Grand Mark Communication November 2018

  • 21 November 2018
  • Freemasons Preston
  • Craig Spendlove
  • VWBro. Keith Stewart PGSO

The Grand Communication of Grand Mark was held at Freemasons Preston on 21 November 2018. Grand Officers entered the Temple and proceeded to take their appointed offices and stations within Grand Lodge. The Presiding Officer for the November 2018 Grand Communication was MWBro. Ian Francis Coad, IPGM.  The acting Deputy Grand Master was RWBro. Edward Joseph Webster, PDGM.

The current Grand Master, MWBro. Peter Julier was absent, as was the Deputy Grand Master, RWBro. Bill Jones.  Their absence was due to the Grand Master, as well as the current Deputy Grand Master, attending the Indian Grand Installation Festival.

This is the first documented time since 1911 when both the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master had both been apologies and absent from a Grand Communication.  As a matter of interest, the Grand Master at the time was MWBro. Edward Coulson.

One item of interest is that once Grand Lodge was opened, the SGW and JGW respectively, sat on the floor of Grand Lodge, representing two of the three Principal Officers in a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge.

After minutes from the previous Grand Communication were taken as adopted and apologies read, the distinguished visitors, already seated in the body of Grand Lodge, were welcomed officially.

The distinguished visitors were:

  • Keith Murray, GM (UGLV);
  • Andrew McPhee, SGW (UGLV)
  • Garry Runge, PJGW, GSec (UGLV)
  • MEmComp Greg Harmer, GZ (SGCV)
  • REmComp Colin Prout, GH (SGCV)

After this matter of protocol was observed, the Grand Director and Escort retired. The remaining distinguished visitors, where then escorted into Grand Lodge accompanied by Grand Mark Officers.

The following Brethren were admitted, under wands, into Grand Lodge to represent their Masonic Rites at the November 2018 Grand Mark Communication.

  1. Most Eminent Knight Major Ross Alexander Peterken
  2. Very Illustrious Brother Uwe Heinrich Lau
  3. Most Worshipful Brother John Philip Battye
  4.  Very Illustrious Brother Stephen John Ruglen
  5. Right Worshipful Brother William Robert Harding
  6. Most Worthy Brother Hedley Michael Allen
  7. Most Illustrious Knight Derek Michael Hedges
  8. Right Illustrious Companion Gavin Meyrick Myers
  9. Right Worthy Frater William John Foley
  10. Very Enlightened Knight Neil Graeme Martin

RWBro. Bill Harding responded on behalf of the Brethren, as their spokesperson and representative.

The election to the Board of General Purposes was held with six nominations received for the same number of vacancies. The following Brethren were then declared elected to office under Clause 107.

  • RWBro. John Grainger FRASER, PSGW
  • RWBro .Keith Frederick OBERIN, PSGW
  • RWBro. Ian Edward BROWN, PJGW, GLect
  • RWBro. Ronald William GOODBURN, PJGW, GTyler
  • VWBro. Lionel Leslie MAY, PGDC
  • WBro. Gustav Imre MARTONHELYI, PSGD

After the matter of the Grand Master’s message was addressed, the atmosphere within the body of Grand Lodge changed as Eulogies for departed Brethren were delivered at length.

MWBro. Ian Francis Coad, Presiding Grand Master, gave two detailed yet circumspect eulogies on the lives of two recently deceased Past Deputy Grand Masters.

  • Francis Eric Poke, PDGM
  • Norman Roy Cooper, PDGM

MWBro. John Cartwright, PGM was then asked to perform a eulogy for the late MWBro. Robert George Paroissien, PGM and this was delivered in a serious, measured and sombre tone with moments of wit and charm inserted into the delivery. 

The Election of Grand Master for the ensuing year was the next item, in proceedings during this Grand Communication. This item was a unique novelty. There was, only one nomination for the position of Grand Master, that being MWBro. Raymond Peter Julier, Grand Master, who was duly elected, in absentia. The Grand Master Elect then had a pre-prepared statement read to the assembly, communicated on his behalf.

The Election of Grand Treasurer, and with only one nomination received, that being VWBro. Stirling Bruce Warren. The Grand Treasurer was duly elected to this position for the ensuing 12-month period commencing on 3 May 2019.

The Financial Statement and Balance Sheet for the Financial Year ending 30 June 2017, which was included in the booklet distributed to those attending, was then taken as received and adopted which was carried.

This night, being the usual Royal Ark Mariner Communication, a new presentation was made relating to the Degree. The Tracing Board was placed on an easel on the floor of Grand Lodge.  Five Past Deputy Grand Masters presented items of interest pertaining to the Antient and Honourable Degree. The officers that were selected to be involved in the reading were the following Brethren:

  • RWBro Wayne Lee Smith PDGM, Grand Scribe.
  • RWBro Edward Joseph Webster PDGM, Enthroning Commander
  • RWBro Warren Richard Gilbert PDGM Enthroning Commander
  • RWBro Colin Stanley Stockdale PDGM, Enthroning Commander
  • RWBro Kenneth Douglas MacRae PDGM, Deputy Director of the Ceremony

The above five brethren were the Education Officers for the lecture on the Degree, for the instruction and enlightenment of those who attended this event.

This lecture included the history of the Royal Ark Mariner Degree, as well as presenting documented various irregularities and intrigues that the Degree has endured over time in Victoria. The lecture also detailed material, which could be considered novelties, or even quirks that those privy to attending the Communication were informed of.

One such quirk of the history elucidated was that when MWBro. Edward Coulson was installed as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Victoria, he duly became Grand Commander as well, according to Antient Custom. However, this had one slight oversight, insofar as MWBro. Edward Coulson was Grand Commander of a Masonic Order that he was not a member of! This oversight was addressed, with some rapidity.

After an explanation of the Tracing Board and its creation, RWBro. Webster, walked from the East onto the floor of Grand Lodge and presented a charge to those assembled relating to the Royal Ark Mariner Degree. At the conclusion of this charge, all chattels relating to Royal Ark Mariner Masonry were collected and deposited away, and the Lodge restored to a Lodge of Mark Master Masons before the closing.

Grand Lodge was then closed and the various dignitaries retiring before partaking of merriment and companionship in the South at the Darebin RSL.