GSE Bulletin No 36                                                                                                                  24th January 2017


Effective from the date of the next Regular Convocation on 18 March, 2017 significant changes will occur in respect to Administrative Areas B and C.

Following a regular meeting of the AGSs, the First Grand Principal and Grand Master has agreed to a number of changes to the Areas which will be implemented commencing from the Convocation on 18 March, 2017.  These changes are set out hereunder: –

1/         a new Area D will be created encompassing the Chapters as set out in the attachment to this Bulletin.

2/         in Area D, the First Grand Principal and Grand Master is pleased to announce the appointment for the remainder of the term of Right Excellent Companion Jack McNaughton PGJ as Area Grand Superintendent Area D effective as at 18 March, 2017.

3/         as a result of the creation of Area D, two new Districts will be created in Areas C and D resulting from the breakup of the current District C1.

4/         District D2 will be extended with V Ex Comp Des Callaghan DGIW accepting an invitation to include Chapter Tamworth in his current District.

5/         Chapters Lachlan Parks, Dubbo and Seven Apollo will form a new District D4.

6/         Very Excellent Companion Pattingale will continue in District C1 with the remaining Chapters forming his District of his former District.

7/         following a request from Right Excellent Companion Bryan Davis DSA to stand down as Area Grand Superintendent Area C due to ill health, the First Grand Principal and Grand Master has most reluctantly accepted his resignation with sincere and genuine regret.  Right Excellent Companion Bryan Davis DSA has served this office with great distinction and dedication ably supported by his wife Judy and Most Excellent Companion Peattie extends to him the best wishes of the Order for a recovery to full health.

8/         the First Grand Principal and Grand Master is pleased to announce that another well-known Companion who has distinguished himself within the Order has most generously accepted the invitation of the First Grand Principal and Grand Master to fill the vacant Office of Area Grand Superintendent Area C for the remainder of the current term.  Accordingly, as at 18 March, 2017 Right Excellent Companion Michael Freeman-Robinson DSA PGH will become the new AGC Area C.

9/         Area A is unaffected by these changes and remains as is.

The First Grand Principal and Grand Master will invest Right Excellent Companions Freeman-Robinson and McNaughton in their new roles as Area Grand Superintendents at the convocation on 18 March 2017 when the above changes will take effect.  A list of the new Area structure is attached.


Some time ago a number of changes to the Regulations were made in respect to the role of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.  It appears as if these changes have not filtered through to all Companions.

Each District Grand Inspector of Workings under the Regulations is expected to nominate to his AGS a Companion to act as an Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies (AGDC) within his District.  The successful Companion if approved will be entitled to the temporary prefix of “Very Excellent” for the duration of his term as AGDC, may wear Grand Officer regalia and join Grand Chapter Delegations.

The duties of the AGDC are more fully set out within the Regulations however generally he would announce the entry and retirement of the DGIW and/or AGS at Chapter meetings within his District.  In addition, he may be called upon to act as Grand Director of Ceremonies at an Installation in some circumstances.  An AGDC may also be requested to act as Scripture Reader from time to time.  The role of an AGDC in respect to Installations is however reduced significantly due to the introduction of Installation Director of Ceremonies in 2016.  With the change of Regulations last year all Chapters working what is commonly referred to as the Scottish and NSW Installation Rituals are required to appoint and nominate on the Installation program a Companion from within their Chapter to act as the Installation Director of Ceremonies.

Companions interested in the position should consult with their DGIW and AGS.


For some time now there has been confusion at the Festive Board in Chapters as to whether Companions should stand or sit when Grace is being given.

The First Grand Principal and Grand Master in response to a significant number of requests for clarification has given some thought to this issue.  Foremost on the First Grand Principal and Grand Master’s mind is that he is conscious of the division within the Order on this question and the delicacy of the matter.  Most Excellent Companion Peattie has listened to both sides of the argument of “sitting V standing” and finds both arguments are equally compelling.

In reaching a decision the First Grand Principal and Grand Master has consulted Grand Chaplains both within and without of this Order.  In addition, he has listened to what happens within the Craft and other Orders.

Of significant persuasiveness in coming to this decision was the relatively simple argument “we do not normally stand for Grace in our own homes so why should we stand for Grace at Chapter?”

The end result is that the First Grand Principal and Grand Master has determined the following policy for Companions when Grace is given at the Festive Board: –

Policy for Grace at the Festive Board

When the 3rd Principal (or his stand-in) or a Chaplain is saying Grace at the Festive Board all Companions will remain seated and adopt the Sign of Fidelity unless to do so will offend an individual Companion’s religion or spiritual beliefs or if the Companion concerned has a genuine conscientious objection to sitting whilst Grace is being offered in which case he is welcome to stand.

Should a Companion, choose to stand for Grace in accordance with this policy then it is the directive of the First Grand Principal and Grand Master that he may not be required to explain his decision to any other Companion.  Most Excellent Companion Peattie insists on a Companion’s personal decision on this issue being respected within the Order and the Chapter.

Most Excellent Companion Peattie has determined that this approach to Grace will take the form of a “policy” for the time being whilst its effect is gauged across the jurisdiction.  The First Grand Principal and Grand Master would invite and welcome any input from any Companion who feels offended or embarrassed by this policy in order that he may reconsider any part of the policy should it be deemed necessary.


Companions are advised that the USGC webpage is undergoing a review and re-construction.  There may be some problems whilst this process is undertaken and Companions are asked to be patient.


Part of the new webpage will be a Calendar of Events.  As part of good management of the Chapter and to ensure that this calendar is of value to all Chapters for the purpose of visiting and finding Degree work the Meeting Report Form has been changed so that now when sent to Grand Chapter the work for the next meeting is not only identified but included.  It is appreciated that from the time of nominating the work to the night of the meeting circumstances may change and accordingly the work might change.  This is understandable and appreciated, however most work is organised in advance and so an indication of what work can be expected barring intervening events is what is being sought rather than a binding commitment.

Please note to simply put “TBA” for the work of the next meeting is not acceptable when filing the Meeting Report.  The new Monthly Report form has been distributed to Chapter Scribes and is available on the Website


Recently at an Installation of a Daylight Chapter a number of Grand Officers attended dressed in Eton Jackets and black bow tie.  Previously, Supreme Committee in 2016 on the recommendation of the Ritual Committee changed the Dress Code for Grand Officers attending Daylight Installations to a lounge suit.  This was publicised to all Chapter Scribes and generally to Companions in a previous Grand Scribes Bulletin.

Grand Officers are again reminded that when attending Chapter Installations during the day or when joining Daylight Delegations, the correct dress is the normal dress applicable to the Chapter.


The Speculate Magazine belongs to the Companions of the Order.  The only way this magazine can pass on information to other Chapters, Companions and subscribers to Speculate is for Chapters to pass on information to the Editor.   To send short articles and pictures of your Chapter’s Advancements, Exaltations, Installations and special newsworthy events email them to  We are able to write articles where the First Grand Principal and Grand Master is in attendance as he normally has a story to go with the photographs taken, however there must be events in Chapters that other Companions will find interesting.    Remember our Social Media Code and ask permission of any Companion before a photograph is taken.


Companions are reminded that the Regular Grand Convocation will occur on the afternoon of Saturday, 18th March 2017 in the Egyptian Room Petersham.  An Agenda will be sent out in advance.


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