Our Leaders

Grand Master
M.W. Bro. Phillip Frederick Oddie ODS

At the August 2019 Communications R.W. Bro. Phillip Oddie ODS, DGM was announced as the Grand Master Elect for 2020 – He has become Tasmania’s 39th Grand Master.

M.W. Bro. Oddie was installed into the position at the Grand Installation held at the Hobart’s Wrest Point Casino Complex on Friday 28th February 2020.

M.W. Bro. Oddie has been a Member of the Craft for 50 years having been presented with his 50 Year Jewel by the then Grand  Master, M.W. Bro. John  Slore in September 2019.

He was initiated into Pacific Lewis Lodge No. 38TC on the 11th August 1969 and progressed through the Offices of the Lodge becoming Worshipful Master on 12th December 1983. Following the consolidation of his Mother Lodge with The Pacific Lodge No. 5TC, he affiliated with Lodge Macquarie No. 87TC and on his retirement affiliated with The Pacific Lodge. He has recently affiliated with the Hutchins Old Boys’ Lodge No. 48TC and is also a Member of several other Orders of Freemasonry.

M.W. Bro. Oddie has been an active Member of the Southern Grand Lodge Ceremonial Team over many years and has also served as Grand Treasurer and President of the Board of General Purposes.

After being appointed Deputy Grand Master in 2017, he actively supported the Grand Master (M.W. Bro. Slore,) throughout the State as well as attending Interstate and New Zealand Grand Installations.  The opportunity to work with the Grand Master and his Future Directions Program had been a highlight during this period.

M.W. Bro. Oddie and his wife Anne have thoroughly enjoyed the last three years and look forward to the renewal of old and the creation of new friendships in the next three years.

Deputy Grand Master
R.W. Bro. Luke John Wood

At the August 2019 Communications, the Grand Master Elect, R.W. Bro. Phillip Frederick Oddie, ODS announced the appointment of V.W. Bro. Luke John Wood as Deputy Grand Master Designate.

R.W. Bro. Wood is a second generation Mason, his late father, Bro. Raymond R. Wood was Initiated into Wellesby Lodge 7981 UGLE (Provincial Grand Lodge of Surrey) in 1972 and his step-father, W. Bro. Christopher R. Avis was Initiated into Lodge Steadfast 7758 UGLE (Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London) in 1977.  He later affiliated with Lodge St Helier 4449 UGLE (Provincial Grand Lodge of Jersey) in 1980, becoming the Worshipful Master in 1986 and also served the Province as Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works and  Grand Charity Steward.

R.W. Bro. Wood was Initiated into Lodge St Helier on the 10th December 1990.

After moving to Tasmania, R.W. Bro. Wood affiliated with Lodge Lauriston 72TC in 2011, progressing through the Officers positions and becoming the Worshipful Master on the 17th October 2014.  R.W.Bro. Wood subsequently served the Lodge as Secretary.

His progression through Grand Lodge Offices commenced in 2016, when he was appointed as Grand Standard  Bearer, later to be given the privilege of Grand Standard Bearer for the 2017 Grand Installation of M.W. Bro. John W Slore.

He has also held the Office of Senior Grand Deacon, Grand Director of Ceremonies and Grand Chaplain in the Grand Lodge Ceremonial Team.

R.W. Bro. Wood served on the Board of the Fred French Masonic Nursing Home from 2013~2015, the Board of Benevolence from 2016~2017 and on the Board of General Purposes from 2017 till present.

R.W. Bro. Wood’s professional background is in electronics engineering, he is a Member of The Institute of Engineering and Technology and a Registered Incorporated Engineer on The Engineering Council. His career has seen him work in London, Channel Islands and all States and Territories within Australia. He now enjoys semi-retirement.

R.W. Bro. Wood met his wife Nora in Jersey, Channel Islands and later married in Arlington, Virginia, USA. They are the proud parents of two adult sons, Nathaniel and Alexander.

For More Information About Becoming A Freemason 

By 1828 there were sufficient resident freemasons to justify permanent lodges in the colony, not dependent on the presence of the members of the regiments who were often widely dispersed. Some time after March 1827 Tasmanian Lodge was the first stationary lodge to be formed, followed by the Lodge of Brotherly Union in 1832. In 1834 Tasmanian Operative Lodge was sanctioned by the Grand Lodge of Ireland. It prospered and in 1890 became lodge #1 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania. Freemasons could now provide social and educational activities for members and organise charitable services for the needy.

Lodges were also established in Launceston and other centres. Some of the warrants were transferred as populations changed because of the volatility of the economy, particularly the mining industry. Lodges at Lefroy, Ringarooma, Evandale and Hamilton-on-Forth were short-lived.

The first lodges were all Irish. The first English lodge, the Tasmanian Union Lodge, was formed in Hobart in 1844. Scottish lodges were formed in the north: St Andrew’s Lodge, Launceston, 1877; Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, Launceston, 1881; Concord Lodge, Latrobe, 1882; Dorset Lodge, Scottsdale, 1885; Robert Burns Lodge, Beaconsfield, 1886.

In June 1890 all lodges relinquished their warrants from their parent Grand Lodges and formed the autonomous Grand Lodge of Tasmania. The first Grand Master was the Rev RD Poulett-Harris, headmaster of the Hobart High School. From 1890 to 2005 some 33 Grand Masters have presided over Freemasonry in Tasmania. They have come from all walks of life – governors, bishops, educators, bankers, doctors, businessmen and civil servants. The numbers reached a zenith in the late 1970s, with 79 lodges and over 8000 members. In 2005 there were 50 lodges with a membership of 2,100.

The hallmark of Masonic activity has been philanthropy within the wider community. A Masonic Benevolent Fund was formed as early as 1843 and became an integral part of the programme of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania. The fraternity rarely sought recognition for its benevolent activities. It has regularly supported charitable agencies such as Red Cross, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, City Mission and many more. It has subscribed to a large number of relief appeals, both interstate and international.

Pictured left: Frederick Burrell in Lodge Regalia, 1940 (AOT, PH30/1/5508)

In 1945 when the outcome of the Second World War was certain, consideration was given to establishing suitable memorials to mark the cessation of hostilities. The Masonic involvement in Aged Care began to take shape, developing into the Masonic Homes at Lindisfarne and the Peace Haven complex at Launceston. In the south, from 1951 members of Tasmanian Operative Lodge #1 worked at weekends to construct the first dwelling on the site selected for Masonic Homes in Lindisfarne, on the Ballawinne site. There has been a succession of developments, with new buildings and new properties at Lindisfarne and Kingston. These facilities now serve more than 200 residents.

The provision of aged care facilities in northern Tasmania began in 1962/3 when the Fred French legacy enabled the building of a nursing home. Since then, a fully accredited facility that provides a wide range of services ranging from independent living and low care to a dedicated Dementia Unit have been developed. A Day Care Centre caters each week for up to 250 persons from the local community.

A more recent activity is the Masonic Centenary Medical Research Foundation, established in 1985 to finance medical research into problems associated with ageing, especially neurological conditions. The Foundation has sponsored research projects, provided fellowships for medical researchers and purchased specialised equipment for researchers. Other Masonic initiatives focus on education and the provision of scholarships for tertiary studies.

Further reading and references: M Yaxley (ed), The first one hundred years, 1890–1990, Hobart, 1990; K Henderson, The Masonic Grand Masters of Australia, Melbourne, 1988; A Lowe, History of Tasmanian Operative Lodge No. 1 T.C. 1834–1984, Hobart, [1988]; MG Linton, Freemasonry in Tasmania up to 1890, Hobart, 2004.

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