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ANZAC at Manilla

11 December 23

Lodge St Andrews No 281

Freemasons from the North-West, New England, Far North Coast and Sydney gathered at Manilla for Lodge St Andrews’ special Starlight Anzac Service Meeting which was held outdoors on an airstrip on the southern outskirts of Manilla on Saturday 1 April.

The night also marked 110 years of Freemasonry in Manilla and we were proud to have the Grand Master there to help us celebrate this very important occasion.

Other special guests at the meeting were brethren of Lodge Highway 837 in Sydney. The Lodge was originally formed by employees of the Department of Main Roads, hence the name. Its present incar­nation is for masons who ride motorbikes. It has a travelling charter and its members ride to fraternal visits such as this special ‘Starlight’ meeting of Lodge St Andrews. They were not disappointed.

Supper and lodge rooms were set up on the airstrip. Brethren and invited guests met at 4pm at the newly set up supper room before walking about 50 metres to a specially constructed lodge room where the Anzac Service was conducted.

Visiting Lodge Highway Worshipful Master Bojan Vizintin opened the Lodge in ample form at the invitation of Lodge St Andrews’ Worshipful Master George Huenteler.

Lodge St Andrews members and invited guests were seated and visiting brethren and the Grand Master entered the lodge room on their motorcycles. This was a once in a lifetime experience for all involved and the brethren thanked the Grand Master for his support and participation.

The Grand Master accepted the gavel and conducted a very special and moving Anzac Commemoration Service with VW Bro Stephen Eather of Lodge Namoi, Narrabri, standing on the back of a Land Rover to deliver the Anzac oration. The Grand Master then laid a wreath at the cenotaph which had been erected in the middle the lodge room.

After the Grand Master retired and the lodge had been closed, everyone walked back to the supper room for a delicious meal and some wonderful country-style socialising. The catering for this special evening was a camp-oven dinner pre­pared by Bro Ian ‘Biggles’ Bignall and his team. W Bro Huenteler presented the Grand Master with a cheque for the Grand Master’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

The next morning brethren and guests were treated to a wonderful breakfast at the Manilla Masonic Hall where they cele­brated W Bro George Huenteler’s birthday.

A very worthwhile and significant event held in a wonderful country town.

Huge thanks to all involved.

L–R: VW Bro Vizintin (Lodge Highway) and W Bro Huenteler (Lodge St Andrews) at Manilla in April


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