After Thibault Duche came over to Australia three years ago from his homeland France, he didn’t know many people besides his mother and sister. But soon after visiting the Green Lodge, compelled by his long-harboured interest with Freemasonry, he learned he could join the venerable organisation of Freemasons Victoria, and was thereafter able to meet a slew of people, young and old, with which to share his new experiences.
Now a member of the Brunswick United Lodge, Thibault is a shining example of the cultural diversity on display in Freemasons Victoria, as well as the acceptance you can find as a member of the society. “There is nothing secret about Freemasonry,” Thibault explains, “it is just a bunch of guys who hang out and share a common belief in a supreme being. You could be Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, anything else, and be part of a big family.”
Freemasonry has also helped Thibault in his everyday life, where he endeavours to apply masonic values and standards to his actions as a matter of course. “I try to be a good man,” he says, “you have to respect everyone, and cherish what you have.” His time with Freemasons Victoria has lead to many proud moments for Thibault, but his most memorable was when he stood up in front of a large crowd of fellow Freemasons, including the Grand Master, to deliver a speech at a new members night. “Talking in public and putting away my fears was very stressful,” Thibault states, “but I’m proud I did it, and I think I did quite a good job!”
For people seeking information about Freemasonry, Thibault suggests one thing above all else: meet Freemasons in person and talk to them. He particularly recommends the Blue Lounge Social Club for those under 50, which was designed as a way to host causal functions aimed at new and prospective members. “The whole point of Freemasonry,” Thibault explains, “is to be part of a new family, meet people and have a lot of fun. Meet with your brothers at pubs, lodges, cricket bars – even if you’re like me and don’t know what cricket is!”