Newest member at Werribee Enterprise

John Meszaros (579x1024)On a cold, wet and windy Thursday night John Meszaros became the newest member of Werribee Enterprise Lodge on the 13th June 2013. John had contacted Grand Lodge to enquire how to become a freemason, and after having all his questions answered decided to complete the applic ation form. Following a satisfactory interview with the New Members Committee he was directed towards Werribee Enterprise Lodge which is situated close to his place of residence. He visited the Lodge at their fetive Board after several meetings where he met many members of the Lodge on a social basis. He was then initiated into freemasonry by members of the Lodge who were already known to him. At the festive board after the ceremony District Coordinator, David Seymour, welcomed John into freemasonry and wished him a long and happy association woth Werribee Enterprise Lodge. John responded and indicated that he was very haappy to become a member of the Lodge and freemasonry in general and thanked the members of the Lodge for their warm and sincere welcome. The photo shows District coordinator David Seymour and John Meszaros in the South.

Meet the Volunteers 3.

Teenagers also voliunteer

Caitlyn Foss and friends

Age is no barrier to volunteering, especially on the Good Friday Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal. Drive around the 7/11 sites in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne and you will see volunteers of all ages. Freemasons with their wives and children; teenagers; and some of us of a more mature age. Many have personal stories to tell about the Children’s Hospital – members of their family who have been patients, some who just want to give a helping hand to a very worthy cause. Regardless of the motivation, they all do their bit to raise much needed funds for the most recognised hospital in Victoria. This photo shows Caitlyn Foss (daughter of organiser Steve), with two of her friends – three teenagers who willingly give their time to help others.

Meet the Volunteers 2.

Lauren and Donna  Caufield collecting at Old Geelong Road.

Lauren and Donna Caufield collecting at Old Geelong Road.

Good Friday volunteer Donna Caufield has a very personal reason why she gives her time to collect much needed funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital each Good  Friday. Her lovely daughter Lauren has had undergone many operations at the Royal Children’s over the years as well as re-hab services. The whole family – David, Donna, Lauren and Nathan all help out, manning the Old Geelong Road 7/11 site for the past three years. The Caufields modestly say that they are only giving something back to the Royal Children’s Hospital for the many services they have received there. The photo shows Lauren and Donna doing what they do best – collecting and smiling!

Meet the Volunteers 1.

Royalchildres2010-2Here is a story that proves the dedication of our volunteers. On Good Friday morning a couple of years ago, at about 7.30 am, volunteer organiser Steve Foss received a phone call from Marilyn Johnson informing him that her husband David had suffered a bad turn and that they would not be able to man their 7/11 post that day. She was so concerned that the post would be left unattended that Steve promised to call round, pick up the cans and collect for them. He immediately drove to the Johnson’s home where he found David being loaded into an ambulance having suffered a heart attack! It turned out that Marilyn had phoned Steve first before calling the ambulance! That’s what I call dedication. The good news is that David went on to make a complete recovery. The photo shows David and Marilyn with District Coordinator David Seymour on a happier Good Friday.

Record Collection For RCH Appeal 2013

GM visits collectors on Good Friday

GM visits collectors on Good Friday

Western District 117 achieved it’s best ever total for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal this year. In 2012 Western District Volunteers collected almost $20,000 – at that time a record amount. District Coordinator, David Seymour, joked at the time that it would be great to achieve $25,000 in 2013. The challenge was out, and the volunteers set about raising $25,000 – a huge task. Volunteer coordinator, Steve Foss, managed to get 102 volunteers to collect at 35 7/11 sites throughout the District. When the dust had settled, and the final coins counted, the total for 2013 exceeded $26,300 !! A most magnificent effort and one that everyone who contributed to the appeal can be truly proud of. Sincere thanks and congratulations go to Steve Foss and his band of volunteers for their time and effort to achieve this grand amount. Of course this raises the obvious question – “What can we do in 2014?” Have a rest guys – that’s a long way off! Picture shows Grand Master Bob Jones visiting collectors Reg Vella and Edmond Mansour at their collection point in Keilor East.

Van delivered to help SecondBite

Secondbite VehicleWestern District 117 provided funds and support so that a new vehicle could be provided to the Secondbite charity helping with food collection and deliveries.
In 2012, SecondBite collected 3 million kgs of fresh food that might otherwise have gone to waste.  With the generous support of over 600 volunteers, enough food to provide 6 million hearty meals was provided to over 500 community food programs across Australia.
Mark Patton of Logistics & Food Procurement Manager Victoria writes,

Your kind donation of the van has allowed SecondBite to collect and redistribute more fresh nutritious produce than ever before. We estimate that the van rescues and redistributes approximately 20 tonnes of fresh nutritious produce per month which equates to an extra 40,000 meals being providing to people in need via the agencies we support.

Since taking delivery of the van from the Freemasons, SecondBite has added more recipient agencies in the Western and North Western areas. These include the Braybrook Neighbourhood House, Wingate Community Health Services, and the Willing Older Workers. All these agencies are very thankful for the food they now receive from SecondBite. This is only possible now due to Freemason’s donation of the van.
As mentioned in our conversation last week Ted, the opportunity to ride the van is always available to you and all at the Freemasons so you can see first-hand the huge positive impact the van has made to SecondBite and the people we support.
Thanks again Ted to you and all at the Freemasons,

Great Response for Good Friday Appeal

Collectors at Caroline Springs

Collecting can be a family affair.

Each year Freemasons around Victoria join with the Uncle Bobs Club to raise money for the Royal Childrens Hospital Good Friday Appeal. This year was no exception, and in conjunction with 7-11 petrol outlets, over 80 volunteers in the Western District manned 26 sites from Melton to Essendon, Werribee to Williamstown and many in between. Their efforts were not in vain, and the Western District once again topped the collection poll raising $19, 648.20!  This was an incredible result being 38% of the total of $55,000 collected by Freemasons around Melbourne. Congratulations must go to WBro. Steve Foss who again mustered his troops with his usual flair and dedication, and of course to the many volunteers that gave freely of their time, some manning their posts for the whole day. Thanks must also go the the 7/11 stores that looked after our collectors so well during the day. We’ve set the bar very high, but I’m sure we will be able to top the $20,000 next year.

Distraction Boxes for TLC for Kids

Freemasons Victoria have assisted TLC for Kids in their Distraction Box programme by donating $12,000 to the cause. Freeemasons in Western District No.117 raised $6000 which was augmented on a dollar-for-dollar basis by Freemasons Victoria’s Board of Benevolence. For more infortmation on Freemasons Victoria’s involvement with TLC for Kids click on the following link. TLC for Kids. Photos show the District Coortdinator for Western District 117, David Seymour, presenting TLC for Kids CEO, Tim Conolan, a cheque for $12,000 with a “wall” of Distraction Boxes as a backdrop; Tim and David with a Distraction Box; and the identifying label attached to each Distraction Box made possible by the generosity of Freemasons Victoria.

Distraction Box

David presents Tim with cheques for $12000


Tim and David with a Distraction box


New Van Presented To Second Bite

New van presented to Second Bite

Grand Master hands over new van to Second Bite

On his first official function as Grand Master, MWBro. Bob Jones presented a new Mercedes Sprinter refrigerated van to Second Bite, a charity that rescues and redistributes fresh food to the needy. Bob handed over the keys to Second Bite’s Executive Director Katy Barfield on Wednesday 28th March 2012. The presentation was made possible by the generosity of freemasons in the Western District of Freemasons Victoria which consists of some 25 Lodges mainly in Melbourne’s western suburbs. They raised $23,000 which was matched dollar for dollar by Freemasons Victoria’s Board of Benevolence. Katy was delighted with the new van as it will now be possible to collect and redistribute an additional 7,000 kg of fresh food each week – enough to provide and additional 14,000 meals for the needy each week. Second Bite receives the unwanted fresh food from donors including Coles, Bakers Delight and ALDI and distributes boxes filled with fruit and vegetables to over 221 community food programs across Melbourne and end up on the table of thousands of need Victorians who would have otherwise not been able to afford a decent meal.

The photos shows l to r:- David Seymour, District Coordinator Western District; Bob Jones, Grand Master Freemaons Victoria; Katy Barfield, Exutive Director Second Bite; Frank Fordyce, President of Board of Benevolence with Board member Ted Finch.

New Beginnings At Williamstown

Williamstown Masonic Centre

Celebrating Heritage and New Beginnings

For more than 120 years the Williamstown Masonic Centre has been the focal point for Masons in the west.  Acknowledging the building’s heritage overlay, an extensive two year renovation and redevelopment of this much loved property has now been completed.  The blend of the old and the new is an outstanding success, creating an exciting ambience, aspect and amenity.

During the renovations the lodges meeting in the centre temporarily relocated to the Werribee Masonic Centre and after two years away from “home” returned on 22 October 2011 after a beautifully conducted rededication ceremony by the Grand Master and the 2011 Grand Lodge Team.  The new Williamstown Masonic Centre is a significant step for Freemasonry in Williamstown and the Western suburbs.

One of those coming home is Williamstown No 16, which is Lodge steeped in rich and extensive history in the area dating back to 1854, although it was called a different name then. In those days, the Lodge met in local hotels where rooms were provided for the growing number of Lodges in the area.  These hotels included the Builders’ Arms Hotel (now called the Hobsons Bay Hotel), the Napier Hotel and the Steampacket Hotel.

With the return of the Williamstown No 16 to the new Centre, their first working night was a first degree and it was especially exciting for the Candidate – a Lewis.  Bro Peter Murdoch is the son of VWorBro Peter Murdoch PGIWkgs.  Bro Murdoch is a Melbourne High School Old Boy and is studying a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University (Majoring in Psychology and Philosophy).

Any initiation is an exciting and significant moment in Freemasonry, but when mixed with an outstanding new building steeped in local history, a long awaited return home of an exciting, energetic, and active Lodge, all topped off by an Official Visit by the Melbourne High School Lodge No 759, it made for a special night for Brother Peter.

The ceremony included many brethren known to the Candidate and where possible, involved them in the Ceremony.  Acting as Worshipful Master was Bro Murdoch’s father, VWorBro Peter S Murdoch PGIWKS, as Inner Guard was RtWorBro Bob Jones DGM (Grand Master Elect) the Immediate Past Master was WorBro Noel Allsop PGStdB and WorBro Tom Toop PJGD delivering a charge.  The work by all Officers of the Lodge was that perfect blend of friendliness and emotion that turns a good ceremony into a great ceremony. The occasion provided a good warm up for the upcoming award ceremony for WorBro Tom Toop who will be celebrating a significant chapter for the Lodge and Freemasons in Victoria. WorBro Tom Toop’s 60 plus years in Freemasonry will be formally recognised in February 2012.