One of the hidden joys of being a Freemasons is visiting other Lodges and with over 6 million members worldwide you are sure to find a friendly welcome either near to home or further afield. This was put to the test on a recent visit to Australia when the Secretary of Bloomsbury Rifles Lodge No. 2362, Ian Edmed, had the privilege of attending a Lodge meeting at the Hastings Masonic Centre in Port Macquarie which is within the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Lachlan Macquarie Lodge No. 1042, like the town itself, takes its name from Major General Lachlan Macquarie, CB, a British Army officer and colonial administrator from Scotland. He became a Freemason in 1793 and served as the fifth and last autocratic Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821.
The Lodge is not yet 10 years old but has a strong membership and was formed to cater for a younger group of businessmen. It holds its regular meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month apart from January and December when it does not meet. Although the Masonic Centre can provide dining, the Lodge often holds its Festive Board (referred to as ‘The South’) at different local restaurants thereby supporting the local community and allowing family and friends to join them.
The meeting was conducted by Worshipful Master Dave Copley with Andrew Garth and Alan Williams assisting, in a style not to dissimilar to our Taylors workings. The layout of the Lodge Room was slightly different in so far as there was an additional pedestal in front of the Master’s pedestal. However, in all other ways the Lodge Room was the same as any Lodge room in London.
Freemasonry has long been associated with being a safe place to meet in friendship, exchange ideas and build lasting bonds. Being freely invited into another’s lodge and accepted as a Brother is what goes to the heart of being a freemason.