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7 February 2024

Dear Distinguished Brethren All,

Another year has arrived, and Victorian Freemasonry is set for an extremely busy and productive 12 months. I extend my fraternal best wishes to you and your loved ones, with the hope that 2024 is a time of great health, happiness and prosperity.

Bro. George Washington wisely said: “Freemasonry is founded on the immutable laws of Truth and Justice and its grand object is to promote the happiness of the human race.” In 2024, “bringing happiness to others” is our continuing theme, and I would like to share details of a number of ways in how – together – our brotherhood is doing just that.

Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal
After a hiatus of several years, Freemasons Victoria has made arrangements with the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal to again play an important role in 2024. After determined efforts on our part, agreement has been reached for Masonic volunteers to man Sausage Sizzles at 28 selected Bunnings outlets across Victoria on Thursday 21 March (eight days before Good Friday).

Our volunteers, in official GFA caps and hi-visibility safety vests with Freemasons Victoria branding, will be prominent in serving food, and collecting funds for the Appeal. Items such as sausages and bread are being provided by Bunnings, so all proceeds will go towards the Appeal. As well as providing this practical assistance, this is a major opportunity for Freemasonry to be seen by the public, and for media opportunities to promote the Craft.

We are continually raising our standards, so it is recommended the Masonic volunteers each hold a Working With Children Permit, which are easily obtainable. I urge volunteers to register their interest for the 21 March event at Please do not contact Bunnings direct, all logistics are being handled by Freemasons Victoria.

Sleep At The G
On Thursday, 16 May, Freemason volunteers will participate in the ‘Sleep At The G' fundraiser staged by Melbourne City Mission to fight youth homelessness. Health willing, I intend to be one of the Masonic participants, sleeping overnight at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Thursday 23 May.

I want to issue a challenge to Freemasons of all ages to join me. The idea is that Lodges and individual brethren sponsor their own members, and organise donations to support their members. Imagine if we were able to organise 40-50 Brethren to participate in this important fundraiser. The night itself has a range of fun activities including games and challenges. Register online Click Here.

Black and Gold Ball
Lodge Amicus members are in the early stages of preparation of organising a Black and Gold Gala Ball in Spring 2024, as a major fundraiser for the Oncology Department of the Northern Hospital. Members from all Lodges, and their partners, will be encouraged to participate in this significant social event. WBro. David Fisher, WM at Amicus, and his team, will share details of this night, as they come to hand.

Melbourne Legacy
After support from Lodge Amalthea and Lodge of the Golden Fleece late last year at the Masonic Event held at the Australian Club, at which former Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove was guest of honour, we are examining how Freemasons Victoria can best support the good folk at Melbourne Legacy. I am in discussions with Legacy officials on how our fraternity can help their good works in the medium- and longer-term. I will keep you advised of our progress.

Masters' and Wardens' Groups
In my ‘Back To The Future' talks, in which I have recommended a return to some of Freemasonry's tried and true successes, I have encouraged the re-formation of Masters' and Wardens' Groups, which have worked so well over the decades. One example is the Wandering Squares group being convened in the Northern District by WBro. Andrew Leong of Army Lodge. They held their first social evening in January, and the group is already receiving strong support. I urge Masters and Wardens in all Districts across Victoria to energetically support these groups. I also congratulate the increasing number of Worshipful Masters who are meeting their Obligations to attend Quarterly Communications; it is greatly pleasing to see their loyalty in action.

Grand Teams
The term of the 2023-24 Grand Ceremonial Team is rapidly drawing towards a close; and the 2024-25 Team is active in weekly training sessions to prepare for its important work. The older team is gathering at Echuca next month, with more than 80 members and family already booked. Strong numbers from the 2024-25 Team are booked for their weekend at Creswick. There are many different social organisations in the community, but the thing that makes Freemasonry different is our ritual and ceremonial work. At Grand Lodge level and Lodge level, it is encouraging to see the real efforts being made for excellence in these disciplines.

Sweet Concords
Music is an important component of the Masonic world. Congratulations to the Grand Lodge Choir for its ongoing rehearsal work for Quarterly Communications, and also ahead of the Grand Re-Installation on 5-6 April (have you booked?). I wish to particularly thank all those involved at Grand Lodge or Lodge level, whether it be as an Organist, Herald or in some other musical role. I welcome the latest cohort of new Grand Lodge Organists. Training is available for those who might wish to be involved as a Grand Herald. It is also encouraging that a new version of recorded music (available on a USB stick) will include Odes and incidental music. This should be organised by June. On behalf of all Brethren, I extend sincere thanks to all those involved in this team effort.

The Work of our Councils
In late 2023, I reminded the members of the Masonic Council and the Commercial Council of the expectation of members across Victoria: gone is the time for talk, now is the time for action. The Masonic Council is to oversee the imminent introduction of a new District system. The Commercial Council will next month be delivering its promised report about the future plans for all Masonic Centres across the State. There are many other projects underway, including the $5 million program to address essential Occupational Health and Safety matters at Masonic Centres across the State. All members are entitled to expect regular reporting of the Councils' determinations, as part of the ongoing action strategy.

Something Personal
It is no secret that my wife Anna, and I, have each faced serious health challenges in the past several months. I am pleased to advise that Anna returned to Australia from China just recently, after surgery and recuperation, and that she is now under the continuing care of local specialists. May I take this opportunity to sincerely thank our Masonic family for the many hundreds of messages of goodwill and support. The genuine warmth and care of the Victorian Freemasons community is something that Anna and I will treasure always.

The Year Ahead
Freemasons Victoria is strong. We are a $151 million organisation that must measure its real successes not in monetary terms, but the amount of good that we can do. In the coming 12 months, Great Architect of the Universe willing, I again pledge myself to give the maximum possible devotion as your servant leader. Being Grand Master often involves making hard and difficult decisions that might not always be popular. True leadership is not about popularity, but always doing what is right. Together, we are achieving great things. Let's continue on the road we are building together.

MWBro. Anthony John Bucca
Grand Master