On Saturday, the 4th of August, 2018, MWBro Derek Robson AM PGM was Installed once again as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT.
The Installation took place at the Sydney Town Hall, followed by a Grand Banquet.
It truly was a Grand Event supported by many Brethren and guests.
The Sydney Lodge 1020 will continue to offer our support and loyalty to the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
Click below to read the full Address by the GM.
Past Grand Masters, visiting Grand Masters, Leaders of Other Distinguished Orders, Representatives of Sister Organisations, Ladies, Gentlemen and Brethren.
What an honour it is to stand here before you today. I am so appreciative that so many have taken the time to be with us today, and it is a clear reminder to me of the enormous responsibility you have gifted myself and my team.
As a jurisdiction, we are always grateful for the tremendous support we receive from our visiting delegations and I join with our Immediate Past Grand Master in offering you a very special welcome indeed. I look forward to working with the Leaders of all delegations into the future, particularly through the regular Grand Master’s Conferences and our own Heads of Other Orders meetings.
Of course, I recognise many Masons in the seating areas and thank each of you for your ongoing commitment to our Grand Lodge. I recognise that many of you are already involved in activity which is bringing huge kudos to the Craft, and I will be looking to you to extend this involvement through some of the innovative programs and practices we will be introducing in the coming weeks. I note that many of you have your wives, partners, girlfriends and friends with you, and the importance of their attendance is never lost on any of us. Welcome to all of you.
Importantly also, is the presence of our Past Grand Masters. Most Worshipful Brethren, I welcome each of you and personally thank you for your ongoing commitment. It is important that that we all understand that what we see in the Craft today, be it regulations, governance or program, these were all largely introduced by this most dignified group of committed Masons. We continue to build on their structures, and while we make subtle changes to our direction and introduce new initiatives from time to time, the basis for almost every one of our activities clearly belongs to the Past Grand Masters and, in a subtle way, we are continuing their magnificent work. On your behalf, I thank them most sincerely for their watchful presence, and look forward to their ongoing thoughts. I am also most conscious of their ladies who themselves have had much to do regarding the maintenance of standards in our activities and I am delighted to see them with us here today also. How blessed we are to have such wisdom, commitment and enthusiasm guiding our thoughts. Ladies, Gentlemen, and Brethren, ‘Service above Self’ is a most wonderful trait.
I am honoured that Gael is here today and particularly conscious that she is joined by her son Adam and his son Aiden. The guidance of our future generations, such an important part of the longevity of Freemasonry, is well displayed here, and I am honoured to be able to stand tall in this family environment. Gael herself has been an enormous rock for me, and her support of masonic activity is well known right across our jurisdiction. Gael will always be by my side and we both look forward to this very exciting period ahead of us. Thanks, Gorgeous.
And finally, in this vain, what a wonderful feeling it is to be again standing here in our premier Sydney Town Hall, in front of its magnificent Grand Organ. The world’s largest pipe organ, with tubular pneumatic action was built between 1886 and 1889, and installed in this place in 1890. Our first Grand Master, Lord Carrington served from 1888 to 1891 and I am sure that the significance of this place and the birth of Freemasonry in this State will not be lost on you.
The Sydney Town Hall serves as an important presence and meeting place for the City of Sydney. The building itself regularly undergoes cleaning and restoration to preserve it for future generations. Additionally, it has been rendered with sustainability by improving energy efficiency, including smart light sensors, energy efficient lighting, new roof insulation to moderate building temperature, solar panels, and new hydraulics and storm water infrastructure.
The similarity between the maintenance of this place and the maintenance of Freemasonry should also not be lost on any of us. The ongoing support of any building or organisation requires constant attention and it is this aspect which should attract more attention from each of us, as we strive to build on what has been gifted to us.
During the election process earlier this year, I clearly identified several areas where I believed we needed to direct more of our effort in the future, and I understand that you will be looking to me ‘to take the first step’, as it were, and show how we can improve upon our past.
I am happy to report that I have already begun that process. My incoming leadership and management teams have considered each of these concerns, and we have identified several strategies which, with your support, we are confident will make a positive difference.
It is never necessary to change everything we have been doing in the past 5 or 6 years, but it is necessary to redirect our emphasis toward todays priorities as we see them. It is time to introduce some innovative ideas and programs. We need renewed interest, we need to open doors to allow more generational interests, we need to better accommodate the views of our younger and contemporary members, and importantly, we need better connectors between all of us.
During my previous service, we were very successful in managing our numbers and some of you would clearly remember me proudly reporting regularly to our Quarterly Grand Communications, and the absolute joy that information brought.
It is time for us to pick up on the membership challenge again – and please be assured, my team are ready to do just that.
There are so many issues for us all to address, and notwithstanding whether they are related to buildings, community activity, timely meeting practices, interesting programs, charity, membership recruitment, retention or renewal, they are all interrelated and interconnected – and they all deserve the same attention. I have proposed a deliberate Task Force, to report directly to myself and the Chairman of the Board, but working outside of our existing Board Structure to manage this new initiative and direction. I look forward to their early successes.
But for now, though, this address is not intended to be a Policy Speech in any way. Rather it is intended to simply acknowledge that what we do, and what we need to do, ought to be clearly understood by all of us. What we have right now is not ours to squander. It is now time to consolidate where we are, and start working toward providing the future for tomorrow’s Freemasonry. And we will – with Integrity, Loyalty and Respect.
Before closing, I extend our thanks to our Past Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Jamie Melville, and congratulate both he and Yuana for what they have achieved over the past three years.
And finally, Ladies, Gentlemen and Brethren, may I thank you again for your most wonderful support of our Grand Lodge.