Ge­orge’s Lodge ser­vice hon­oured with medal

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Ber­ri­gan’s Ge­orge Bat­ten has ded­i­cated much of his life to var­i­ous Ma­sonic Lodges.

The Freema­son’s ser­vices were re­cently recog­nised when he was pre­sented with a 50-year cer­tifi­cate and medal by the Al­bury based Dis­trict Grand In­spec­tor of Work­ings (DGIW) Bob Gil­lett and Lee Pat­tin­son, the Wor­ship­ful Mas­ter of St John’s Lodge, De­niliquin.

Freema­sonry is an or­gan­i­sa­tion of men who adopt the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of in­tegrity, good­will and char­ity as the foun­da­tions for an in­di­vid­ual’s life and char­ac­ter.

Freema­sons share a con­cern and re­spect for hu­man val­ues, moral stan­dards, the laws of so­ci­ety and the rights of in­di­vid­u­als.

‘‘I’m very proud of be­ing a freema­son, and dur­ing my time with the Lodge I’ve met and made many friends through­out this area,’’ Mr Bat­ten said.

‘‘The Lodge has made a big con­tri­bu­tion to the lo­cal com­mu­nity. It has a large num­ber of aged care homes, some in this re­gion, and big hospi­tals in cities.

‘‘The Lodge gave $20,000 to Ber­ri­gan and Dis­trict Aged Care when it was con­structed, and $5,000 was also do­nated to the Ber­ri­gan Shire Early In­ter­ven­tion Ser­vice.

‘‘I have trav­elled thou­sands of kilo­me­tres over the years as part of freema­sonry, and when I look back I won­der how I had the time.’’

Mr Bat­ten joined Lodge Oak­lands No 368 in Fe­bru­ary 1965 and has since held sev­eral of­fice po­si­tions in­clud­ing sec­re­tary for 14 years.

In 1970-71, he was made Wor­ship­ful Mas­ter and then be­came a mem­ber of Grand Lodge in Syd­ney, which was the head of pri­vate Lodges.

He was then given the po­si­tion of DGIW (Oak­lands) and for two years his du­ties in­cluded vis­it­ing Lodges in Dis­trict 98 which in­cluded Oak­lands, Urana, Lock­hart and The Rock.

‘‘I had to visit at least four times a year and re­port to Syd­ney that work was car­ried out ac­cord­ing to the book,’’ Mr Bat­ten said.

‘‘In 1992 the Oak­lands Lodge was closed and the build­ing sold to a lo­cal buyer. I af­fil­i­ated with Lodge Loy­alty Ber­ri­gan No 336 prior to the clo­sure.

‘‘I held sev­eral po­si­tions there in­clud­ing sec­re­tary for four years and trea­surer. I was ap­pointed by Grand Lodge to do an­other two years as DGIW of that dis­trict, which in­cluded Ber­ri­gan, Tocumwal, Fin­ley, Jer­ilderie and De­niliquin Lodges.’’

As a mem­ber of Grand Lodge, Mr Bat­ten was given the ti­tle of Right Wor­ship­ful Brother which he still holds to­day.

In 2008 Lodge Loy­alty closed and the build­ing sold to a Mel­bourne buyer.

Mr Bat­ten then af­fil­i­ated with Lodge, The Mur­ray, in Tocumwal, where he served as Wor­ship­ful Mas­ter un­til it closed in 2008 and Lodge Mul­wala and Lodge Co­bram.

Mr Bat­ten, 83, has since re­tired from his Lodge du­ties, but said he looks back on them fondly.

‘‘If peo­ple knew more of our teach­ings and the char­i­ties we sup­port, the world would be a bet­ter place,’’ he said.

Shayla Hicks and (front) Molly Stevens hav­ing fun.

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