This is what the Order is all about!

FANTASTIC NEWS FROM WOLLONGONG CHAPTER!! – WELL DONE!!

Members of Wollongong Chapter No 59 were recently offered the chance to nominate a charity to which a donation of $2500.00 per member could be allocated in the name of our Chapter. As a result of this exercise 16 Charities were named, some members chose the same recipients which then increased the amounts to the individual charity involved.

We arranged a special Afternoon tea to follow our Regular Meeting held on Saturday 20th June 2021 and invited representatives of the charity organisations nominated to attend and personally receive their donation.

We had the pleasure to welcome representatives from six of the charities:
Supported Accommodation & Homelessness Services (SAHSSI), The Shepherd Centre, Ostomy NSW, RSPCA, Agnes Ginges Centre (Molecular Cardiology research), the Disability Trust and one of our members son in law came along to speak on behalf of Ronald McDonald House.

Each recipient along with their Chapter nominators had photographs taken receiving their cheque, each representative spoke on behalf of their organisation giving us some insight into the services they provide and the people who benefit in our community. Some of the stories told were very moving and our members were left with a sense of pride and a tear in their eye knowing that in some small way Wollongong Chapter are assisting these organisations to continue their wonderful services and research which benefit those in need throughout our society.

Those charities who were unable to attend received their donation by mail:
Bears of Hope, Cure Brain Cancer, Smith Family (Sponsor a Child) MS Research, Ronald McDonald House, Leukaemia Foundation, Garvan Institute (Molecular Cardiology research), Beyond Blue, Black Dog Institute and Oesophageal Cancer research.

We are very proud to say that Wollongong Chapter donated a total of $75.000.00 for this project and are looking forward to continuing the fundraising efforts that has taken place over the past 88 years supporting charities by the members of Wollongong Chapter.

Fraternal Regards

Norah Mitchell PWDGM
Secretary
Wollongong Chapter No 59

Illawarra District Grand Committee Installation

The Illawarra District Grand Committee held their installation at the end of February 2021

Photos: Sis Jennifer Shepherd PWGM Installing, WGP Bro Ron Nethery. Sydney DGC WDGM Sis Patricia Basely plus WM from 7 Chapters & WP from 3.

Donations to the community by the Chapters of Australia

Uarbry – New South Wales

In February 2017 a large bushfire ravaged in the State of New South Wales destroying hectares of land within the area of the Warrumbungle Shire Council.

One of the areas totally obliterated was the community of Uarbry.   There was some support for this community from Government Departments and local organisations such as Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and Blaze Aid.   The Uarbry Hall Association was devastated as they completely lost their community hall and had to set about making arrangements to rebuild a new hall.

The United Grand Chapter of Australia Order of the Eastern Star operates a National Disaster Fund from contributions received from the various Chapters throughout Australia, and it was decided that a donation of $5,000 be granted to the Uarbry Hall Association to assist with the building of a new community hall.

Efforts to rebuild a new hall in accordance with current regulations became unsuccessful due to cost, and from donations received consideration was given to building something within the budget and it was decided to proceed with a steel shade structure similar to a School COLA.   After various applications to the Local Planning Committee, approval was granted to progress with the building of the School COLA structure and the good news is that the Uarbry Hall structure has now been recently finalised.   The attached photographs show the completed structure for which the donation of $5,000 from The United Grand Chapter of Australia Order of the Eastern Star was applied and very generously appreciated by the Uarbry Hall Association.

 

 

 

 

 

Mallacoota – Victoria

$2,000 was provided to the Community of Mallacoota from Chapters throughout Australia donating to the UGCA Disaster Relief Fund.

Perth Chapter also donated to the ‘Mens Shed’.

The link below is to a thank you letter from the Mallacoota District Health & Support Services.

THANK YOU!

 

 

 

National Disaster Fund Donation – Tasmania

From contributions made by Chapters to the United Grand Chapter National Disaster Fund a donation of TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2,000.00) has been made to the Glamorgan Lions Club, Swansea to assist a Tasmanian Farmer with the construction of his boundary fencing which was amongst property that was destroyed in the devastating bushfires earlier this year.

The photos below depicts the materials purchased for the fencing and the Members of the Glamorgan Lions Club kindly assisted the Farmer in the construction of the new fencing and they are all very appreciative of the generosity of the donation from the Order of the Eastern Star and forward their sincere thanks.

News from Perth Chapter No 46

Our Sisters and Brothers in the west have been very busy and have shared their successes with us all.

Carnation Applecross Chapter No 84 also donated to Anglicare a cheque for $400.00 for use in a local Church

Perth Members and helpers at sausage sizzle – proceeds of $1,655.00 donated to United Grand Chapter of Australia Disaster Relief Fund in aid of Bushfire Relief

Sister Joyce Leigh, Worthy Matron of Carnation Applecross Chapter No 84 presenting to Averley School in Ellenbrook a cheque for $2,500.00 (to help fund special needs equipment for special needs children).

Worthy Matron Sister Shirley Gallaway presenting to Solaris Cancer Care, a cheque for $2,500.00.

Initiation meeting of our new member Sister Erin Kennedy-Wilcox August 2019

In December 2019 we welcomed another new member Brother Graham Kennedy into our Chapter. Also visiting that night was Sister Mary Squires Meanwell from Cowplains St Wilfred Chapter in England. We received a surprise visit from Brother David English of Patricia Chapter in Manitoba, Canada. Brother English was visiting his daughter who lives in Perth.

 

WGM Grand Chapter of NSW & ACT – Visits

Our WGM Sister Lorna Dunkley (2019-2020) had been very busy in her last few weeks in the chair.  She has shared some memories for us all.

Illawarra District Grand Committee Installation

Parramatta District Grand Committee Installation

Sydney District Grand Committee Installation

Holroyd Chapter’s 95th Birthday Celebration

Rainbow Installation

Management of our Order during COVID-19 – 8 April 20

Dear Sisters and Brothers

MANAGEMENT OF OUR ORDER THROUGH THE SOCIAL DISTANCING PERIOD

Following the recent messages from the Most Worthy Grand Matron Sister Blanche Watt and Most Worthy Grand Patron Brother Paul Smith I wish to alleviate the concern that some Chapter Secretaries may have regarding conducting a Committee Meeting via the internet.

If there is the need to have a Committee Meeting, the following information is provided by the Webmaster Sister Angela Sweeney on the most common conferencing products on the market:

  1. Skype – is probably the easiest to use and especially where members may not be very ‘tech savvy’. You can use it on both desktop and mobile.   There are some minor security concerns in relation to your login details being used for unsolicited marketing contact via email.
  2. What’s App – is not too hard to use, but there is a limit on the number of people that can video/audio at the same time, and that is 4. This product is owned by an overseas company so there are ‘National’ security concerns about it but for social users the risk is low as per Skype.
  3. Zoom – is the top of the market product with good quality conferencing and up to hundreds of people can be connected at the one time (at a cost). The basic Zoom programme can be obtained for free and allows a time limit of 40 minutes which should be sufficient for most Chapter business.   A number of Masonic Lodges are doing their meetings via Zoom.  There are ‘National’ security concerns about it, but for social users the risk is low as per Skype.  Please ensure you download and use the latest version of Zoom which does not ask you to connect using your Facebook Account.
  4. Microsoft Teams – is being used by the Government and will eventually replace Skype in 2021. Its data encryption meets Australian Cyber security guidelines.  It’s a little harder to use than Skype, because it has more functionality i.e. sharing screens, documents, presentations during a conference call, and it has an MSOutlook (Email) capability.  The public can use this product also and it would be a safe option to use.  It can be used on both desktop and mobile.   There is a cost involved to connect to this programme.

For those Members who do not have a computer, you can take part by ringing the computer user’s telephone number and having the computer user’s telephone placed on hands free (Speaker).

Your attention is also brought to the fact that scammers are also very active at the moment and the more secure the product used, the better.  If you have a computer, please ensure you also have a good quality virus protection product installed.

If any Members have queries regarding holding a Committee Meeting via internet technology, Sister Angela Sweeney is willing to come to your aid and we thank her sincerely for her help in this matter.    Her contact details are by Email – webmaster@oesaustralia.org.au.

Yours sincerely,

ELIZABETH TAYLOR PDGM
Worthy Grand Secretary

Management of our Order during COVID-19 – 3 April 20

3rd April 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers

MANAGEMENT OF OUR ORDER THROUGH THE SOCIAL DISTANCING PERIOD

We, the Most Worthy Grand Matron Sister Blanche Watt and Most Worthy Grand Patron Brother Paul Smith are keenly sensitive to the difficulties our Order and Members are facing during these difficult times.  To assist with ensuring routine matters are dealt with in a timely manner, these instructions are to empower each Level to conduct their business by using the internet to conduct Committee Meetings.  No Regular or Special Meetings are to be conducted over the internet or virtual network or by telephone where Members do not have access to computer forms of contact.

The Affairs of The United Grand Chapter of Australia will be in accordance with Law U.29.  The MWGM and MWGP when required will request the Worthy Grand Secretary to communicate via email to the relevant United Grand Committee and on receipt of an affirmative majority of the quorum will draft a response for the approval of the MWGM and MWGP.

The Offices of the Worthy Grand Secretary, Worthy Grand Treasurer, Worthy Grand Supplies Officer, Worthy Grand Registrar and Worthy Grand Sessions Co-ordinator remain open.

Grand Chapters may conduct any Grand Committee meeting via Skype, Zoom or other electronic software or via email.  The quorums for each Grand Committee will be dictated by each Grand Chapter’s Bye-Laws.

District Grand Committees may conduct their Committee meeting via Skype, Zoom or other electronic software or via email.  The quorums for each District Grand Committee will be dictated by their Bye-Laws.

Chapters may conduct their Committee Meeting via Skype, Zoom or other electronic software or via email.  The quorums for each Committee will be dictated by the relevant UGCA Law.

All Minutes of the Committee Meetings to show the means of communication i.e. Skype with Worthy Matron, Worthy Patron, Associate Matron, Associate Patron and Telephone with Secretary, Treasurer, Conductress.

The re-scheduling of Official Visits and Inspection of Records by Governing Levels will be a matter for the relevant Governing Level Presiding Officers and Grand Chapter, District Grand Committee and Chapter concerned.

These Instructions and empowerment will remain in force until the Federal Government social distancing guidelines are lifted.

Yours in Star Friendship

Blanche Watt – Most Worthy Grand Matron
Paul Smith – Most Worthy Grand Patron                                                      Elizabeth Taylor – Worthy Grand Secretary

Corona Virus – UGCA March Update

17th March 2020
CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)

Dear Sisters and Brothers

We are sure you are all well aware of the current world-wide pandemic involving the Corona Virus (COVID 19).

The health and welfare of our Members are a paramount responsibility and there are a number of Members concerned as to whether Order of the Eastern Star Meetings should take place. There are also Members who are in the high-risk group, in particular those suffering from serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and having compromised immune systems. If necessary, for their own safety, if they are concerned then they should stay at home. Otherwise Members should consider all the risk factors and make the appropriate decision pertaining to their individual medical conditions. All Members should be diligent and follow personal hygiene requests and follow the guidelines set forth by the various Health Authorities.

As to whether Chapter Meetings should take place, it is up to each individual Chapter to consider its risks and decide if a Meeting should go ahead. On the other hand, some Chapters may have to abide by directions issued in relation to the venue where they meet and Chapters need to take this into account.

It will be up to all Governing Levels to decide whether they continue with Official Visits in the interim and advise their Chapters accordingly.
Should a Chapter decide that they wish to cancel a Regular Meeting, they should make contact with their Governing Level for a Dispensation to be issued.

We appreciate your concern and patience and ask you to remember in your prayers those who are less fortunate and are being more severely affected by this virus.

Take care everyone.

Yours in Star Friendship
Blanche Watt  – Most Worthy Grand Matron
Paul Smith – Most Worthy Grand Patron
Elizabeth Taylor – WG Secretary

Easter Message from our MWGM and MWGP

Dear Sisters and Brothers

With the government imposed Social Distancing due to the Covic-19 we are all experiencing an Isolation from family and friends.

I know how much we are all missing our Regular Meetings, but it is necessary for us so that this virus can be stopped.

The Most Worthy Grand Patron Brother Paul Smith and I have cancelled all our visitations until it is considered safe to continue.  Our last visitation was to the Grand Chapter of NSW and the ACT Annual Business and Installation Meeting and I must congratulate the Members for their time spent ensuring that the safety of all members was considered during this time.  The Installation was carried out ensuring that we abided by the requirements of Social Distancing which was only able to be achieved as so many members and visitors decided to send apologies. I have never seen a Chapter Room so spread out.

I hope all will consider attendance to the Grand Chapters of NSW/ACT Annual Ball later this year to catch up.

Unfortunately The Grand Chapter of Queensland had to postpone their Annual Business and Installation Meetings but I know that as soon as it is possible a new date will be set and invites issued….I know for one I will be looking forward to it.

In the meantime, I want to let you know that I am thinking of you all. We are all experiencing a situation that hopefully may never happen again. 

Easter is upon us and for a lot we will not be able to spend with Family and friends or go away for a break.  But we can keep in touch with each other by other means.

I close this message wishing you all a Happy Easter and Stay Healthy and Stay Home.

Special people are thought of
With fondness through the year,
And that’s why thoughts are with your
Now that Easter time is here
May you have every blessing
From our dear Lord above,
And may you know the happiness
You’re so deserving of.

Happy Easter!!