Speeches

The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

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 at Masonic Memorial Centre Brisbane

Celebration of the Centenary of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland

Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland and senior representatives of Freemasons Queensland; defence leaders; Cr Howard; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.

It is a great pleasure to join you today in this magnificent building to celebrate the centenary of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, 1921 to 2021.

Of course, the history of Freemasonry in our State pre-dates even the United Grand Lodge. And the year of the very first meeting of Freemasons in Queensland was 1859, when Queensland’s first Governor arrived and Queensland – with its contemporary moniker – was ‘born’.

A gentleman named ‘John Heussler’ attended that first meeting – almost certainly Johann Heussler whose house in Paddington, built in 1865, is now Government House. 

There are other vice-regal connections. Four Governors of Queensland served as Grand Masters, three of them after this United Grand Lodge was established.

But those connections are only part of the broader and deeper story of Freemasonry in Queensland. The establishment of the United Grand Lodge in 1921 and the dedication of this Masonic Memorial Centre in 1930 are pivotal chapters in that history.

Public curiosity about Freemasonry tends to focus inward on such matters as rituals, but it is the outward expression of Freemasons’ values that is the main story.

This building, for instance, is not just a Masonic Centre, but a Memorial, reminding us of the Lodge’s long commitment to honouring Australians lost in war.    

Then there are the Lodge’s extensive charitable works. Now managed through the organisation Hand Heart Pocket, these activities continue to support the well-being not just of Freemasons but of the broader community of our State in areas as diverse as mental health, youth support, and natural disaster relief.   

And, often overlooked, is the Freemasons’ ethos of self-improvement, of ‘living the best life you can live’.  This also contributes, quietly but significantly, to the resilience and progress of our communities.

The United Grand Lodge’s one hundred years of fellowship and service represents an enormous contribution to Queensland, achieved both by the many Freemasons prominent in our State’s history and the many more who lived their lives out of the spotlight. 

 As Governor, I heartily congratulate the United Grand Lodge on reaching the marvellous milestone of a century in operation, and wish the Lodge every success in the future.

And, before unveiling a commemorative plaque in a few moments, I also express my gratitude to all those Freemasons whose shared values and dedication sustained the United Grand Lodge across ten decades, to the great benefit of Queensland.  

Thank you.