Lest we forget: VP Day 15 August 2020
A message from the Grand Master
Last Saturday we witnessed a very moving ceremony in the War Memorial in Canberra.
I was reminded of the sacrifices made by so many gallant women and men who placed their lives on the line to defend the freedom which we enjoy.
More than 700 Freemasons from this constitution served in World War 1, and almost 10 % of them were killed in action, or died from wounds.
Freemasons contributed to the war effort in other tangible ways: “One hundred pounds to the Belgium Relief Fund; one hundred pounds to the Grand Lodge of France to help distressed families; donation of an ambulance to the ‘Military Authorities in England’”.
It has been written that this war had a profound effect on Freemasonry. “ These effects were reflected in a closer and deeper feeling of dependence on each other, a greater desire to continue to serve the community at large and a more comprehensive understanding of the basic teaching of the Craft and of the principles on which the Institution is founded”(from a History of Craft Masonry in South Australia).
We have, of recent time, been catalysed by these great men to get going and show the world that we are worthy custodians of their great ideals. We have awakened and modernized; we have begun to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing society; its values, its interests and its need for instant communication; we have broadened our philanthropy, not only geographically, but also philosophically. We consider the long view through research, healthier futures for children, and discussion on ethics; we address the short view by provision of resource for fire proofing South Australia, provision of buses and aged care beds, helping new settlers integrate, training 6000 people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. All this is over and above the charity work of individual Lodges.
This ceremony on 15 August not only reminded me of the end of the suffering of World War 2 in the Pacific but also that inscription on the Memorial Tablet in our Hall of Fame: “duties there are imposed upon us by the past, and not to be forgone”.
MWBro Dr Neil Jensen