United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory

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MWBro Dr Greg Levenston (Grand Master) laying the Foundation Stone of the Canberra Masonic Centre, 6 June 2009. Rear: Grand Stewards

The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory is the main governing body of Freemasonry within the Australian state of New South Wales that also wholly encloses the Australian Capital Territory containing the national capital city, Canberra. It originated from the union in 1888 of the earlier 1845 provincial Grand Lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England and other district and provincial Grand Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Scotland.[1][2]


The Grand Lodge is led by an elected Grand Master, assisted by a Deputy Grand Master and an Assistant Grand Master, with a Grand Team.

The Grand Lodge is further organised into 4 Regions, each led by a Regional Grand Counsellor (RGC), which are in turn organised into various Districts, led by a District Grand Inspector of Workings (DGIW), comprising groups of lodges based on geography. Lodges meet in various buildings, ranging from individual lodge buildings to major city or urban centres, such as in Canberra.

The Grand Secretary heads the administration of the Grand Lodge from the headquarters at 279 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, on the north-west side of the corner with Goulburn Street.


Freemasonry came to New South Wales with the regiments of the British Army soon after the First Fleet in 1788.

A Military Lodge sitting under Warrant No.1780, by then having admitted a number of civilians to membership, became Sydney No.l, formed with 39 brethren on 13 April 1845, the first Wor. Master Bro. Richard McGuffin and his Officers, being installed by Bro. Alexander. No.l, operated in Sydney until its closure in 1968.

The first Grand Lodge was opened in Sydney in 1845, Bro. Robert Barr being the first Grand Master, and Bro. Andrew Alexander, the Deputy Grand Master. Bro. Alexander was the Grand Master the following year. The institution grew and prospered; No.2 Lodge was opened in 1845, No.3, No.4, and No.5 (in Kiama on the New South Wales South Coast) in 1846, No.6 and No.8 in 1847, No.7 in 1850.

The Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Scotland were also warranting lodges in New South Wales, and creating their own provincial Grand Lodges.

On 16 August 1888, after considerable consultation, the Masters and Wardens of the one hundred and eighty-three lodges assembled, the articles of union were again adopted, and the " United Grand Lodge of New South Wales " declared to be duly constituted and established.[3] The first Grand Master was Lord Carrington, Governor of New South Wales.

Notable Grand Masters

Admiral Sir Harry Rawson as Grand Master
William Thompson, Grand Master from 1913

Notable Grand Masters include:[4]


The Grand Lodge's official charities are:

  • masoniCare
  • Masonic Youth Welfare Fund
  • The Whiddon Group - aged care facilities
  • Royal Freemasons' Benevolent Institution - residential care and independent living accommodation

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ Lazar (editor), Peter (2009). It's No Secret. NSW: Masonic Care Ltd. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-646-52446-7.
  2. ^ Lazar (editor), Peter (2009). It's No Secret. NSW: Masonic Care Ltd. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-646-52446-7.
  3. ^ Proceedings of the Grand lodge of free and accepted masons of the state of New York, Grand Lodge of New York, 1890, accessed 2009-06-08
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2011.

External links

  • "Whatever happened to... the Freemasons" ABC's Compass TV documentary about the UGL NSW & ACT
    • UGL Regions website
    • How to join Australian Freemasonry
  • UGL Museum of Freemasonry - level 3, 279 Castlereagh St Sydney
    • Brief history of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales

Coordinates: 33°52′39″S 151°12′33″E / 33.877522°S 151.209052°E / -33.877522; 151.209052

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