The dignified and imposing marble tablet erected at the eastern end of the third floor foyer contains the names of 362 brethren who made the Supreme Sacrifice in the 1914‑18 Great War.

At the Quarterly Communication on 8th December 1920, the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. William Thompson, addressed the brethren as follows:

“This evening I will be called upon to unveil the magnificent marble tablet in this room for which Grand Lodge authorised an expenditure of  £250. The approximate design reflects great credit upon our Grand Architect, V.W. Bro. L.G.H. McCredie, who kindly supplied the plan and specification. Tenders were invited for the work, and the amounts of the four tenders, including lettering, etc., were respectively £220, £314, £342 and £456. The lowest tender,  that of Messrs G.E. Crane & Co., was accepted. The work has been carried out in strict conformity to the plan, etc., and the excellence of the execution is highly creditable to the firm concerned.”

The Grand Master later left the dais and proceeded to the Roll of Honour which was covered by a large Australian Flag, and which at that time was erected in the south‑western corner of the Lodge Room of the old Masonic Temple in Castlereagh Street. Before unveiling the Roll of Honour the Grand Master said:

“Brethren, the duty which falls upon me tonight of unveiling this tablet, is one that I approach with very deep feeling, considering that among the names there is that of one who was all the world to me*; but it is a duty that I feel I must undertake, and one that will stand as a record in this Grand Lodge for many years to come. I am sure that every one of us, looking back over the past five or six years, can still realize his feelings of horror and despair, when the news was flashed to this side of the world that our old Empire, in defence of the neutrality of little Belgium, had taken up the gage, and was standing face to face with the mightiest military power the world had ever known.

 

Nor shall we readily forget the first few weeks of the struggle, when our foes seemed to be irresistible and we felt that our liberties and lives lay trembling in the balance.

 

It was then that the Motherland appealed to her sons for help, and what a glorious thing it was to realize that the young men and the middle‑aged men of Australia did not turn a deaf ear to that call. They heard the call of the Empire, and obediently answered it. They saw the clear path of duty, and followed it with such wonderful resolution that the whole world rang again with praise of their gallant feats of arms, and in generations to come the young people of the time will burn with pride of race when they read enshrined in the golden pages of history the records of the wonderful deeds of their noble forefathers.

 

In Freemasonry one of our fundamental principles is that of loyalty, and how proud we should be that 3077 of our brethren ‑ active members of our Lodges - left everything and went to the Front, each one prepared to make the Greatest Sacrifice. Brethren, this tablet contains the names of 362 of our brethren who will never return. Their shattered bodies lie far away, and all that we have to remember them by is the record of their names in their respective Lodges.

 

I think it was a grateful deed of this Grand Lodge to bring all these names together and engrave them on imperishable marble, as a perpetual reminder of their sacrifice, so that in years to come, when we are gone, our children's children gathering here may be able to point with feelings of honourable pride to this Honour Board and say, 'Here are 362 brethren of our Constitution who gave up their lives as a willing sacrifice, who laid the incense of their fortunes and their lives on the altar of their country's good.' And let us not forget that the sacrifice they made was not only for the country at large, but that each one of the brethren, whose names are engraved on that tablet, died for you and for me.”

*M.W. Bro. Thompson's son, Horace.

The Grand Master then unveiled the tablet, so that those men whose names were there recorded should not die, but live forever in the memories of Australian Masons. We have placed this tablet in this prominent position and illuminated it from above in grateful acknowledgment of our debt to them.