LATEST COMMENTS FROM ASH WILLIAMSON - RUAPEHU DISTRICT
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Posted 7 March 2022


Greetings

Just a few notes from the Ruapehu District.

It’s seven days into March already and we are seeing a predictable rise in the Omicron outbreak, It struck home with many around home when it popped up in Marton where I live.  So my message is Safe Healthy stay safe, if you having Lodge meetings take all precautions to stop the spread among yourselves, if you are not well stay home and get tested and look after yourself.
February was a mixed bag with the Lodges cancelled and then restarted, this caused a little confusion, but we witnessed some considered reasoning and decision making throughout our Ruapehu Lodges, some chose to open whilst others chose to remain closed. Either way I was more than happy at the decision making and the way Lodges conducted themselves.
I had suggested that rather than cancel meetings, your lodge could have a short business meeting as it is most important to keep freemasonry ‘on the boil’, and we still have candidates in waiting and Officers of Grand Lodge to nominate, as well as Role of Honours etc.  We simply must keep moving forward and not go backwards. If this means meetings with masks on so be it, or management meetings via zoom then that’s all good. We now need show the other districts how innovative we can be, we may be rural, but we have heart! Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress, So share those ideas and let’s be shakers and movers.

This March is another month of caution and the Relocated Installation meeting planned for Lodge Rangitikei on the tenth will now not be happening due to cases in the community rising to over fifty, likewise the Wharite and Petre daytime installations  have been postponed for good reason.

I must aplogise to those who have applied to be Freemasons and not yet been initiated or interviewed due to covid, thank you for your patience during this mad time, you have not been forgotten I promise and you are all good men for Freemasonry I am sure. So this news letter goes out to Jacobus , Ben, David , Shane , Ethan and Vikas. I will write to you all this week and personally let you know what's happening with your applications.

However for many of you we do have Lodges opening for regular meetings this month, and it’s a mixture of domestic meetings and workings. This is the list I have so far on the Divisional Calendar.

Amesbury Street

I have been following the work at Amesbury Street with great interest, and I must thank all those involved with the ‘wrapping up’ of Fitzherbert Avenue sincerely.  It has been a lot of work behind the scenes but necessary to ensure a smooth transition which will be soon, and I can see that reality.  The Lodges that move there, including the English Constitution will realise once entrenched how fortunate you are to have such a modern, upbeat, and impressive place to work in.  It will encourage new members into realising we are a modern group with traditional values.  I might even join a Palmerston Lodge just so I go there more, so watch out!

Office of Grand Lodge
Just a reminder that if you are wanting to apply to be an officer of Grand Lodge, you must fill in the appropriate application form, the Lodge should nominate you and the Master must sign the form. Just a reminder that the closing date for Grand Lodge Nominations is Thursday 31st March 2022 at 12 noon. By post, or more speedily by any delivery means or by email attachment. Nominations can be decided by a smaller committee, Zoom, ‘round robin’ email or telephone confirmation and forms sent in before closing date and decision confirmed at next Regular Meeting.
We are still looking for candidates for District Grand Director of Ceremonies and District Grand Master, as far as I know.  There are other offices to be nominated talk to your Master or Secretary. If you need a form let me know and I’ll send you one.

Charity
Whilst we are at two and eights with meetings, I would encourage zoom or social meetings between regular meetings to keep items that are charitable on the table. Likewise If you have any ideas for charitable causes, please let me know so we can explore these.
Be Well and Take Care
Lastly, I would ask you all to look after each other, contact those who may need to hear a friendly voice, be kind to each other and stay well. Hopefully I’ll see you on the circuit at some point soon.



































Posted 7 March 2022

Scholarships to help Manawatu builders upskill

Article from Fremasons NZ

For Manawatū builders Jack Lord and Connor Deane, receiving a Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarship is an opportunity to take their careers to the next level.

The Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarship is a joint initiative between Manawatū Kilwinning Lodge No. 47, The Freemasons Charity, UCOL, and Registered Master Builders that began in 2017. It is aimed at helping tradespeople working in the construction industry develop their skills further.

Scholarship recipients have the option of studying one of three programmes at UCOL part time for a subsidised fee - the  New Zealand Diploma in Construction, the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology, or the New Zealand Diploma in Business. CEDA and Mitre 10 Mega Palmerston North provided Mitre 10 gift vouchers to the scholarship recipients.
Jack Lord joined Isles Construction as a labourer in 2017 after studying UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry). He went on to complete his building apprenticeship in October 2021.
“I feel grateful that people have seen my talent, my commitment to the trade, and my keenness to pursue it further,” says Lord on receiving his scholarship.

Lord has chosen to study the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology, as he has ideas around designing buildings that he wants to bring to life.

“I felt that the Architecture programme would be a great way to unlock my creativity.”
Connor Deane, a foreman at Turbine Residential with seven years of experience in building, will study the New Zealand Diploma in Construction. He says the programme will give him the skills to step up into a project manager role.
“Construction has always been my passion from a young age and I’m at the stage in my career where I’m ready to pursue it at a higher level and gain more well-rounded knowledge,” says Dean.
“I love being part of the team and on the tools. That said, I’m keen to take a bit of weight off my boss’ shoulders in terms of the paperwork side.”

Danny Reilly, UCOL Executive Dean Engineering & Applied Technologies, says UCOL is proud to be part of a scholarship initiative that helps put learners through its highly successful construction and architectural technology programmes.
“The staff leading these programmes go above and beyond in not only teaching our learners, but also connecting them with employers,” says Reilly. “Graduates of these programmes are highly sort after and all gain employment. Our skilled and passionate staff have achieved so much through hard work, tenacity, and a true desire to deliver for learners and industry. We need those qualities now more than ever before.”

“I congratulate Jack and Connor on receiving their scholarships and believe that they will make the most of this opportunity to expand their skill sets.”

Ainsley Watson, Master of Manawatū Kilwinning Lodge No. 47, says the Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarships are an important part of the charitable contributions the Lodge makes to the community.

“We appreciate being able to help our recipients to further develop their knowledge and skills. We are pleased to be supported in this initiative by the Registered Master Builders, UCOL and The Freemasons Charity.”
“The recipients this year show us that the calibre of applicants remains high and offers the sector competent new talent for the future. We wish them well as they progress in their study.”

Shaun Mainwaring, Master Builders Manawatū President, says these scholarships are a great way for the next generation of tradespeople to upskill and challenge themselves without having to leave the workforce.
“It’s great for our community to have quality skilled tradespeople giving back to our region, especially in these current times where there is a real shortage of qualified tradespeople.”

“I hope the scholarship recipients gain wider knowledge within the building sector and it helps them to move forward in their careers. I encourage builders who feel their financial situation could be a barrier to further study to apply for these scholarships in the future.”

Background:
UCOL is a part of Te Pūkenga.  Te Pūkenga was established to better meet the needs of learners and employers by bringing together on-job, on-campus and online learning across Aotearoa New Zealand. By 1 January 2023, Te Pūkenga will create a unified, sustainable public network of regionally accessible vocational and applied learning.

Together, we aim to provide excellent quality education opportunities that support learners, employers and communities to gain the skills, knowledge and capabilities Aotearoa needs now and for the future.

Photo: Paal Iversen of Master Builders Manawatū, UCOL Executive Dean Engineering & Applied Technologies Danny Reilly, Jack Lord, Palmerston North MP Tangi Utikere, Connor Deane, Chairman of the Scholarships Committee Darren Shadbolt, and Manawatū Kilwinning Lodge No. 47
Posted 16 February 2022

NEWS

Greetings all,

Lodges Resumed

By now your lodge secretary would have informed you of the Grand Master’s decision to resume the lodges as from last Monday, strictly following the government’s guidelines for red zone areas. Whether this continues is yet to be seen, as Covid is occurring with alarming pace in places so far untouched, in fact there are confirmed cases in my hometown of Marton, centered around one school in particular.  I for one will continue to take every precaution to avoid this virus.

Some lodges have applied for the Divisional Grand Master’s permission to remain closed in February, whether he approves their request is yet to be seen.  Lodges that are planning to operate are Rongotea, Pa Ka Ma and Manawatu Kilwinning at Fitzherbert Avenue, but these meetings may be business only, so you will need to check the calendar or contact the secretary for details.

Amesbury Street Update
I was extremely privileged to have a guided tour of the new facility in Amesbury Street with the architect, Very Worshipful Brother Darren Shadbolt, Grand Superintendent of Works. Although the building is still undergoing the refit it was obvious that I was seeing something very special in the making.   Darren’s vision for the building and the future of Freemasonry in the Manawatu came over very strong and to be honest I am totally excited about the interest the building will generate, the publicity must good for the craft and the modern facility exactly what we are crying out for.  Amesbury Street is now very much a reality and taking shape for an early move from Fitzherbert.

Nominations for Grand Lodge Office.
We must as some urgency look at the nominations for Grand Lodge office for the 2022 -2025 term.  These nominations must be in by the end of March as per the Book of Constitutions, virus or not.

District Grand Master for the Ruapehu District
The DistGM is nominated and elected by the Lodges of the Ruapehu District as he represents the Lodges.  I have personally loved the job from beginning to now, and it also contains so much rewards in so many ways.  Please look amongst your members and see who you think has the required attributes. Whoever obtains the position will have my full support at any time it is required.

Nomination for Grand Lodge Office, Honorary Rank or Past Grand R, Roll of Honour.
Lodges within our district may nominate brethren to be:-

•The District Grand Director of Ceremonies.
•Two Past Masters to be awarded Grand Steward.

The Central Division can also nominate a brother for:-

•Divisional Grand Standard Bearer
•Divisional Grand organist
•Divisional Grand Director of Ceremonies

Other nominations are: -

•Senior Grand Warden.
•Junior Grand Warden.
•Grand Chaplain.
•Grand Almoner.
•Grand Lecturer.
•Honorary Rank or Past Grand rank.

Roll of Honour

One brother can be nominated from each district, in addition the Divisional GM can recommend a further five.  I can think of many who are deserving this honour, so let’s not let our nominations go adrift. 

We have many worthy and talented brethren who I could see making a great job of being an officer of Grand Lodge and will bring their personality and energy to the position.  The present officers of GL are an awesome group in this district, just freemasons who are so supportive.  If you know of any member of your Lodge who is worthy, please tap him on the shoulder, because if he thinks he can’t apply he may miss out.  We need fresh faces in the team for the next three years in support of the new District Grand Master and his team, so please put your thinking caps on.

Divisional Grand Master
The position of Divisional Grand Master is available for nomination. Hopefully, we will have a nomination from our ranks to challenge those who throw their hats into mix.

New Members
We are still getting men wating to join Freemasonry via the Freemasons NZ website, I know of four since Christmas, all good men and excited to be joining.  But we still need more men of good standing to join us so please if you know of anyone within your circle ask them.

Masonic Banners
I have inherited the Freemason’s banners and they are now in my care. If you wish to borrow them please let Jo know and she will book them. That also applies to the Gazebo.

Regalia
I also have inherited some regalia and jewels from the Ruapehu district.  I will hopefully be able to get a stock list together soon, so you know what I have and can have if you are looking.  Some will be going into the new display cabinet at Amesbury Street hopefully.

Roundup
Well, that’s it for now, be safe and your Lodge secretary will keep you up to date if anything changes.

Cheers!
Ash

Posted 8 March 2022

Lodge Otaihape No.142 - A Rural Delight


There is no denying the decline in rural based lodges throughout New Zealand due to falling membership, certainly not due to the enthusiasm of the active members within those lodges.  Being a rural based freemason myself  the thought of my own lodge closing does not bear thinking about.  That is why I am please to report out most Northern lodge within the Ruapehu district is starting to come alive once again with new memberships.

The master W Bro. Bennett is enthusiastic as they come about freemasonry and like myself sees the true value in maintaining rural based lodges.

I visited Lodge Otaihape this evening to witness Mr. Andrews being initiated into the lodge, and become Brother Andrews.  Our new brother is a very community minded person and as well as a volunteer fire fighter is involved in various activities for the betterment of youth in the Rangitikei District.  A native of Auckland Michael relocated to Taihape some ten years ago and has never looked back, and this move into freemasonry with add another dimension to his rural living.

Below W Bro. Bennett and Bro. Andrews
Posted 9 March 2022

Manawatu Kilwinning No. 47 Initiation


This evening I had the pleasure to be able to attend the initiation of Mr. Bester, now Brother Bester after a pleasantly able first degree ceremony.  I have said many times one of the most pleasing aspects of being District Grand Master is watching a new member enter freemasonry and go through our traditional ceremony.

Welcome Brother Jacobus to freemasonry, I am sure the community and lodge will benefit from your presence.

This was the last working for the Master W Bro. Watson as the lodge will have a new master in April, so congratulations all round.
Posted 16 March 2022
New Brother For Rongotea Lodge No.146
Left Brother Ben McCrystal
Below Worshipful Brother Tom Anderson and Ben
Posted 22 March 2022
Venturing outside the District to New Zealand Pacific No 2
Introducing Brother McGuckin Master Mason who is following in his Grand Father's footsteps being a freemason.  Due to Covid it has been a day short of twelve months for the Lodge to finally award a well deserved Master Mason's apron.  Rarely have I heard the test questions so well answered by a Fellow Craft, you could tell the work had been put in to his replies, also have I see someone smile so much during a 3rd degree, and it was obvious he was enjoying every moment.   I must add that the Master of St Andrew Kilwinning did a splendid job, without the aid of notes, his professionalism outstanding.  As for the rest of the team, outstanding, and one of the best master mason degrees I have seen.  This lodge should consider themselves lucky to have a new master mason who will be a real asset. Congratulations Bro. Kaylaan for being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.


Posted 23 March 2022
Online Enquiry Leads to Freemasonry
A Bumper Night for Lodge Rangitikei No.38
Posted 24 March 2022
Above Bro. Hogan and Bro. Mason
Fact

80. Emergency Meetings


a. An emergency meeting may at any time be called by the Master, or in his absence by
the Brother authorised to convene a meeting.

b. No business shall be transacted at an emergency meeting except the business set out
in the Lodge Summons convening the meeting.

c. Except by dispensation, no Lodge shall hold in any one Masonic year more than three
emergency meetings for the purpose of conferring degrees
Posted 29 March 2022

Ruapehu Notes


I greet you and your family well as March rolls far too easily into April and we look forward to Easter on the horizon. Jo and I hope that you are all coping and trying to keep safe from the Omicron virus. Covid 19 is working its way through work with amazing speed and the reality of it is really hitting us hard with the staff being off sick or in lockdown, but life goes on and we must cope the best we can for as long as we can.  I have been regularly testing myself so far so good.  It is totally understandable that many of you are nervous about attending lodge and I fully understand, your safety has always been paramount to us, and we must continue to be vigilant with our hygiene rules.  As yet I have not received the latest from the Grand Master, now the mandates are about to change, but I am sure it will come fairly soon.

I also hope the increase in the cost of living is not causing anyone any undue distress, please remember the Freemasons Charity is there to relieve hardship, and charity should begin at home as far as I am concerned. Please contact our District Charity Officer if you need confidential advice as to what to do.

March Recap

Well despite covid 19 we had a bumper month for the district.
• Nine active lodge meetings
• Three lodges that would not normally meet in March
• One lodge deciding not to open understandably as it is housed on a Masonic home facility.
Five new freemasons were initiated
• Brother Andrews into Otaihape.
• Brother Bester into Manawatu Kilwinning.
• Brother McCrystal into Rongotea.
• Brother Hogan and Brother Mason into Lodge Rangitikei.
Master Masons
• Brother McGuckin was raised to Master Mason in St Andrew Kilwinning Lodge.
Joining Member

At their last meeting at Fitzherbert Avenue, Lodge Pa-Ka-Ma had a joining member apply and a very informative evening with a demonstration on the use of AEDs in basic life support.

The encouraging news is we still have six candidates to my knowledge waiting in the wings. I witnessed all five initiations and had the pleasure of welcoming each brother into freemasonry, with the hope that they embrace the comradery we all enjoy and also they spend many happy years as active members.

I spread my wings and travelled down to New Zealand Pacific No. 2 in Johnsonville for W Bro. James Sutherland’s re-installation into the chair of KS.  James is a member of Lodge Rangitikei and in 2013 I helped raise him to the third degree when I was master of 38.  The Grand Master was present that evening, and he invested RW Bro. Kevin Nelson as a Deputy Grand Master.

Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 held the Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarship which a joint initiative between Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47, The Freemasons Charity, UCOL, and Registered Master Builders. It began in 2017 and is aimed at helping tradespeople working in the construction industry develop their skills further.

Nominations for Grand Lodge have been far better than three years ago, and we have some good brethren nominated. I am sure the new District Grand Master will choose his team wisely. If you still want to try grand lodge position, you have a couple of days left to get your nominations in. Good luck to everyone who has applied, the standard is high this year. Please send nominations to secretary@freemasonsnz.org not me.

Of course Lodges didn’t feel comfortable about holding installations whilst Omicron is raging.
• Rangitikei held over from February date to be arranged
• Petre held over from February date to be arranged
• Wharite held over from March date to be arranged

The Month Ahead April

I will be asking Lodge Secretaries to send me their meeting details for April. When complete I will send out the monthly calendar or you can check for yourself via this link

The following dispensation requests have been submitted to the Divisional Grand Master
• The Research Lodge of Ruapehu, to postpone their installation meeting.
• United Lodge of Wanganui, to postpone their installation meeting.

The Manawatu Kilwinning installation of Bro Murray Mansfield will go ahead on Wednesday the 13 April, which will be at the new facility in Amesbury Street. Please come along and enjoy the first installation meeting in the impressive new building.
Charity

Whilst freemasonry travels through this uncertain time it is important not to loose sight of charity. Being a charitable institution it is important to continue to practice charity in our relevant communities. If you are doing a charitable deed, please let me know, I’d like to recognise that act personally.

Summer Dress
Summer dress will cease on the Tuesday 19th April. It should have cooled down by then enough.
Posted 3 April 2022

The Manawatu Masonic Centre, Amesbury Street
Today heralds a new and bright future for freemasonry in the Manawatu, as visitors were invited to get a first glance of the inside of the newly refurbished building at Amesbury Street.  The building was officially blessed with a Karakia performed by local Māori from the Rangitiane Iwi, and there is much that is very poetical and beautiful in Māori ritual, and I would like to acknowledge and thank them for their attendance.

For the sixty or so visitors, this was a chance to admire the architecture and amenities that come up to spec in every way.  
Meeting outside we made our way through the security gate and along the glass-covered walkway, and through the card-operated automatic door.  In the foyer, there is a lift available to those less adventurous to use the stairs to the top floor. 

The ground floor will be leased to companies who wish to have a presence in this convenient center of Palmerston North, which makes perfect business sense.

When you reach the landing you walk into a spacious room, where you can place your case in readiness to wear your regalia.  There is a room with a glass wall for viewing items of historic interest, not yet filled but in time will be.  There will also be glass-covered display cabinets for various regalia that have links to the brethren of the Manawatu.

There is a comfortable room for committee meetings, with all mod cons and a large television screen with an internet connection.
The refectory is light and airy, with the capability to seat one hundred comfortably.  The kitchen is decked out with the latest industrial appliances, with a separate wash up room next door.  There is plenty of cabinetry all around with able space for storage, each lodge and chapter having its own area.

Then we enter the large double doors into the lodge room itself. Not as big as Fitzherbert but adequate for lodge meetings, and at last, there is air conditioning for winter and summer.  The colour hits you as soon as you go through the doors, the vibrant reds, oranges, blues, and warm walls.  The lighting is perfect with the LED solid-state lighting picking out the features around the room.  The Warden’s chairs and pedestals are every bit as splendid as the Master’s position, the furniture fits perfectly, the colour of the older wood, is highlighted by lighting. There are still some minor items to finish, the curtains for the windows, the knockers on the door, and TV screens, but these will be completed soon.

It is an impossible task to please everyone all the time but judging from today the reaction received.  VW Bro. Shadbolt, Grand Superintendent of Works and architect/project manager for the project has hit the mark, well actually knocked it out of the park as far as we are concerned. From the positive feedback I received, especially from three of our newest masons, this is the start of an exciting era.
I cannot express how pleased I am that this vision has become a reality, for many hours have been put in by many to ensure this happened, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Upward on onward.
Posted 14 April 2022

First Installation at the Manawatu Masonic Centre

This evening The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No.47 held their installation for the new master, Bro. Mansfield, now Worshipful Brother Murray Ian Mansfield QSM.  The lodge carries out it's own installation so I had a relaxing time watching the proceedings as they unfolded. Totally undaunted by Covid the evening was most enjoyable, in the new comfortable modern facility at Amesbury Street, the new Manawatu Masonic Centre.

Murray joined The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge seven years ago and has earned his place as master.  It is always good to see a relatively new brother move to steering the lodge for the next twelve months.

The evening was topped with the traditional piping in of the Haggis, and the consumption of some very good Scot's whiskey.

I would like to note that the Immediate Past Master had done an excellent job, although he is a hard act to follow, I am sure Murray will do his best as well to promote the interests of his lodge and the district.
Image: The Master of The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No.47.  W Bro. Mansfield QSM.
Posted: 11 May 2022

May News

I apologise for the lateness of this month’s newsletter, but I have been holidaying in Rarotonga to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and Jo’s birthday. Despite all the covid forms to fill in before flying and on the return, It was a very pleasant break and a good chance to recharge the battery cells, with not a lot to do other than sit on a beach all day basking in 30 degree heat.

I have been playing catch up ever since arriving home with both work and freemasonry, so it was hitting the ground running as to say.
I would like to welcome to our fraternity, Brother Storey (Lodge Rangitane), Brother Ta-Octa (Te Awahou Lodge) and Brother Manuel (also Te Awahou Lodge). You should have all received a personal email for me today apologising for me not being at your initiations. Hopefully it will not be too long before we catch up.

Also Mr. Yu who will be initiated next month into The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge. Mr. Anthony Karl and Mr. Ethan Smith who are due to be initiated into Rongotea Lodge on 18 May. I hope to be at your initiations and look forward to meeting you.

April Recap

Unfortunately due to preparing heaps of work before going away I was not able to attend as many meetings as I would have liked. The main meeting I did attend was the installation of W Bro. Murray Mansfield into the chair of The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge, at Amesbury Street.  It was a most enjoyable evening as it is always good to see a Master Mason being made a Worshipful Brother. I wish Murray well for his year in office.  And I see he has his first initiation ceremony to conduct tonight. Wow there’s nothing like pressure!

Two Lodges held their ANZAC ceremonies which I understand went very well, it was just a pity I was unable to attend, there is always next year though.

A couple of Lodges held mentoring evenings for their respective Entered Apprentices and one Lodge had the 1st degree Tracing Board charge ably presented by VW Bro. Walker PDistGM for their apprentice and other lodge EA’s.
There was also an educational night at Rongotea, which was well received I believe.

May Meetings

Now that we are at ‘Orange’ in respect to covid we are starting to get back into full swing. Unfortunately the Lodge Rangitikei Installation which was due this Thursday has had to be further postponed due to the Master Elect being delayed in South Africa.  We do however have an installation on the 24th at Otangaki No. 70, Ashhurst, for W Bro. Paul Dickson, it would be good to see many of you there.
A lecture is to be presented by VW Bro. Darol Pointon PGLec on Masonic Lodges in the District at The United Wanganui Lodge which will be of great interest to myself, as one of my loves is masonic history.  Please remember your wives and partners are welcome at this lodge.
There is a fraternal visit from Herbert Teagle-Taia Lodge - Working a 2nd Degree for Bro. Luddon, at St Andrew Kilwinning Lodge in Wanganui.  I missed our new members thus far being initiated, but will be at Manawatu Kilwinning this evening for the initiation of Mr You and at Rongotea for the initiation of Mr. Anthony Karl and Mr. Ethan Smith .
Please see the calendar below for details of all meetings.

Roundup

So there is plenty on for everyone this May. It is also pleasing to see more candidates wanting to join freemasonry in our district.  It is a good feeling, and id we can turn the tide all the better.

Daylight Lodges, yes, we have two, one in Palmerston and one in Wanganui. For those newer members information daylight lodges as the name suggests meet in the day rather than in the evening, usually starting at 10.30 am.  If you haven’t been to a lodge for some time you might want to visit either Wharite or Petre, they meet bimonthly, so it is not too time consuming. These lodges are ideal for those of you that are retired or not working, the company is great, and you will always be welcome, oh and wives and partners are always welcome.  Remember daylight lodges are a vital community aspect and it would be such a shame to loose them.

Covid is still a threat to some so please make sure you keep yourselves safe and healthy.

If you want to read my current blog visit the Divisional  website here
Posted 18 May 2022


Double First For Rongotea Lodge

Bro. Karl, W Bro, Anderson and Bro Smith
Who doesn't like a success story, they have been far and few during this time of Covid. However Rongotea Lodge can be very proud to have initiated Bro. Karl and Bro. Smith into Freemasonry, two extremely enthusiastic men who will no doubt benefit the lodge and charity in the community.

Rongotea Lodge now has three Entered apprentices to mentor so they are going from strength to strength, well done team Rongotea.
Posted 18 May 2022


Freemasonry is Thriving in Our District.

These are a few of the new members of Freemasonry in the Ruapehu District, we are certainly holding our own with new initiates going through.

We have been quietly working away at promoting the craft in this area and it's starting to gain traction.  Good men are seeking us out regularly but the battle is long from over, as it for many social and service clubs.  We need new blood to continue the great work we do for charity in supporting our communities, and lending a helping hand to those in need. Freemasonry has existed for over 300 years and will continue to serve the wider community for years to come with the help of our newer members.
Posted 24 May 2022

Otangaki Lodge Installation

January News


Posted 9 January 2022


Jo and I wish you and your families a belated, but heart-felt Happy New Year, we hope the year brings health, prosperity, and joy.
We still have about five weeks to go before the 2022 masonic year restarts, but I would like to inform you of a few meetings:
Manawatu Royal Arch Chapter’s 26th Summer Lecture, will be held on Thursday, 27 January 2022 at the Freemason's Centre, Fitzherbert Ave, Palmerston North. The Chapter will tyle at 7.00 pm with visitors admitted at 7.30 pm. This is a social event open to Craft Masons and friends. A buffet supper will follow, and it is anticipated that people will be heading home around 9.00 pm. The speaker on this occasion will be E Comp Edward Teece, a director of New Zealand Pharmaceuticals and a member of the Chapter.

Craft Lodges
In January Wharite Lodge usually meets on the 19th, then we are into February when all lodges apart from Wharite are active after the break.  Of course we have two installation meetings in February, namely Lodge Rangitikei No. 38 and The Petre Lodge No. 457, I am sure those Lodges would appreciate good attendance at their most important meeting of the year.
Of course, there is no getting away from the fact we are all in the COVID-19 orange zone and the importance of good health practices in line with the Lodge plans continues. You only have to look at the news to see what is going on overseas and how this virus continues to be contagious, so we must continue to be vigilant in all our masonic meetings.

Divisional Web Site
I have started a new comments page on the website for this year’s blog, you can look back at 2021 here.  Please continue to visit the page from now until November to see what I have reported on.
If you want to know what Lodges are doing, I will send out a calendar as soon as possible at the beginning of each month, of course, you can also go to the calendar on the website.  If you have trouble accessing the calendar, I’d be happy to send you an updated version, just let me know.

In my Last Year
There is still much I would like to do in this my final term as District Grand Master, I feel very disappointed that due to circumstances beyond my control I have not achieved the things I set out to achieve. So I need to pick up the pace in 2022 and make sure that I remain focused on our Lodges and continue to support our members as much as possible.
I would like to thank all those that supported me through last year and those who worked hard for the benefit of their lodges and others, without you this job would not be so rewarding as it has been.  The masters of our Lodges must be congratulated, they have worked under extraordinary conditions for the betterment of their Lodges, we have seen some real highs last year and I am especially pleased that Masters have been thinking of ways to improve their member's enjoyment.

This is a brief message for your wives and partners.
Ladies, thank you for brightening last year with your presence, it has been so good to see many of you attend with your husbands and partners the many meetings and events that were held.  Lodges are waking up to the fact that you are an integral part of our masonic lives and hopefully we can continue this through 2022.  I know Jo is keen of getting the Speculative Guild of Ladies (SGL) to do more together this year and promote fun and enjoyment outside of Freemasonry.  We have been discussing a few ideas which we feel will work, so watch that Facebook page for information. Oh and well done for making it into the Freemasons magazine, awesome to see.

My Goal
It has always been my goal for Freemasonry in the Ruapehu District to be where individuals come to experience an amazing lifelong journey of self-discovery and learning. Feel a sense of challenge and curiosity, connect, share laughter among friends. Build and support communities together.  It is only with everyone’s input we can achieve this, Freemasonry to so many means so much,  but at the end of the day the core value must be simple enjoyment,  companion enjoyment, personal achievement enjoyment, and enjoyment of being part of a great organisation.   The only way to make this work is to support your masters and be part of the team of three hundred and thirty Freemasons in this district. 
And as we return to our Lodges and ask ourselves questions like “How will we get more enjoyment, fun and greater satisfaction from our Freemasonry?”  “How’s our Lodge doing?”, “How are we attracting members?” and “Is the Lodge growing?” Hopefully, together we will work on some of these questions over the next twelve months.

Media, Food for Thought
Freemasonry is more open now than it ever has been. Social media platforms have become an increasingly popular channel for communication in the 21st century. They provide ways to share content with a wide audience and as such, are excellent tools for sharing information about Freemasonry and Masonic activities. As well as allowing Freemasons to communicate with each other, social media platforms also make it easy to engage non-masons. Social media platforms are therefore excellent for increasing awareness and attracting potential new members, as shared content will be available to anyone searching using masonic keywords. That is to say, someone who is connected to a Freemason on social media may see something masonic they have shared, which may prompt them to learn more about  Freemasonry and perhaps enquire about membership.

Until next time
Fraternally
Ashley
Under strict Covid rules, Rongotea Lodge initiated Bro. McCrystal from Palmerston North.  Twenty eight year old Ben is the last Freemason to be initiated in Rongotea Lodge using the Fitzherbert Masonic Centre, as the next regular meeting will be at the new Amesbury Street complex. Ben a plumber and outdoorsman is welcome among us and we look forward to him being an active member of his Lodge.
I have just returned from a visit to Johnsonville where it was a real pleasure to see W Bro. James Sutherland reinstalled into the chair of KS.  The lodge has a long and rich history as the first move towards founding a lodge was at the Southern Cross Hotel on 9th August 1842. 

James had invited me to his installation as he is also a member of a Ruapehu based Lodge and I had been the master of that lodge who had officiated at James's third degree in 2013.  The Sutherland family have a long association with Lodge Rangitikei as James's Grand Father William was master in 1944 and Father Gordon RH was Master in 1963. Gordon now aged ninety three was present at his son's re-installation and as proud as you can be. 

The Grand Master MW Bo. Wrigley was officially in attendance which always adds to the occasion.  RW Bro Kevin Nelson of Lodge Aquarius No. 466 was invested as Past Deputy Grand Master much to his surprise at the meeting, and it was well deserved.  There was a great atmosphere at refectory and thoughts of covid replaced by comradery and the noise of friendly chatter.

All in all a good visit outside the district once again, and good to see a handful of Ruapehu brethren there, hope you had a good journey home.
Image: left Bro Kaylann McGuckin MM with W Bro Ancell WM
It was a bumper evening for Lodge Rangitikei No. 38 as they held an emergency meeting as per rule 80 of the Book of Constitution.  The reason was to initiate Mr. Hogan and Mr. Mason into freemasonry before the master left for a Visit back to South Africa, or the candidates would have to wait until May to be initiated. Unfortunately due to Covid restricts the Lodge decided not to invite visitors which as a shame as the first double degree ceremony which had not been performed for over twenty years was carried out with the precise professionalism Rangitikei has become known for. Refectory was a small but friendly affair.  As proposer for Brother Hogan and Brother Mason it was a proud moment to see two new members in the Lodge.  Welcome brethren to freemasonry.
It had been seven long months since the Officers of Grand Lodge and I had officiated at an installation meeting, the last being Rongotea Lodge back in November 2021. 

This evening we attended the Otangaki Lodge No.70 to reinstall W Bro. Paul Dickson back into the chair. It was a reasonable turnout considering we are in the darker months. As always there was a warm welcome and we were soon able to get into our stride and get the job done.  I have a lot of time for our rural satellite lodges being from a rural lodge myself. They have served the local community for many years. It was also good to see two entered apprentices attend, making the night complete.

Thank you to Otangaki for their hospitality, it was a good evening spent among friends.
Brother Yu with W Bro. Mansfield
Posted 6 June 2022

New Master for Research Lodge

On the Queen's birthday Grand Lodge was invited to install W bro. Jack Dowds into the Chair of The Research Lodge of Ruapehu No.444.

W Bro. Dowds originally hails from from Northern Ireland and made New Zealand his home some years ago.  Jack is currently a Kellerman lecturer with the Australian and New Zealand Research Council (ANZMRC).

The ANZMRC (est. 1991) brings together the Masonic Research Lodges and Study Groups throughout Australia and New Zealand. The aim of the ANZMRC was to promote research and education within Freemasonry in Australia and New Zealand and to act as a liaison body to the various Masonic research groups in those jurisdictions. The organisation seeks to promote Masonic research and education through biennial conferences that are rotated around the States of Australia and the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

Research Lodges are there to carry out Masonic research and pass on knowledge to the broader craft membership. I am sure that W Bro. Dowds will bring his vast experience to the role of Lodge Master and continue to deliver excellent lectures.
Posted 8 June 2022

Brother Yu Beginning of a Journey.


I had a wonderful evening tonight attending the initiation of Mr. Yu at Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge in our new Amesbury Street facility.

Covid had reduced numbers and a few changes took place at the last minute, not that you would notice.  This was the first official initiation for the Master and he did a good job and should be congratulated for pulling his team together.  Brother Yu was supposed to be initiated in May but once again due to Covid it was postponed a month. 

Also good to see two more entered apprentices from Rongotea Lodge there supporting their master. 

Welcome Bro. Yu to Freemasonry I hope you have many happy years with us.
Posted 14 June 2022

Te Awahou Lodge Installation

I was honoured to be able to install W Bro. Girling as Master of Te Awahou Lodge No. 133 this evening with the assistance of the Ruapehu Officers of Grand Lodge.  This is the first time in the chair of KS for our brother so to be able to do a full board after so long was a real pleasure. John joined the Scottish Constitution in 1981 overseas. and worked in China for many years where Freemasonry is not practiced.  he was a former member of  Lodges, Aroha and Homewood and joining the Foxton based lodge of Te Awahou in 2019.  In that time John has served as Secretary, Senior Warden and now Master. 

Numbers at installations are noticeably down, due to sickness and Covid, with many not staying for the festive board. It has become the norm for GL officers to outweigh the Lodge members and visitors.  However I was very grateful to see a Fellow Craft from Lodge Rangitikei and an Entered Apprentice from Lodge Otaihape present.  The meal was delicious being provided by the Nanyang Restaurant from Shannon .
My Year 2019 - 2020 Review
Year 2022