Friday, October 9, 2009

Master on the March

I had a chance to chat with my lodge's Worshipful Master today via Facebook messenger. I wrote about W:. Brother Dan and his trip to Australia this afternoon in the post entitled "Our Worshipful Master Down Under." He gave me a quick update on how things are going and forwarded me an email that he's submitting to the Connecticut Freemasons Publication discussing a recent visit to an Australian Lodge. Here is a copy of the text of his upcoming article for your reading pleasure.

Master on the March

During my travels in Australia I managed to visit Lodge Kiama in the state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia. The commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901, and the lodges of Kiama formed a single unified lodge in 1889. Prior to that there were a number of small lodges operating in Kiama from 1871 under a Charter issued from the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

I was surprised to find the differences in our signs as quickly as my examination before I could enter the lodge. There ritual work was also far different from ours, including the placement of some lodge officers. I had gone in anticipating finding the Junior Warden located in the North instead of the South because of the hemisphere change, but that was not the case (their ritual work explains the difference); nor does their floor work take them counterclockwise about the altar.

It was nice to see that they had adopted some of the more modern plans for Masonic meetings such as posting the minutes instead of reading them and shortening the business meeting in order to have guest speakers or a presentation. Worshipful Brother Chris Huer, the Master of Lodge Kiama welcomed me warmly and presented me with a History of Freemasonry in Kiama and a book called the Centenary of Lodge Kiama. Due to the comparative youth of Australia to other countries they hold a special reverence for the enduring nature of Lodge Kiama.

During the period of fellowship that followed the meeting I was honored as a guest and requested to speak. There is a concern in Lodge Kiama as there is in many other lodges, regarding a lack of youth in the fraternity. Since I am from a younger lodge they asked how we keep younger members involved. I also asked about how they normally stay relevant throughout their community. I was pleased to find out that the Grand Lodge of NSW wants lodges to focus on local charity rather than donations to larger national charities. The way the Grand Lodge reinforces this precept is by matching the money a lodge raises for the community. As an example, Lodge Kiama wanted to help a local non-profit community group purchase a small bus for transporting children and they managed to raise $10,000 for this project. The Grand Lodge of NSW then matched the money for a total donation of $20,000, cementing the bond between Lodge Kiama and the local population.

My favorite part of the evening was really the exchanging of stories and of ideas. I hope to continue a relationship between Adelphi-Momauguin and Lodge Kiama for years to come in hopes that we might continue to exchange ideas and plans, forging a bond of fellowship though oceans apart.

DW Hawthorne

Please make sure your check out W:. Brother Dan's blog and follow his further adventures in Australia.

No comments: