As Freemasons, we are concerned with looking after brethren of the Lodge and also the place of meeting. Special mention is made of the work of Worshipful Brother Laurie Walsh at this time in maintaining and cleaning the lodge rooms and the surrounding yards. Brother Laurie for a number of years in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s (till the lodge was sold and the block was cleared prior to the building of the new Lodge rooms) was to be regularly seen at work mowing the lawns and clearing the yards as well as cleaning the lodge rooms and doing those small maintenance jobs that are always necessary. At the election of officers in February 1992 Very Worshipful Brother Eric Wright stood down as Treasurer, after 21 years in that office. The members at the next regular meeting held on the 19th March 1992 passed a vote of thanks to Brother Eric for his service as Treasurer for such a long and successful period.
On the 11th April 1992 Brother J. C. Tate, known as “Harry” to all, was installed as Worshipful Master. Unfortunately, Harry then took ill and was rushed to the hospital for surgery and was unable to take the chair for some 3 months while he recuperated. Worshipful Brother Warren Simmons for one month and Worshipful Brother Bob Atkinson for two months stood in for Harry. From that time Harry then remained as Worshipful Master for a two-year term from 1992 to 1994.
As mentioned in other chapters of this history the Lodge held it’s last meeting in the Fletcher Lane Lodge room on the 16th September 1993 and while the new Lodge rooms were being built held meetings under dispensation at the Lodge Bangalow Lodge rooms in Station Street, Bangalow. This continued until March 1994 when from that date on future meetings were again held at Byron Bay.
As mentioned elsewhere in this history the first meeting held in the new Byron Street building was the Installation meeting held on the 12th May 1994 when Brother Nick Towers was installed as Worshipful Master. The consecration of the new lodge building took place on the 19th November 1994 when the Grand Master Most Worshipful Brother Noel Dunn and officers of the United Grand Lodge Of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory performed the ceremony and also on the same day the ceremony of laying of the Foundation stone.
There was naturally a lot of hard work and time needed by the members to get the new building up to the standard necessary for the Lodge meetings and many long hours were put in by members to complete this work. Special mention should be made of the time spent by the Building Committee chairman Brother Darrell Lamb, and Brothers Fred Jupe, Neil Lamb, Laurie Walsh, Joe Forbes and Nick Towers in particular for their efforts.
From this time the work of the Directors of the trustee company, Byron Bay Masonic Centre Pty Ltd became most important to keep the Masonic Centre financial and viable. To do this it was necessary to ensure that the main hall of the lodge rooms was well utilised and Nick Towers Real Estate was appointed the agents to handle this aspect.
This appointment proved to be of advantage to the Company and the hall was let on a regular basis which allowed the Company to meet the financial requirements of operating a building in the central business district a task that is not so easy with the high costs of rates, taxes and insurance in this area. When Worshipful Brother Darrell Lamb found it necessary to resign from the position of Chairman of Directors his position on the Board was taken by Brother Bob Wyatt. Brother Bob remained as Chairman for a period until his health prevented his regular attendance at meetings and he was forced to resign.
Over the 10 years that the Byron Bay Masonic Centre Pty Ltd company has been looking after the operation of the Masonic Centre there have been four members who have remained as Directors for this period and they are:
Chairman – W Bro. Nick Towers,
Secretary – V WBro.Neil Lamb,
Treasurer – R W Bro Keith Castle OAM,
Directors – RW Bro Warren Simmons & W Bro. Duncan Ethell.
For a period of time Worshipful Brother John Williams was also a director until he called off his membership.
At the present time, the Directors of the Company are the four mentioned above plus Worshipful Brother Eric Layton and Brother Michael Bald. At this time the Company now has negotiated permanent leases to three local community groups and a local Yoga Group, Byron Yoga Purna Pty Ltd., who have between them booked the Hall for all the times that it is not in use for Freemasonry. This has created a situation that the immediate future of the building is assured for some years and that adequate reserves are now held and invested to enable the maintenance of the building to a high standard.