George’s Lodge service honoured with medal
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.