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ANZMRC and Harry Kellerman

23 October 23

By VW Bro NW Morse 

There’s a Lodge Kellerman and a Kellerman Lectureship. Who was he, and what did he do to earn having a masonic lodge and a lectureship named after him?

Intrepid masonic researcher, MH Kellerman was born in New Zealand in 1902. His parents returned to Australia with him in 1910. He began in the NSW teaching service at Walcha in 1923. He became involved in distance education in 1938 until his retirement from that field in 1974. In 1969 he was honoured with an OBE for services to education.

Harry was initiated in Lodge Apsley in 1924 and was WM of Lodge Tullibigeal, 619, in 1945.

Harry, with his interest in education, was an ideal choice to preside over the Grand Lodge Committee of Masonic Education when it was formed in 1960. When the Research Lodge of NSW was consecrated in 1968, Harry was the foun­dation DC and editor of its Transactions. He was appointed Grand Lodge Librarian in 1982. He wrote the two-volume history of the UGL, From Diamond Jubilee to Centenary, and was conferred as PDGM in 1990.

Among masonic researchers he encouraged reference to primary sources and precise citation, and vigorously discouraged slipshod presentation.

Prior to giving my maiden presentation to the Research Lodge in 1992, I was told that if there was not blood on the floor after a Research Lodge meeting, Harry had been absent! While he was a stickler for correct scholarship, I can vouch for the fact that he was also very helpful to, and supportive of, neophyte presenters.

I’m sure you can understand why Harry’s contributions were honoured by naming a specialised lodge after him. Lodge Kellerman 1027 aims to be an exemplar masonic lodge in New South Wales for young Freemasons.

When the newly formed Australian Masonic Research Council (later ANZMRC, having expanded to include NZ research bodies in 1996) was seeking to name the biennial Lectureships after an outstanding masonic researcher and educator, the founding Secretary, Bro Kent Henderson, could look no further than Harry Kellerman.

Harry gave an exemplary paper at the inaugural conference (1992), at the age of 90, and attended three subsequent conferences, in Parramatta (1994), the mini conference in Canberra (1995), and Perth (1996). He died in 2000.

Harry wrote concerning the Lecturers

"We all hope that they will proceed from success to success, continually spreading, through their work, Masonic knowledge of significant value to all members, past and present, thus helping to preserve the ideals of Brotherhood, Peace and Understanding … But this is not the end. They cannot consider themselves to have arrived. I hope it is a means to the end — the encouragement of others to strive to copy their example, to dedicate them­selves to the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of Freemasonry. I hope their achievements and successes will be an inspiration to Masons gener­ally to look beyond the ritual and to work for the progress of Freemasonry as a way of life. We look to brethren like these for guidance and encouragement. When these aims are achieved then and only then will the Kellerman Lectures fulfil the purpose for which they were inaugurated".

The theory behind the form and requirements of a Kellerman Lecture is an analogy with formal schooling: if a Craft lodge may be considered primary schooling, then a research lodge ought to be at the secondary level, and ANZMRC’s conferences should provide the setting for tertiary level. To this end, a Kellerman Lecture is required to contain the author’s original work, previously unpublished, and be of interest beyond the boundary of his own masonic jurisdiction. The author must present the paper in person and be prepared to defend the thesis. It is up to the author to decide how much of the allotted 60–90 minutes should be devoted to presentation and how much left for questions and discussion. The author may include as much additional material as is wished in the printed version of his paper, and then speak to the paper rather than read it all. The papers are published in the Conference Proceedings, which are given to regis­trants at the beginning of the four-day conference, allowing them some time to assess what is to be presented. Clearly it is better to allocate a non-controversial paper for the first session.

It is up to the affiliates of a particular jurisdiction to determine selection crite­ria for their candidates’ papers.

The Kellerman Lecturers for this juris­diction are listed in the adjacent table.

Our next ANZMRC Conference – Sydney 2024

The next ANZMRC Conference will be held in Sydney in October 2024, and organisers are now calling for papers.

If you have an idea for a paper on any subject that has a connection with Freemasonry – historic, philosophic, or esoteric, please start writing and con­sider submitting a paper. Submission deadlines are early 2024.

The full submission guidelines and selection process can be obtained from the Sydney Discovery Lodge of Research secretary.

For more information email: [email protected]


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