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News & Events

Gympie Lodge celebrated its 150-year anniversary (its sesquicentennial!) in October, around the same time we celebrate the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England.

An extended version of this article appeared in the Gympie Times on 18 October 2017

Gympie, originally called Nashville, was established in 1867. Just two years after this, the first lodge, Nashville Lodge (now called Pioneer Lodge), was established on 24 March 1869 under the United Grand Lodge of England. The first Master of the lodge was Edward Henry King who was also the first Gympie Goldfield Commissioner. The inaugural meeting was attended by the District Grand Master, Sir Augustus Charles Gregory, Queensland’s first Commissioner for Crown Lands and Surveyor General.

The original lodge building on Duke Street was completed in time for the inaugural meeting of Nashville Lodge in 1869 and still stands today. It is one of Gympie’s oldest surviving buildings from the Gold Rush days. As Freemasonry in Gympie expanded, the premises at Duke Street became too small and in 1901, our current lodge building on Channon Street was built for £1,170 pounds ($172 658 in today’s currency).

Since the establishment of Nashville Lodge (now Pioneer), a number of additional lodges have been formed in Gympie and the surrounding districts. Prince Leopold Lodge was formed in 1885 under the United Grand Lodge of England. This was followed by Lord Dufferin Lodge in 1886 under the Grand Lodge of Ireland. 1894 saw the establishment of Braemar Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, followed in 1897 by Gympie Lodge (now closed), also under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Kilkivan Lodge was established in 1901 under the Grand Lodge of England. In 1921, the United Grand Lodge of Queensland was formed and all the existing lodges joined under the banner of the new Grand Lodge. In 1922, Telford Lodge at Imbil was the first local lodge established under the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, followed by Gympie Temperance Lodge (now closed) in 1925. In 1928 Kin Kin Lodge was established, followed by Woolooga Lodge in 1929, Theebine Lodge in 1948 and the youngest lodge, Cooloola, in 1988, which closed in 2014.

The Freemasons have been an active part of the Gympie and District community since their establishment and have assisted many organisations and individuals in the area over the years. In recent times, they have contributed nearly $100 000 to local worthy causes in. Recipients have included:

  •          Sunshine Carriages (part of Riding for the Disabled)
  •          Lions Club Junior Soccer
  •          Road Craft Road Safety Training
  •          The Brain Child Foundation
  •          Little Haven Palliative Care
  •          Gympie Hospital Rehabilitation Department
  •          Life Flight Queensland, and
  •          Little Kids Big Day Out.

In addition, a number of lodges provide ongoing support to their local schools through awards and other donations.

Gold Rush Parade

Gympie and District Freemasons entered a float in the Gold Rush parade which celebrated the discovery of Gold in Gympie in 1867. On 14 October 2017, Freemasons from as far afield as Cooroy, marched in the Gold Rush Parade in full Masonic regalia behind the UGLQ vehicle which was kindly driven by the Grand Secretary, RW Bro Ian Tomlinson. Despite the inclement weather, 26 brethren participated from nine lodges in the Gympie District. Feedback from the community has been so positive and encouraging that the district brethren hope to participate again in 2018.

Gympie Open House

There were approximately 30 attendees at the Open House event with eight members from the public. VW Bro Adan Taylor from Lord Duffering Lodge gave an audio-visual presentation, followed by question and answer session. The presentation was followed by afternoon tea and a chance to mingle and meet attendees.

Open Day concluded a full week of the Lodge’s community engagement which involved participating in the Gympie Gold Rush Festival. We celebrated 150 years since establishment of Gympie and 148 years of Freemasonry in Gympie. A full page article about Freemasonry in Gympie and the Open Day was published in the Gympie Times.

They have already received two nominations for initiation as a direct outcome of the activities, with a third possible to come. 

The Biggenden Masonic Music Group has been running for more than seven years and host a concert in Biggenden at least one night a year to raise funds for local charities. The Group is coordinated by Chris Roberts, past Senior Warden for Biggenden Lodge, who chooses songs and plays the guitar. There are twelve members in the group, four of which are Biggenden Lodge members. They host practices and meetings beneath the Lodge.

This year on 10 June, their concert was held in the Biggenden Memorial Hall and the proceeds were recently distributed. Other members of the Biggenden Masonic Music Group include Wor Bro Brian Ledwidge, Lodge Treasurer, and Wor Bro Allan Williams, Master. Representatives presented two cheques of $200 to Liz Vicary of the Biggenden Hospital Auxiliary and Bundaberg Health Services Foundation manager, and Maria Burnet of Rotary Lodge, Bundaberg.

The local charities were chosen due to the great work that they do in the local community. Biggenden Hospital Auxiliary run the palliative care unit at Biggenden Hospital, surviving on donations which help run the unit. The Rotary Lodge in Bundaberg provides accommodation for patients in the hospital and also rely on donations, as they do not receive government support.

More than 85 people, mostly families and children, attended the concert; a great turnout for Biggenden! 

This year, Fuller Lodge’s Burdekin Barra Rush annual fishing competition weekend was once again a major success despite a cyclone nearby. A variety of estuary fish were caught by both junior and senior competitors ranging from whiting to the sought-after barramundi. Due to the windy conditions, very little offshore fish were caught. 

A very happy Michael Wright won the attractive senior ticket prize, a Quintrex F Series 390 boat powered by a 20HP Yamaha Outboard sitting on a Telwater Trailer. This prize was sponsored by Coral Coast Marine and A & B Rural Supplies of Ayr.

As usual, many kilos of fish were donated by competitors to the Aged Care Homes in  Ayr and Home Hill.

Fuller Lodge members take great pride in arranging this professionally run annual event in the Burdekin which is run in a very professional manner. 

On 30 January 2016, an electrical fault started a fire in the 114-year-old Rosewood Masonic Centre built in 1902.  The fire is believed to have started in or near the kitchen which was part of the 1963 addition to the building.  The Queensland Fire and Emergence Service did not indicate there were any suspicious circumstances.

The supper room was beyond repair and some of the roof trusses were completely burned, so the roof was unsafe in that end of the building.  The Lodge Room by contrast has fared much better.  There was considerable heat, smoke and water damage, mostly near the Senior Warden pedestal and the windows were broken to allow smoke to escape.

Fortunately, the Lodge had insurance. We are pleased to report construction has begun and they anticipate its completion in February 2018. While they tried to retain the original magnificent structure, unfortunately there were too many regulations and the cost was too great.

In the meantime, Rosewood Lodge 120 have been meeting in the Harrisville Masonic Centre owned by Fassifern Kilwinning 83. 

“They welcomed us with open arms,” said Victor Chandler, secretary for Rosewood Lodge. “The brothers Masonically offered to let us meet for free, however we reached a decision to pay a minimal amount of rent.”

Interestingly, the members of Fassifern Kilwinning provided the architectural plans for the building in 1902 and assisted with its construction, so their continued support for Rosewood Lodge is admirable.

“We have received nothing but helpfulness, consideration and kindness,” said Victor.

You are invited to attend a remembrance ceremony hosted by Northgate Remembrance Lodge on Friday 10 November 2017, 7pm at the Kedron Masonic Centre. 

The ceremony will honour Freemasons who paid the supreme sacrifice for Australia as well as those others who served. 

You are invited to a rare event hosted by Thespian Lodge UGLQ and Thespian Lodge UGLNSW where they will raise two entered apprentices to the second degree.

Come for a night of entertainment and delicious catering on Saturday 9 December at the Stones Corner Masonic Centre. 

See the lodge flyer for more details and bookings

 

Gympie District Lodges are hosting an open day this Sunday 22 October at 37 Channon Street, Gympie. 

Take a peak inside the Lodge building build in 1901 and be treated to an afternoon tea and refreshments.

Partners and family welcome. 

 

This year, we were please to once again be a part of Brisbane Open House.

Thank you to those volunteers and visitors who joined us for this special day. We had a great turn out with just over 1100 in attendance. We received lots of great feedback and look forward to next year.

“I just wanted to thank you for opening up your Lodge for visitors during the Brisbane Open House.  I found it fascinating.  I very much respect how you conducted the visits, and how open you were to showing us what you do and to answering all of our questions,” – Cassie.

Pictured: Job’s Daughter display at Brisbane Open House, Masonic Memorial Centre Ann Street.

Last month, the first annual classic car rally was organised to support country lodges.

Over $700 was raised to assist the Lowood Lodge brethren with their temple restoration project. The rally consisted of a Lexus, Land Cruiser, an MGB, a 1957 MGA a Morgan, a BMW Z3, a triumph motorcycle and a classic kombi. Brethren drove from the Kedron Masonic Centre to the Caboolture Masonic Centre, Woodford Lodge, then Hopetoun Lodge for morning tea.

They then journeyed to Esk and Toolgoolawah before heading into Lowood where they were met by members of Lowood who organised a sausage sizzle, garage sale and a whiskey tasting.

 The Spring Quarterly Communication raffle raised over $6700 for Mrs Robyn Townson’s charity of choice, the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital Foundation. Thank you to all participants whose contributions are much appreciated in raising funds for this worthy cause.

Congratulations to Bro John Gray from Athole Lodge and Mim Sinclair who won first and second place in the Spring Quarterly Communication raffle.

During the September Quarterly Communication in Bundaberg, a ladies afternoon high tea was held in the Bundaberg Civic Centre for the wives and partners of brethren. At this event, Mrs Lynne Lindsay and Mrs Patty Dexter, on behalf of Tyrian, Mulgrave, Athole, Ballantyne and Bundaberg Lodges, presented a $1000 cheque to Mrs Robyn Townson for her charity of choice, the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital Foundation.

The Biggenden Masonic Music Group has been running for more than seven years and host a concert in Biggenden at least one night a year to raise funds for local charities. The Group is coordinated by Chris Roberts, past Senior Warden for Biggenden Lodge, who chooses songs and plays the guitar. There are twelve members in the group, four of which are Biggenden Lodge members. They host practices and meetings beneath the Lodge.

This year on 10 June, their concert was held in the Biggenden Memorial Hall and the proceeds were recently distributed. Other members of the Biggenden Masonic Music Group include Wor Bro Brian Ledwidge, Lodge Treasurer, and Wor Bro Allan Williams, Master. Representatives presented two cheques of $200 to Liz Vicary of the Biggenden Hospital Auxiliary and Bundaberg Health Services Foundation manager, and Maria Burnet of Rotary Lodge, Bundaberg.

The local charities were chosen due to the great work that they do in the local community. Biggenden Hospital Auxiliary run the palliative care unit at Biggenden Hospital, surviving on donations which help run the unit. The Rotary Lodge in Bundaberg provides accommodation for patients in the hospital and also rely on donations, as they do not receive government support.

More than 85 people, mostly families and children, attended the concert; a great turnout for Biggenden! 

This year, Fuller Lodge’s Burdekin Barra Rush annual fishing competition weekend was once again a major success despite a cyclone nearby. A variety of estuary fish were caught by both junior and senior competitors ranging from whiting to the sought-after barramundi. Due to the windy conditions, very little offshore fish were caught. 

A very happy Michael Wright won the attractive senior ticket prize, a Quintrex F Series 390 boat powered by a 20HP Yamaha Outboard sitting on a Telwater Trailer. This prize was sponsored by Coral Coast Marine and A & B Rural Supplies of Ayr.

As usual, many kilos of fish were donated by competitors to the Aged Care Homes in  Ayr and Home Hill.

Fuller Lodge members take great pride in arranging this professionally run annual event in the Burdekin which is run in a very professional manner. 

On 30 January 2016, an electrical fault started a fire in the 114-year-old Rosewood Masonic Centre built in 1902.  The fire is believed to have started in or near the kitchen which was part of the 1963 addition to the building.  The Queensland Fire and Emergence Service did not indicate there were any suspicious circumstances.

The supper room was beyond repair and some of the roof trusses were completely burned, so the roof was unsafe in that end of the building.  The Lodge Room by contrast has fared much better.  There was considerable heat, smoke and water damage, mostly near the Senior Warden pedestal and the windows were broken to allow smoke to escape.

Fortunately, the Lodge had insurance. We are pleased to report construction has begun and they anticipate its completion in February 2018. While they tried to retain the original magnificent structure, unfortunately there were too many regulations and the cost was too great.

In the meantime, Rosewood Lodge 120 have been meeting in the Harrisville Masonic Centre owned by Fassifern Kilwinning 83. 

“They welcomed us with open arms,” said Victor Chandler, secretary for Rosewood Lodge. “The brothers Masonically offered to let us meet for free, however we reached a decision to pay a minimal amount of rent.”

Interestingly, the members of Fassifern Kilwinning provided the architectural plans for the building in 1902 and assisted with its construction, so their continued support for Rosewood Lodge is admirable.

“We have received nothing but helpfulness, consideration and kindness,” said Victor.

This year, we were please to once again be a part of Brisbane Open House.

Thank you to those volunteers and visitors who joined us for this special day. We had a great turn out with just over 1100 in attendance. We received lots of great feedback and look forward to next year.

“I just wanted to thank you for opening up your Lodge for visitors during the Brisbane Open House.  I found it fascinating.  I very much respect how you conducted the visits, and how open you were to showing us what you do and to answering all of our questions,” – Cassie.

Pictured: Job’s Daughter display at Brisbane Open House, Masonic Memorial Centre Ann Street.

Last month, the first annual classic car rally was organised to support country lodges.

Over $700 was raised to assist the Lowood Lodge brethren with their temple restoration project. The rally consisted of a Lexus, Land Cruiser, an MGB, a 1957 MGA a Morgan, a BMW Z3, a triumph motorcycle and a classic kombi. Brethren drove from the Kedron Masonic Centre to the Caboolture Masonic Centre, Woodford Lodge, then Hopetoun Lodge for morning tea.

They then journeyed to Esk and Toolgoolawah before heading into Lowood where they were met by members of Lowood who organised a sausage sizzle, garage sale and a whiskey tasting.

 The Spring Quarterly Communication raffle raised over $6700 for Mrs Robyn Townson’s charity of choice, the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital Foundation. Thank you to all participants whose contributions are much appreciated in raising funds for this worthy cause.

Congratulations to Bro John Gray from Athole Lodge and Mim Sinclair who won first and second place in the Spring Quarterly Communication raffle.

During the September Quarterly Communication in Bundaberg, a ladies afternoon high tea was held in the Bundaberg Civic Centre for the wives and partners of brethren. At this event, Mrs Lynne Lindsay and Mrs Patty Dexter, on behalf of Tyrian, Mulgrave, Athole, Ballantyne and Bundaberg Lodges, presented a $1000 cheque to Mrs Robyn Townson for her charity of choice, the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital Foundation.

Beaudesert Lodge 379 represented UGLQ at the Beaudesert Show on 8 and 9 September to fundraise for charity and showcase their involvement in the local community.

The show was a fantastic event with many people popping by to ask about Freemasonry or to mention their father or grandfather had been a Freemason. Without doubt, the trailer, coupled with the lodge’s regalia-printed aprons stood out and reinforced their place in the community.

The main team consisted of Bro Nigel Booker, Bro Shaun Winson and Bro Wayne Lupnow, and with help from Wor Bro Michael McPhail and Bro Sean Redding, they sold 350 bacon and egg rolls, raising $1100 for charity.

The Lodge would like to especially thank Miss Storm Lupnow who dedicated her Friday evening and Saturday morning to help.

“We are very pleased to say that we have been asked back again next year,” said Nigel. 

On Saturday 21 October 2017, United Tradesmen’s Lodge will host their unique annual “dine in the dark” event in Ipswich. Guests are invited to enjoy a meal … blindfolded!

Tickets include a fun two-course dinner, entertainment, and live auctions and raffles.

Proceeds will contribute to Guide Dogs Queensland helping to provide Guide Dogs and other mobility and support services to blind and vision impaired children and adults in Queensland.

Tickets are available for $40 with all proceeds contributing to Guide Dogs Queensland.

See the flyer for more information.

For bookings, complete and submit the booking form to unitedtradesmenssecretary@gmail.com, or book online.

For additional information, contact:

Jim Williams 0428 874 911

Ian Brown 0431 034 852

Thursday 17 August 2017, on the eve of the Battle of Long Tan, Beaudesert Lodge No 379 hosted a memorial dinner for 60 members of the community.

Beaudesert Lodge is incredibly proud of their veteran members. They pride themselves on being valuable members of the community and their veteran members have shown a level of commitment to their communities and countries second to none. Their veterans may not be the ANZACs referred to in the tales of Gallipoli, but they stood up when their countries needed them in all conflicts in living memory. For that reason, they were honoured at a Long Tan Memorial Dinner held at The Centre, Beaudesert.

After welcome drinks and canapés, Captain Owen Sulistio, a serving Army Officer in the ADF accompanied by his drummer, piped through the guests to dinner. Once grace and the welcome address was delivered, Bro. Shaun Winson presented the tribute of the Fallen Soldier Table, followed by VW Bro Jim Ritchie PAGSW, Worshipful Master of Beaudesert Lodge, giving the Ode and Freddy Fenton playing the Last Post on the bugle.

The Lodge had organised a surprise presentation for three of the guests; RW Bro David Cowan PGSW, VW Bro Jim Ritchie PAGS) and Wor Bro Dennis Lutton, all whom are Vietnam Veterans. Barbara and Bill Kenney travelled from Boonah to represent Quilts of Valour and to present the three veterans with quilts in recognition for their service. Quilts of Valour Australia’s mission is to present quilts to service members and veterans of the Australian Defence Force ADF in recognition of their sacrifice for Australia while deployed on combat operations. The recognition is also extended to the families of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. The quilt is a powerful gift of love. It brings warmth, comfort, peace and healing to the recipient.

During the delicious dinner, the pipes and drums played an enjoyable medley, which ended with Jim Ritchie giving the toast to the piper. The whole team at Beaudesert Lodge organised an incredibly enjoyable evening, which successfully raised $820 for Camp Quality, a charity that diligently works to create a better life for children living with cancer. The donation will assist Lodge Junior Warden, Bro Ed Orszulak, a serving Major of the ADF and veteran of East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, towards his personal fundraising target of $4000 for the charity.  

On Friday 19 May 2017, RW Bro Chris Tollner PAGM from Rockhampton was granted the privilege of initiating his two grandsons, William & Henry Tollner in Darwin Lodge of Remembrance in accordance with the South Australia and Northern Territory ritual.

The boys’ father, Wor Bro David Tollner, who is the Master Darwin Lodge of Remembrance, took over as Junior Deacon and conducted his sons, together with a friend of the family, RW Bro Neil Jensen PAGM who acted as Senior Deacon. William’s Godfather, Bro Steven Doherty, acted as Inner Guard.

Wor Bro David Tollner also delivered the lecture on the Tracing Board and impressed his audience of seven entered apprentices – five apprentices from other Darwin Lodges had joined the two candidates around the Tracing Board.  

More than forty brethren were in attendance, including a North Territory Grand Lodge team, led by VW Bro John Matthews, the Grand Superintendent for Darwin, three visiting Masters and visitors from as far south as Alice Springs and many places between. Darwin Lodge of Remembrance will long remember this memorable event.

As a visitor from Queensland, Chris was very impressed. Since that night, David had the opportunity to reflect on the meeting with brothers William and Henry. They were impressed by the ritual presentation and overwhelmed by the cordial atmosphere of the meeting. They are very much looking forward to their next degree.

As part of their 60th anniversary celebrations to mark sixty years of the Scarborough Masonic Centre, Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge have teamed up with Guide Dogs Australia and will be holding a dining in the dark event on Saturday 27 May.

Following on from the success of Dine in the Dark at the Ipswich Masonic Centre, hosted by United Tradesmen’s Lodge, and with the blessing and support of United Tradesmen’s lodge secretary Wor Bro Ian Brown, plans swiftly got underway.

Come along for a fun filled evening and experience.

The cost per person is $40 or you can purchase a table of six for $240.

There will be a silent auction and other entertainment.

If you would like a ticket or a table for you or your business, please contact Bro Chris Brown 0423 783 340.

On Tuesday 25 April, Freemasons Queensland commemorated ANZAC Day, hosting a wreath-laying service in the morning, and an evening ceremony.

At the morning ceremony, lodge representatives gathered to pay their respects and lay wreaths at the Masonic Memorial Urn at Ann Street. The ceremony was followed by a procession to The Eternal Flame at Anzac Square where MW Bro Alan Townson laid a wreath.

The night ceremony was open to the public and featured guest speaker MAJGEN Retd Prof Darryl Low Choy AM MBE RFD. In attendance were representatives from government, scouts Queensland, the girl guides of Queensland, the State Chairman of the RSL, the Country Women’s Association and cadets from TS Paluma.

Lest we forget. 

Join Argyle Lodge for a day of fun at Laidley Bowls Club this weekend on Sunday 26 February.

The event begins at 10am for a 10.30am bowls start and will have a sausage sizzle and great prizes to be won in a multi-draw raffle. All funds raised will contribute to Blue Care, supporting aged care.

Teams of four players can register for $15 which includes a meal, and single players are also welcome.

To register your interest, contact membership@uglq.org.au ATTN Peter Hooper.

A personal invitation from MW Bro Allan Sangwell, MWGM, Grand Lodge of Tasmania:

 

I extend a cordial invitation to Freemasons of other jurisdictions together with their partners to join with Freemasons of Tasmania and their partners for the installation of RW Bro John William Slore as the 38th Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania.

The installation and associated social functions will be held in Hobart from Thursday, 23rd February through to Sunday, 26th February, 2017.

 

The programme of events will commence with a Civic Reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Ald Sue Hickey, at Hobart’s historic 150 year old Town Hall. The official events will conclude with a church service at St David’s Cathedral followed by a farewell luncheon.

 

Tasmania’s temperate climate makes February and March an ideal time to tour our scenic island. Experience its clean air, diverse landscapes, historic towns, and enjoy its fine food and wine.

 

Together with my wife, Pam, RW Bro Slore, and his partner Dot, I trust you will accept this invitation to join with us for this significant Masonic occasion in Hobart next February.

 

Allan Sangwell

Grand Master

On Saturday 22 October 2016, United Tradesmen’s Lodge will host their unique annual “dine in the dark” event in Ipswich.

Guests are invited to enjoy a meal … blindfolded!

“Some guests, who are really committed, blindfold themselves for the duration of the event. Other guests choose to be blindfolded just during their meal. Either way, it is a unique experience,” says Wor Bro Ian Brown, secretary for United Tradesmen’s Lodge No 12.

Tickets are available for $35 each and include a two-course dinner and entertainment. All proceeds go towards Guide Dogs Queensland.

For bookings and more information, contact:

Ian Brown 0431 034 852

Steve Palmer 0414 078 909

Murilla Lodge No 265 will be hosting the annual MAN-UP! Prostate Cancer Awareness Night on Tuesday 26 July at 6.00pm at the Miles Golf Club. 

There will be drinks and fellowship followed by a free BBQ. The MAN-UP! team will speak about how prostate cancer is one of the main killers of men but is not difficult to detect or to fix if caught in it’s early stages. The night will be one of good cheer with raffles and the opportunity for brethren, friends and ladies to catch up and enjoy a social night.

You are invited to the Masonic Family Expo, a free event that offers the chance to see all the different Orders associated with Freemasonry besides the three degrees in a Craft lodge.

 

The event will be held at our Masonic Memorial Centre at 311 Ann St, Brisbane, and the event is open to the public. 

We extend to all a cordial invitation to attend the Grand Installation and associated functions in Brisbane from Friday 1 July to Sunday 3 July 2016.

Traditionally the venue of focus is the Grand Hall of the Ann St Memorial Centre and this ornate and cloistered space creates the appropriate ambience for our core event. Accommodation and most social gatherings are all central to the CBD.

Our Grand Master Elect is Right Worshipful Brother Alan Maurice Townson, Deputy Grand Master for the previous three years and who has the added experience of previously serving the Fraternity as an Assistant Grand Master and as President of the Board of Benevolence. Alan is a most experienced Mason.

This is another splendid opportunity to meet your fellow masons and extended family.  For those who have added time available why not consider a longer stay with multiple scenic attractions within easy travel distance of the capital.

All our visitors can be assured of a hearty and warm Fraternal welcome from the local Brethren.