RWBro. Geoffrey Graeme Noble Thompson, PDGM, Receives 50-Year Jewel
Speech delivered by RWBro. Jim Thompson, PDGM
Ladies, gentlemen & Brethren,
It’s a great honour to be here this evening in this Lodge where I have so many great memories, and also to be able to make this presentation. Geoff and I have had a great affiliation during our Masonic careers, and we have also some interesting parallels in our own lives.
In our respective community involvement, we have both been very committed to our communities, we have both been either President or Secretary on many of the community organisations we have each been involved in. This truly reflects on what the name of Thompson stands for. This comment comes from the biography of what names mean, and it goes like this:
When we look at the many organisations that Geoff has belonged to, it can truly be said that his commitment to his community, and to Freemasonry, is legendary.
So let’s go back to the beginning. Geoff was born on 12 October 1943 and raised on the family farm at Tallygaroopna. His schooling was at the Tally State School, then at the Shepparton Tech School. After 3 years at Tech, he left school and returned to the family farm to help our Dad (that must have been around the time that we got married). Geoff married Faye Tremellen in 1963, and together they had three children. Unfortunately, Faye died of cancer in 1979, and Lorita, their only Daughter died in 1982.
Did you know that Geoff and Faye were TV stars? They used to feature in the Rock & Roll segment on the local TV station!
When their children were of school age, Geoff joined the Tally School Committee and became the President. He was the President of the School Committee when the school had its Centenary celebrations in 1991. The Tallygaroopna Hall Committee was another of Geoff’s commitments. Geoff was the third generation of Thompsons who have served as its President. Heath is now the current President – the fourth generation to hold that position.
One of Geoff’s great achievements was the arranging the 150th year celebrations of the Thompsons in Australia, which were held in 1991. Not only did he Chair the committee, he researched the Family History and was instrumental in producing the Family History book which was aptly titled “From Year to Year, and from Generation to Generation”.
Geoff sold his dairy farm a few years ago and retired to Shepparton where he has continued with his involvement in the Wesley Church.
One of his great loves is singing, a characteristic which runs strongly in our family. He is a member of “Sing Australia”, and has recently been to Norfolk Island & Perth with that group.
Now we are really here to talk about Geoff’s Masonic Career which I suppose really started when he found out that I had joined.
So in June 1968 Geoff was Initiated into the Rupertswood Lodge here in Numurkah. It would have been the influence of his late father in law Ron Tremellen who was a member here at that time, and also that Faye was a Numurkah girl.
He became Rupertswood’s Master in 1978, and again in 1994. Geoff then went on to serve in three Ceremonial Teams, in 1982-83 as Grand Standard Bearerand in 1987-88 as Assistant Grand Director. Incidentally, he has the unique honour of being the only Assistant Grand Director to ever preside at a Consecration Ceremony, and again as Junior Grand Warden in 1997-98.
I mentioned earlier that Geoff and I had a great affiliation in our Masonic careers. It all started in 1981-82 when Geoff installed me as Master of the Ultima Lodge over at Swan Hill. That event was the start of Geoff’s illustrious career, as a couple of Bendigo Brethren were in attendance and saw his ability. That was in August 1981. In March 1982 he was in the Grand Team for the first time.
Then in 1991, I had the honour of installing Geoff here in Rupertswood. Since then we have worked together many times at Installation Ceremonies.
To go further, I mentioned that Geoff was the Assistant Grand Director in 1987-88 coincidently I was the Assistant Grand Director in the Mark Degree. In 1997-98 Geoff was the Junior Grand Warden and low and behold, I was the Junior Grand Warden in the Mark Degree.
Geoff’s association with his Lodges is that he has been Secretary of this Lodge since 2010, and also assisted Mooroopna Lodge as Secretary, and as Treasurer. He also holds the title of Homes Ambassador, and Membership Officer of this Lodge. Not content with all this, he is a member of Lodge of Commerce, the Mark Degree, the Chapter and the Knights Templar. He was also a member of the Board of General Purposes for ten years, starting in 1997, and also the District Coordinator for many years.
As a reward for this outstanding commitment to Freemasonry, Geoff was awarded the highest honour which can be bestowed on one of its members, which is that of a Past Deputy Grand Master. This occurred in 2009, and I am sure that all members of Freemasonry would agree that it was well deserved.
We now come to that part of the evening with which we are here for, and that is to present you with your 50-year membership medallion. 50 years membership is a great achievement in any organisation. Your record speaks volumes of your commitment and dedication to Freemasonry.
Geoff, congratulations and we hope that you will be spared to continue your work with this wonderful organisation.