26 August 2022
ITEM 1: SUPPORT ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR BRETHREN AND FAMILIES
ITEM 2: CONSTITUTION TRANSITION IS FIRMLY ON TRACK
Support is always available for Brethren and their families
The health and welfare of all members of the Victorian Masonic family are always top priorities of our fraternity.
The COVID years have brought their own challenges to members and their families, in addition to the everyday problems faced by us all in the 21st century.
Lodges offer a support system led by Worshipful Masters, Almoners, and peers. Districts do the same on a regional basis, and Grand Lodge is the conduit to provide links to pastoral and psychological care. Freemasons Foundation Victoria also offers a range of financial support, subject to the strict conditions under which it must operate.
Free psychological counselling, aimed at addressing emotional care and wellbeing, is offered through WBro. Dr Ted Stephens OAM PJGW. Almoner services are offered through a team led by the Grand Almoner, VWBro. David Thompson, PGChap. Chaplaincy services are provided state-wide by Grand Chaplains, VWBro. Geoff Paton and RWBro. John Glover.
Applications for benevolent support, subject to conditions, can be made through Freemasons Foundation Victoria, in its capacity as Trustee of Freemasons Benevolent Fund. The Foundation can provide financial relief for current members of Freemasons Victoria who are unable to adequately provide for their needs; any person dependent on a member who is unable to adequately provide for the needs of that person; any person who is unable to adequately provide for his or her needs and who was the spouse, child, or dependant of a Freemason at the time of that Freemasons death.
Help from the Foundation does not replace government or other agencies’ assistance, and the amount and scope of assistance will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Foundation does not provide relief or assistance for business debt, credit card, gambling debt, bank overdrafts, or payment of loans. More details are available at: https://www.freemasonsfoundation.org/financialassistance
Confidential contact with any of the Freemasons Victoria support groups can be made through the Grand Secretary's office: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 9411 0111.
If you require urgent support, please contact:
Emergency (Fire, Police, Ambulance): 000
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 675 398
Constitution transition is firmly on track
Freemasons Victoria has been involved in a detailed process over the past three years of modernising its Constitution and its governance.
This has involved a number of meetings and forums, as well as a convincing positive vote in September last year.
At the moment, a series of well-attended meetings are being conducted in the 17 districts across Victoria.
Every member has the opportunity to be seen and heard, and to express their views, and ask questions.
The next vote on Constitutional Changes is due to take place at the Quarterly Communication in a few weeks' time on 21 September.
Further votes are due to be held at subsequent Quarterly Communications later this year and in early 2023.
It is unfortunate that an anonymous group, simply describing itself as “we”, is circulating a loaded survey that aims to cause trouble.
The survey includes biased questions, serious factual errors, and pushes the same agenda as the cowardly ‘John Cook' emails that have defamed many.
The best advice is to always ignore anonymous emails. True Freemasons don't hide behind false names or Swiss ‘Protonmail' accounts.
The Constitution Transition Team is working diligently to make Freemasons Victoria the best possible version of itself for the rest of the 21st century.
The Team is headed by Harry Jenkins AO, former Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives.
Our Legal and Constitutional Committee is headed by VWBro. Ian Upjohn, QC.
They are working with the Masonic Council chaired by RWBro. Garry Runge, and the Commercial Council led by VWBro. Felix Pintado.
Our current Interim Governance arrangements are being trialled throughout 2022, after which they will be assessed by member vote.
Every one of our 7,300 members continues to have the opportunity to have their say and make meaningful contributions to our transition.
Please ignore the handful of troublemakers who set out to derail our great Brotherhood.
Together, the members of Freemasons Victoria are making considerable positive steps forward.
RWBro. Bruce Cowie