Close Nav
Image 1 for Project Celestial

Project Celestial

15 April 24

A star-studded raising

Some 150 brethren made a pilgrimage to Cowra in February to witness a double-raising held under the strong glimmering ray of a full moon on a warm and cloudless night.

By RW Bro Alan Gale

Lodge Highway 837’s travelling warrant was put to good use when it hosted an evocative Third Degree on Deputy Grand Treasurer RW Bro Joe Corrigan’s property Lachballin, some 12 kilometres to the southeast of Cowra in the Central West of NSW.

Dubbed Project Celestial, the combined efforts of surrounding lodges and many brethren created an open-air lodge room seating 150 in a cathedral of trees and ‘banquet hall’ for 130 by the banks of the Lachlan river.

Brethren came by motorbike, car and bus; some camped overnight on the farm, one brother flew in and parked his plane on the farm airstrip and there wasn’t a spare hotel room in Cowra.

‘The big three’ were also there – Grand Master Lesley Hicks, Deputy GM Khris Albano and Assistant GM Paul Schultz with the GM and DGM delivering charges.

The fortunate brethren to be raised in such unique circumstances were Bros Peter Linsdell of Lodge Bland 337 and Andrew Lippett of Woollahra 341, both of whom told those present it was a powerful experience.

Organisers chose the night – 24 February – with care. It was a Saturday night close to the full moon at a time of year when the weather is usually warm and dry.

The Great Architect did not disappoint. It was truly a ‘braw, bricht, muinlicht nicht’ and the susurration of the trees was a powerful backdrop to a ritual that is even under normal circumstances deeply moving, let alone in such a stunning space.

The work was shared between several lodges and the Grand Master said it was an active demonstration of how imagination and tenacity can create memorable events. ‘This shows just how flexible, imaginative and meaningful Freemasonry can be when men of imagination, willing and skill get together,’ Grand Master Les Hicks told the assembled brethren.

‘I am hoping this becomes an annual event and draws even more brethren and their families to the next one.

‘It was simply an awesome night, in both the traditional and modern sense. Both awe-inspiring and absolutely excellent,’ he said.

Lodges from surrounding towns donated fixtures and fittings, much of which is now stored on Lachballin, making the next meeting easier to organise.

Lodge Highway WM (and current Grand Director) RW Bro Joshua Newman was fulsome in his thanks to all those who helped his lodge stage such a logistically difficult meeting.

‘It’s one thing for people to come up with an idea, but putting it into action and successfully making it happen was a massive task.

‘In particular, RW Bro Corrigan must be thanked for his generous support: not only providing the venue but also coordinating much of the event, surrounding the daunting logistical challenges and making sure all those who attended were well catered for in every way.

‘Highway also thanks Lodges Canobolas-Lewis, Mark Owen, Cowra, Oberon and brethren from Bathurst, Orange, Condobolin, Bland, Parkes, Sydney and Tweed Heads who helped make the night the success it was.



Ready to take the next step in life but feel like something's missing?

Discover truth & knowledge, build towards your potential and find the clarity you've been searching for. Find out more about Becoming a Freemason today and embark on a journey of self-discovery, moral growth, and lifelong brotherhood.

Experience the empowering ethos of Freemasonry, and sculpt your mind to be upright, knowledgeable, and morally strong.

Find Out More