Matteo Donato doesn’t normally believe in coincidence, but when one of his friends invited him to join Freemasons Victoria right about the time he was becoming interested in the organisation himself, based on impressive Masonic landmarks such as the Dallas Brooks Centre and the Freemasons Hospital he had seen around Melbourne, Matteo realised that fate was calling him. Before long he joined a lodge that, like Matteo himself, has a rich Italian heritage – Garibaldi Lodge. And he hasn’t looked back since.
Matteo, who operated in the construction industry for over 30 years, understands all too well the importance of building things from the ground up and operating at the community level. He has been involved in many major civil projects such as the Burnley Tunnel, Box Hill Hospital and the Nagambie Bypass. More recently, he has transitioned into teaching and now works full time at RMIT as a Vocational Teacher in the building program. On the Masonic front, he is a member of the Board of General Purposes and is currently serving as the Assistant Grand Pursuivant on the Grand Lodge Ceremonial Team.
Matteo feels he has learned many important lessons from his time with Freemasons Victoria. “Perhaps the most important lesson,” he explains, “is that you can make a difference as long as you are prepared to do the work.” He truly believes in the value of the Craft, and that the society he is part of is “dedicated to making a positive contribution to the community”. For anyone interested in joining, Matteo recommends visiting one of the Lodges or attending a social event. “You will meet people that are a part of this great organisation,” he explains, “and it will give you a useful overview of what we are all about.”