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On the 20th May 2012 an earthquake sequence began with a magnitude 4.0 at 01:13 local time. Less than three hours later, at 04:04 local time the biggest of these earthquakes occurred with magnitude 5.9 between Finale Emilia (province of Modena) and Sant'Agostino (province of Ferrara).

This strong quake destroyed all the churches and many of the factories in the area, with 7 people killed. In San Carlo more than 350 families lost their houses and within the next nine days, there were six aftershocks exceeding magnitude 5, 28 of magnitude 4–5 and 139 of magnitude 3–4.

The main shock could be felt as far away as Switzerland.
With this devastating news, RW Bro. Dario Priori (Grand Rep. Grande Oriente d'Italia) from Lodge Leonardo da Vinci No. 238 South Australia set about contacting all the Italian Lodges in Australia to see what could be done to help.

In very short time, the Lodges in Australia (Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Italia and Garibaldi) collected and donated $6,000 to help the desperate families in Emilia.

 

Thank you letter from the Grand Master of the Grande Oriente d’Italia

Illustrious and Dear Brother Dario,

In the name of the Board of the Grande Oriente d'Italia, I would like to thank you and your Brethren of Lodges "Leonardo da Vinci", "Galileo", "Garibaldi" and "Italia" for your generous contribution of solidarity to the people affected by the earthquake in Emilia Romagna.

In these months, the Grande Oriente d'Italia has collected about 150,000 euro that, along with your generous contribution, is already destined to various projects of assistance and reconstruction.

For a country that is so geographically distant from our own, to share in the pain of our victims and offer immediate assistance is evidence that the Fraternity that unites us is not based on ritual alone, but rather a sign of our closeness.

For a long time now I have been endeavouring to organise a visit to your Lodges, where I hope to meet you all and take you into a fraternal embrace.

I would like you all to consider the Grande Oriente d'Italia as your "home", for as I know, that on the other side of the world there are Brothers that will welcome me with affection.

With a triple fraternal, affectionate embrace,

Gustavo Raffi
GRAND MASTER
Grande Oriente d'Italia

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