

BOURKE, Curtis Lodge Warragamba 541 CARTER, Sam Lodge Chelmsford Technology 261

CASIMIRO, Joe-Nino Lodge Horace Thompson Ryde 134

CHIDGEY, Ryan The Yass Lodge of Concord 27

CHRONIS, Andreas Lodge Eastern Suburbs 1050

DE GUZMAN, John Carlo Lodge Balgowlah 392

ENNERS, Marc Lodge Horizons 1032

FABUL, Kriston Bankstown Daylight Lodge 996

As a youngster, my parents taught me many habits which still persisted as I got older but which now seem to be part of today’s modern ‘it’s old fashioned, throw it away’ system.

GAVEL, Andrew Lodge Condobolin 185

GRAY, Hayden Lodge WestonKurri Kurri 253

HALILI, Mark Lodge Bulli Thirroul 1040

BACHA, Emile Lodge Emu Plains 860

BACHAN, Hussein Lodge Panania 845

IBEECROFT, Liam Lodge Independent Lewis 346

CLELAND, Matthew City of Newcastle Lodge 170

HILL, Christopher Lodge Bulli Thirroul 1040

IREMONGER, Samuel Lodge Army and Navy 517

BLANCH, Jordan Lodge Canberra Unity 465

’m referring to words and actions which do not occur as frequently today and which still rankle by their absence.

You remember them – grace,

COSTELLO, Gavin Lodge Artarmon United 285

DAUNT, Henry Lodge Enterprise 400

As Freemasons, we are taught

Marked Men

ent with the words ‘courtesy’ and ‘civil ity’ which was part of the era when children were taught what was considered the correct thing to do.

People say to me that the world has progressed since then and we must adjust to modern times and methods. But I wonder whether we should.

Recently, at The Elysian Lodge 418 an Emergent Meeting was convened to confer the status of Mark Man on six candidates. This is a significant ceremony in Freemasonry and it attracted visitors from neighbouring districts and a fraternal delegation from Lodge Sir Walter Scott 123, all keen to witness this exemplary conferral.

We don’t listen anymore and it is becoming an endangered skill. We talk to, or at, each other but not with each other; that’s when there is a break in the mobile

The Mark Man Ceremony is practiced both in Craft Freemasonry and Mark and Royal Arch Masonry, although it is administered by separate bodies that have a shared member base.

The ceremony was led by VW Bro Jay Tayag AGDC, as Worshipful Master. The event was further dignified by the presence of the then-Deputy Grand Master,

Six brethren of Lodge Elysian were conferred the status of Marked Man

RW Bro Khris Albano and the Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro Paul Schultz who added to the importance of the evening.

This memorable evening was a proud milestone in the masonic career of the new Mark Men: Bros Peter Jones, Wael Merhi, QasHanna, Paul Viesca, Owen Guarin, and Junn Miranda.

This Emergent Meeting at The Elysian Lodge was a demonstration of masonic tradition and brotherhood. The conferral of the Mark Man Degree on these six deserving candidates was a moment of celebration, marking their continued growth and commitment to Freemasonry.

JANBROERS, John The Royal Empire Lodge 613

KANAAN, Michael Lodge West Epping 390

KARAM, Joe Lodge Trinity 666

LENNARD, Terence Lodge Queanbeyan St Andrew 56

LIGON, Geraldo Lodge Artarmon United 285

LIMON, Mitchelle Lodge Sydney St George 269

MAFFULLO, Roberto Lodge Carnarvon 172

MAGRO, Jackson Lodge Horace Thompson Ryde 134

MEDEL, Michael Lodge Sydney St. George 269

MELVILLE, Kane Bankstown Daylight Lodge 996

MOLONEY, James Lodge Army and Navy 517

NABOULSI, Richard Lodge Trinity 666

NERADIL, Richard Lodge Nowra Unity 60

PALSANI, Rajasekhar Lodge France 1021

PENFOLD, Matthew Lodge Army and Navy 517

PEREIRA, Marcelo Lodge Kingsford Smith 1028

PETERSON, Michael Lodge Cronulla 312

PRINCE, Kenneth Lodge Eastern Suburbs 1050

PURHONEN, Ory Lodge Nowra Unity 60

RAAD, Sameh Lodge Trinity 666

SOMORJAY, Daniel The Schools Lodge 639

STROUD, Shane Lodge Capitol 612

SUN, Zhongwei Lodge Ku-Ring-Gai 1033

TERRISS, Clinton Lodge Eltham 272

TESORERO, Raffy Lodge Macquarie 53

TING, Jose Lodge Dubbo 906

TURNER, Darren Tweed Daylight Lodge 136

UPPAL, Vivek Lodge Indus 1055

VICELIC, Adrian The Lodge of Tranquillity 42

VICELIC, Ivan The Lodge of Tranquillity 42

YEUNG, Quinton Lodge Trinity 666

Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Apr–Jun 2024 44
The Elysian Lodge No. 418

It’s easy to be nice

Thank You

As a youngster, my parents taught me many habits which still persisted as I got older but which now seem to be part of today’s modern ‘it’s old fashioned, throw it away’ system.

Use the masonic cipher to decode the hidden message below. If you need a refresher, see our article in the March 2020 issue of Freemason. You can use the grid above to help you work it out – we’ve given you a few letters to get started. Answer in the next issue!

I’m referring to words and actions which do not occur as frequently today and which still rankle by their absence.

You remember them – grace, manners, civility, courtesy.

For example, grace is something you would think of as belonging to an older era, when people were automatically polite, when you wrote letters by hand, ladies and gentlemen were easily recognised, being kind and a willingness to help others.

Manners of course were automatic with respect given to elders, not interrupting when someone else was talking, thanking people for gifts or assistance, giving up your seat in the tram or bus and even holding the door open.

These actions could also be consistent with the words ‘courtesy’ and ‘civility’ which was part of the era when children were taught what was considered the correct thing to do.

If you wish to place an advert and support your magazine, phone 1800 806 930, email, or visit

People say to me that the world has progressed since then and we must adjust to modern times and methods. But I wonder whether we should.

We don’t listen anymore and it is becoming an endangered skill. We talk to, or at, each other but not with each other; that’s when there is a break in the mobile

We masons are among the fortunate ones who are taught to meet together with others’ opposing convictions or competitive ideas and yet respect each other as brothers.
Editorial By RW Bro Ted Simmons OAM Apr–Jun 2024 45 Cryptic Puzzle Humility – Kindness – Generosity Lifetime Hope Humility – Kindness – Generosity THE LA PÉROUSE STORY v56 n2 Apr–Jun 2024 Humility – Kindness – Generosity e Craft in Changi April 2024 by W Bro Dr Max Katz-Barber
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Congratulations to our masons


It’s easy to be nice

STRACEY, Ronald Lodge Kensington 270


STANDALOFT, Christopher Lodge Sutherland 585

WILLIAMS, Noel Lodge Paxton 608


ARNOLD, Carl Lodge Celebration of Fairfield 345

HEATH, Brian Lodge Vaucluse 266

SHARP, Ernest Lodge F S Mance 671


As a youngster, my parents taught me many habits which still persisted as I got older but which now seem to be part of today’s modern ‘it’s old fashioned, throw it away’ system.

BROWN, Gordon Lodge F S Mance 671

BYRNE, William Lodge Burnside 729

FULLBROOK, Alan Union Lodge 28

Familiar ring

CONNOR, Howard Lodge Ulmarra 186

’m referring to words and actions which do not occur as frequently today and which still rankle by their absence.

DENNING, John Lodge Kirrawee 903

FAULKNER, William Lodge Bulli Thirroul 1040

You remember them – grace, manners, civility, courtesy.

GOLSBY, Bruce Lodge Ballina United 112


INGRAM, Bryan Lodge Burnside 729

MAKINGS, Terrence Lodge Blacktown Kildare 393

STONEMAN, Peter Lodge Barham 561


HOLLOW, Robert Lodge Wyaldra 238

MITCHELL, Robert Lodge Bulli Thirroul 1040

MORELAND, Arthur Lodge F S Mance 671

PRESTON, Thomas Lodge Young Burrangong 20

For example, grace is something you would think of as belonging to an older era, when people were automatically polite, when you wrote letters by hand, ladies and gentlemen were easily recognised, being kind and a willingness to help others.

PULLEY, Graham Lodge Barham 561

REYNOLDS, Norman Lodge F S Mance 671

Manners of course were automatic with respect given to elders, not interrupting when someone else was talking, thanking people for gifts or assistance, giving up your seat in the tram or bus and even holding the door open.

These actions could also be consistent with the words ‘courtesy’ and ‘civility’ which was part of the era when children were taught what was considered the correct thing to do.

Passing of a Piper

People say to me that the world has progressed since then and we must adjust to modern times and methods. But I wonder whether we should.

We don’t listen anymore and it is becoming an endangered skill. We talk to, or at, each other but not with each other; that’s when there is a break in the mobile

W Bro Peter McLachlan was the Worshipful Master of Lodge Kiama 20052006 and a very fine piper. From the time W Bro Peter joined the lodge he played the bagpipes at all our installations and really was the main attraction at Lodge Kiama’s annual Anzac Ceremony. W Bro Peter was due to be presented with his 40-year certificate and jewel, but unfortunately due to failing health and Covid 19, he passed to the Grand Lodge above on 4 September. W Bro Peter McLachlan’s grandson, Bro Ryan Piercy contacted Lodge Kiama regarding the funeral arrangements for W Bro Peter and attended Lodge Kiama to meet the

COLLEY, Clyde Lodge Barham 561

HILL, Michael Lodge Nowra Unity 60

MOLONEY, Christopher Lodge Young Burrangong 20

PEVERILL, John Lodge Celebration of Fairfield 345

As Freemasons, we are taught to be civil, to help and to become better people, to give aid and support to our community...

VERNON, Cyril Lodge Sawtell Twilight 741

brethren. The Worshipful Master informed Bro Ryan that we had ordered his grandfather’s certificate and jewel and thought it appropriate that Bro Ryan should be presented with them.

RW Bro Sam Young, Secretary of Lodge Kingsford Smith was kind enough to invite members of Lodge Kiama to attend Lodge Kingsford Smith’s January meeting. VW Bro John Cosgrove PDGIW District 31 and Treasurer of Lodge Kiama made the presentation to Bro Piercy, in memory of his grandfather.

I met a man the other day, A fellow-traveller on life’s way, Our paths had never crossed before, And maybe we shall meet no more, Sure not this side of heaven’s gates, Where the great Architect awaits –He bore no mark of wealth or fame. Perhaps he’d won no great acclaim. Upon his hand he wore a ring –‘Twas not a costly jewelled thing –But there an emblem plainly shown Told me, that I was not alone, For as we stood together there I knew that he was on the square.

Penny for your thoughts?

Editorial By RW Bro Ted Simmons OAM
Humility – Kindness – Generosity Freemason Apr–Jun 2024 46
Service Certificates United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT
Lodge Kiama No. 35 Bro Ryan Piercy was presented with his grandfather’s certificate and jewel Photo courtesy of Arielinson
your brethren know what’s on your mind! Email your letter, report or article to
and share it with masons across NSW!

Test your knowledge

Exercise your grey matter with these twenty trivia brainteasers. Answers at the bottom of the page!

1 Who did Alfred Deakin succeed as Prime Minister of Australia in 1903?

2 Which country won the most swimming gold medals at the 1956 Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne?

3 What is the capitol city of Bulgaria?

4 Who were the first two men to walk on the moon?

5 Piopino, paddy straw, wine cap and enoki are all types of which commonly eaten food?

6 In chess, which piece can do an En Passant capture?

7 Who was the first Australian Prime Minister to march in Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade?

8 How many feet are in one mile?

9 What type of jam is used in a traditional South African Hertzog cookie?

10 In the Flash Gordon comic strip, who is the ruthless tyrant who rules the planet Mongo?

11 Which word starting with the letter C describes the length around a circle?

12 Which former Australian Prime Minister was the chairperson of the Australian Republic Movement from 1993 to 2000?

13 Australian sports person Bob Shearer is best remembered for his involvement in which sport?

14 ‘In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight.’ is the vow by which super hero?

15 The Eraring Power Station, Australia’s largest power station, is located in which State or Territory?

16 What type of animal is an Australian Mist?

17 Which famous author wrote the novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical car?

18 The UCI World Tour is the annual male elite tour in which sport?

19 In 2012 what new name was officially given to the clock tower that houses Big Ben?

20 The Great Western Tiers Conservation Area is a popular tourist destination in which Australian State?

The battle of Sari Bair

The poem on the back page by W Bro Richard Herps commemorates the attack on The Nek in WWI. Here’s a little of the history behind the poem.

The Battle of Sari Bair was an attack planned to end the stalemate in the battle against the Ottomans at Gallipoli. Beginning with the infamous Battle of Lone Pine on 6 August 1915, the Anzacs pushed forward to take the high ground of the Sari Bair range.

The 3rd Light Horse Brigade (despite the name, they mostly fought dismounted, especially at Gallipoli where the terrain was too rough for horses) were to attack the Nek as part of diversionary actions. However, failures of command and an ineffective preliminary bombardment meant that they faced many more defenders than expected. Casualties were staggering, with 234 dead and 138 wounded out of 600.

Attacks elsewhere fared better, but not much. Many Ottoman positions were taken temporarily, but by 10 August the defenders returned en masse, retaking nearly all captured ground. The stalemate at Gallipoli resumed.

PENINSULA The quiz By RW Bro Ted Simmons
– Australia (8 Gold Medals). 3 – Sofia. 4 – Neil Armstrong (1st), – Mushrooms. 6 – Pawn. 7 – Anthony Albanese. 8 – 5,280. – Ming the Merciless. 11 – Circumference. 12 – Malcolm Turnbull. – The Green Lantern. 15 – New South Wales. 16 – Cat. 17 – Ian Fleming.
The Nek
– The Elizabeth Tower. 20 – Tasmania. GALLIPOLI SARI BAIR AEGEAN SEA Baby 700 The Nek Battleship Hill Chunuk Bair Lone Pine SUVLA BAY The opening of the battle

The Nek

On 7 August 1915, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade launched a diversionary attack on Ottoman trenches in Gallipoli.

The attack was a tragic failure, with more than 60% killed or wounded. This poem commemorates their sacrifice.

A narrow saddled stretch of ridge,

The Nek was like a pass or ridge.

No vegetation, scrub or trees

To shelter charging infantry.

The Turks were dug in firm and square

With multiple machine guns there, And arcs of fire everywhere.

Light horsemen used as infantry, No training offered needlessly.

A failure to co-ordinate,

To synchronise and ordinate.

A brief bombardment falling short,

Six hundred now without support.

Impassioned pleas to not proceed,

The order firm and so decreed;

And so they with acceptance paid

The price demanded by their raid.

They then into the trench’s walls

Did press and thrust and there install

Some artefacts of life and love

Too priceless to be souvenired

Or yet be lost or disappear:

Some photographs and wedding rings, Bibles, books and precious things;

Dad’s pocket watch and silver chain

Returned to him to there remain;

Lockets with a loved one’s hair,

Wrapped within a goodbye prayer.

A lovely letter come from home

With thoughts of laughter and shalom.

A scribbled note filled with regret,

Enjoining her to not forget

Those songs unwritten and unsung, And what they might with time have done.

Now are the trenches filled with men

Who anxiously await the when; Nowhere hereabouts to hide, This is only suicide.

Their feet upon the firestep,

Eyes to front and forward set.

All goodbyes and farewells said, The enemy entrenched ahead.

Both hands on the weapon pressed, Heart apounding in the breast.

Honour kept and duty owned, Time cannot now be postponed.

Fathers and their only sons, Forward now to take the guns.

Standing straight in lines abreast, Leaping o’er the parapet.

Silence now gives way to cheering, Pride and courage persevering.

All with mates and cobbers run, Into lead-filled air and sun.

Falling, falling, everyone,

Those surviving almost none.

Underneath the wings of death, Gone to their eternal rest.

Friendship and love remembered here, Valour beyond the reach of fear.


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