SPECIAL VISIT: Knights Templar Queensland grand master Bob Bennett at the Malta meeting in Warwick yesterday.
SPECIAL VISIT: Knights Templar Queensland grand master Bob Bennett at the Malta meeting in Warwick yesterday. Elyse Wurm

Knights don grand gowns to hold special meeting in Warwick

IT WAS a meeting that only happens once every year and yesterday men from as far as Townsville, Sydney and Dubbo descended on Warwick to attend it.

Dressed in embellished gowns, hats and even the odd sword, the Freemasons from the Knights Templar Queensland came together at the Masonic Lodge on Guy St.

Grand master Bob Bennett travelled from Bundaberg to attend the event, which is known as the Malta meeting.

Mr Bennett said the group met once a year to have the meeting to perform the Malta degree.

"We all enter in form and I'm then given an accolade or salute,” Mr Bennett said.

"Three will confer the Degree of the Knight of Malta and those three will eventually become knights of Malta.

"That means they've completed their journey through the Knights Templar Order.”

Great Priory of Queensland grand master Bob Bennett (centre) with (from left) great marshall Michael Henwood, Great Priority of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory grand master Richard Pickering, former secretary Don Beal and great sub prior of Malta John Clark at the Malta meeting in Warwick this afternoon.
GREAT MEETING: Knights Templar Queensland grand master Bob Bennett (centre) with (from left) great marshall Michael Henwood, Great Priority of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory grand master Richard Pickering, former secretary Don Beal and great sub prior of Malta John Clark at the Malta meeting in Warwick yesterday. Elyse Wurm

Mr Bennett said the Knights Templar was not a religion but to be a Freemason, of which there are multiple organisations, you had to have a believe in a supreme being.

For those in the Knights Templar, they are required to follow the Christian faith.

More than 70 men attended the meeting yesterday and about 60 attended the banquet at the Masonic Lodge last night.

Mr Bennett said the Freemasons were more relevant now than ever in society.

"We live by high ethical standards, which is sadly lacking in the community,” he said.

"I look at the way people dress and the attitude of youth and their parents to authority, no one likes discipline, no one likes the law.

"We don't publicise what we do, we focus on charity and the fellow man.”

Mr Bennett said the group run a formal charity, called Hand Heart Pocket, and also make donations to major charities including Lifeflight and Guide Dogs.

It had been six years since the Malta meeting had been held in Warwick, with the last being held in 2012.