Freemasonry is

Published 9 September 2020

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Staying Safe and In Touch


We now have a number of lodges that are Stage 3 compliant. Some of them have already held small meetings cautiously and responsibly. To those who have attended, I thank you for your understanding in placing the safety and well-being of your brethren first.

With large numbers waiting for their initiation and progression, we must adapt to our COVID Safe environment and be very careful not to let the excitement of such ceremonies take away the importance of our carefully crafted safety regulations. A well thought out, responsible and safety conscious meeting can still be very meaningful and enjoyable for the brethren, and indeed, so can we also gain much from our continual online meetings.

I am very pleased that we are starting to hear of some wonderful stories from lodges experiences of face-to-face and online meetings. One such story is from Lodge Ballina United on our far north coast and you can read it in this Newsletter. If you can share a short story, and an appropriate photo, I will see that they are mentioned in later Newsletters, or perhaps the Freemason magazine if more appropriate.

This is also a time to reconnect with old acquaintances and check up on each other. I took a nice call from 91-year-old RW Bro Neville Simpson, from out at Bourke, letting me know how he was coping. Neville passed on greetings from himself and his lovely hard-working wife Pam, and he asked to be remembered to all his old (no pun intended) friends. In a similar vein, our Grand Chaplain, RW Bro Rabbi Dr Samuel Tov-Lev has been regularly checking on his flock, and I also know that our OSM friend, Past MWGSR Ian Newbery has also been active in this regard. How good would it be if more of us were involved in considering others, and perhaps we could include regular reports on this activity, alongside the Masonicare Caring Officer reports, in our meeting agendas, whether they be online or otherwise. Please consider showing similar respect to your old friends - it will be much appreciated by them.

As always, whether meeting in small numbers, socially or by Zoom, please take care and take special care of yourselves and your families.

Derek Robson AM
Grand Master

Ballina is Back

It was after dark but the brightness shone as 24 brethren returned to an almost normal lodge meeting at Ballina last Tuesday after a 5 month hiatus. With our COVID-19 plan firmly in place we were all looking forward to getting back to "Work".

On the agenda was a second degree for Bro Rod Flor. All COVID protocols were in place including a temperature check, sign in sheet, an ample supply of sanitizer and appropriately spaced seating in the lodge room and at the banquet, where individual table service prevailed. The excitement of the brethren who attended was evident, Bro Rod was a fantastic candidate and we all enjoyed an excellent ceremony at a most memorable event.

Masonry has lost nothing to the COVID-19 break. I thank those concerned for the well thought out, 3 Stage plan that allowed for our safe return, and we all look forward to the joys of masonic meetings once again.

J A Andrews
Secretary, Ballina United 112

September Freemason is out

The September magazine is out and it features the Freemason Photography Competition Freemason Fotos. To participate check the back page of your magazine and submit your photos.

Our magazine is also published digitally and can be downloaded from the Grand Lodge website and

From the Grand Treasurer

Capitation Fees

Lodges are reminded that capitation fees are required to be paid in full by 31 October 2020. Finance and Audit Committee have been meeting weekly throughout the pandemic and, like everyone else, we have also been through a difficult period. I am pleased to say that there are only around 30 lodges that have not taken up the 31 August 2020 early payment discount, on behalf of myself and our Finance and Audit Committee, I thank you all for your assistance and understanding during these unprecedented times.

As Grand Treasurer I must report any non-payments to Board of Management and Executive Council by 31 October, any lodge who believes they cannot make the payment by that date can make application to make more than one payment for the 2020/2021 financial year. Applications for an extension need to be made before close of business 30 September 2020, they should be addressed to the Grand Treasurer via the Grand Secretary and accompanied by:

1 Financial Statements to 30 June 2020 comprising of:

  • Income and Expenditure Statement
  • Balance Sheet
  • Listing of members fees (in advance and in arrears)
  • A realistic 2-year budget together with assumptions
  • Contact details of the Lodge Secretary and Lodge Treasurer

2 The Lodge must be up to date with the following:

  • Lodge Monthly Returns
  • Listing of Lodge Officers
  • Lodge Fees and Dues

Richard Collins PDGM
Grand Treasurer

Upcoming events

"Final Charge 1st" continuation again
Masonic Education Network
Wed, 9 September 7pm
Register Now
Every Wednesday a guest lodge takes the centre stage and conducts the presentation on a topic of their choosing

Fellowcraft Freemasons Q&A
Masonic Education Network
Thu, 10 September 7pm
Register Now
Q&A run every Thursday alternating between EAFs and FCFs.

Saturday Zoom Room
Masonic Education Network
Sat, 12 September 3pm
Register Now
Saturday afternoon meetings run every week with a different topic of discussion.

"Speculative Heart" examination
Masonic Education Network
Wed, 16 September 7pm
Register Now
Every Wednesday a guest lodge takes the centre stage and conducts the presentation on a topic of their choosing

Entered Apprentice Freemasons Q&A
Masonic Education Network
Thu, 17 September 7pm
Register Now
Q&A run every Thursday alternating between EAFs and FCFs.


All Masonic Centres are required to register as a COVID Safe business and prepare the building in accordance with steps that will be provided to them by the Grand Secretary.

NOTE: Once all buildings have been prepared we can then move on to Stage 2.


Once all Masonic Centres have completed Stage 1 it will then be necessary for each lodge to prepare their meeting place (lodge room) in accordance with further steps provided to them by the Grand Secretary.

NOTE: When lodges have completed Stage 2 and following further directions from the Government Health Authorities we can then move on to Stage 3.


Once lodges have completed Stage 2 requirements and after ensuring we comply with all regulations directed by the authorities, the Grand Secretary will advise those lodges that they may consider their return.

NOTE: The Grand Secretary will provide further advice on any meeting restrictions that may apply as a result of further directions from the Government Health Authorities.

Are your contact details up to date?

To continue to receive the Freemason magazine, emails and invitations to online meetings it is important your contact details are up to date.

Please update your details on the Grand Lodge website or with your lodge secretary and urge your fellow brethren to do the same.

How is your lodge staying connected?

Write a paragraph or two, add a good large photograph and send it to

Your story will be considered for this newsletter, the next Freemason magazine and might even feature in our official facebook page. Just make sure you have permission from all mentioned and depicted for their image to be publicly published.

Hosting a zoom meeting?

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

The Grand Master's Newsletter
An official publication of the Freemasons NSW & ACT

Please submit your articles and photographs to and make sure you have permission from all mentioned and depicted for their image to be publically published.

Download print version

United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT
279 Castlereagh Street Sydney • PO Box A259 Sydney South NSW 1235
T 02 9284 2800 • F 02 9284 2828


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