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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Lodge

No. 921

On the Register of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria, Australia




The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Lodge was formed as a living memorial to Vietnam Veterans.  Whereas all the founding petitioners had to be a bona fide Vietnam Veteran, such service is not a requirement to join the Lodge.
The Lodge was consecrated and constituted in 1999, by the then Grand Master MWBro Carl Stewart who accepted honorary membership and has since installed every Master of the Lodge.  The founding Master was WBro Garry Edwards PGJD - O St J.

The Lodge meets at the Ivalda Masonic Centre, in the Melbourne suburb of Darebin, on the third Saturday of February, April (Installation), June, August, October and December.  In November, the Lodge exercises its Travelling Warrant to visit a different Regional Centre, particularly those with a significant ex-servicemen population.  The December meeting culminates in a "Ladies in the South" evening at which members families and guests are welcomed.

For Australian Defence Force Vietnam Veterans, the 18th August is "Vietnam Veterans Day"; the National Day of Commemoration.  One of the highlights for Lodge members each year is the August "Long Tan Night" ceremony, which is dedicated to all Australian servicemen who lost their lives during service with their units in the Vietnam War and especially the 18 diggers killed in action at the battle of Long Tan. In that battle, “Delta” Company 6th Battalion Royal Regiment (6RAR) though heavily outnumbered repelled, with artillery and helicopter support, an attack by elements of the North Vietnamese Army, inflicting major casualties (later confirmed to be in excess of 1,000). The "Long Tan Night" ceremony, an adaptation of the traditional vacant chair ceremony and described by those who have witnessed it as incredibly moving, reflects the unveiling of the original Long Tan cross in Vietnam (one of the few Monuments to allied troops permitted to remain by the Republic of Vietnam Government and be visited by Australians touring Vietnam).  The ceremony, conducted after the Lodge has been formally closed and open to member's families and guests as well as non-Freemasons is followed by a Festive Board, where those assembled are addressed by a key note speaker. It is seldom other than a "Full House"!

The Lodge meets in the IVALDA Masonic Centre, Darebin, Victoria on the 3rd Saturday in February, April (installation), June, August, October, November and 1st Saturday in December.