They say that volunteering is good for you and the Freemasons of Miles would be the first to agree.
While there might only be six Freemasons in the Western Downs region, they are as active as ever in the community, pitching in alongside other local volunteers.
You’ll find them sorting fiction from non-fiction at Fully Booked, the Murilla Community Centre’s secondhand bookshop; sharing their knowledge of the local area at the Miles Historical Village; supporting both the clergy and the faithful at the Anglican Church; and helping run St Luke’s monthly markets. They never fail to lend a hand at the annual bookfest and bush festival either.
By volunteering, they are living out their masonic values of service to others – carrying on the tradition of past generations of Freemasons.
Now in 2023, the Members are making their mark in the community with the backing of their charity, Hand Heart Pocket.
The Lodge has partnered with the Murilla Community Centre for two years. To kickstart the partnership, their charity Hand Heart Pocket donated $10,000 to the Centre. Then for every hour they volunteer at the bookshop, Hand Heart Pocket donates $50. This year thanks to Members efforts, volunteering 258 hours, the Centre received $12,900.
Some of the funds went towards the Centre’s Christmas hampers for families facing hardship. While the rest was put towards emergency relief for support people impacted by the fires north of Miles earlier this year. This included new fencing material and food for stock.
Ted says the Members are pretty happy with their efforts.
“We’re continuing the tradition of generosity. Our Lodge has been here for over 100 years and we’ve always contributed to our community. As we all get older, voluntary work is something we can do and do well.”
“Murilla Community Centre really is the beating heart of Miles. It’s where everyone is welcome. It’s where they can access essential services and participate in community activities.”
“We look forward to another year of supporting the Centre.”
Hand Heart Pocket CEO Sara Parrott congratulated Murilla Lodge for their service to the community.
“Murilla Lodge has been exceptionally committed to their volunteer work and we are proud to maximise their efforts, both this year and in the year ahead,” Ms Parrott said.
“Our purpose is to partner for change for people in need and our Members help to bring that to life in communities across Queensland,”
“With a population of about 1,700 people, Murilla Lodge knows just how valuable Murilla Community Centre is for their people. The Centre supports people at every stage of their lives.”
Proceeds from the sale of secondhand books go towards the running of the Community Bus, an essential service in a town without a taxi service, to help the elderly and disadvantaged to get around town and to specialist appointments further away.
Photo: Murilla Lodge representative Ted Gibbons alongside Murilla Community Centre CEO Cecily Brockhurst.