During last year, Maclean resident Charlie Sneesby 97, received his 70-year membership certificate of the United Grand Lodge of NSW and ACT.
Due to the COVID – 19 restrictions and lockdowns that were in place at the time, Charlie’s story was put on hold.
Charlie has been a member of the Masonic Lodge since the 17 July 1950 when he was initiated into Lodge Emulation 121 in Sydney. He was passed to the Second Degree on the 18 September 1950 and raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on the 15 January 1951.
Over his 70 years of service, Charlie has been a Master of the Lodge at least 14 different times, the latest being Lodge Livingstone 71 Maclean, in 2017 and 2018.
Charlie said that although his father wasn’t a Mason himself, he encouraged Charlie to become one.
“I was about six-years-old when my father first told me that if I ever had the chance one day, I should join the Lodge,” Charlie said.
“We had a drought at that time and the next-door neighbour but one, used to take his cattle about a mile and a half up the road once or twice a week to another farmer who had a spring fed farm – so he always had green grass.
“Both of these farmers were Masons.
“Dad told me that this is what they (Masons) do; they help each other,” he said.
Charlie said that advice from his father had always stuck in his mind and he always kept his mind open to the idea of joining the Masonic Lodge.
Over his 70 years as a Mason, Charlie said that one of the highlights was that they made him a life member of Lodge Nambucca Heads.
“To have life membership granted to you, is something special,” Charlie said.
“Another one of the great pleasures in my life was that I initiated my grandson Stephen Del Prado, into the Lodge – that was a very proud moment,” he said.
Charlie said that some of the basic fundamentals of the lodge are also the basic fundamentals of life and what you’d want the world to be –
“You want to abide by the rules of your land, live in charity with all mankind and love one another,” Charlie said.
“They’re old-fashioned beliefs and standards of truth, honour and virtue, that never go out of fashion.
“I’ve never regretted one day, of joining,” he said.