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The esteemed late Brother William Charles (Bill) Arnott, Medal of the Order of Australia, Past Grand Director of Music, the first and only holder of the Lodge office of ‘Chief Stirrer’.
Bro. Bill Arnott, O.A.M., christened Lodge Ethos ‘Young Ethos’, and this affectionate term has stuck. Long may it do so, for interwoven with this descriptive term of affection is, for most Lodge members, the memory of a devoted foundation member, Grand Lodge officer, and fine mason, It is to the memory of Bro. Arnott’s outstanding contribution to Lodge Ethos, to Freemasonry and the community of Canberra, this record is dedicated.
This one page newsletter came into being on April 1970 and have been an integral part of the fabric of the Lodge ever since. It was essentially the brainchild of W Bro. Bill Arnott, who saw the need to develop some link between the Lodge and members outside of notice papers and meetings, In Canberra, there is more interstate and overseas transfers of residents than is experienced elsewhere.
For this reason, Bro. Bill envisaged a news sheet which would keep members appraised, in a chatty way, of the Lodge activities, both of a Masonic and social nature.
The first editorial was published in April 1970 using an old Gestetner which Bro. Bill kept in his garage at Phillip Street, Downer. Gradually, the news sheet developed and with it a sophistication of operation which was a delight to watch, as Reporter/Publisher/Printer/Typesetter/Contributor Bro. Arnott got to work.
The format of the newsletter was kept uncomplicated. Bro. Bill invariably opened his newsletter with a homily, followed in a humorous way, by a resume of the past month’s work and a hearty welcome to new members, affiliates or candidates, they all got a warm greeting and, occasionally a message or two. The activities of the month were covered, and under the heading ‘The Kangaroo Postie’, was related the personal correspondence and greetings from members at home and abroad. ‘Around the Ridges” was – the column, visiting chit-chat with Lodge news, including members movements, and information of forthcoming Lodge events.
Bro. Bill developed a new, if not unique, brand of journalism; he was even credited with inventing a new form of grammar for the English language, Whatever it was, one could guarantee the readers read it through, and thoroughly.
Bro. Bill’s last Editorial was No. 132/81 – of March 1981. It was found in his typewriter when he passed to the Grand Lodge Above on 2 March 1981.
His last farewell was made in the February issue No. 131/01.
As an editorial Bill’s ‘Paper’ had its own unique style, grammar, presentation and spelling. In a word it was ‘a gem’.
Its legend continued under the joint editorship of Rt.W. Bro. Morris Adamson and V.W. Bro. Deric Kenyon. “Masher” and “Basher” while maintaining the irreverence and joviality lifted the Editorial to new literary heights.
It now continues under the editorship of Bro. Craig Revell, whose grammar and spelling is no better than the founding Editor!!
The quick witted commentary now replaced with a selection of articles and thoughts from Masons world wide to initiate discussion and reflection amongst the brethren.