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Grand Master's Newsletter - February 2024

27 February 24

Hello Brethren, and welcome to our February edition of the Grand Master’s Newsletter.

Hello Brethren, and welcome to our February edition of the Grand Master’s Newsletter.

Happy New Year Brethren – well, here we are with the first Grand Master’s Newsletter for 2024, and welcome to what I am sure will be an exciting year for Freemasonry in our jurisdiction. 

These newsletters are now an important, and vital part of our communication stream. The Grand Master’s Newsletter provides the perfect opportunity for me as Grand Master to keep you personally informed, and the accompanying video gives it a unique person to person feel. 

Firstly, I’m now in a position to say that your website is finally ready to begin playing its important role in how we operate leading into the future, and we cannot underestimate the impact this will have in our day-to-day education, communication and administration. 

I know it has taken some time to get to this point and, believe me, I have felt the same frustrations as some of you have, but the results are worth waiting for and they’re revolutionary. 

We were with our previous data base contractors for many years, our system was basic and required us to do much of our data input and the like by manual means. This was onerous and very costly from both a product and staffing perspective, but, back then, that’s how it was done.  

It is no secret that I wasn’t happy with how we were operating, and the writing was on the wall that, if we didn’t make a change, the money we were going to be spending moving forward would, over time, have a negative effect on our capitation fees and our ability to continue with new, groundbreaking, and innovative communication streams.


Economies throughout the world have struggled of late, and we have seen other Grand Lodges raise capitations by enormous amounts in order for them to continue operating, and we don’t want that here in NSW and the ACT. 

When implementing technology, you can’t put the ‘Cart before the Horse’. Sure, it has taken a bit of time, but we have done this properly without promising anything that we can’t deliver, and the savings to us all moving forward are enormous. 

Along the way, we’ve encountered and overcome some serious roadblocks, and I accept that we’ve had our detractors, but I was elected to lead on a platform of setting us up for the future, and that’s what I’ve done. A less than satisfactory data hand-over meant that we had to physically update around 7,000 member profiles. It’s easy to say that we could have done things quicker if we had more people assisting, but that would have been reckless. 

Confidentiality restricted us from having large numbers doing what needed to be done, and the process rightly required strict confidentiality agreements to be signed by the few that did help. 

I want to thank those that have, over the past six months, spent hundreds of hours of their own time, at no cost to us as members, cross referencing information in order to get your profiles as close as possible to 100% accurate. We believe that we can now confidently move forward and make a real difference. 

Please, log in and check your profile, let us know if there are any inconsistencies and we should now be able to easily make any corrections with little or no waiting time.

So where are we now?

For our lodge secretaries, the new LMR has been tested and your roles and ranks have been updated. The new LMR has now been launched, giving lodge secretaries clear functionality, ease of use and many other great benefits that will assist them in their important role. Training will soon be available for those that require it; you only need to ask.

In the near future, each lodge will have its very own webpage and it will be visible to the public; this functionality will be available once the Lodge Secretaries are using the new LMR. The all New ‘Find a Lodge’ function will be available by the end of this month but is dependent on correct (public accessible) information being provided to the Grand Secretariat by each Lodge Secretary.

Thanks to the Rank/role access, all our valuable resources are available exclusively to members and, in a groundbreaking move for any Grand Lodge, most of our educational material will now include audio recordings. This approach not only honours our traditions, but it also aligns with our work to retain members, future-proof the Craft, and cater to different learning preferences and environments. Common sense tells us that the way people learn varies, so we must vary the way we present the material. 

Audio recordings transform our educational content into formats similar to audiobooks or podcasts, and offer a new, cutting-edge learning experience, making masonic education much more accessible and enjoyable.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be constantly building on our educational resources’ platform, and the Grand Secretariat will keep you informed on this progress by way of blast emails. There is already some very interesting material available to you, so jump on and check it out, it’s free... and it’s yours. 


My three terms as Grand Master will soon be up. It is my obligation as Grand Master to leave the Craft in good shape for the future, and it has taken the entire three years to make the changes that I deemed necessary for the Craft’s long term future success and sustainability. 

I guess history will tell us whether or not I have got it right, but, believe me, I had a ‘red hot’ go! 

For now, of course, it’s business as usual. Your Deputy Grand Master, Assistant Grand Master, the Grand Wardens, the Grand Ceremonial Team and I will still be getting about between now and August supporting you all, and we look forward to catching up. 

Until we meet, please stay safe and look after your friends and loved ones.

Les Hicks


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