Scottish Rite: An international success
06 November 23
By RW Bro Dominic de Candia
In June 2023, the Annual Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for Australia meeting marked a significant milestone in the history of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree.
With participation from delegations representing the Supreme Councils of New Zealand, the Philippines and Germany, the week reflected a truly global ambiance, exemplifying the universality of the Scottish Rite. As has become tradition, members hailing from all corners of the country united to commemorate the Rite through a series of ceremonial and social events. The NSW Masonic Club and the Sydney Masonic Centre stood as the primary venues for these celebrations, both holding significance within the realm of Freemasonry in our state.
The opening night was the exclusive dinner at the Blue Angel Restaurant, owner Ill. Bro Marcello Marcobello, 30th Degree pulled out all the stops to treat Supreme Council’s members and their partners to an unforgettable seafood extravaganza that left everyone in awe.
The work for members of the Rite opened with a 32nd Degree ceremony held under the Waratah Consistory Charter. Prince Charles Edward Stuart Council No 1745 followed this with an Installation of its Grand Commander and an Elevation to the 30th Degree. These highly anticipated ceremonies were attended by over 85 members at the Sydney Masonic Centre. Following the impressive ceremonies, attendees were treated to a sumptuous lunch. As usual the members present where treated to the customs that “showcase” the traditions and practices of this unique Council.
The week also saw memorable events for partners who joined with the members at various social gatherings including a ‘Meet and Greet’ along with several casual drinks, dinners and social gatherings. This offered time out from the ceremonial aspects and further strengthened the camaraderie and fellowship.
Not forgetting the essential role of the ladies in the Masonic community, a dedicated Ladies’ itinerary was arranged. It included a delightful ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ High Tea, a ferry ride to Manly for lunch, a glamorous dinner at the NSW Masonic Club, and a shopping expedition, ensuring that the partners of Freemasons had an equally enjoyable and fulfilling experience during the event.
Thursday’s meeting gave members of the Rite an opportunity to hear from the Grand Master of NSW and the ACT, MW Bro Les Hicks. He spoke of exciting new developments affecting Freemasonry and also his fondness for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and his most recent advancement to the 32nd Degree. The Supreme Council also addressed ‘Questions with Notice’ from its members, a most important opportunity to engage with our leadership and Supreme Council.
No Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for Australia annual meeting is complete without the holding of a most important Ceremony, one which is a ‘Ritual’ cornerstone within the Rite, the annual 33rd Degree ceremony. This high-degree ceremony, held at the Sydney Masonic Centre, was attended by a gathering of 72 esteemed 33rd degree masons, adding an air of mystique and reverence to the proceedings that saw four members from various Regions of Australia elevated to this degree and assume responsibilities as District Commanders within the Rite.
As always, an 18th Degree Perfection Ceremony was held. This solemn and esteemed ceremony, the ‘backbone’ of our Rite, was held under the Charter of the Dr JP Rizal Chapter No 263. The backdrop for the ceremony was one of Sydney’s truly special masonic venues, the Egyptian Room in Petersham. The Most Wise Sovereign, Ill. Bro Khris Albano, 32nd degree, who is also the current Deputy Grand Master for NSW and the ACT, presided over an exceptional demonstration of this Degree by the Officers and members of this Chapter. A truly momentous occasion, with a distinct sense of dignity and grandeur.
One of the crowning moments of the Supreme Council Meeting was the closing white-tie Gala Dinner, a truly elegant affair that left a lasting impression on all who attended and gave everyone a chance to reflect and celebrate the significant events of the week. The evening was elevated by mesmerising performances from two extraordinary entertainers – Victor Valdes, one of Australia’s leading harpists and Daniel Tambasco, a regular crowd favourite with his remarkable tenor vocals.
Signing of the Concordat – a most significant event.
The ‘Spirit of Unity’ that exists within the Rite was best exemplified with the signing of a Concordat between the Supreme Council for Australia and the Supreme Council for New Zealand. This significant event will see the strengthening of the relationship and shared goals between the two Supreme Councils.
The combination of international representation, distinguished ceremonies, memorable social events and the warm embrace of the masonic spirit made this gathering an unforgettable celebration of the Rite’s enduring principles and timeless values. Certainly, the cherished memories of this Supreme Council Meeting will differ for each of the members, however the one strong and common belief that will endure amongst all present was the reinforced bonds of that prized, cherished and valuable asset we share, Brotherhood.