LATEST COMMENTS FROM ASH WILLIAMSON - RUAPEHU DISTRICT
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First Year Term
Central Division
Second Year term
Image Right: W Bro. Balt PGIG and WM of Lodge Rangitikei No.38
Image Above: Bro. Tuck Center, W Bro. Maru, Rangitane Master and Brethren of the Baden Powell Lodge No.381
Image Right:  WM. WBro.Ancell and  Bro. Davis
Image Left: Bro. Heather and W Bro. Vinning
Updated 10.2.20

New Entered Apprentice for Te Awahou in Foxton

On the 9th February I traveled to Foxton to visit Te Awahou Lodge No.133 for an initiation ceremony for a new member to Freemasonry.  Bro. Heather had applied to become a Freemason online after visiting the Te Awahou Facebook page.  Bro. Heather is an Orchardist and admin for the Foxton Community Facebook page. Congratulations Don on joining Freemasonry.

I am informed the Lodge has a few more new members to initiate, so busy times ahead
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Image Above:  W Bro. Brown at the helm 2021 - 2022
Image Above: Bro. Fraser and some of the Master Masons of No.47
Updated 16.2.21

Further to the Level 2 restrictions, I have now contacted all three Masters who have Lodge meetings this week. 

1.United Wanganui is a domestic meeting, W Bro. Tasker and I have mutually agreed that the Lodge will hold their meeting with COVID Level 2 precautions in place.

2.Rongotea Lodge have a 1st degree tracing board meeting,  W Bro. Kitchin and I mutually agree that the Freemasons Hall in Palmerston North is large enough to hold a meeting with level 2 precautions in place.

3.Petre Lodge VW Bro. Making PDistGM and I mutually agree that due to the increased risk to his Brethren the installation meeting will be postponed until a suitable date in March, the date will be notified as soon as possible. I wil grant permission for this to happen.
With no community Covid infections reported today, I am hoping we will be back on course for next week.
Updated 25.2.21
New Master Mason for St. Andrew Kilwinning.
This evening the Master of Lodge Rangitikei, several Brethren and I crossed the Whangaehu River to attend St Andrew Kilwinning Lodge No.79 which meets in Dublin Street, Whanganui.  The reason for the excursion was twofold, firstly to be present for the raising of Bro. Davis to the degree of Master Mason and secondly to show our support for visiting other Lodges in our district. Former Policeman Matt, now working for the Department of Conservation, deservedly received his Master Mason’s apron after a long wait, which was due to various circumstances including COVID and work. I do so enjoy welcoming a newly raised Master Mason into his Lodge, especially when you can see the potential they have to develop their masonic skills, enhance our charitable deeds and benefit the Lodge in which they have been raised. 
Update 1 March 2021

‘The Road Show Cometh’

This year has already been topsy turvy with us going in and out of Level 2 to stop the spread of COVID 19 throughout our beautiful country.  This in turn has caused some last-minute changes to our meetings and I am starting to look at all meetings as provisional. This has caused some knock-on effects within our district, numbers attending meetings and visiting have noticeably dropped.

According to our national data base we initiated eleven Brethren since 1 March 2021 but lost twenty-nine members and eight who passed on.  We currently have six proposals for joining members.   I was asked the other day what Grand Lodge was doing to save a particular Lodge that has problems?  We are all Grand Lodge and no one person is responsible for resurrecting a Lodge, it is the members of the Lodge who should take responsibility, step out of the box and look at what can be done collectively. Far too often it comes down to one or two who actively look for solutions.

Hence the Road Show from National Office, we are not there with a magic wand or a silver bullet, we are there with some sound advice for you and your Lodge to take away and work with. What you do from there is entirely up to you and your Lodge Brethren, it just takes a few from each Lodge to be movers and shakers and it will make a difference.

The road show starts at 7 pm at the Club Metro, the Cosmopolitan Club/RSA, 13 Ridgway Street, Wanganui ,  in the Rotary Room. If you have not done so yet please register. HERE so we have some idea how many are attending
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Update 2 March 2021

COVID and Lodge Meetings

It has been brought to my attention that a few Lodges in other districts have cancelled their meetings without due consultation with their respective District Grand Master. 

As I know you all so well, I am reassured this will not be a problem in the Ruapehu District, however, I would urge anyone who is considering this course of action to consult with me first and then afterwards when all options have been considered if you still feel the meeting should not go ahead apply immediately for permission via the online dispensation system.

I had granted Petre Lodge to postpone their installation when we were in the last Level 2 this was with joint consultation with the Master.
I would also urge you to consult the COVID documentation on the Freemasons NZ web site there is all the information you require to make an informed decision and actions to take to remain safe.

I wish I could predict the future, but one thing is certain COVID is not going away any time soon, whether we return to Level 1 next week is uncertain, all we can do is remain hopeful and stay positive.  As far as I am aware the Road Show on  9 March will be going ahead.

As always, I am only an email, text, or phone call away should you need me.

Image Above:  W Bro. Brown and VW Bro. Robinson
Updated 9 March 2021

Tall Order for Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge

I was present in September 2020 when Bro. Fraser Bart was initiated into the Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47. I was pleased I could also be there when he received his Master Masons Apron last evening.

When Bro. Fraser Bart was initiated, I charged him to challenge his Lodge members into making him the best Freemason possible, and again last evening I have asked if his Lodge had supported him on his journey thus far?

I am interested to know how our newer Master Masons view the world they have stepped into, and how they see their future role in the Craft.

Well done Bro. Fraser it is good to see you progressing so well, keep up the good work.
Image:  M E Companion G K Redman First Grand Principal  and MW Bro. Wrigley GM
Updated 3.2.21

New Entered Apprentice for Rangitane

On  the 2nd February I attended a meeting at Lodge Rangitane No. 369, Palmerston North.  Twenty two year old Bro. Tuck was initiated according to our custom. The meeting was attended by members of the Baden Powell Lodge no.381 as Bro. Tuck is a Scout Leader and has already gained an impressive array of scouting achievements. 

Welcome to the craft Brother Tuck, may your Masonic career be a happy and fulfilling one.
Updated 14.2.20

Baden Powell Lodge No.381

On the 13th February members of the Baden Powell Lodge No. 381 travelled to assemble at the Freemason's Hall in Marton. W Bro. Gary Brown was installed into the chair of King Solomon as Master of the Lodge. 

Baden Powell Lodge is unique as it brings together Freemasons with a past or present connection to Scouts. The Lodge was originally established in Auckland in 1954 and in its 50th year relocated to Wellington. The Lodge meets bimonthly in Lower Hutt.

W Bro. Brown lives and works in Wanganui so the members of the Lodge had arranged to have the installation nearer to his home base.  It was a real pleasure to be invited to be at the ceremony which was carried out by the Hutt Wairarapa District Grand Master, VW Bro. Robinson and his team.  I would like to thank all those who attended to make this a special day, especially my wife Jo for creating a festive board to be proud of I would especially like to say how pleased I was to get a few moments and share a few thoughts with my fellow District Grand Master from Hutt Wairarapa.
Updated 14.2.21

COVID Level 2

I was hoping this would not happen in my second year but, If you have not heard the news, as from midnight Auckland has gone to COVID level 3 and we are at level 2 for the next three days.  As from midnight we must ensure basic hygiene measures, including washing hands, coughing, or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces. You should keep track of where you have been and who you have seen. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it is required. You should keep at least 1 metre apart in Lodge room if possible, if not then you are encouraged to wear face coverings in situations where physical distancing is not possible. If you are unwell stay at home and away from Lodge and seek medical attention. If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline and get advice about being tested. If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.

From National office web site 14.2.21
“The New Zealand Government has Auckland on Level 3 and rest of New Zealand on Level 2.  Lodges in Auckland cannot open and other Government restrictions in place and Lodges elsewhere must work to their Risk Migration Plan (which aligns with government regulations) as agreed with their District Grand Master”.

Lodges that are meeting in the next three days are United Wanganui, Rongotea and Petre, I will be in touch with all three Masters in the morning to discuss the implications of level 2 and what it means for their Lodge meetings.
I will send you updates if I receive further directions from National office and the Grand Master.

My Online Comments Page
Some of you have commented that  my comments page on the Divisional website has not been update since December, this is simply because according to the webmaster I had overloaded it with news and images.  This has now been fixed!
Updated 12.2.20

142 Installation Meetings For Lodge Rangitikei No.38

The Ruapehu District Grand Lodge officiated at the one hundred and forty second installation meeting for Lodge Rangitikei No.38 on Thursday 11th February 2021.

W Bro. Balt PGIG was installed as Master of the Lodge.  Ian with forty one years masonic experience will undoubtedly prove himself a worthy leader in the craft.   Ian is a native of South Africa and has been a Freemason within the Scottish Constitution, English Constitution and now the New Zealand Constitution, so he is well adapt at knowing what is expected of him.

The evening was a warm one, with an attendance well in advance of fifty Masons who enjoyed the evening.  Ian's, his lovely wife Hester, my wife Jo and a few helpers for all their hard work to make the refectory very special. The beautifully laid out tables were adorned with wooden candle holders, hand crafted by Ian, serviette holders cleverly  made by Hester and the traditional flowers from my Dahlia garden.
Updated 30.1.21

Manawatu Royal Arch Chapter No.11, Summer Lecture

Jo and I made our way to the Freemasons Hall in Palmerston North on the 28th January for the Royal Arch Summer Lecture.  Our Grand Master MW Bro. Wrigley and ME Comp Graham Redman were in attendance to deliver the lecture, which this year was about working together for the good of Freemasonry, both craft and chapter.

In 1996 the Palmerston North Chapter No.95 arranged at the request of a member, the late V E Comp Ian Kennaugh the presentation of two certificates marking his fifty year’s service to both Craft and Royal Arch Masonry, issued by the Province of the Isle of Man. V E Comp Kennaugh in appreciation gave a short lecture on the Three Principals of a Royal Arch Chapter. The success of the occasion was such as to convince the Chapter to begin the Ruapehu District Masonic Year with a lecture open to all Masons.

I enjoyed the lecture, and the content and would like to thank Manawatu Royal Arch Chapter  No.11 for their hospitality.

To add to the proceedings V E Comp D Marshall PGSuptW,
GPA, was awarded his Royal Arch fifty Year service award
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Image:  V E Comp D Marshall PGSuptW receives his award from M E Companion G K Redman First Grand Principal 2020. Also featured R E Comp J C A Francis PGH         
Updated 16 March 2021

United Wanganui No.  468

W Bro. Tasker carried out his last ceremony as master of Lodge Wanganui by way of initiating Bro. Malsek-Saleh Mourad-Paku as an Entered Apprentice Freemason.  It is always a joy to see young men wanting to join freemasonry and hopefully become champions for their Lodge and in their community.  I hope we can inspire them through personal encouragement and appreciation, they must always be included in all things, and their opinions and beliefs must never be dismissed. 

Congratulations Brother, we wish you many years of happiness.
Image Above: Bro.  Kane Malsek-Saleh Mourad-Paku, center.
Updated 17 March 2021

Double Celebration For Wharite

Today was a special day for Lodge Wharite No. 451, the first celebration for W Bro. Greenwood as he was reinstalled into the Master's chair by officers of the Ruapehu District for another twelve months. 

Secondly we had the pleasure of being present for the presentation of a fifty year service badge and certificate to recipient W Bro. Robert McLellan, today he joined an exclusive group of deserved Brethren.

Robert has an impressive Masonic record of being Master of Otaki Lodge No. 72 five times and Master of Lodge Wharite No. 451 twice. He has also been a Senior Warden nine times. he was initiated into Otaki Lodge in 1971. he is also a member of research Lodges in Wellington and Ruapehu.

RW Bro. Marshall PDepGM made the presentation at the installation festive board.
Birthday Boy @ 95
Updated 24 March 2021
District Grand Masters do the coolest things in their term. This is me at W Bro. Jack Dryden PGD Birthday Luncheon, today.

Young Jack is celebrating his ninety Fifth Birthday a few days in advance. Jack was born on the 31st March 1926 and joined Freemasonry just a month after I was born in 1958.

He was initiated, passed and raised in Lodge Wainuiomata No.379. Our Brother is  a member of Te Awahou Lodge No.133 and The Baden Powell Lodge No. 381.

Jack in his 63 years of masonic involvement has introduced numerous men to Freemasonry and even today continues to promote the craft when ever he can.

Jo and I are so happy we could share this moment with Jack, fellow masons, family and friends. Your an awesome bloke and Brother Jack, keep doing what you do, it obviously works!
The Brethren of St Andrew Kilwinning Lodge no. 79 in Whanganui should be very proud of the effort put into making their ritual 'on point', It is not Scotch Mist, these Brethren know how to do a 1st Degree working and they did just that last evening for Bro. McGuckin who joined Freemasonry.  Our new Brother is twenty Seven and had applied to become a Freemason through the Freemasons NZ website, his interest sparked by his Grandfather's association with the fraternity for twenty years of his life.  It was a pleasure to meet this amicable young man who impressed me with his reply to the new Brother's toast at refectory.  I am in no doubt St. Andrew Kilwinning will make Bro. McGuckin welcome and part of their Masonic family.

Welcome Brother McGuckin to Freemasonry, enjoy the warmth Freemasonry can provide and we look forward to watching your progress within this, one of the world's longest running fraternities.

I also had the pleasure of presenting a Master Masons Certificate to Bro. Wadey from the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. Bro. Wadey was made a Master Mason in late October of last year.
Not Scotch Mist.
Updated 24 March 2021
14 April 2021

Lang may yer lum reek!


Last evening I was delighted to be able to attend the ceremony of installation for W Bro. Watson,  Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47.  It was also an occasion to welcome RW Bro. Watt Deputy Grand Master into our district officially.  Sixty-two Freemasons attended the event to support W Bro. Watson, he has been a prolific supporter of all our Lodges and helped on many an instant with Lodge planning. I am sure W Bro. Watson will continue to carry on the good work of his Immediate Past Master, W Bro. Neilson and I look forward to the Lodge having a prosperous and fulfilling year.

This of course will be the last NZ installation in the grand old Lodge room in Church Street as we will soon be relocating to Amesbury Street.

The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge Rooms were designed in an Italianate style and built in 1908.  The foundation stone shows the members of the Lodge at that time, including City Councillor and 1909 Mayor James Nash. The building was designed by architect and ex-City Councillor Ludolph George West, who was also a member of the Lodge.  Lodge member and City Councillor Arthur Bennett's timber company built the  Masonic Hall.

The lodge was established in Palmerston North in 1883 and met in various places until their own building was constructed. The building was extended in 1929 and has been upgraded over the years. After the success of the first Masonic Lodge under the English Constitution (the Manawatu United Masonic Lodge, established in 1877), the Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 was formed in 1883 under the Scottish Constitution.
16 April 2021

Pop Up, 'meaning appear or occur suddenly'

Tonight we had our first ‘Pop Up’ meeting. I will be the admit I was a little apprehensive about the turn out and wondered if Jo and I would be sat with 24 bottles of Stella and chips looking at each other in an empty room, because of the short notice.

To my surprise we had twenty Masons attend, either eager to see if I had totally lost my mind, or eager to be part of the revival of Freemasonry in this district. In addition I had 14 apologies far exceeding my expectations, way go you wonderful Masons!
This meeting was totally off the cuff, no formalities, just totally relaxed and informal, men talking over a beer and chippies on a Friday night, and thanks to W Bro. Pennell for the fish and chips, you are a legend DistGDC!

This type of meeting suits my style, me just being me, no ayes, and graces, say it how it is, call a spade a spade, and always smile a lot and do not be too serious about yourself ever!

It was refreshing to hear for Master Masons on their own aspect of Freemasonry, this is what I wanted, an honest approach and suggestions on how we can put the pulse back into our beloved Freemasonry.  I need these men to speak up so I can understand what they want from me, and may it long continue.

Towards the end of the evening we started to understand why I had held a ‘Pop Up’ as the talk between the various attendees continued after the meeting had finished.  The feedback was great to hear, and it is obvious we need to be stepping outside our Lodge bubbles and talking to each other.

This will not be the last of the ‘Pop Up’ meetings, we need to continue to talk among ourselves, to build friendships and alliances.
I can assure you of that, we will continue to promote Freemasonry throughout our district, we have been hidden from view for far too long, so watch out for a pop up meeting coming to your town soon!
I doubt it is that rare to have two Worshipful Masters with the same surname, however, to have two Worshipful Masters who are Father and Son would be exceedingly rare these days.  Yet here they are, W Bro. Martin Brown, newly installed Master of the United Lodge of Wanganui No.  468 and son W Bro. Brown WM of  Lodge Baden Powell No 381.

I installed W Bro. Brown the elder into the chair of the United Lodge of Wanganui this evening, he is remarkably familiar with his Lodge having joined seventeen years ago, after Lodge Rutland in Whanganui had closed, he was the first Master of The United Lodge of Wanganui in 2004 and served for two consecutive years.  He is also an active member and Senior Warden of Lodge Baden Powell No. 381, where his son is Master.

The United Wanganui Lodge currently has three Entered Apprentices, who were initiated by IPM W Bro. Tasker previously, and Master Masons in various offices, so the heart of the Lodge has a good pulse and feel.  We were also privy to the presentation of the Ship’s Compass to the new Master from VW Bro. Hayward Past Grand lecturer.  The Ship’s Compass is traditionally passed to new Masters  who are also members of the Naval Craftsman group.
Introducing the Brown Brothers
20 April 2021

21 April 2021

 

Special Olympics Donations

 

I would like to thank Lodges, individuals and groups within the district who have contributed towards the Special Olympics National Summer Games. Each Lodge in the central Division has been asked to contribute a minimum of $100 towards supporting our special athletes with travelling, training, and accommodation expenses, whilst the main charity is the main sponsor.

 

I would like to acknowledge the following.

 

  • A donation of $250 from the wives, partners, daughters, and friends who attend the United Lodge of Wanganui regularly, the money being raised over time from their generous donations, thank you ladies.

 

  • The Ruapehu-Manawatu Masonic Youth trust who donated.

 

  • I have also received several private donations and thank those persons for their caring generosity.

 

  • If you want to donate you can donate via the Divisional Bank Account

 

06-0501-0871840-00 please ensure you identify it is a donation for the Special Olympics.

 

3 May 2021

Divisional Conference Report


At the weekend we held a highly successful Central Division Conference in Palmerston North,  I was pleased to see a reasonible contingent from our district, but would have wished for more Past Masters, Master Masons, Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices to be present because as these Divisional Conferences are only held every three years. So you now have thirty-six months to save the $35 entrance fee (includes a free lunch) for the next one! 

My heartfelt thanks to W Bro. Craig Ancell of St Andrew Kilwinning and Bro. David Watene of United Wanganui, both brethren stood on stage and spoke about Freemasonry and their experience.  We are lucky to have supportive Masons like these two brothers in our district, they should be congratulated for an outstanding effort, not easy to stand in front of 147 people and talk, I know!

The conference was preceded on the Friday night by a Charity Dinner Dance in aid of the Special Olympics, the money raised being used for the closing ceremony.  The ticket sales, auction, personal donations, and Lodge donations received raised a staggering $40,000.00.  if you were in one of the Lodges or members that contributed in our district, give yourselves a pat on the back you deserve it.  I would also like to thank the Ruapehu Masonic Trust for their donation and in particular the wonderful ladies of United Wanganui who raised $250 for the cause, it was very gratefully received. You had to be there to feel the warmth and generosity of freemasonry in action.

Now that the conference is out of the way, it is time for us to focus on ways we can promote Freemasonry in this district to secure a brighter future for all.  I now only have eighteen months to go in this position so hopefully with no more COVID breaks to disrupt us we can get down to the real business and that is creating thriving Lodges fpormy successor to move forward and upwards.  To do this I am intending to hold  ‘Master Classes’  which will be a social discussion group for Installed Masters, aspiring Masters and Wardens, with an emphasis on networking.  The 'Social Pop Up meetings' will also continue, these are open to any brother to comealong and have a chilled out discussion.

There will also be a District meeting in November hopefully.

I will also be asking each Lodge to look for an enthusiastic  person or persons to be their champion and work with a District Champion for the betterment of the Lodge.  I will be talking about this more in the next few weeks so we can gain an understanding of what is needed, in the meantime please start open dialogue within your Lodge.

As a footnote I would ask you all to support your Lodge members as much as you can, especially as winter approaches and the nights get darker, as masons we have a duty to support our own and make sure they are contacted regularly and assured of a warm welcome at Lodge meetings.  If a brother doesn't turn up for a meeting give him a quick call, text or email him to check he is OK, to make someone feel wanted and missed is one of the most sincere things a man and a mason can do.
8 May 2021

University Scholarships

Jo and I travelled to Wellington on Thursday in order to attend the Freemasons NZ 2021 University Scholarship awards. The awards were presented in the Legislative Council Chamber which was very impressive and suitable for such an occasion.  The Grand Master decided to wear his full regalia adding to the occasion which was very fitting.  Thirty one students received scholarships on the day and I was amazed at the talent on show, even better to see two from Palmerston North and one from my home town Marton. Jo and I had a pleasant morning and would gladly go again.
14 May 2021

Lodge Rangitikei , Rural Attraction.

Bro. McCann was initiated into lodge Rangitikei No.38 seen here accompanied by Bro, Crisp (Crispy) Junior Deacon.  The evening was enhanced by the presentation of the Nash Gavel by the new Master of Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge.  Bro. McCann had reached out to Freemasons NZ via the main website and subsequently initiated into No.38.  Our new Brother's interest in Freemasonry stems from his wife Janice's family who were well know and respected masons within Mangere Lodge No.330.  We wish our new Brother well on his journey within Freemasonry, confident he will be an asset to this rural Lodge and district.
11May 2021

Te Awahou Lodge No.133, Like a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

Bro. Oga was initiated into the Te Awahou Lodge No. 133 this evening, and I had the pleasure to be there for the occasion.  Bro. Oga is the first of six new candidates for the Foxton based Masonic Lodge, so I'm looking forward to a busy year of initiations by the team.  Welcome Brother to Freemasonry, I am sure you will take to it as it will take to you.
St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge No.79 is in the process of selling tickets for a large screen showing of the new Kiwi film Poppy.  The Lodge is hoping to sell out the event and raise $4,000 for the Special Olympics. The star of the film Miss Libby Hunsdale  will be coming along!

I would suggest you book your tickets as they are running out fast, and it will be a fantastic evening. Congratulations to the Lodge on a great idea.

Thursday 3rd June 2021
Embassy 3 Cinema , Victoria Street, Whanganui
Meet and Greet 6.00pm for Wine and Nibbles
Film screens at 6.30pm.
Tickets: $25.00 per person.
To purchase your tickets, payment can be made by bank transfer to:
St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge Account number  03 0791 0252529 00
or in person to a St Andrew Kilwinning member, or the DistGM.
Please use your name and phone number as reference
.
14 May 2021

*POPPY*
All Seeing Eye For Otaganki Lodge no.70
Face Book Connection
This newly made Master Mason is Brother Sendall of Lodge Pa Ka Ma No. 319 (center) , pictured with W Bro. Cameron WM and W Bro Hill PGW.  W Bro. Sendall connected with Freemasonry via the Lodge Facebook page whilst searching for masonic pages, and we are pleased that he did. 

The ceremony of his raising to the third degree was carried out to the highest standard and VW Bro. Walker PDistGM was exemplary as the last minute stand in Senior Deacon.

When I asked our brother if I could take his photograph he instantly asked if it would be on Facebook.......in fact he insisted on it, he like me knows the power of social media and how if done correctly can influence our perception with the public and our local communities.

The apron of a Master Mason suits Bro. Sendall and may he have many years of comradery in the craft, I look forward to see him advance and one day be Master of the Lodge.
27 May 2021
Otangaki Lodge has a new man at the helm W Bro. Dickson, a Professional Optometrist. Paul was originally initiated into the Beta-Waikato Lodge No. 12, Hamilton twenty seven years ago in 1994.

W Bro. Dickson is no stranger to the chair having been Master in Hamilton in 2000
and again in Ashhurst in 2018.  It is also worth noting he has been a Lodge Warden nine times.

The new Master is making his plan for the year and concentration on men's health, he spoke about the fact that several health issues go undetected within New Zealand for many men, we would certainly support his cause and look forward to working closely with Otangaki's latest Master during his term as Master.

Thank you to the outgoing Master W Bro. Kelley, he has done a Stirling job and must be congratulated on his two years as Master, especially during such uncertainties due to COVID.



25 May 2021
1 June 2021

W Bro. Jack Leonard Dryden PGW  1926 - 2021

When you are a Freemason you have the opportunity to meet other men that you would never have know otherwise.  This week we lost a Freemasonry diamond with the passing of W Bro. Dryden PGW. 

Jack joined Freemasonry the same year I was born and despite our age differences we were always glad to see each other for a catch up.  Jack and I were installed masters in 2008 'doing the circuit' as visitors among the Lodges, he would rise and give greetings from Te Awahou Lodge and proudly announce that it was in FOXTON! I would announce my Lodge was in the small hamlet of Marton, it became a thing, as we tried to out gun each other, of course Jack was older and wiser and won every time.

Freemasonry will miss the likes of W Bro. Dryden PGW, he was a capable and hardworking officer of Grand Lodge and stalwart member of both Te Awahou and Baden Powell Lodges.  I will forever carry the fact that he 'Addressed the Master' at Otangaki recently, a truly remarkable charge giver.
Above: W Bro. Ancell and Star of the film 'Poppy' Ms Libby Hunsdale.
Poppy Trailer
1 June 2021

Māori Brethren Association Visit Rangitane

Kia ora koutou katoa,

Tonight we visited Lodge Rangitane to happily watch Bro. Fifield being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, I had watched him being initiated in November 2020 so it was good to see him obtain his third degree.

The Maori Brethren Association carry out ceremonial work throughout the district and beyond, bringing their own special warmth to the proceedings. Considering the Brethren come from far and wide and only come together on special occasions they do more than confident work and it is always a pleasure to be in their company.

It is a shame we do not attract more young Maori men into our fraternity, as the ones who have joined over the years are worthy men indeed and benefit our fraternity greatly.  Well done to all the Brethren that came together for this ceremony and it was especially good to see my old friend W Bro. Sutherland RH, a member of Lodge Rangitikei since 1954 and with only three years to go until he receives his 70 year award! Gordon you are Masonic
GOLD!

3 June 2021

 

Irlen Syndrome

 

Lodge Rangitikei No. 38 assisted by the Freemasons Charity recently made a donation to 'The Freedom to Learn' Charitable trust.  The Lodge invited Mrs Prue Deighton to deliver a presentation on the work the Freedom to Learn trust does in respect to Irlen Syndrome.

 

Personally Jo and  I found the subject very interesting and about a syndrome we were was totally unaware of until this evening, and I know the donation will be put to good use.

 

Irlen syndrome, occasionally referred to as scotopic sensitivity syndrome (SSS) or Meares-Irlen syndrome, is a proposed disorder of vision or image-processing in the brain.  In 1980, New Zealand teacher Olive Meares described the visual distortions some individuals reported when reading from white paper.  In 1983, American psychologist Helen Irlen wrote a paper about the use of coloured overlays aiding the reading abilities of some people. Similar symptoms were separately described by Meares and Irlen—each unaware of the other's work. Irlen, who was the first to systematically define the condition, named her findings "scotopic sensitivity", though in the discussions and debates over the following years, some referred to it as Meares-Irlen syndrome.  The Irlen Institute, founded by Helen Irlen, describes scotopic sensitivity as "a perceptual processing disorder" related to brain interpretations of colours and light.

 

Light Sensitivity, Fluorescent Lights

Photophobia, or light sensitivity, is an intolerance of light. Sunlight, fluorescent lights, bright light, glare, and even headlights and lights at night can be bothersome; and discomfort may be reduced with Irlen Spectral Filters.

 

There are a variety of symptoms that can be caused by sensitivity to light including eye strain, fatigue, sleepiness, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, irritability, and discomfort. Lights may also be a trigger for headaches and migraines. Sometimes photophobia/light sensitivity is a symptom of a head injury (TBI), concussion, or whip lash or the result of underlying medical problems. These symptoms can also be eliminated by the Irlen Method.

 

The problem seems to be an inability for the brain to adjust to various levels of brightness. It is as if the brain was a radio and the volume control was broken so that it could not make adjustments to control loudness.

 

 Treatment with Irlen Method

Irlen Spectral Filters are able to filter out the offending wave lengths of light which create the stress, thus allowing the brain to be able to make the normal adjustments for various lighting conditions, glare, and brightness.

 

Sunglasses are not enough. You may think they provide comfort and protection, but individuals who are light sensitive need to be protected from all lighting, not just sunlight. Individuals with light sensitivity wear their Irlen Spectral Filters from the time they wake up until they go to bed at night. Irlen Spectral Filters do not reduce brightness or contrast while providing the same comfort as being in a dimly lit room. Since they do not make things darker, like sunglasses, they can even help with headlights at night.

 

 Other Considerations

It is important to try to make certain that there are no medical underlying causes for the light sensitivity by seeking medical advice. Sometimes, light sensitivity is a symptom of cornea abrasion, uveitis, or meningitis. Photophobia may be associated with retinal detachment and contact lens irritations. Certain drugs can cause light sensitivity.

3 June 2021

Freemasons & Poppy Huge Success for Community.

Last evening Jo and I attended the Embassy 3 cinema in Whanganui to watch the film 'Poppy', the story of a young woman with Down syndrome who refuses to be defined by disability. Her ambition to become an apprentice mechanic is stalled by her older brother, forcing her to take matters into her own hands.

The evening was hosted by the St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge No.79 and with the help of local businesses put on a spectacular show for Freemasonry and rolled out the red carpet for 'Poppy'  Ms Libby Hunsdale, 'Luke' Sebastian Hunter and producer Robin Laing.  

Within the first week of ticket sales the Lodge had sold out and because of demand had to hire extra space. Some 230 people crammed into the Embassy for drinks and nibbles as Ms Hunsdale arrived on the red carpet to spontaneous applause.

All I can say is the film is a delight, a Kiwi classic in the making, the heart warming story line causing laughter and tears.  Jo and I were lucky enough to be able to speak to Libby and she is truly an inspiring young lady who is making her mark in the world.

The Lodge in conjunction with Freemasons Charity raised a huge amount of money which will go into supporting the Whanganui based special Olympics squad.  Jo and i would like to thank the Lodge and in Particular the master W Bro. Ancell for making this such a fantastic event.
Image: Mrs Prue Deighton Talking about Irlen Syndrome.

Below some of the effects of Irlen Syndrome
For more information go to: https://irlen.com/
20 June 2021

W Bro. Robert (Bob) Alger PGStdB 1934 - 2021

Unfortunately we said goodbye to another Officer of Grand Lodge, W Bro. Bob Alger PGStdB. Bob joined Manawatu Services Lodge No.309 in 1977 and served as a member for nineteen years. Bob joined The Research Lodge of Ruapehu in 1980 and then Lodge Wharite in 1995. he was also a member of Lodge Rangitane for ten years.  In 2007 he joined the Baden Powell Lodge.

Bob was a fellow electrician and we had a few chats in the early days of my NZ Freemasonry about lighting and the trade. he was also very involved in Scouting within the Palmerston area.

Installed Master three times, Grand Steward and Past Grand Standard Bearer and very experience Lodge Secretary, Bob will be missed among our fraternity.

The Service for W Bro. Robert (Bob) Edward Alger PGStdB will be held this coming Thursday the 24th June 2021.

Robert J Cotton
Terracehaven Chapel
697 Main Street,
Palmerston North.

Time of Service: 10.30 am.
In lieu of a floral tribute, a donation may be made to the Heart Foundation.
8 June 2021
Brothers Awarded 50 Year Badges.
W Bro.  Arthur Henry Taylor  and W Bro. Andrew Charles Taylor are Brothers in every sense of the word, sharing the same parents as well as masonic fraternity.  Both Archie and Andy were initiated into Lodge Mangahao No. 231 on the 12th April 1971 by way of a double first degree ceremony.  The Lodge in Stout Street, Shannon had been founded due to the many Freemasons drawn to the area for work in the Mangahao power station. In the 1970's many Freemasons joining the Lodge were farmers from the surrounding areas of Horowhenua and Manawatu. Unfortunately due to falling membership the Lodge merged with Te Awahou Lodge no.133.  Both brothers were installed masters of Lodge Mangahoa during the seventies and Andy went on to gain Grand Lodge Rank as a Grand Steward, Past Grand Stewart, Senior Grand Deacon and a Past Grand Deacon.  As serving members since 1971 they were requested to attend Te Awahou Lodge No. 133, Foxton to receive their fifty-year awards with the Grand Master present. The brothers were presented with their badges and certificates by long time friend RW. Bro. Marshall PDepGM.

Following the proceedings the Grand Master presented a framed Certificate of Merit to the daughter of W Bro. Jack Dryden PGD whose funeral service had taken place that very morning.  The presentation was to be to Jack and had been kept secret for several months, unfortunately he passed to the Grand Lodge above a few days before receiving the honour personally.  This was an emotional moment, and we would like to thank The Most Worshipful Grand Master for carrying out this heart felt presentation with the dignity and sensitivity it deserved.
Right: Lodge Mangahao #231, Stout Street, Shannon, 29 March 1993.

Photographer: Mr Aberhart, Laurence,
Above: Archie and Andy Taylor
Posted: 26 June 2021
Charity Seminar Hastings.
I don't know if you like me need to listen to things twice before it sinks in fully, it seems to be a Williamson trait.  So even though I had been to a similar seminar in Palmerston North it seemed like a good idea to go again, but this time in Hastings.  Jo and I were part of the audience listening to the various aspects of the Freemasons Charity presented to the Eastland Ruahine District. 

Personally, I do not think we educate our newer members enough were charity is concerned, both at the national and Lodge level.  It was years before I actually understood the complexities of the Masonic charity coffers, I just knew it was something we do now and then, not like Rotary or Lions, no one had ever asked me to sell sausage treats or collect hay bales for fundraising, yet here I am a mason for thirty-two years and basically clueless so I needed to learn!

I found the Charity Seminar vital for my understanding and for that I am very grateful, not only do I now fully understand the why's, where's, and how's, I have gained a deeper appreciation of the work we do.

In my Mother Lodge in the UK, we had a Charity Steward, it was his job to look for ways to enhance the charitable profile of the Lodge in the community, at the time as a young Mason I hadn't realised the significance of what he was doing for the Lodge and those in need.  Yet when I came to NZ the concept of a Charity Steward was relatively unheard of.

I am convinced each Lodge needs a Lodge Charity Officer, or as I prefer a Lodge Charity Representative, the position calls for someone who has the vision, enthusiasm, and drive to work with the Lodge in the community for the betterment of the community, and it doesn't have to be a male-orientated job.  Someone who knows what is going on and who is doing what.  The Sponsorship of the Special Olympics Summer Games in Hamilton this December has opened up the door for Freemasons to be seen doing what they have always done but this time on show.  It is such a splendid cause which when you think about it lifts your spirits.

I would encourage Lodges to nominate a Charity Representative if they have not already done so, to give that person full backing of the Lodge, look at what you can be doing better for charity, and that is not always financially but can be physical.  Over the coming months I'll be talking more about Charity to all Ruapehu Lodges, and trying to bring a better understanding of the Why's, where's, and how's.


Image Above: Margaret Baker ONZM from Special Olympics.
June Recap
Jo and I hope this winter is not too taxing and that you are staying warm during this cold snap, although today in Marton the sun is shining in a totally blue sky after a severe frost.

June was mix of masonry and work with a heavy work load winning due to some large contractual work in the balance for our company.
We did however get time to do attend some masonic events such as the special showing of ‘Poppy’ in Wanganui with the lead stars in attendance, this was arranged by our St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge to raise funds to support the Wanganui Special Olympics team with a staggering $6,000 raised with help from the Freemasons Charity.

The Maori Brethren Association carried out a 3rd Degree at Rangitane for Bro Fifield. The Maori Brethren Association carry out ceremonial work throughout the district and beyond, bringing their own special warmth to the proceedings. Considering the brethren come from far and wide and only come together on special occasions they do more than confident work and it is always a pleasure to be in their company. My only comment is that It is a shame we do not attract more young Maori men into our fraternity, as the ones who have joined over the years are worthy men indeed and benefit our fraternity greatly. 

Jo and I also attended Lodge Rangitikei to listen to a presentation by Mrs. Prue Deighton about Irlen Syndrome, this is a Irlen Syndrome is a disorder of the way the brain interprets light signals. It can manifest as light sensitivity, but it is more than that. When a person has Irlen Syndrome, their brain becomes overactive when exposed to certain wavelengths of light. This over activity causes symptoms beyond the visual distortions. The Lodge in conjunction with Freemasons Charity donated to the ‘Freedom to learn Charitable Trust’ to assist young people in with this syndrome.

The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Divisional Grand Master attended Te Awahou Lodge, in Foxton for a presentation of two 50 Year badges and a Certificate of Merit.
Unfortunately, we lost a few masonic brethren in June, Jo and I were pleased that fellow Freemasons were in attendance in strength at their services, which is most befitting.

On the 26th Jo and I skipped over to Hasting to attend their charity Seminar. This was my second charity seminar as we also had on in Palmerston some time ago.  You will be hearing more from me about charity in the next few months as we try and ramp up our profile in the various communities. I have already sent out a letter on this subject to all Lodge secretaries.

What’s on in July.
I have attached the calendar from the Divisional Website so you can see what is on in July.  I would point out that there are three installation meetings, Te Awahou, St Andrew Kilwinning and Pa Ka ma. We also have a few education meetings which is good to see, as variety is the spice of life as far as my Freemasonry is concerned.

I am taking part in 'Dry July' to raise funds for people affected by cancer, and as most know I do like a Stella or G&T in the evenings, so it's not going to be easy!

Hopefully I'll see you at one or more of these Lodge meeting during July
Posted: 3 July 2021
I was recently invited by W Bro. Bray  to participate in a second degree ceremony to be held at The Woburn Lodge No. 25, so I took the V8 over the range for a quick spin to Waipukurau.  The reason for the invite was to join with other electricians in order to pass Bro. Andrew Snowball a sparkie from Napier.  The trip over was good as the saddle road had reopened at 4pm and I arrived at my destination in good time, although much to my annoyance scaping my car rim on the high kerb as I parked, the curse of low profile tyres!

It was good to see the District Grand Master for Eastland Ruahine District there, it's always good to catch up with VW Bro. Friggens and enjoy a few brief topics. The ceremony was very enjoyable and I was happy to be able to deliver the Working Tools charge to Bro. Snowball, although I did stick with the traditional and no pliers or side cutters were added.

It was great to see so many electricians in one place and it was a pleasure to sit with a Distribution Line Mechanic at refectory who I had met some years back and not realised he was a member of the craft then.  It is by visiting you get the chance to meet so many more Brethren who you would not normally meet in your everyday life, thanks to the Woburn Lodge for their hospitality.
Sparkies on the Job
Image above: Electrical Workers gather for 2nd Degree.
Posted: 9 July 2021
Posted: 17 July 2021
Updated 6th April

The Research Lodge of Ruapehu No. 444

The officers of Grand Lodge for the Ruapehu District installed VW Bro. Johnson PGLec as Master of the Lodge for a second year.

The Research Lodge of Ruapehu  are  dedicated to encouraging Masonic study and scholarship, contributing to Masonic education and enlightenment.

The Lodge's objectives are the historical and comparative study and illustration of the origins, development, and modern trends and activities of Freemasonry, its organisation, ritual and teachings, and the dissemination of Masonic knowledge amongst members of the Lodge and other Brethren.

Unlike a Craft Lodge a research lodge does not do degree ceremonial work, although it does have its own charter from Grand Lodge.  Master Masons are welcome to attend the Research Lodge of Ruapehu No. 444 to get a feel of how our presentations and lectures from our members can benefit you with your daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.

You will be able to get a good deal more from your Masonry because you will hear discussions, be able to ask questions and discover answers for yourself.  A research lodge has access to a wealth of Masonic knowledge in the form of books, lecture papers and digital files. Subjects covered can be varied from history, biographies, philosophy of Masonry , aspects of customs, interpretation of ceremonies and so on.

A “paper’ is presented on a Masonic theme and critiqued at the following meeting. An answer to a previously asked question is given together with input from other members. A wide range of Masonic subjects can also be presented in Craft Lodges, often in the form of “question and answer”

You don't have to give a 'talk', but you might develop an interest in Masonic reading and research. we can help you by showing you where to look and how to prepare either a long of short paper
Te Awahou Lodge no.133 Master Reinstalled.
This afternoon Jo and I travelled to the small town of Foxton within the Horowhenua district to attend Te Awahou Lodge No. 133. The reason for the visit was for the officers of Grand Lodge and I to install W Bro. Lynsey Vinning as Master for his second term.

Lynsey was initiated into the The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 on the eight of May 2003, passed in August of the same year within the United Services Lodge No. 309. and made a Master Mason in his Mother Lodge on the 11th March 2004.

Lynsey became a member of Te Awahou Lodge on the 12th May 2005. In his Masonic career he has been Junior Warden, Senior Warden, Master three times and Lodge Secretary.

Lynsey is passionate about helping his local community with the Lodge's charity work, especially the local Foxton cancer Society.

Lynsey has a busy time ahead with six new candidates knocking on the door to join, which is a very pleasing situation to be in.

We wish Lynsey the very best for his term, he has some great ideas for his Lodge and we can't wait to see the end result.










These fine men are members of Rongotea Lodge No. 146 and I had the privilege of being present for Bro. Cody's Master Mason degree. Our brother Joined Rongotea a year ago, but due to COVID his masonic career was put to the test, but after twelve months he finally was raised to the 3rd degree, and his new apron suits him well.  Rongotea Lodge would be the first to admit their numbers have diminished over the past ten years through no fault of their own, but they are fighting to make a comeback and slowly we can see the change with Master Masons on the team who are taking an active part in the longevity of the Lodge.  There is no denying I have a soft spot for rural Lodges, they served our farming and diary communities well for many years, and although this Lodge no longer practices in the small Manawatu Town but rather Palmerston North there is still a taste of the countryside about it. 

Bro. Cody is a quiet unassuming character in Lodge, fellow Electrical Engineer by day but also a musician in his spare time, playing bass for 'Order of Diptera' New Zealand's premier purveyors of dissonant technical death metal. He also likes to get outdoors when he can, as he is also into fishing and hunting. 

We will continue to watch Rongotea Lodge and Bro. Cody's progress during the rest of our term, I am sure there is much more to come from these boys.
Posted: 21 July 2021
Jo and I attended the seventy-fifth installation at Pa Ka Ma Lodge this evening.  Bro. Nicholson who had joined Freemasonry in just 2016 was ably installed as Master of the Lodge by his own Brethren.

At the age of thirty-nine and a registered nurse Bro. Nicholson will bring a fresh outlook to his Mother Lodge.  Supported by his wife Elizabeth, this young ex-pat Yorkshireman will make the very best of his time as Master with an emphasis on charitable works for the St. John Ambulance and Women's Refuge.

Worshipful Brother Nicholson has the support of his Lodge and that is so very important especially when you have a busy career in the nursing profession.  It was also good to see a good group of wives and partners at the installation enjoying themselves, they make a refreshing change to our festive boards, and may it long continue. 

As part of The ladies painted stones with bright colours and words of encouragement  that can bring comfort to those ladies of the Women's Refuge



Image left: W Bro. Nicholson
Image below:  The three expats Poms DistGM, WM and DistGDC
Pa Ka Ma Lodge No. 319 , 75 and not out!
Posted 22 July 2021
Posted 3rd August 2021
Never Too Old for a First Try.
Posted 27th August 2021
Image: Above, time keepers from 47.
Posted 29th August 2021
Unfortunately under Level three we will not be able to have our meetings as gatherings of up to ten people are restricted to weddings, civil ceremonies, funerals and tangihanga, and as we do not know how long we will be at Level 3 it is a guessing game.  We can at least say that Lodges will not meet until back at level two and only then if all the safety criteria can be met.
I have asked Lodges to update the calendar for today, but I can understand why there is hesitancy so I will add all meetings as – to be advised, these can be updated if necessary.  I understand that a communication for the Divisional Grand Master will follow and that the Grand Master is making weekly videos to keep us all informed.  Please note that under Level 3 there must be no standing committees face to face meetings, even if under ten Brethren.  Please use other methods such as Zoom.

August Recap

I will encourage us all to check on each other during this time, It is challenging for us to live with the uncertainty of what will happen over the coming months and even years so our mental wellness is ultra-important and any if anyone needs assistance or just feels lonely please make contact with your Lodge or in confidence with me.

On a more positive note August meetings were going well until Lockdown and there were a few great things happening in the district. 
•Rangitane had their installation and we saw Bro. Scott happily installed in the chair and looking forward to the year ahead. 
•We also had a lecture at Research Lodge of Ruapehu.
•a double initiation at Te Awahou.
•a second degree for Rangitikei.
•at Manawatu Kilwinning presentations from 2 Freemasons University Scholarship recipients and a Special Olympics rep with two 25-year badge presentations.
•The Māori Association fellowcraft degree for Bro Kane Mourau-Paku, at United Wanganui.

Unfortunately I had a minor hand operation on the 6th which was accompanied a few days later by a vicious flu (not COVID, which stopped me doing my usually pleasurable duty of visiting, so I did not get to meet our latest Freemasons or the twenty-Five year awards.

I will send out the calendar with another email, when I know how the month is shaping up. 
For now please take care, and stay in touch
Posted 15 September 2021
Delta and Us
Firstly, I hope all of you are coping with yet another Level 4 lockdown due to the Delta variant of COVID.  We will not know until later today after the government announcement what lays ahead of us and at what level we will be at on Monday,  It is challenging for us to live with the uncertainty of what will happen in September or for that matter months/years to come, however it is important that we all remain positive and utilise the communication tools we have to ensure Lodge members feel connected and those who are in need cared for.

When we went into Level 4 in March 2020, we were unprepared and it was a huge learning curve, but we rallied around and took care of each other, this time around the information for your Lodges is readily available and we know our game plans for the various levels, so I would ask that we follow those plans and make sure we continue to communicate among ourselves. 

To re-arm ourselves the COVID information for Lodges is still available on the Freemasons web site, including a video from the Grand Master MW Bro. Wrigley from the 17th of August and a new one about to be released.   I have been in Zoom meetings with the GM, Divisional GM, District GM’s, and the CEO, and I will announce an upcoming zoom meeting with all you soon so we can continue that communication.

Due to lockdown we had to cancel five meetings, the hardest being the Rongotea installation on the day after Lockdown, my heart goes out to Brother Anderson who had it all arranged and was ready to go, it also goes out to The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge who had arranged an open day for the 28th August at Church Street, before it finally ceases to become a Masonic Lodge.

With that said life goes on and I am happy to report we are still very active and carrying out excellent work in our communities. This month Lodge Otaihape made a donation to the Taihape Health Centre for the purchase of an intravenous entry kit which can be used for serious injuries, combined with the one to one subsidy from the Freemasons Charity the Lodge was able to support this request.

Also, Several members of the Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No 47 attended the Special Olympics Manawatu Branch swimming contest in Feilding on Sunday morning. Teams from Horowhenua and Wellington also competed. VW Bro John Livingstone PGLec, W Bro Cliff Parker RH, Bro Murray Mansfield SW and his daughters Megan and Kelly joined W Bro Ainsley Watson, the Master of the Lodge to assist with the timekeeping for the races. It was a great morning and Ainsley said "you cannot help but being positively affected by the enthusiasm and commitment of the athletes who have daily challenges in their lives that we can never fully understand". It was a very well run event where the athletes obviously knew the rhythm and routine of the races so well that their responses and behaviour noticeably matched and enabled the very smooth running of the day. It was very rewarding to be part of their preparation for the Freemasons NZ Special Olympics National event in December.’  Well done No.47.
News Update
This is W Bro. Scott, until recently Bro. Scott. It is always a pleasure to see a Master Mason become Master of a Lodge, especially his Mother Lodge which is Lodge Rangitane No.369 based in Palmerston North.

W Bro. Scott joined Freemasonry in 2008, at the age of 69, now at the age of 82 he decided to become a Worshipful Brother and take on the Mastership of his Lodge.

Our brother is more than capable of running a Lodge, he has already served as Treasurer and Secretary. Don is originally from Zimbabwe and moved to NZ in 2002, and truly is a figures man, having made his career in accounting.

Lodge Rangitane does present a few problems, membership is down to 22, from the huge membership of years ago, and they are competing against other Lodges in the area. However the Lodge is financially stable and in good heart.  They are looking forward to relocation to Amesbury Street in the near future, and I am sure this move will benefit all.

W Bro. Scott has indicated his wish to work in the local community of Palmerston to show people the good work Freemasons do, and I am pretty sure he will do it.

Thirty Three visitors attended to support the Lodge and to see a new Master placed in the chair.

Updated 31 July 2021

My July Recap:

July was a busy month for installation ceremonies within the Ruapehu District, with Te Awahou Lodge No. 133, Lodge Pa Ka Ma No. 319 and St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge No. 79 being carried out.  My thanks and congratulations to those brethren that took positions within the Lodge and to the three installed masters that have dedicated their time to that position. I would also like to acknowledge the officers of Grand Lodge in this district and thank you for all your support during the month, especially my District Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro. Pennell who does such a good job of keeping me on the straight and narrow.
I attended Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge for an evening of education ably delivered by W Bro. Neilson our District Education Officer. I found his interpretation of our ritual very interesting and food for thought. 

I also attended a 3rd Degree for Bro. Liam Cody at Rongotea Lodge No.146 which was well attended, and we finally got a Master Mason’s apron on him after twelve months.

A quick evening visit was carried out early in July to the Woburn Lodge No. 25 in Waipukurau, where I had the pleasure in presenting the working tools of a Fellowcraft to Bro. Snowball a fellow electrician, in fact the whole team that evening were electricians!

Yesterday slipped over in the V8 to Napier to be present for the Scinde Lodge No. 5 installation, where there were some ninety in the Lodge room.

I would just like to comment on our ladies who are supporting Freemasonry more and more by attending and amusing themselves whilst we are in the Lodge room and thank you to those Lodges that are embracing the change.
I have just finished my ‘Dry July’ and I am looking forward to a glass of wine a bit later, thank you to those that donated, I reached my $500 target for cancer charities, I’d gladly do it again next year as they tell me the total raised was $1.5 million this year.

August in View

We have two installations due in August, Lodge Rangitane No. 369 and Rongotea Lodge No.146,  Bro. Don Scott and Bro. Tom Anderson are being installed into their respective chairs. Rangitane is on the 3rd and Rongotea on the 18th, please try and support these meetings. 

There are still ten other meetings for Lodges planned and worth checking out, and these are on the attached calendar.
I will be having minor operations on both hands-on the 6th of August, so I may not be able to visit Lodges for a few weeks, but I will be at home with my feet up and contactable.

What’s happening with Amesbury Street?

I am pleased to be able to bring you all up to speed with the Amesbury Street project.  You may have heard that Church Street has now been sold and is already being semi occupied by the new owner.  The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge will be staying there temporarily until the last meeting in September.  The United Manawatu Lodge No. 1721 EC have also sold the church next door and have already moved into Fitzherbert Avenue temporarily until they decide on a new home, which may or not be Amesbury Street. At the end of the day we are all Freemasons, and we need to work together no matter what constitution.
The project has now moved into the construction phase, which was delayed whilst waiting for Building Consent to be granted by Palmerston North City Council.   The eight-month consenting period required a great deal of negotiation regarding the complex engineering required and we thank those behind this for their tremendous effort. This will raise the building from 45% to 80% of the New Building Standard, by comparison the Church Street lodge is rated at 6% and All Saints Church at 8%, 80% is an important target as it is the minimum level for government and corporate tenants thus attracting a higher rental return.

I think it is very important to acknowledge that there has been 900 hours of work on this project to date and it has produced 50+ sheets of drawings, 1000+ sheets of specifications and reports covering fire, accessibility, and many other items. This have all be voluntarily by W Bro. Darren Shadbolt, a truly remarkable sacrifice for Freemasonry.

The project has now move into the construction period with demolition and preliminary works completed and main construction underway. We await a tentative completion date once the contractor has assessed the impact of labour and material availability for the project.

The extent and complexity of this project indicates at least six-month construction period based on Darren’s experience.
Other work underway for the project includes the formation of a new management structure for the facility, overseeing financial matters, finalising fitout items, and preparing for relocation
Support to the contractors is also being provided by Darren and his company during the construction period to resolve the many issues that arise in this type of project.
I would like to thank Darren for this report on behalf of the district and myself, and we are encouraged that Amesbury Street will become a reality and focal point for Freemasonry in the Manawatu.

Charity

Secretaries and Masters were sent a communication from me concerning Charity and the nomination of a Lodge Charity Representative within each Lodge.  Thank you to those who have volunteered so far to help drive Lodge charity projects, it is very important that we have brethren in these areas of expertise who understand the charitable system and can work with the District Charity Officer, W Bro. Ancell and myself. It is also important for these Charity Representatives to be talking to other Lodge reps to see if mutual Lodge projects can be beneficial.  It is planned to have every Lodge represented by November. 

Membership

Some of our Lodges are struggling to attract and keep membership, this is through no fault of their own and we understand that it is a sign of the times. However if Lodges do not attune to today’s younger men’s expectations, we are destined to fail in our efforts to retain membership.  Sometimes you must look outside the square and embrace change no matter how hard. 
Posted 28 July 2021
1868 to 2021 & Still Celebrating Scottish Roots.
The consecration of St Andrew Kilwinning Lodge was in 1868, at that ceremony a large number of Brethren were present from the English, Irish and Scottish Constitutions. The presiding officer W Bro. Webb of the English Constitution, Rangitikei Lodge carried out the ceremony. See more here.

This evening Jo and I attended the 153rd installation meeting were Worshipful Brother Ancell was reinstalled for his second year into the chair of King Solomon. As one of our oldest Lodges number 79, has a long and ancient history as it transitioned in those early days from a Scottish Constitution Lodge to the New Zealand Constitution in 1890. The Lodge still maintains many of its Scots traditions to this day with the wearing of kilts and a slightly different approach to our traditional ceremonies.

W Bro. Ancell has to be admired for his efforts to forward his Lodge into the new era of Freemasonry, in fact, he's like the 'Ever Ready Bunny' full of enthusiasm and energy. But it takes more than one man to promote freemasonry and turn a Lodge around to make it an attractive place to be, and sometimes we forget to give that support.  The Master has looked outside the square and returned to the 'good old days of social evenings, working parties and all-around enjoyment.
Image Left: W Bro. Craig Ancell and RW Bro. Marshall Past Deputy Grand Master.
The district is undoubtedly so much better for having men like W Bro. Ancell in it, his duties as District Charity Officer and Lodge Almoner has not gone unnoticed, he does so much that goes unseen by even his own Brethren and this was noted by VW. Bro Kendrick PDistGM whilst investing the Almoner.

At the festive board ' were a Haggis was consumed with great relish, RW Bro. Marshall PDepGM presented W Bro Ancell with an engraved Trowel from the Lodge Awatea No.258 collection which ceased labour in 2014. The trowel was a personal tribute to acknowledge the charitable works and friendship W Bro. Ancell spreads throughout his patch and beyond

Death Metal and Now Master Mason.
Clocks have gone forward, did you remember?
On this cold and wet  evening three of us took the V8 for a canter from Marton to our most Northerly Lodge 72Km up state highway one, to Taihape.

Otaihape Lodge has thirty one members, which is more than some Lodges, but unfortunately the attending membership has dwindled over the years due to various reasons and left the Lodge not in the best of health. But saying that Otaihape is a wonderful rural Lodge which has served the farming and local community for over one hundred years, its charity work punches above its weight and when you visit the Taihape Lodge rooms you are instantly taken back in time, to former glory days when Freemasonry was at it's height.

You will always find a warm welcome when you visit and their refectory meals are always hot and filling.

We actually went to see Bro. Maloney complete his Master Masons ceremony, after he had been constantly put off by COVID. We are sure the Bro. Maloney will be a real asset to Freemasonry.

Otaihape Lodge No, 142 – Taihape
Posted 12 October 2021
Lodge Rangitane 369  - Latest Member
Posted 5 October 2021
We would like to welcome Bro. Johansen into Freemasonry.

Twenty nine year old Bro. Johansen a local accountant has relatives who were in the craft.

This was the first initiation for new Master W Bro. Scott, and with a little outside help the Lodge had a good night.

We hope that our new Brother enjoys his masonic career for many years to come.
Posted: 13th October 2021

Bonailie to Church Street
For the past  one hundred and twelve years, the Church Street Freemason's Hall has stood proudly in the Palmerston North CBD. It has also been home to the Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge no. 47 during that time.  This splendid building was designed by  architect and freemason Ludolph Georg West in the Italian Romanesque style, with Arthur Bennett's timber company completing the build.  Due to Church Street being an earthquake-prone building with increasing maintenance costs, it was decided to sell the building and move to the newly purchased building in Amesbury Street, which is presently undergoing an extensive refit.  In the interim The Lodge will meet in the Fitzherbert Avenue Hall.

To mark the occasion of the very last meeting, the Grand Master, MW Bro. Wrigley, Deputy Grand Master RW Bro. Watt, Divisional Grand Master RW Bro. Pratt, and I as District Grand Master for the Ruapehu District officially attended the meeting, accompanied by officers of Grand Lodge.

The Master of the Lodge W Bro. Watson ably conducted the evening meeting which was full of information about the building and the heritage of the Lodge.  VW Bro. Livingstone PGLec gave an account of the Lodge’s history, W Bro. Watson read extracts from the original minute books and W Bro. Shadbolt gave us an insight into the building’s architectural design.

There were also members of the Lodge presented to the Grand Master for some special congratulations.

I am sure like me you look back at the grand rooms of Church Street with fondness,  I have been to many meetings there over the years and enjoyed the splender of the rooms and company of good men.  But we must not look back, for Freemasonry in the Manawatu must progress and moving to a more modern facility will ensure a future for years to come.
Posted 30.10.21

VW Bro. Laurence John Hunt PDistGM, QSM and JP

29th October 2021 VW Bro. Laurie Hunt PDistGM of the Ruapehu District passed to the Grand Lodge above after a long battle against ill health. Laurie joined Freemasonry in 1988, being initiated into the Ruapehu Lodge No.128, becoming Master in 1999 and twice more after that. he was the master when the Lodge amalgamated  with Lodge Rangitikei No.38.  In 2011 he became the Master of No. 38, again in 2014, and once more in 2019. between that he served numerous times as a Warden. He became an officer of Grand Lodge in 2000 as a Grand Steward, Past Grand Steward in 2002, District Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2004 and then District Grand Master in 2006. Laurie was a prolific visitor and would always rally members of Rangitikei to go visiting to lodges not only in his district but further afield.  I have no doubt that if it had not been for Laurie Hunt, my mentor and friend I would never have mustered the confidence to become Master of Rangitikei three times or commence a career as an officer of Grand Lodge, for that I will be forever indebted. I think Freemasonry has lost one of its finest.
Posted 30.10.21

Education -The Grand Lodge of Scotland

Lodge Rangitikei No.38 was the venue for a lecture delivered by VW Bro. Muir PGLec. The subject matter being the Scottish Constitution.   Although there were only 21 present due to COVID it was a most informative evening and thoroughly entertaining.

Education is an important part of being a Freemason and we never stop learning.
Posted: 9 November 2021

All Good Things Come in Threes
This evening we went to our most Northern Lodge in the district, Lodge Otaihape No. 142.  We conducted the installation ceremony for W Bro. Bennett.  This is not Greg's first crack at being Master, he had been in the chair of the Lodge twice before. In fact we were Masters of rural Lodges together in 2008/2009

Greg joined freemasonry in 2002 in Taihape where he farms.  Greg would agree he has his work cut out for him in the next twelve months to try and revive freemasonry among the local community of Taihape. Lodges similar to Lodge Otaihape No. 142 are on the decline, but  Greg and I firmly believe there is a valuable place for our rural lodges, they have been the backbone of the New Zealand Constitution since 1890, and having served as a master of a rural lodge in Marton I wholly sympathise with their desire to continue serving the community.
Posted 10 November 2021

Bro. Taverner and The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No.47
This evening I attended the initiation into freemasonry of Bro. Taverner and I could not be prouder to see him become a freemason. 

Hamish had expressed a desire to join freemasonry after we raised our profile in supporting the Special Olympics National Games and the division had the charity auction in Palmerston North.  Hamish was on the Special Olympics Board when he came in contact with our CEO.

I visited Hamish in his home and it was obvious he was keen to become a freemason. I then approached the Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge who was pleased to take on Hamish as a candidate.
Posted 12 November 2021

The Speculative Guild of Ladies

Some of the ladies from the Speculative Guild of Ladies had one of their social meetings at Capers Café. It's good to see friendships being cemented outside of Freemasonry.  Looks like all the girls had a good time.

The Guild can be found on Facebook here,

The Guild is open to all wives and partners of Freemasons in the central Division.
Posted 29th October 2021

Quick Amesbury Street Update

This evening we held a meeting with the members of the six lodges who would ultimately have to manage the new Amesbury Street Freemason’s centre.  Twenty-four  Freemasons were in attendance to find out how the transfer from Fitzherbert Avenue to Amesbury Street was going.

The assembly was first addressed by RW Bro. Plank PDivGM and Secretary of the steering committee, and then by W Bro. Darren Shadbolt, architect, and project manager.

Before I continue, I must acknowledge the work done thus far by the steering committee and in particular Darren.  The incredible amount of work thus far is commendable and never can be repaid. 

It is most important that at this time we remember we are Freemasons and as such it is important that we have one aim in view, and that is to make the transition to Amesbury Street as smooth as possible, at time it is important to ensure a member of your Lodge is placed on the Management team. These Brethren will be pivotal in the next important development stage.

From what W Bro. Shadbolt had said we are looking at moving in next year or even by Christmas so it’s important to get moving.  I for one am very excited for the future and having a modern facility that is run in a business fashion.
The works Continues…….
Posted 4 November 2021

Ruapehu Newsletter
November signals the fact that I have been in my position as District Grand Master of two years of my three year term, so you only have to put up with me for another twelve months!  There is still a lot to achieve in the last year and I still have plenty of gas in the tank to continue to take us hopefully forward. I am really looking with great delight to the new Lodge rooms in Amesbury Street opening, it is the most exciting thing happening in our district for many years. I am aslo looking forward to the warmer weather and getting our gazebo out and about if public events go ahead.  Covid has caused us some upset, but I would like to acknowledge the determination of our Lodges to just get on with the job, and I could not be prouder of this district for the way you have coped, all in your own way, all equally as important.

Freemasonry is important to so many in this district and it is vital that we create positive vibes, when we talk about it and in the way we project it to others, the charity work we do especially.  We have members coming through,  Lodges in desperate need of CPR are suddenly coming alive through some excellent work.

If I had one wish it would be to see more support their Lodge once a month by attending, one evening per month is surely a do-able thing and an intergral part of being a member of a Lodge, I can do no more than ask some of you that one small favour.
I was asked by National office to pick up a Masters Mason's apron the other day from a resigned member who lived locally, he thought someone might need it so he wanted to hand it back.  I collected it but with a heavy heart knowing the person who had earned the apron had no need for it after six years. It is a sad reality that we are still loosing members on a far too regular basis and this is something I wish to address in next year.

Covid Situation & Lodges

Ten Lodges out of Thirteen Lodges within the district held meetings, with their COVID Level two plans in place.  The current Covid-19 framework for Alert Levels remains in place as outlined by the Grand Master’s letter dated 22nd September 2021. Freemasons New Zealand is still awaiting further certainty on the ‘Traffic Light’ system and decisions by the New Zealand Government in relation to timing and  requirements. Our Grand Master MW Bro Graham Wrigley and the National Executive hope to be able to make further announcements in the coming weeks.

Summer Dress
As from the 1st of November the district has adopted the Divisional minimum standard for summer dress. As the weather is still variable at this time of year you may wish to retain wearing a Lounge suit.  if you don't know the rules surrounding summer dress please contact your Lodge master or Secretary.

October Recap in Brief
The Research Lodge of Ruapehu held a domestic meeting.

Lodge Rangitane successfully initiated Bro. Johansen, into Freemasonry, unfortunately I was not able to be present due to work away, but VW Bro. Walker PDistGM stood in for me and did the honours on that evening.  I did however manage to catch up with our new Brother when he accompanied the Master of Lodge Rangitane to Lodge Rangitikei for an educational evening about the Scottish Freemasonry, which was presented by VW Bro. Muir PGLec.

We had the final regular of Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge at Church Street, with the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Divisional Grand Master present. I would like to congratulate the Lodge on a job well done, the evening was well received and most enjoyable. The Master presented a photographic record of Church Street to the Grand Master, which was gratefully received. W Bro Shadbolt gave us an insight into the Architecture of the building, VW Bro Livingston presented a brief outline of the history and the Master read a few snippets from the original minute books.

Lodge Otaihape carried out a third degree working for Bro. Maloney who was initiated way back on the 10th March 2020.  Due to circumstances such as COVID it was not possible to raise him until now, and it was good to be able to present him with his VSL and the traditional charge form when the Ruapehu Lodge No. 128 was operation.

The initiation that was to take place in the St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge didn’t come to fruition as the candidate couldn’t make the evening. That was very disappointing for the team who had worked hard in rehearsals.

I travelled down to Pacific No. 2 in the Wellington Kapiti District, to their second degree working, I particularly wanted to go and add our District’s support for the new Divisional Grand Almoner, VW Bro Adrian Douglas who was invested by the Grand Master. Adrian will make a superb DivGAlm, as he has had some considerable experience within the Freemasons Charity.

Lastly Pa Ka ma invested their officers who were not present at the installation, a Past Master’s bar was also presented to W Bro.
Cameron. I would have liked to have done this myself, unfortunately due to my poor timing I missed the meeting.

Unfortunately we lost Freemasons to the Grand Lodge above in October namely of W Bro. John Ross Kelly PM a member of Petre Lodge and formerly Lodge Moutoa No. 195, and regrettably on the  29th October VW Bro. Laurie Hunt PDistGM of the Ruapehu District passed to the Grand Lodge above after a long battle with his health. Laurie joined Freemasonry in 1988, being initiated into the Ruapehu Lodge No. 128, becoming Master in 1999 and twice more after that. he was the master when the Lodge amalgamated  with Lodge Rangitikei No. 38.  In 2011 he became the Master of No. 38, again in 2014, and once more in 2019. between that he served numerous times as a Warden. He became an officer of Grand Lodge in 2000 as a Grand Steward, Past Grand Steward in 2002, District Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2004 and then District Grand Master in 2006. Laurie was a prolific visitor and would always rally members of Rangitikei to go visiting to lodges not only in his district but further afield.  Laurie had the English Constitution appointed him as Past District Senior Grand Warden in 2017, something that he took great pride in.

We also said goodbye to two Freemason’s wives which was very sad, and our condolences went out to W Bro. Spark Past Grand Tyler and VW Bro. Biel Past Grand Lecturer

Quick Amesbury Street Update on Friday of last week we held a meeting with the members of the six lodges who would ultimately have to manage the new Amesbury Street Freemason’s centre.  Twenty-four  Freemasons were in attendance to find out how the transfer from Fitzherbert Avenue to Amesbury Street was going. The assembly was first addressed by RW Bro. Plank PDivGM and Secretary of the steering committee, and then by W Bro. Darren Shadbolt, architect, and project manager. Before I continue, I must acknowledge the work done thus far by the steering committee and in particular Darren.  The incredible amount of work thus far is commendable and never can be repaid.  It is most important that at this time we remember we are Freemasons and as such it is important that we have one aim in view, and that is to make the transition to Amesbury Street as smooth as possible, at time it is important to ensure a member of your Lodge is placed on the Management team. These Brethren will be pivotal in the next important development stage. From what W Bro. Shadbolt had said we are looking at moving in next year or even by Christmas so it’s important to get moving.  I for one am very excited for the future and having a modern facility that is run in a business fashion

A Look at The Month Ahead

Ceremonies:
•Installations this month are Lodge Otaihape on the 9th and Rongotea on the 17th
•Initiations this month The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge, initiation for Mr. Taverner.
•Third Degree 11th Lodge Rangitikei –for Bro. McCann
You can check out the calendar below for more details of every Lodge.
It would be great to see a few people attend these ceremonies, especially the 1st degree if nothing else, Mr. Taverner is a Special Olympian, who has shown a desire to become a Freemason due to our charity support of the Special Olympics. I hope that you will join me in visiting The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge (At Fitzherbert Avenue, not Church Street) in support of Hamish Taverner, he like many of our initiated deserve a healthy and fine welcome into the brotherhood of freemasonry.

Early Notice:

Jo and I am currently co-ordinating the Divisional Charity Ball and information day again on the 26th February 2022, so please slip that date into your diary, this year it is going to be something very special.  I am currently looking for Auction items from people to help raise as much money as possible, for example just by approaching companies I managed to personally get two x smart TV’s, numerous electrical items, and a fishing trip on a charter boat, which all sold for an amazing sum, I even painted an acrylic painting that sold for $500! So please, please be generous and help us to raise funds for charity.
Summer Dress Commences  1st November 2021

As from the 1st November, the Ruapehu District will adopt minimum divisional standard summer dress. For the benefit of our newer members summer dress is:

 

  • Jackets may be left off

  • White Shirt, long sleeves (no short sleeves)

  • Black or dark trousers (Belted no Braces)

  • Black Tie

  • Black socks

  • No waistcoats to be worn.

 

Summer dress is not compulsory so for personal comfort a lounge suit may be worn as per the BOC description

Posted 17 November 2021

Laying Good Foundations
Updated 1 April 2021

Happy Easter Weekend

Jo and I wish you all a restful long weekend, what ever you have planned.  For me it is a time to catch up with readying my precious garden for winter combined with some masonic administration duties.

Divisional Conference.

By now all on email should have received the Divisional invitation to attend the Charity Dinner and the Divisional Conference.  I am going to ask all our thirteen Lodges to be represented by 5 or more members, which I think is achievable. I also hope we get a good mix of Freemasons, new, experienced, young, and old. It is important to the survival of Freemasonry you have a voice and are represented.

Charity Dinner Dance in aid of the Special Olympics

On the 30 April , on the eve of the conference we are having a Grand Charity Dinner Dance at the Convention Centre, Palmerston North, it is a chance for Freemasons to support the Special Olympics National Summer Games as Freemasons NZ are the main sponsors. From the Road Show it was obvious that you want Freemasonry to be recognised in the community, and this is the way forward. The evening will be great, we have entertainment, a representative of the Special Olympics and an auction to raise further funds. Tickets can be purchased individually as well as corporate tickets for a table of eight.
It is my intention that this district raises as much as possible for this worthy cause, I am therefore asking you if you have not already signed up to attend the Charity dinner.  A part of your ticket fee goes directly to supporting the games so you will be doing your part.
Contribution by Lodges

I am asking each Lodge to contribute a minimum of $100 each towards the Special Olympics National Summer games, any additional contribution from Brethren can be done through the Lodge.

The Road to Championing and Reviving our Lodges.

To quote C. S. Lewis “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”.

When looking at our Lodges,  we have two choices, we can place the blame for them not thriving on someone or something else, or we can take ownership for fixing the problem. The first statement takes away any personal responsibility and the need to be accountable. The second statement is not as easy,  if you put your hand up then you suddenly become an agent for change and therefor actually accountable in some way.

Lodge Champions

Champion:  “someone who fights for or speaks in support of a group of people or a belief”.

At the Road Show in Wanganui we were requested to find champions for our lodges , I struggled with the concept of what was expected of a Champion, then some weeks later I had a chance meeting with a young lady called Lucy Skou. Lucy is the spokesperson for the Marton Development Group, they are about to open the new Marton children’s play area, she and her group have raised a staggering $1.3 million to enable the project.  Lucy is also a nurse in the Emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital and there is trying to raise funds for a Children’s playroom. She is also responsible for the world class BMX track being built just over the fence from the back of the Marton Lodge rooms. Lucy opened my eyes to what a champion was about, they were selfishly passionate and enthusiastic to make a difference for others!

At this time Freemasonry in or district needs champions, like Lucy each lodge should have at least one champion that can assist to make the Lodge relevant and enjoyable.  We have a variety of characters and personalities in our Lodges, but we all have a common theme ‘Freemasonry’, if we did not believe in its ethics we would not be there. That person should possess drive and enthusiasm to make a difference.

Each Mason has much to offer, experience goes a long way in ensuring our landmarks are passed on to the next generation, our Masters and Wardens have much work to do already and assist the daily smooth running of the Lodge, many of our Master Masons have much to offer and yet we sometimes overlook this. The current evidence is they want to be move involved with the Lodge but loose heart very quickly due to a variety of reasons.  Given the right tools some of you that are Master Masons can make a huge difference into making a Lodge thrive and in return make your Freemasonry really mean something to you personally.

So how does this work?

A Lodge champion (spokesperson) works with other champions who are going to play a vital part in not only reviving the Lodge but making it the best. Lodges are built on strong relationships both inside and outside the Lodge, as well as an active membership, without these relationships things soon fall apart. 

The Lodge champion should be able to help in identifying the barriers that prevent the Lodge from being a thriving Lodge and suggest areas of improvement.

Select an area you feel you could have the biggest impact in – one you enjoy and may want to work more in, then ask the Lodge how you can help them in a way that best utilises your skills, expertise, and time.  Identify key initiatives that lodge needs to be conducting that is aligned with your unique expertise.

To get the message across the lodge Champion should be given a voice by the Master and allowed to speak at business sessions about the month’s achievements and what is coming up. A champion works with his Lodge to help achieve agreed outcomes, introduce ideas, and work with the Lodge plan.

Is this all just Smoke and Mirrors?

No, if ever there was a time for people to step up to help their Lodge, now is the time.  I will be stepping up and backing our new champions because that is what I am passionate and enthusiastic about.

For that purpose, I propose to hold a short informal face to face meeting for ANY brethren to attend if they want to know more about the champions incentive and how to become a champion for their lodge.

The meeting will be at Lodge Rangitikei, Marton Friday 16the April at 6.30 pm, ladies and partners welcome

I don’t mind if I only have two of you turn up, that is a start in the right direction.
1 June 2021


Last Month Recap

As we leave autumn behind it is starting to become noticeably cooler during the evenings and mornings.  At this time of year it even more important to ensure Lodges check up on Brethren and our widows to make sure there is no hardship or discomfort suffered during the winter months. The heart can be warmed by offering the hand of friendship, a brief chat or offer of assistance. Please do not leave it all up to our hard working almoners, they need respite too sometimes.

During May we had the Divisional Conference, which went well according to the survey put out afterwards.  Jo and I attended the Freemasons Scholarship awards at Parliament in Wellington, I had never been before because of work, but it landed nicely as Jo and I were celebrating thirty-nine years of marriage and Jo’s birthday by enjoying the highlights of the capital for a few days.   The awards were presented in the Legislative Council, with its all inspiring architecture, the Grand Master dressed in his regalia added to the grandeur of the day, and we were told this had not happened before.  If ever you get a chance to go, it is worth the experience, so much talent on show from young people.

I also attended the Installation meeting at Horowhenua with some of our Ruapehu Brethren, it is always good to visit our friends in Levin and see how they do it, it’s slightly different so if you get a chance check out a Kapiti Wellington district installation.

Sadly we said our goodbyes to Mrs. Hazel Marshall who passed away suddenly, the four hundred people that attended the service was testament to how much Hazel was respected in the community. I am sure RW Bro. Marshall PDepGM will be well cared for by his family and our wider masonic fraternity.

We also had an installation ceremony at Otangaki Lodge where I had the pleasure with Grand Lodge officers to place W Bro. Dickson into the chair. Thank you to those that turned out in support.

We also saw two new Freemasons initiated at Lodge Rangitikei and Te Awahou Lodge, welcome Bro. McCann and Bro. Oga to our fraternity.  It was a pleasure to visit Lodge Pa Ka Ma recently to witness Bro. Sendall raised to Master Mason.

Today we learnt of the sad passing to the Grand Lodge above of W Bro. Jack Dryden PGW, a member of Te Awahou Lodge, Foxton.  Jack performed his Masonic duties to the very last and at the age of 95 delivered a confident ‘Address to the Master’ at Otangaki on the 25th May.  Jack was a shining example to us all on how to embrace Freemasonry, how to be an active member and do your absolute best for your Lodge and fellows.

Coming Events in June

In June we have an official visit by the Most Worshipful Grand Master to Te Awahou Lodge in order to present two fifty year badges to two Brothers who are Brothers!  Ladies are most welcome, in fact the more the merrier, do not forget to book, details on the calendar. 

I must congratulate The St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge on their initiative to raise funds for charity by hosting a screening of the new Kiwi film ‘Poppy’ the venue was sold out within days of advertising, Jo and I are really looking forward to the event and having a second chance to meet Ms Libby Hunsdale, star of the film.  The Lodge is also having a mid-winter dinner later in the month.

Tomorrow the Maori Brethren are carrying out a 3rd degree at Rangitane. Monday the 7th The Research Lodge of Ruapehu has an interesting presentation from VW. Bro. Barrett PGLec.  Rangitikei have a guest speaker in Refectory from Mrs Prue Deighton, on Irlen Syndrome, ladies of course are very welcome.  There are also several Fellow Craft degrees.

I have noticed a very small increase to visiting lately and that is good to see, although it could be so much better.  These colder evenings are not conducive to an evening at Lodge, committee meeting or rehearsal, but many us brave the weather and go for the good of our Lodges and to see our friends. Lodges are already struggling to attract attendance by their own members, on many occasions I have witnessed officer’s positions not filled, and some lodges unable to function without the help of other lodge members, please consider the extra labour your absence creates, especially as you may have three or four officers thinking of staying away as well.

I would like Lodges to start thinking outside the square (excuse the pun) and think of ways of enhancing the Masonic experience for all Brethren, whether that is through a charitable event, social meeting, education meeting or some other event.  I would also urge you to consider who in your Lodge would make a good champion, I will be sending out more information next weekend to all lodges on this subject and hopefully we have people who put their hand up.

It is also a good time to tackle those clean up jobs and repairs inside our Lodge buildings which have been hanging around for some time, working Bees are a great way to build comradery and as we have many talented tradesmen among our ranks so it would be worthwhile finding out who is who! To be honest there is nothing more off putting than a few cobwebs, borer dust and a pungent aroma of unloved.  Amazing what a bit of elbow grease can do!

One goal I have is to address some of our educational needs during winter,  we have hardly employed our District Education Officer in his eighteen-month term, and he is excellent value to have at your lodge meeting.  W Bro. Neilson can be contacted via his email address.

Thought of the day: “Take your time to really learn and study the fundamentals of your pursuit, so that one day, your fully developed skill set will allow you to grow into a leader”
United Wanganui Lodge also made an additional donation to the Special Olympics Charity which was very generous. I am humbled by Lodges and individuals response to the Special Olympics cause and applaud you all for your benevolence.

On another note I was sent an article from a Brother who had discovered an article in the Ashburton Justice of the Peace newsletter. The article was about VW Bro. Hunt PDistGM, JP and QSM. 

This is the article:

Laurie was born in Patea on 7th. February 1941, a brother to Peter and Allen. He started working at the Patea Freezing Works as a lot of kids did in those days. After a few years Laurie joined the Department of Agriculture in the Dairy Produce Grader.  Transferring  to Flock House ((Bulls)in the early 1960’s. A few year’s of private work followed, and I started working in the  New World Butchery in Marton. Hence starting my life as a Butcher.

Having married Vivien Rose in 1969, we had our three children and settled down in Marton, building our new home and starting our Butchery business in the 1980’s.Having getting involved in the Community throughout during my life was not a stranger to me JC’s , Lions, School Committee and Home and School Committee, starting Project Marton, Pipe and Brass Bands, Masonic Lodge, IHC, Business Assn. plus others.

In 1988 I was asked to become a Justice of the Peace, which I agreed to, so in 1989 I was sworn in at the Marton Court House. In those days a JP could sit on the bench and deal with Remands and small offices, and those Search Warrants until we got IO’s, which I was appointed one in 2013. In the early 2000 some of our local JP’s were asked to train in section 9 of The Mental Act, two of us attended.  For a number of decades JP’s attended Friday mornings at Lake Alice Hospital to interview new and old Patients, along with other JP’s I attended, it was a bit strange being locked up with Patients.

In 1990 I was awarded the 1990 Commemorative Medal by Queen Elizabeth the Second for Service’s to New Zealand. I mentioned before my family, two older brothers, they were also appointed JP’s.

Myself in 1989,  Allen in 1996 and my oldest brother in 1993. I am very proud of being a JP for over 30 years having serving many years on the Marton Sub Branch as on the Council and well as two terms as President. I also served as the Marton Sub Branch Representative on the Wanganui JP Assn. before standing for VP  of the Association, one year then three years as President then Past President.
Shortly afterwards moving down to Ashburton because of my health.
August Review and COVID
I would like to thank those of you in the Ruapehu Masonic District who are working to keep in touch with your Lodge membership. 
I know sometimes we don't get thanked for the work we do but it is important that we acknowledge it. I would also like to thank those leaders of Freemasonry who are giving guidance and sound advice as to what to do during this Delta wave of COVID.

When I became a District Grand Master in November 2019, had you told me I would have my plans and aspirations for my three year term turned on their head, I wouldn't have believed you. I had most of my three years mapped in my head at the start, and being usually a 'planning' individual find myself disappointed at not having achieved more, and I am sure many of you feel the same.

Lodges right now in this district are on hold until the Grand Master's next communication, that being after the 21st September when the Government make a new announcement, hopefully we can go down a level and have business as usual, if not we need to think seriously how to conduct our meetings abiding by the COVID rules and best working practices.  Every thing you need to produce a COVID Plan is on the Freemasons NZ web site.  Please think about how you are going to achieve this, maybe not have ceremonial work, rather a session wear spacings are achievable.  What ever you do, and it is entirely up to you whilst in Level 2 you must make that decision.  All your plans have to be signed off and be relevant to your Lodge building and the meeting.

please remember to apply for dispensation if you are remaining closed, and send in a report for the month so we know you are closed. 

For now stay safe.
26 September 2021

Update

From several communications with our membership of late I have become aware that there may be some slight confusion over the present stance where our meetings are concerned.

All those on email would have received the Grand Master’s communication of 22 September regarding Lodge activities at Level 2. 
The key points were:

1.From 22 September, it has been acceptable for our Lodges to hold meetings under Alert Levels 1 & 2 provided the Lodge has an approved Risk Mitigation Plan in place and the brethren of the Lodge have agreed to meet.

2.As our Lodge meetings are not open to the public and are exclusive to our members, we are able to follow the rules that are applicable to “Private Social Gathering”. This is based on the knowledge that we are non-public and that we are known to each other.

3.The gathering can host up to 100 people. Facemasks are not required, but they are encouraged. Social distancing is not required (stay 1 metre away from people that you do not know). Provide hand sanitisers and clean shared items before and after use.
In light of this clarification, it appears that most of the COVID Plans I have approved relate more to “Public Events” not “Private Social Gathering”.  and are therefore unnecessarily restrictive.  I have therefore amended my previous model for a Level 2 Risk Mitigation Plan and invite you to modify yours appropriately.

As a Health & Safety Manager I have to be totally familiar with all the COVID rules and restrictions and have attended numerous meetings about the subject.  I totally agree with the GM that our Lodge are ‘Private Social Gatherings’ and as such come under those government rules and guides.  We must also remember at Alert Level 2 there is a low risk of community transmission, this is the government’s words not mine.

It is important that the brethren attending know the rules you are operating under, and that each Lodge should, if required, be able to produce documentation of the care they are taking. Hence the need to register a Risk Mitigation Plan and have it approved before a Lodge meets.

I believe that the attached plan conforms with the government guidelines However, all Lodges operate under slightly different circumstances and the model will need to be adjusted to suit you. 
Nobody wants to risk the health of our members and equally no Lodge should be prohibited from legally operating if they so wish. A meeting set up under these circumstances of an approved plan will have minimised any risk and can proceed. I must add freemasonry is a voluntary fraternity and we as individuals have a choice to attend Lodge or not, the wishes of those not comfortable to attend must be respected.

Each Lodge must:
•Ensure the members support operating under Level 2 with the risks mitigated.

•Make sure a copy of the approved plan is sent to all members so they are fully aware of the requirements.

•If you are going to remain closed, you must have submitted a form for dispensation.
Posted 11 October 2021
General News
I thought I would send out a newsletter to those of you on email, giving an update on where the district is meeting wise.  I have finished updating the Divisional Calendar this morning so I have attached a copy for your information.
Lodges Functioning
Out of our thirteen Lodges, ten are holding regular meetings, add the one that would not normally meet, that makes eleven,  nearly a full house. The Lodges that aren’t opening for meetings have good reason and have my support.
Some Lodges are having domestic meetings only so please check before going along.
Last meeting at Church Street on Wednesday
A page of Masonic history closes on Wednesday in Palmerston North, as we say goodbye to the Iconic Church Street building.  Manawatu Kilwinning No. 47 are conducting their last meeting there as they will be moving temporarily to Fitzherbert, and then to Amesbury Street.  To commemorate  this special night the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Divisional Grand Master will be in attendance. Wives and partners are welcome also.  Many of you have been through those doors on many occasions over the Lodges history and have fond memories of Masons who you have sat in Lodge with, this is a time to remember and say a final farewell.
The master will receive visitors at 7.30pm and then the MW Grand Master with Grand Lodge at 7.45 pm, and then suspend the lodge and admit non-Masonic visitors for various presentations.  They have dinner at 6pm, but will need to receive RSVPs by Monday 11 October if attending.   The Lodge will be unable to cater for those who have not let us know they are coming.   They may yet need to limit numbers to 100. There will be a refectory after the meeting so can you indicate if you are staying for that as the master is prepared to purchase food and need to prebook the caterers.  (The GM will be at both sittings).  MK47 have received a generous donation towards this final meal so they are providing it free of charge.   However, they are requesting the usual fee of $20 (or more!) be donated to our Worshipful Masters charity project.
Jo and I look forward to seeing you and you wife, partner at that meeting for a truly shared experience.
Latest Freemason
We are still recruiting, despite the upheaval of COVID.  Unfortunately I had to miss the initiation of Bro. Hamish Johansen into Rangitane,   We are having a flurry of enquiries so what ever we are doing lets keep doing it.
This evening myself and Officers of Grand Lodge installed Bro. Anderson into the master's chair of Rongotea Lodge No. 146.  The last time we tried we had to cancel the day before due to the COVID lockdown in August, so it was good to finally get the job done some four months later.

W Bro. Anderson was initiated into Rongotea Lodge on the 19th October 2016  and has made steady progress in his masonic career ever since. Tom like myself has a challenging work career but I am sure his work ethics will help him with the running and well ruling of his lodge.  He is going to be the master that takes the lodge into the Amesbury street complex next year, so exciting times ahead. As we know a master has to have a good team to assist him and I thing Tom has this in his dedicated officers.

Rongotea Lodge has a modest membership of twenty two members, but excellent prospects for the next year with already two new candidates on the horizon.  The Lodge may now meet in the city but at heart it will always remain a rural lodge.
Posted 11 November 2021

Bro. McCann Master Mason
It was congratulations for Bro. McCann as he received hi Master Masons Badge after his third degree ceremony. Cliff is a member of Lodge Rangitikei No. 38 and can be see  above being congratulated by W Bro. Balt PGIG, Master.

Well done Cliff may you have many happy days in the craft.
Posted 14 November 2021

APPOINTMENT OF GRAND SUPERINTENDENT OF WORKS

I am extremely pleased to announce on the recommendation of the Board of General Purposes and after interviews and
pursuant to Rule 125 of the Book of Constitution, our Grand Master MW Bro Graham Wrigley is pleased to advise that he has appointed W Bro Darren Shadbolt as the new Grand Superintendent of Works. His appointment is effective immediately and he will be invested at the first  available opportunity, and we congratulate VW Bro Shadbolt G Supt W, on his appointment

W Bro Shadbolt's investiture will be at United Lodge of Whanganui 20 December 2021
Posted 19 November 2021

Passing of Mrs. Myra Mitchell
It is with great sadness we farewell Mrs. Myra Mitchell wife of W Bro. David Charles Mitchell QSM of the United Lodge of Wanganui.  I had first met Myra and Dave Mitchell when I lived in Hunterville, Dave ran a successful painting and decorating company there.

Myra was a fantastic supporter of Freemasonry and especially in her Almoners role within the Whanganui area, she will be sadly missed by all.

The memorial service to celebrate Myra’s life will be held in the Cleveland reception lounge, 179 Ingestre Street, Whanganui. Saturday 27th November 2021 at 1 p.m.

Please contact the funeral director on 06 345 5522 to book you attendance.

Posted 12 December 2021

Double First for Lodge Rangitane .
Lodge Rangitane is currently growing in size due to the remarkable efforts of their members. Today (Yes a Sunday) the Lodge held an emergency meeting to initiate two new members during a double first, Brothers  Stone and Anstis.  It was an enjoyable meeting and a real pleasure to see two new enthusiastic members join our fraternity.
Above left Bro. Stone  Center WM Scoot Right Bro. Anstis
Posted 20 December 2021

Grand Master Visits Whanganui

Whilst on his way to The United Lodge of Wanganui, the Grand Master MW Bro. Wrigley, together with RW Bro Watt DepGM stopped off at Wanganui Hospital to pay a special visit to RW Bro. Colin Johnson PProvGM.  Colin at the age of 94 took a bit of a tumble and fractured his vertebrae in his neck.  Unfortunately for Colin he will have to be in hospital over Christmas and New Year. I am sure he would appreciate and visits from brethren.
The Grand Master presented a fifty-year badge to Very Worshipful Brother Darol Pointon PGLec. Darol had joined freemasonry in 1971 at the age of Thirty, his mother lodge being Lodge Whanganui No. 219.  It is of no surprise that Darol has served as an installed Master ten times for various lodges and continues to be an active and valid member today.  Accompanied by his wife Lorraine he recounted his masonic journey, and the number of marathons he had completed was staggering. 

The Grand Master then presented a sixty-year bar to Worshipful Brother Neil Elgar PGIG.  Neil was initiated into The Woburn Lodge No. 25 on the 1 November 1961 at the age of twenty-three.  Neil was addressed by his Grand Son Bro. Mathew Elgar who touched everyone present with his talk about his grandfather’s influence.  Neil had been a member of The Woburn Lodge, Research Lodge of Wellington, Lodge Ramanui,  Lodge Rutlandand Lodge Parirua. Then in 2004 he joined the new The United Lodge of Wanganui No. 468. Neil was immediately secretary a position which he has served for seventeen faithful years.
Then we had the honour of witnessing very Worshipful Brother, Darren Shadbolt being invested as Grand Superintendent of works by the Grand Master. It was a real delight to see Darren put on his new apron and collar. 
Today the Grand Master and the President of the Widows Sons New Zealand Grand Chapter, signed documents which allow the wearing of Leather vests in open Lodge, without having to seek permission to do so.

I think this is a real advancement for freemasonry as those men who join the chapter raise much needed funds for charity and develop strong bonds for many years.
Image above: The Grand Master right and The current President of the chapter Bro. Marshall. (Brothers Keepers)