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(generated from captions) Jacqui Mapoon Closed Captions by CSI - (Fanfare) of Lodge Perfect, number 583 ANNOUNCER: The 50th anniversary of New South Wales, United Grand Lodge Most Worshipful Grand Master. in the presence of the was once the largest GERALDINE DOOGUE: The Freemasons in the world. and best-known men's organisation in Australia, Indeed, once upon a time a father, grandfather or uncle almost everyone had in the Masons. the pomp and ceremony, But over the years, have been laughed at, sent up, the secret handshakes and rituals downright suspicious. frowned upon and deemed 'What a funny bunch of people.' WOMAN: You do tend to think, they have their collars and regalia, They wear those funny aprons, and they do funny claps. band of brothers actually do? So what does this silent Are they even viable anymore? If so, who belongs, and why? With the odds stacked against them, to survive in the 21st century? how are Freemasons planning (Men sing) central Masonic lodge, Tonight, at Melbourne's a new Grand Master will be installed. It only happens once every two years, for its secret rituals, and, for a fraternity famous this is a rare public ceremony. Most Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Vaughn Ellsworth Werner I present to you for the ensuing... for installation as Grand Master the most humbling experience MAN: I thought it quite candidly, that I've ever had in my life, 13,500, 14,000 fellow brethren because I'd been chosen by my for the next two years. to become their leader Brother Vaughan Ellsworth Werner Right Worshipful Most Worshipful Grand Master... has been installed with Grand Honours nine times. ..and call upon you to greet him MAN: The Grand Installation Ceremony pageantry and spectacle, is certainly about a certain sense, but it also does invoke as most Masonic ceremonies do, of something divine. traditional organisation And Freemasonry is a very with a very proud history, a great level of formality as well. and it continues to honour (Organ plays) the pomp and ceremony? GERALDINE DOOGUE: But what's behind And what's in it for men today? isn't easily explained. MAN: Freemasonry It is a way of life, on your way through Freemasonry, and you actually learn and you're continually learning. moral and social virtues. Freemasonry claims to teach men of the medieval building trade And it does so by using the symbolism it grew out of. tools were the square and compass. The stonemason, the most common in everyday language - The square has been used with other people. talking about 'being on the square' out of Freemasonry, That comes directly out of the tools of the stonemason. and in turn that comes The level is another example - with one another 'being on the level' out of the tools of the stonemasons, is a term that's come directly to how to lead your life. adapted by the Freemasons with the First Fleet, Freemasons arrived in Australia opened in Sydney in 1820. and the first lodge at 330,000 after World War II. Its membership peaked was a Freemason. By 1955, 1 in 16 Australian men came back from the war PETER LAZAR: When the men experiences in war, and they had their in camp or in prison camp, and in lodge when some of that with their mates they wanted to relive after they came home. ex-servicemen to get together again So I think it was an opportunity for wartime experiences and how it was. and to reminisce about their Freemasons in Australia. Today, there are only 45,000 the new face of Freemasonry. Garry Sayed represents from a Lebanese background, He's Muslim, and he joined when he was just 29. it plays in my life Well, the biggest role in something which has structure. is my ability to partake a lot of skills from it. And I've learned that I realised But it wasn't until I joined much more meaning behind it. there was much more philosophical, he puts on his best shirt and tie, One night a month into a little black bag, packs his apron and heads off to lodge. about honesty, about truth For me, Freemasonry taught me and how to conduct my daily life. pursuing goals without substance. Very important - it's not about that your conduct is such It's about ensuring to men in society. that you become an example to conduct yourself with honesty. Very important Freemasonry taught me that. the Cedars Masonic Lodge Garry belongs to of Punchbowl. in the Western Sydney suburb he helped establish in 2008. It's a new lodge All Masons! a wide range of backgrounds. Its 80 or so members come from the ethnic make-up of the lodge Well, and many of them are from Lebanon, is predominantly Middle Eastern men, from Lebanese parents. or were born in Sydney since the foundation of the lodge, And, from different backgrounds - we've been able to attract other men Bulgarian, even an Englishman. Greeks, Italians, Maltese, Australian from a Jewish background. And now we have initiated our first please rise and join me in a toast. Ladies, our guests and brethren, ALL: The Queen! The Queen! at the Cedars, Traditions remain strong than lodges of old. but it's less formal have to wear expensive dinner suits. At its monthly meetings, men don't are more involved. And wives and partners (Laughs) They don't tell us their secrets. in their private lodge room They will not let us when they're doing their ritual. they will discuss in front of us. But everything else and they will seek our opinion. And they'll discuss with us, the Freemasons in 1992, But when Garry first joined was suspicious and concerned. his wife Noha I was really, really worried. He came home one day and he said Freemasonry, that he was going to join hit the panic button. and I automatically My biggest concern at the time was that he was going to change religions, because you hear a lot of stories about Freemasons being, you know... ..having to be Jewish or having to be Christian or having to be this and that. And you really don't know what to believe when you're just hearing it from other people. In the heart of Sydney, it's open day at the United Grand Mason Lodge of New South Wales, the biggest in Australia. And every Masonic... One of the criteria for membership is that you must believe in a supreme being of some kind. So we have a symbol in the lodge that represents the supreme being. We call the supreme being the great architect of the universe. Starts with 'G'... It's a chance for Freemasons to explain their philosophy to outsiders, and to clear up common misconceptions. Freemasonry is certainly far from a religion. It is not. But it puts into practice the teachings of the great religions on Earth, whether they be Christian, whether they be Muslim, whether they be Hindu, whether they be Buddhist. They all come together on the point of peace. And also, in view of love and harmony for one's fellow man. They all agree on those points, as does Freemasonry. And we don't mind what that supreme being is, or what he calls it. It can be 'God', it could be 'Gaia'. It could be whatever you like. As long as you have a belief that there is something up there that's guiding mankind. But in its heyday, most Freemasons were either Protestants or Jews. Catholics were forbidden by their church from joining. Within Masonry, all men are equal. But it was often seen as an old boys' network, helping to grease the wheels of business. There were times when certain companies favoured people who were Masons, and you would get on if you were in the right order in one of those organisations. That doesn't... That really doesn't happen anymore. Garry Sayed originally belonged to one of Australia's older, established lodges. Its members were mostly over 60, and less open to change. Well, anything that I felt that could be used to improve - what I considered that would be an improvement - didn't receive a very good reception. Garry's wife, Noha, also objected to the old-style Freemasonry. Even today, some lodges don't encourage women to participate in social events. So, what do we have here? If Freemasonry offers so many wonderful things, so many wonderful ways, of enriching one's personality and educating a person down the right path, why don't they offer it to both male and female? Why should we exclude half of society? ..we'll have dinner. Noha's reservations didn't end there. I've looked. Discovered any secrets, have you? No. Any sublime messages? I'm looking everywhere. I can't find any secrets. I have read... Since the day that Garry became a Freemason, he has never revealed a single secret to me about Freemasonry. Oh, well. Never mind. She is very inquisitive, and wanted to know detail to which I couldn't expand on. Just one. Uh... Right on the front cover, there's a secret. And that would create some tension, some friction. I'll read it again. But first I need to understand the front cover. I think the secrecy which has been a trademark of Freemasonry through generations has had a negative effect, because those who are not members of Freemasonry wonder why Freemasons have secrets, what those secrets are. And so you get all kinds of urban myths about Freemasonry - misunderstandings and suspicions about what we actually do in the lodge room. The Freemasons' secret handshakes and codes date back to the Middle Ages - to the stonemasons who built the castles and the cathedrals of Europe. The Freemasons base their story on stonemasons, and the stonemasons were formed - as were the plumbers and the carpenters of old - in guilds, in lodges. What you would get is 50 or 60 men joining the craft of carpenters, or stonemasons. And when they were apprenticed, they learned how to do their craft. They learned from the ground up from the other guys in the lodge. At that time, not many of them could read and write. And at that time certainly, they would have jealously guarded their trade position by the code words, as you might term it. And the certain handshakes that identified them as being qualified to work at a certain level in a work structure. There are still some secrets in Freemasonry that we only openly discuss and talk about with one another, and we make no apologies for those. But it's very much the means by which we identify one another as being a true Freemason that we hold secret. The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales in the heart of Sydney has five lodge rooms, each with the trademark chequerboard floor. This is where Freemasons conduct their secret rituals. The tessellated pavement that you see here can be seen in every lodge in Freemasonry around the world. And it's significant because it symbolises... ..the white and the black squares symbolise what you might meet in your lifetime. You'll see good things and bad things, which are symbolised by the white and the black squares. And you're reminded as you walk on this pavement that life is full of ups and downs, and to make your way forward despite that. When a candidate comes into the lodge room for the very first time, he's blindfolded. And people say, 'Well, why would you do that? You're trying to explain what Freemasonry's about, and the guy comes in blindfolded.' And it's part of the teaching that you come into Freemasonry knowing nothing - like a child comes into the world knowing nothing. And then the blindfold is taken off. You understand that the people who are conducting the ceremony for you are doing it for a reason, are doing it because they believe this is going to be of great spiritual value to the candidate. And it is. It is something that people never forget. (All toast) REPORTER: These men claim they are better men for being Masons. If they break the law of the land or do a brother down, they can be drummed out. Apron, heart and hand - three times. Last time, hand and foot. Taking the time from me. In its 190-year history, Freemasonry in Australia has included a surprisingly large and diverse range of members. Sporting heroes, captains of business and industry... Ten of Australia's 26 Prime Ministers were Freemasons. But Freemasonry has an image problem. Long regarded as old-fashioned, conservative and fuddy-duddy, it needs a makeover to survive in the 21st century. In Victoria, Freemasons are reinventing themselves in surprising ways. The guys which initially set up the club for the Victorian Masonic Motorcycle Association, they just had a passion for motorbikes. And by the fact that they were all Freemasons, it was just, you know, great. You know, 'Let's get out together and ride our bikes.' And that's really all it started off as. The Victorian Masonic Motorcycle Association is also open to wives, family and friends. Even though women don't actually participate, and are not full Freemasons within the Freemasonry of Victoria, I do feel that I am a member of Freemasonry Victoria, because I've been part of that Freemasonry family. Ever since Ian first joined Freemasonry, I've been involved. In November, the club organised an eight-day fundraising ride around Victoria to raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis. 25 riders, men and women, took part, and raised more than $80,000. One of the activities of Freemasons has always been to work in charity. It's an area that Freemasons are taught is important - to share your wellbeing with others who are less fortunate. Charity is one of the three core tenets of Freemasonry... ..along with brotherly love and truth. But charity - or 'relief', as it's called in Masonic terms - is considered the greatest. The good thing about Freemasonry is that it's not just about charity. It's about morals and ethics and the way we stand as a person within our community. So, I think it develops you in that side of things, as well as the charity and the social side. So I don't think that we would have achieved the same thing if we had joined a social club. The Victorian charity ride is also a chance to fly the flag for Freemasonry. In the past, Freemasons have kept their activities low-key. Freemasonry, if it's going to survive, has got to be more public. I've got a T-shirt with the logo on. I've got T-shirts with my lodge name on. And I'll wear them out when I go shopping, when I go out just, you know, to dinner. I'm very proud of being a Freemason. And if anybody wants to ask me about Freemasonry, yeah, I've got no problem - I'll tell you about it. So, Mr Sayed... In Sydney, Garry Sayed is at his local high school to hand over a cheque for student welfare. On behalf of the members for Cedars Lodge, (Speaks indistinctly), and the three Masons from the Sutherland Shire, I have this opportunity to present to you a cheque for... Charity is the heart of Freemasonry. It's something that we try and achieve at most of our meetings to ensure that we establish a corpus to support charities in need. Peter Lazar is a Freemason of more than 50 years, and the author of the first comprehensive account of Freemasonry in Australia. It was commissioned by the Freemasons when they heard best-selling author Dan Brown was about to make them the subject of his next book. We WERE nervous, because we knew that his previous best-selling book, The Da Vinci Code, was very critical of the Catholic church, and very critical of Opus Dei. We thought that Dan Brown would probably say some things about Freemasonry that weren't right. And we COULD react negatively, but instead we encouraged the Grandmaster, who was going to be asked by the media what he thought about it... We encouraged him to say, 'Look. It will make people interested in Freemasonry. And that's good for us, because we're prepared to talk about it.' So, we actually used the publishing of the Dan Brown book as an opportunity to open the doors into Freemasonry, and to say to the public and to the media, 'Hey, ask us about it. We'll tell you.' ? TECHNO MUSIC Peter Noonan was the youngest man ever accepted into a lodge in Victoria. I joined because, from what I saw them do for my stepdad... ..was something that I wanted to do for other people. He was just 19 when he joined 10 years ago, not long after his stepfather died of brain cancer. A lot of people came out of nowhere, it seemed, and were helping him, and sitting with him, reading with him, taking him to appointments. Helping us with things around the house. Just doing all these things that I thought was just amazing. And these people, I didn't know who they were, and... One day I asked. I said, you know, 'Who are you guys?' They said, 'Oh, we're Freemasons. Your stepdad's in our lodge.' He'd only been a Freemason for about a couple of months, actually, but they were treating him like they'd known him forever. And it was... Yeah, it was fantastic. MAN: Go, younger Pete. (Laughs) How are you, Bob? Alright, son. Good to see you, mate. MAN: Peter is a young man. He's come a long way in Freemasonry in a short period of time. But, at the same time, the progress that Freemasons make is very individualistic. It's a matter of whether they have the time, whether they have the commitment, and whether or not they're able to reach perhaps the level of the Worshipful Master of their lodge. Tonight, Peter's being installed as a Worshipful Master. The investiture is normally a private ceremony, and off limits to outsiders. ? STATELY MUSIC But, tonight, Freemasons Victoria has decided to re-enact part of Peter's investiture for visitors. A Worshipful Master is, for all intents and purposes, like the chairman of the committee. Chairs the meetings, runs them, opens it, conducts the business as required. It's a big job. A lot of organisation goes into it. And... But it's also very rewarding. ..has been my privilege to install the new Worshipful Master of the lodge, Worshipful Brother Peter Noonan. I believe that young men do in fact have something missing in their lives, and they're aware of it. It's largely the practice of some moral virtues, some moral guidance, philosophical guidance, in life. To some extent, Freemasonry can fill that gap in their lives. He's expected to act with honesty and uprightness in all his dealings with anyone whatsoever, whether that person be a Freemason or a non-Freemason. He treats all as equals. It affords them the opportunity to mix with a body of men who have been through their life's experience and have the time to stop and talk to them, and discuss these issues with them. ? SOLEMN MUSIC MAN: Unfortunately, quite a lot of Masons that we have today are in the upper age brackets. So, they are dropping off the twig. And replacing them with young men is... is the task which the lodges around Australia have given themselves. I now invest with you with the collar and jewel... I feel that the future of Freemasonry is really held in the youth's hands. And it will never be probably what it was in the '50s - after the war and things like that. Generally speaking, the perception is that Freemasonry has missed the opportunity. But, from my experience and my relationship with the lodge that I am a member of, it is not the case. We may have dropped the ball some time, but currently we are active, ensuring that we have a long, viable future. I think the idea is... Since we've started to talk more about it, and to explain that there's nothing sinister in the secrets of Freemasonry, people have come forward and have asked more questions, and have wanted to know more. And, providing we can bring it into the 21st century, and maintain some of those great morals and values which we espouse, I think it has a future for men in Australia. (All sing) Next week on Compass... I hated my Amish clothes. I hated wearing suspenders. I hated everything. I guess I can be myself now, whereas, continuing to go back to the Amish church, I was trying to be someone that I'm not. I... My heart wasn't there anymore. REPORTER: Leaving the Amish has transformed their lives. MAN: I want something else to govern my children than a set of rules. I want them to know why. Nothing is forbidden anymore. They can have anything they want. WOMAN: It's up to us to decide, you know, what does God's Word say about this or that? You know. And we try to make our decisions based on what the Bible says. But after a lifetime of rules, they have no experience of making choices independently. What is our life supposed to be? What are we supposed to be doing? Where do we go from... from here? Where does the Lord want us to be? GERALDINE DOOGUE: Leaving Amish Paradise - it's next week on Compass. And, until then, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI - Ben Medley and Adrian Tan ? Theme music (Cheering and applause) Thank you. (Applause) Hello there. I'm Andrew Hansen and welcome to the Strictly Speaking finals where our best contestants slog it out in a heavyweight tongue tournament of wit and wonder. Tonight we give three of them the floor and we throw in the ceiling and the curtains too because they are vying for a spot in our grand final and the annals of history as the first grand slam titleholder of Australia's Best Speaker, with a trip to London. Returning to battle it out tonight, we have our philanthropic law student, our family man with a passion for social justice, and our public servant who works hard nights as a stand-up comic. Each speaker gives two speeches, one of them they've crafted with time and love, and the other is the impromptu which they've crafted with haste and terror. But now, all hail tonight's judges. First, she is the only reason I bother turning up to work every week, the ever-inspiring Jean Kittson. Oh, thanks. Second, he's travelled all the way from heaven on an ABC Cabcharge, it's Father Bob Maguire. Thank you. And, of course, the man who really doesn't know much at all about quantum physics but luckily this isn't Catalyst, it's speech-writing playwright, Michael Gurr. Hi, Andrew. Oh, look, Jean, it's really heating up here for the finals. What do you do when you really want to win? Sometimes just put a little bit of laxatives in my opponents' coffees. Mm. Yeah, it's a good... Do you believe me? LAUGHTER Jean! Take that advice on board, budding speakers. Father Bob, what makes a winning speech, do you think? You've got to get into it quickly. This is not Test cricket length times. 2020. You've got to get them straight out and you've got to get a wicket quickly and then you've got to call, "How's that?" And it's all over before you know it. That's a win. And a laxative. Michael, do you have a tip for our finalists? Nerves are really just another kind of energy and you only get into trouble if you try and over-suppress them. You're just making that up. I am. LAUGHTER Let's activate the launch codes for the prepared speech round. First into the spotlight tonight we welcome back from Adelaide, law and politics student Joe Rafalowicz whose passions are social justice and, of course, public speaking. Here's a quick recap of how he came to be here tonight. I was so nervous before I went on. When I think about Ethiopia, that struggle for survival, the harshness of that struggle. You managed to talk about tough social justice stuff without making us feel like we were being hit over the head by it, but you did go over time. The story itself, of course, is brilliant. Our winner tonight is Joe. Well, I'm happy that I've won but it was by no means a resounding victory and the judges give me a lot of feedback that I need to work on, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the competition. Yes, no need to be nervous now, it's just the finals. Joe is back in the contest tonight. Here he is. Give it up for Joe with a new speech entitled Tough On Law And Order. APPLAUSE Seems that state politicians love being tough. They're tough on drugs, they've got tough new laws, they're tough on crime. It just, it makes me wonder, there must be some kind of crisis of masculinity going on that's befallen our parliaments. And it made me wonder, why all this toughness? There's one reason, people are scared of crime. I mean, I read in the paper just today about this Gang Of 49 in South Australia which the Attorney General described as pure evil. Now, that sounds tough to me. But of course, there's another reason, being tough wins votes. Creating a climate of fear wins votes. But it does have consequences. There's consequences for the individuals which are sentenced to overcrowded facilities. It has consequences for the judges who are deciding between retribution and rehabilitation and are criticised for being weak. And of course, it has consequences for our community when almost half of ex-prisoners are back before the courts within two years. You see, they call that toughness. I think that is a waste of human potential. Where I'm from in South Australia, we have this juvenile detention centre which was criticised by the Australian Youth Representative to the UN. He said it was a living human rights abuse. What was the response of the government? It's sending a message to the youth of the state. Now I don't know what that message was meant to be, maybe try not to be born poor and Aboriginal if you can, but I know that I know one detainee at that detention centre whose sentence had expired but he remained there. And the reason that he remained there is that he had nowhere else to go. Now, that says to me that this is a societal problem and that it's not the sort of problem that is fixed by empty platitudes about being tough. And as for that 'pure evil', well, I looked into that a bit more and I found a statement from a former police commissioner. He said of this Gang Of 49, "Well, it's not really a gang, they're not all associated with each other. It's not even really a gang structure." So, does that just mean it's a bunch of people who sometimes commit crime? Is that pure evil? And should we be applying the label? Who does it help to apply the label 'pure evil' to that? Now, for sure we need to lock up people who commit crimes. For sure, it's in the interests of society to isolate people, but when people's lives are being sacrificed for no other reason than that it's politically convenient to appear macho, something's gone wrong with this debate. It's easy to ride the tide of fear. It's easy to pander to talkback radio and Today Tonight, but to look at the causes of crime, I think that's the sort of toughness we need. Thank you. APPLAUSE Well done, Joe. Thank you, Andrew. String 'em up, I say. Let's go to our judges on this. Father, did Joe make a good case? He made a good case. Delivery excellent. He walks around, I like all that. Maybe that, the Gang Of What? 49. 49. Maybe we got a little bit lost in there somewhere a little bit. Jean? I felt as a call to arms speech, we just needed a bit more reason to follow you and we needed to know what to do and where to assemble, but great style, great delivery and very passionate. Thank you. Jean. Michael, were you convinced? Ah, you went way over time, that's the first thing and we have to take that into account. But I thought to be specific about South Australia was a really good idea. And you did something that I'm very fond on when people manage to bring it off and that is that you showed us that compassion is indeed a strength. Well done. Thank you. OK, Joe, gather your strength for the impromptu round. My feeling about it is that at the end of the day I want to give a really good speech and that's what I care most about, and I knew that I was going to go over, but I guess I just didn't care. APPLAUSE Our second contestant is a stand-up comic with a cheeky sideline as a public servant. His name is Toby Halligan and these are the events that brought him here tonight. I was trying to kind of combine two very big topics. The faith of Generation Y. God dot com. This was very familiar territory. I completely panicked when I was writing my impromptu. Think of the emotion that the actors in those movies had to put into creating the story that you see. You did a magnificent job in the impromptu speech. Our winner tonight is Toby. APPLAUSE I think for the next one I will try and pick, like, a big issue but take a more interesting take on it, you know, something that's a bit more out of left field, hasn't been done before. He's bringing a spray of colour to this speech entitled, The Crayon Or The Pen. APPLAUSE The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Communication is a much more powerful tool than violence. But the real enemy of the pen is not the sword, but the crayon. Because where the ink of the pen is rational and reasoned, the crayon is passionate, colourful and emotional. And if we overuse the crayon in political debate, it can become a barrier to communication because the issues we are most emotional about are issues often relating to identity, to our personal colour, our background, our religion and our culture. And when we don't use rational arguments in discussing these issues, we not only make it harder for someone with a different identity to understand our arguments, but we risk them struggling to empathise with our identity at all. I was discussing gay marriage with a religious friend of mine. Now, I'm gay, so that was always going to be a colourful conversation, but right from the outset, instead of trying to find some shared ground, to listen to one another, to be reasoned, we were so passionate and so emotional that we never got off the ground. We never listened to one another. We were colour-blind to the other's perspective. And so we argued, we fought, and now we don't talk about gay issues at all, and that is the danger. Because when it comes to identity, we must be able to discuss these issues in a reasoned and rational way, because it is when a group in society feels that they are not being listened to, it is when communication fails, that is when people reach for the sword. So why keep the crayon in its packet? Because passion without the pen does not paint a picture, it's just graffiti. APPLAUSE All right. Well done, Toby. Let's go to the judges on this one. Jean. Right at the start, I just got a little bit confused. I thought you were setting up the crayon as better than the pen, and then suddenly there was this twist where you were saying it shouldn't be used and I just... ..that little shift came unexpectedly and made me have to stop and think a bit. Bob, last time you said Toby leaned towards stand-up comedy somewhat,