2017 Men's Health Week
This month, Victorian Freemasons embrace Men’s Health Week 12-18 June. Leading up to the week, there has been a focus on prostate cancer screening and especially mental health.
On 7 June, in conjunction with Mirvac, Freemasons Victoria launched “Starting the Conversation” at Victoria’s Parliament House; the conversation about suicide prevention. The launch featured John Patterson, a farmer and Freemason from the Mingay district near
Lismore in western Victoria. Bro John lost his brother Charles, a sheep farmer, to suicide 23 years ago and has spent the last two years travelling and speaking to Lodges and community groups about suicide prevention. Two years ago just before facing an audience, John decided to ditch a written speech on suicide prevention in favour of reciting a moving poem titled Rain from Nowhere. I’ve placed a link following to John’s recital on youtube below.
This year, we lost at least once brother to suicide; that's very rare among Freemasons. Others struggle with personal problems and our own Almoner, Drew was admitted to hospital on the day of our meeting and operated on for a burst appendix. I spoke to him today and he is doing well and appreciated the “lovely messages” sent by lodge members. For many, “Men’s Health” is not an abstract but presents challenges that impact daily on their lives in powerful and debilitating ways. Sometimes, it takes those we love before their time. Indeed, in May Freemasonry Victoria was deprived of WBro Carlos at the age of just 55. He’d long struggled with varied health problems, including a diagnosis of MS, suffered from stress and anxiety, the support from other Freemasons was welcome and sustaining in ways many will just never know.
Get out and earn that title “Brother”, check in with a Brother, help him. You might do so without ever really knowing how much your small kindness means.
Fraternally and sincerely
Editor, Devotion News