Freemason's Sussex Lodge celebrate centenarian Keith Mackinnon with 75 year jewel

75 years: Immediate Past Grand Master Worshipful Brother Peter Kirwan presents the 75th Freemasons jewel to Right Worshipful Brother Keith MacKinnon. Picture: Supplied.
75 years: Immediate Past Grand Master Worshipful Brother Peter Kirwan presents the 75th Freemasons jewel to Right Worshipful Brother Keith MacKinnon. Picture: Supplied.

Emotions were high last week as the Freemasons in the South West of WA paid homage to Dunsborough man Keith MacKinnon for 75 years of service, following his 100th birthday.

The Freemasons are a centuries old, secretive male-only club, where men learn certain 'crafts' and rise through 'levels' of knowledge with rituals and ceremonies involved.

Other freemasons, or 'brethren' came from afar to celebrate the event at the Sussex Lodge in Busselton, with a delegation of representatives sent by the Grand Lodge of WA.

The Immediate Past Grand Master Worshipful Brother Peter Kirwan also came to the event to endow Mr MacKinnon with the 75th jewel.

The emotional moment followed many celebrations that were held to mark Mr MacKinnon's 100th birthday on August 4, 2021.

Born in Perth, Mr MacKinnon was one of four children to parents Charles Archibald and Rhonda Myrtle, who spent their early years in the South West of WA, before he followed his father to Bridgetown, Collie and York.

He left school at 15 years old but continued with a course in bookkeeping and carpentry, which came in handy later for his successful business.

In 1939 the start of World War II changed Mr MacKinnon's life dramatically, as he served in the army for the duration.

After the war Mr MacKinnon settled down to start a family with four children and today he proudly boasts 12 grand-children and 17 great grand-children.

Homage: Keith MacKinnon is celebrated for 75 years of service to the Freemasons. Picture: Supplied.

Homage: Keith MacKinnon is celebrated for 75 years of service to the Freemasons. Picture: Supplied.

In the post war era he built a company in Busselton before settling in Dunsborough in 1953 and eventually retiring in 1977.

Mr MacKinnon has spent much of his time joining several associations and clubs, often becoming president or treasurer.

One of the organisation's he joined was the Freemasons, which he was initiated into at the Bridgetown Lodge soon after his return from the war.

He has been a member of six lodges and became the Master in two of them.

Worship Master Tarek Rajendram told the Sussex Lodge that Right Worshipful Brother MacKinnon was an example of what the human spirit could achieve with dedication.

Mr MacKinnon said Freemasonry had been a guiding light in his life, thanks to the the values that guide Freemasonry from one level to another.

"I learnt personal discipline from the rituals, humility from helping other less fortunate and that everyone has a quality to admire and a tenacity to make a difference," Mr MacKinnon said.

Mr MacKinnon was celebrated for always being a kind of person with a friendly offer of the hand, a ready smile and a willingness to stop and chat.

According to friend David Andrews, Mr MacKinnon epitomises the Freemason saying, "there are no strangers here, only friends you have not met".