Success Stories

Success Stories


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”


– Albert Einstein

Mitchell River Lodge No. 742
Collectively, Mitchell River Lodge No. 742 have provided some largely valuable feedback on how FMV can work together to increase membership and the experience within our organisation.

“To become attractive to prospects, we need to focus on what FMV has to offer – what do prospects need/appreciate/seek?”

Find here some wonderful collective feedback from Mitchell River Lodge No. 742 on our Strategic Plan and direction.

Project Objectives:

To design and implement [and record] a method to develop a list of at least as many membership prospects as we have current members (as at Dec.’16  =  56).

To approach those prospective new members for M.R.L. and/or other lodges and achieve at least six [6] applications within 12 months (by end of February, 2018).

To record any residual prospects showing interest, for continuing social contact and later follow up.

Sub Committee Discussion:

Understand why numerous previous membership attempts have not well succeeded – and why some have.

Understand the importance of structure in this project.

– How to beware/handle the cringe factor?

– What does FMV offer? What do prospects need/appreciate/seek?

– Queries to expect? How to answer queries?

– Maintaining momentum in the face of rejection.

Decide the best way to access all existing members [note any exceptions?] to create the list of membership prospects (Collate lists to avoid duplication).

-In group(s) or individually?

-At regular lodge? (during meeting or in the South)?

-At special purpose meeting?

-By visit to member’s home?

-By email, phone or by circulated pro forma?


Decide the best way to make contact with prospects.

– Who makes the contact?   – In group(s) or individually?

– How? –  Formally, casually or combination?

– Where? – In the South, at home, at work etc.?

– When? – By when?

– How to support/monitor/coordinate the contact/follow up of prospects?

The Membership Twinning Idea:

The idea is quite simple – however, it needs to be STRUCTURED,  FACILITATED and MONITORED.

It is not the sole responsibility of the governing body or the District or the individual Lodge to ensure the future of Freemasonry. The responsibility rests with each individual member.

All members are asked/facilitated to think about [non-Freemason] male family, relatives, neighbours, workmates, club members, social contacts or other contacts they know and under those or similar headings to write down the names of those men.  (Contact details can be added later).

This idea requires two separate steps;

1 –  Create a list to include everyone without judgement

2- Edit the list by eliminating only those clearly known to be ineligible, and possibly to expand the list by adding friends of initial prospects.

Properly organised (facilitated and monitored), this will on average, provide an almost immediate prospect of doubling (twinning) each Lodge membership. Some existing members will provide no names while others will provide many.

The next part particularly requires STRUCTURE and FACILITATION to ensure that the lists of names are accessed, and prospects contacted, either by the member who provided the list or perhaps a panel of members.  One method of approach might be a formal hand-delivered invitation to join the gathering in the South, or at an Open Day/Night.

Attendance rates of FMV members is stable at 47%

  • If we are to rebuild our membership by improving the participation of members, we must extend the hand of friendship to:
  • Members who do attend lodge at most meetings;
  • Members who don’t attend lodge meetings or social events, for whatever reason;
  • Members that are isolated either inside or outside the Lodge;
  • Our members who are ill or infirm.
  • Ring them, visit them, offer assistance to get them to Lodge and re-engaged.
Ray Sutton – Jonadab Lodge
Meet Bro. Ray Sutton of the Jonadab Lodge. A Freemason of over fifty years' standing, he has been integral to his Lodge, his community and Freemasons Victoria, playing a key role to digitise and streamline the Lodge Secretary tasks and processes. We are proud today to celebrate his contribution to his community, his Lodge and Freemasons Victoria.

“On the administration – one must be quite dedicated, and I am that. Dedicated to being a Freemason and making the Lodge run efficiently.”

WBro. Ray Sutton PJGD joined the Latrobe Lodge (in the Latrobe Valley) in May 1965.

A local country church ‘Elder’ and a couple of work colleagues at the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) ECV in Yallourn inspired Ray to become a Freemason.  Ray admits to having a great deal of respect for these men, and saw that they were pillars in the local society.

It wasn’t until he moved to the city and started working at Stanley Tools that a work colleague made it known to him that he was also a Freemason and invited him along to Jonadab Lodge with him.

On his initiation night, Ray discovered a further fifteen of his friends and work colleagues were also in the Fraternity, and this helped to solidify his reasoning for joining this society of men.

A constantly active member at Jonadab Lodge, Ray became Master in 1989, Treasurer in 1991 (an office which he held for 14 years), Master again in 2005, and in 2006 took on his current role as Secretary of Jonadab Lodge.

When Ray Sutton first became Secretary of his lodge he was spending around 2 days a week on Lodge work. Most of the documentation was hand-written and memberships were processed manually which took up a lot of unnecessary time and effort.  Spending his last 15 years of working life as an IT administration officer, Ray computerised all hand-written documentation and was successful in proving how time effective this was, cutting his 2 days’ secretarial work per week to around 2 days per month!

Ray is responsible for over 50 computerised Secretarial checklists and templates, some of which are associated with; Lodge Room Preparation, Attendance, Salesforce LMR, Standard Monthly Tasks, Minutes, Summons, Meeting Running Sheet, Ritual Work Allocated and Performed, Member Record Sheet, Member Outstanding Dues, Installation Info and more.

These documents help streamline the Lodge secretarial process, and provide assistance to PGPC members as necessary when dealing with the business of the Lodge under the direction of the Master.

“On the administration – one must be quite dedicated, and I am that.  Dedicated to be a Freemason and making the Lodge run efficiently”.

Ray has proven to not only be a dedicated Freemason and Secretary of his Lodge but actively involved as voluntary General Manager for 9 years at the Australian Jazz Museum in Wantirna, formally known as The Victorian Jazz Archive.

“My wife and I have always had a passion for jazz music” said Ray, and it was shortly after his retirement at the end of 2003 that he decided to contribute his time to the Australian Jazz community.

Ray was able to apply his skills in IT to change the way in which The Australian Jazz Museum managed much of its business including membership, and backing up all important hand-written information to a self-sufficient digital space.

Furthermore, he has involved himself in many charity events, particularly the ‘Treasured Babies’ Program, where, in 2016, he helped the Lodge to raise $2,200 for the charity.

An inspirational Freemason that we are proud to have as an integral member of our organisation.

Len D’Agostino - The Brighton District Lodge
Meet Bro. Len D’Agostino of The Brighton District Lodge. We are proud today to celebrate his contribution to his community, his Lodge and Freemasons Victoria.

“It is about good men becoming greater men and it doesn’t discriminate, that is what I love about it.”

On the week of 14 August 2017 we would like to shine a light on The Brighton District Lodge's Engagement Officer, Bro. Len D'Agostino who through his continual efforts was instrumental in attracting Peter Sommers (President of the St Kilda Football team and CEO of AV Jennings) as a guest speaker for the recent Brighton District Masquerade Ball.

While the event was successful due to the involvement of many, Len has demonstrated time and again how engaging with the community can bring great results for a Lodge.


Read more about Len in our community gallery HERE.