Maintaining Connections at Yarram Chapter

  • 28 July 2018
  • Yarram
  • Frank Dorber, Scribe Ezra

Yarram Chapter was Consecrated in 1922 and proudly met at Freemasons Yarram until April 2010. Due to financial issues involving the maintenance of the old building and paired with a declining membership, a decision was made to close the building and take residence in rooms provided within  the Yarram Council Chambers. Unfortunately, after just three years and due to the necessity for restorations/expansions work on the Council Buildings , the Chapter companions were required to seek new temporary Lodgings until the 18-month project could be completed.  

As several Chapter members were commuting from the Sale and Maffra area, it was decided that Yarram Chapter would accept an offer from Freemasons Maffra to take up temporary residence and moved into the premises in October 2013.

During the period of meeting at Maffra, several discussions took place on the next move and it was decided that the most appropriate option to serve the future of Yarram Chapter was to take advantage of the centre which was planned to be built in Traralgon (now Freemasons Latrobe Valley) as a permanent residence. This was because it was geographically accessible within a reasonable distance from the Yarram and Sale area. The companions recognised that the HRAC was not represented at a current or future Traralgon facility. In August 2015, Yarram Chapter moved into the Freemasons Traralgon and subsequently in Freemasons Latrobe Valley on its completion.

In any Chapter, as time passes, some of our companions find it harder to attend Convocations even when transport is provided. Recognising this, the Yarram Chapter has always had a practice of holding an annual Christmas Function in the form of a lunch at the Local Hotel in Yarram and making a point of having as many members (and some past members) attend that function to maintain connections.  Recognising the importance of this practice, it has continued after all the moving around, with the membership travelling back to Yarram for this annual event..  

Recognising that some of our more senior members are placed in aged care and find themselves unable to attend functions, a small delegation often makes a side visit to keep up the connection with those Companions as part of their trip. Occasionally circumstances arise where Christmas is too far away and a visit is more immediately required. One such occasion presented itself in July this year.

Comp. Ron Clark receiving his 70-Year Jewel from MEmComp Peter Crick PGZ along with a congratulatory letter from MEmComp Gregory Harmer GZ

On 28 July 2018 several members of the Yarram Chapter travelled from various parts of Gippsland and beyond to health service facility with MEmComp Peter Crick PGZ and his wife Deidre, who had  kindly travelled from Bairnsdale. Two members of the Yarram Chapter had reached important milestones which needed to be acknowledged by a special visit of fellow Yarram Chapter companions.

Comp. Ron Clark, 97, was most pleased and appreciative to receive a 70 -Year Service Jewel from MEmComp. Peter Crick who provided a brief but enlightening insight to the great contribution made by Comp. Ron over his long affiliation in the order. MEmComp Peter Crick also spoke and shared a dialogue with Comp Ron Clark on his many accomplishments outside his Masonic life including building a yacht from scratch and other other significant achievements using his many skills.