Fraser Chapter


  • Charter granted by the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland on 9th October 1976.
  • Instituted on 4th December 1976 as Fraser Chapter No 663.
  • Governing Level was the Grand Chapter of NSW until 1985 when Southern District Grand Chapter was formed.
  • In 1985, when The United Grand Chapter of Australia was instituted, Fraser Chapter became No 192 and under the management of Southern District Grand Chapter.
  • Southern District Grand Chapter became dormant on 9th August 2014, and Fraser returned as outwith to the now Grand Chapter of NSW & ACT.
  • Fraser Chapter No 192 became dormant on 22nd October 2016 and amalgamated with Canberra Chapter No 52 to form Capital Chapter No 52 on 26th November 2016.


Fraser Chapter had come about by members of a ‘Star Club’’ who had been gathered together by Sister Isabella Hardie PWM. The Club members had all worked very hard to raise funds, with many happy social events. It was an enjoyable time and many friendships that we have today came about through that club.

On Saturday 4th December 1976, Fraser Chapter No. 663, was instituted according to custom and ritual by the Grand Chapter of NSW with the Worthy Grand Patron Brother John Lowe presiding. The meeting took place in St. Ninian’s Church Hall, Brigalow Street, Lyneham ACT with 25 foundation members.

After the institution, the Worthy Grand Matron, Sister Grace Kelleher assisted by Grand Office-bearers, affiliated 6 members and initiated 9 candidates.

On that wonderful day, 10 Chapters were present and were able to share in our celebrations: Naremburn No 99, Mount Beulah No 5, Parramatta No 17, Bega No 187, Wagga Wagga No 189, (then newly instituted), Brighton Coronation No 122, Canberra No 52, Dubbo No 167 and Penrith No 95. Members from the dormant Maroubra Chapter No 375 also attended from whom we had obtained our furniture.

August was chosen as our Birthday month, rather than the busy month of December. At our first birthday meeting Worthy District Grand Matron of Eastern District, Sister Shirley Fowles, a Past Worthy Matron of Maroubra Chapter was our honoured guest.

November 1977 was the successful end of the first year of operation. Our 2nd Installation was an interesting one. The  Associate Matron, Sister Joan Grallelis, had spent some time in New Zealand and had joined Caledonia Chapter in Wellington. Several members of this Chapter journeyed over for this event, with the Installation being conducted by one of their members, Sister Helen Reid PWM. How distinctive they looked in their black dresses alongside our Australian members in white!

The years rolled on with many excellent meetings and social activities enjoyed. It was in  1980 that the first of many moves of venue took place – to the Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest, where the facilities were very comfortable, and where Canberra Chapter No 52 had their meetings.

In the beginning, our Chapter was under the guidance of the Grand Chapter of N.S.W. who watched over us with a firm but loving hand. In June 1985, the United Grand Chapter of Australia was instituted and become the governing body of all chapters in Australia. We  then became Fraser Chapter No 192. It was in the same year that Southern District Grand Chapter was instituted. We are very proud to say that many Sisters and Brothers from our Chapter have reached high offices in Southern District Grand Chapter, Grand Chapter of NSW and ACT and United Grand Chapter and all are to be congratulated and thanked for their continued service to our Order.

In 1989, our feet got itchy again and our 2nd move was to the Pensioners’ Hall, Childers Street, Canberra city where many social events and lively meetings were enjoyed. Dances and fashion parades were held, and after our birthday meetings, there was some riotous entertainment, for which our Chapter has become well known.

In 1993 the opportunity came to move to the Canberra Masonic Centre – a very comfortable home indeed, where many more happy years were enjoyed. Our first ‘Open’ Installation was held in November 2001. It was an enjoyable experience, although very new to us and we have held many more since. We enjoy having the opportunity to involve our families and loved ones and for them to share our special days with us.

Following our Installation in November 2004, the Masonic Centre management decided to undertake major refurbishment, and we went into recess until February 2005. In that year, Canberra  Chapter celebrated their 75th Birthday and Fraser Chapter Members arranged entertainment for their big day. The evening was a great success and a video was made of the concert. Thank goodness ‘YouTube’ was not invented at that stage!

We have had many bus trips to visit other Chapters over the years and to present our ‘Tartan’ service. This service is a celebration of the friendships we have made in our Order and brings in a Scottish flavor to draw it together. The service starts with the verse:

Though the Chapters of our order may be scattered near and far, There are many bonds that make us one, beneath our shining star, There’s the fellowship and loyalty of friends who really care, The striving from the common cause – the purpose that we share; But there is yet another tie between us, One that binds each Chapter large and small, For weaving all our colours in together, God made the greatest tartan of them all.

The year 2005 was when The United Grand Chapter of Australia came to town to hold the 11th Biennium Sessions. The National Capital was chosen in order to support the Western Australian Chapters and the incoming MWGM Sister Faye Ward with the MWGP Brother William Atherton by her side.

Never missing an opportunity to help (and earn a $ or three) Fraser Chapter Members undertook the catering for the UGCA committee meetings. Our members enjoyed the experience of meeting our esteemed members and those from overseas. The reputation of Fraser Chapter was again re- enforced and today they still speak of the final farewell dinner, served by our ‘slaves’— our Brothers dress in costume all tied together with chains!

We have raised funds for our chosen charities by having sock parties, the sale of chocolates, the Fraser Fling (Scottish), Mad Hatter’s party and Christmas in July; to name just a few. In 2007,  the management of the Canberra Centre made a very momentous decision to rebuild the Masonic Centre in Canberra. Not wanting to miss an occasion for a social event, we held a very successful ‘Wake’ to say goodbye to the former building. Our last Meeting in the Centre was held in May 2008.

From there we moved again to the Korean Uniting Church in Reid, who were only able to offer us very limited storage for our furniture and there was little room to move and conduct a meeting. Our Altar and other items had to be transported each meeting and it has taken a few years since then for us to recover our things stashed safely in member’s garages and cupboards. Fortunately for the church, the Youth group grew and grew and we were once again without a home. We went back to Wesley Uniting Church and Canberra Chapter Members very kindly loaned us the use of their furniture for our meetings.

Unfortunately for the Masonic Centre building committee were unable to secure a permanent tenant, and, after completion of the new building the mortgagors made the decision to sell the building to recoup their losses. In April 2011 we moved into the Majura Community Centre Dickson where we now meet on a Saturday afternoon to make travelling easier for our senior members. One Member has described us as “a bit like the ‘Tribes of Israel’ —  forever wondering around.”

Looking to the future, it is time to say goodbye and we join with Canberra Chapter in the new era of our beloved Order and in this wonderful part of Australia. Fraser’s journey is complete and we all look forward to bringing the ‘Fraser Flair’ into our next journey and be that same happy Chapter, filled with love and companionship, and continuing to further the ideals of our beautiful Order.

Birthday Program – August 2016


Isabella Hardie WM James Hardie WP December 1976

Sisters Kathy Boyes, Norma Stacy, Enid Rochow, Hilda Skerry, Violet Freeman, Dorothy Picard – 1987

Installation 2011

Brother Frank Hull, Sister Elizabeth Turner, Sister Dorothy Picard, Brother Doug Stacy – 1997

Brother Emanual Grallelis, Sister Jane Grallelis, Sister Joan Grallelis – 1988

Fraser Slaves at the UGCA 11th Biennial Sessions 2005. Brothers Gary Sweeney, George Dobbin, Joseph Vavra