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Directory of masonic orders that operate in Victoria, Australia.
Rectified Scottish Rite (RER)
The Rectified Scottish Rite (Rite Écossais Rectifié – RER) is the oldest continuously extant chivalric Masonic Order, having adopted its current structure in 1778.
The Rectified Scottish Rite arose out of the remnants of Baron von Hund’s ‘Rite of Strict Observance’ (c1754).
A convention held at Kohlo in 1772 decided to reorganise that moribund Rite and it subsequently became imbued with the ‘Martinist’ philosophy of Jean-Baptiste Willermoz (c1730-1824), as he was the principal author of our rituals.
The modern form of the RER was then confirmed at subsequent conventions held at Lyon in 1778 and Wilhelmsbad in 1782, while the ‘mother’ Great Priory of Switzerland (Grand Prieure Indépendant D’Helvétie – GPIH) was established in 1779.
The Rite spread rapidly over Europe in the next 30 years but then waned just as rapidly and by the middle of the 19th Century, only Switzerland remained of all the original provinces.
The GPIH continued to be the sole preserver of the Rite until 1935, when other regular Great Priories began to emerge, including USA (1935), Belgium (1986), and England (2008), among others.
The Great Priory of Belgium supports the spread of the Rite, having formed a number of English-speaking Lodges of St Andrew in Belgium, and it was from this situation that the Rite was introduced into Australia in 2001.
The Rite aims to strengthen and promote a deeper understanding of the members’ Christian faith by presenting the lessons inherent in its rituals in a profound and esoteric manner.
The Rite also promotes a stronger sense of community by fostering fraternity, benevolence, charity and the spirit of service in the members.
The Rite thus inspires personal improvement: intellectual, moral and spiritual.
The grades of the Rite are nominally six, but the first three (Apprentice, Companion and Master) are accepted as equivalents of the Craft degrees and are ceded to the authority of the Craft to solely administer (similar to the procedure in the Ancient and Accepted Rite in Australia).
The grades worked by the Rite are then: Scottish Master of Saint Andrew, Squire Novice, and Knight Beneficent of the Holy City (Chevalier Bienfaisant de la Cité Sainte – CBCS).
The first grade completes Symbolic Masonry, while the latter two grades constitute the Inner Order of the Rite and are chivalric.
After being admitted to the grade of St Andrew a 2-year period of active service to the Rite must pass before a member might be considered for reception as a Squire Novice; and entry to the Inner Order cannot be solicited.
A similar period of service in the novitiate must lapse before a Novice might be considered for arming as a Knight.
The structure of the Rite is a duality, comprising the Symbolic Lodges of St Andrew and an Inner Order with the chivalric Inner Order being essentially independent from the preceding symbolic masonry.
The National Grand Master, supported by a number of Grand Dignitaries and Officers, leads the Rite within a Province.
The Seventh Province is the dominion of the Great Priory of Belgium, which administers five districts (called Grand Ecossais Lodges), two of which are in Australia: Southern Cross (brethren in NSW, QLD & ACT), and Eureka (brethren across the rest of Australia).
A Particular Visitor superintends a number of subordinate symbolic Lodges of St Andrew (also called Ecossais Lodges) within each district.
A Particular Visitor periodically inspects his lodges and installs their Deputy Masters.
Lodges of St Andrew meet regularly, under instruction from a Deputy Master, to receive approved candidates into the fourth grade of Scottish Master of St Andrew.
There are currently 15 lodges under the Scottish Directorate of Belgium, of which, six are in Australia: Sir Robert Hobart (Melbourne, VIC), Sir James Stirling (Perth, WA), Sir William Clarke (Melbourne, VIC), Governor Arthur Phillip (Sydney, NSW), Sir John Lavarack (Brisbane, QLD) and Earl of Hopetoun (Canberra, ACT).
The Deputy Masters are each supported by a number of officers, who are all appointed to serve 2-year terms.
The Rite is Christian, in the broadest sense of the term, and admits as members only Master Masons who profess the Christian faith, who are diligent servants of Freemasonry, who demonstrate a capacity to appreciate the Rite and zeal to participate in its work.
To this end, the Rite is strictly invitational.
The brethren of St Andrew’s Lodges wear an apron and collar, gloves and carry a sword.
The members of the Inner Order wear regalia more consistent with their Templar forebears.
Under the Great Priory of Belgium Eureka Prefecture
(Masonic Qualifications for membership: Craft Master Mason – By invitation only)
9 – Sir Robert Hobart Lodge
Meeting: 2nd Sat March; 4th Sat November.
10 – Sir James Stirling Lodge
Meeting: March; July.
Location: Freemantle, Western Australia
11 – Sir William Clarke Lodge
Meeting: 4th Sat January; 3rd Sat July.
Location: Ardeer, Victoria