Masons go pub­lic in PR cam­paign

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Stephanie Hor­ton

ECHUCA’S Ma­sonic Lodge opened its doors on Tues­day for its an­nual in­stal­la­tion, tra­di­tion­ally a most pri­vate af­fair.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, broth­ers of the lodge were ap­pointed and given sym­bols to rep­re­sent their new re­spon­si­bil­ity.

They were to un­der­take a rit­ual, seen to com­plete their ap­point­ment to the po­si­tion.

This year Peter Gib­son was reap­pointed as the Wor­ship­ful Master, the high­est po­si­tion in the lodge’s hi­er­ar­chy.

Mr Gib­son said he was hon­oured to be ap­pointed to the po­si­tion again.

‘‘It’s al­ways an hon­our to fol­low in the foot­steps of my pre­de­ces­sors.’’

He be­came a Ma­son in 1982 after his cousin Harry Gib­son pushed him to en­ter the lodge.

‘‘Harry got me here, but the lodge has helped me so much,’’ he said.

‘‘Freema­sons gives men, and now women, the sense of self­de­vel­op­ment and self­de­ter­mi­na­tion.’’

Harry was also present in the lodge on Tues­day be­cause he of­fi­ci­ated the pro­ceed­ings as In­stalling Master.

The in­stal­la­tion was at­tended by all in the Cam­paspe Vil­lage Freema­sons, as well as vis­i­tors from other lodges such as Kyabram, Co­huna and Shepparton.

Ge­off Thomp­son, Grand Master of the Goul­burn Val­ley re­gion, said it takes a while to be­come a Freema­son.

‘‘There are a num­ber of steps one has to take,’’ he said.

‘‘But once you’re in, you stay for as long as you need.

‘‘There’s even one brother here who is 103,’’ he said.

Ge­off also ex­plained the mean­ing of the ad­di­tional blue on the mem­bers.

‘‘The light blue that is present is for all Freema­sons.

‘‘The royal blue means a mem­ber holds an of­fice-bear­ing role, whether that be in the Of­fice of the Freema­sons or a Grand Master,’’ he said.

All mem­bers wear lounge suits, rep­re­sent­ing equal­ity among all.

‘‘We all have our sep­a­rate lives out­side the lodge, but when we en­ter here we are all equals.

‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter whether a brother is a labourer or a busi­ness­man, we are all equals,’’ Peter said.

Peter Gib­son said he had a full year of events planned for the Freema­sons in the area, in­clud­ing open­ing the lodge to the pub­lic for all to see.

‘‘We want to move into the 21st cen­tury,’’ he said.

‘‘This means the lodge and some ser­vices will no longer be pri­vate.

‘‘We want the pub­lic to see what we do. It’s also a good op­por­tu­nity for us to re­cruit.

‘‘It’s an or­gan­i­sa­tion that’s based around giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, so the more mem­bers we have the more we can do for the com­mu­nity and look after each other.’’

READY TO ROLL: Rod Ellery with his mo­bile of­fice is only a phone call away.

MA­SONIC CER­E­MONY: The Grand Mas­ters line up be­fore they are in­vited into the hall for the forth­com­ing in­stal­la­tion in Echuca’s lodge.

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