ECHUCA’S Masonic Lodge opened its doors on Tuesday for its annual installation, traditionally a most private affair.
During the ceremony, brothers of the lodge were appointed and given symbols to represent their new responsibility.
They were to undertake a ritual, seen to complete their appointment to the position.
This year Peter Gibson was reappointed as the Worshipful Master, the highest position in the lodge’s hierarchy.
Mr Gibson said he was honoured to be appointed to the position again.
‘‘It’s always an honour to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors.’’
He became a Mason in 1982 after his cousin Harry Gibson pushed him to enter the lodge.
‘‘Harry got me here, but the lodge has helped me so much,’’ he said.
‘‘Freemasons gives men, and now women, the sense of self-development and self-determination.’’
Harry was also present in the lodge on Tuesday because he officiated the proceedings as Installing Master.
The installation was attended by all in the Campaspe Village Freemasons, as well as visitors from other lodges such as Kyabram, Cohuna and Shepparton.
Geoff Thompson, Grand Master of the Goulburn Valley region, said it takes a while to become a Freemason.
‘‘There are a number of steps one has to take,’’ he said.
‘‘But once you’re in, you stay for as long as you need.
‘‘There’s even one brother here who is 103,’’ he said.
Geoff also explained the meaning of the additional blue on the members.
‘‘The light blue that is present is for all Freemasons.
‘‘The royal blue means a member holds an office-bearing role, whether that be in the Office of the Freemasons or a Grand Master,’’ he said.
All members wear lounge suits, representing equality among all.
‘‘We all have our separate lives outside the lodge, but when we enter here we are all equals.
‘‘It doesn’t matter whether a brother is a labourer or a businessman, we are all equals,’’ Peter said.
Peter Gibson said he had a full year of events planned for the Freemasons in the area, including opening the lodge to the public for all to see.
‘‘We want to move into the 21st century,’’ he said.
‘‘This means the lodge and some services will no longer be private.
‘‘We want the public to see what we do. It’s also a good opportunity for us to recruit.
‘‘It’s an organisation that’s based around giving back to the community, so the more members we have the more we can do for the community and look after each other.’’