Latest News - REPORTS
Updated 23/04/2022 - New Items this week shown with a Star
Lodge of Unanimity – A Scottish Celebration
Masonic Visitors to the Marlborough Lodge of Unanimity were treated to a wholesome evening with a Scottish tradition, being an annual event hosted by Lodge Unanimity No. 106, at the Charles Street Blenheim Masonic Centre.
The Lodge was opened-up to all visitors, wives and partners for a special Presentation of local history from a strong Maori cultural perspective, delivered by Dr. Peter Meihana, a Senior Lecturer from Massey University originally from Marlborough, in the region during Covid times.
Dr. Meihana is the nephew of sitting Master W Bro. Lawerance McDonald. He spoke on the rich land use and connections of the people to region especially to the tribes, iwi, and wider tribal linkages of New Zealand. An interesting topic of Aqua culture using man made widened natural canals to trap fish using a series of gates with the high tides in the estuary system of the Wairau lagoons.
The evening was attended by V.W Bro. Cameron, District Grand Master accompanied by Grand Lodge Officers of District 23, Marlborough-Nelson-Westcoast District for the Lodge’s annual Official visit. V W Bro Cameron appreciated the nod to his Scottish roots as well as his wife’s family connection to local iwi in the Marlborough Sounds highlighted on the evening.
The purpose of the evening being to honour past member Andy Stewart. Bro Stewart left funds with the Lodge in his Estate. This legacy included instructions that an appropriate Scottish evening be held annually at the Lodge, in order to extend hospitality and Masonic friendship to all.
This tradition has been running for the last 30 years and was heartily attended by local brethren from the craft lodges. A piping in, blessing and toast to the Haggis was appreciated by all. Sharing of a wee dram alongside haggis and trimmings was enjoyed alongside the guests and partners who attended in addition to a good spread of finger foods, a game of chance and fraternal friendship.
Photo Credit (Massey University - Dr. Peter Meihana)
Uploaded by Chris Williams 23-04-2022
A new Fellowcraft at The Forest Lodge
A recent meeting of The Forest Lodge No.116 was the hosting of an Official Visit by District Grand Lodge Officers. Sitting Master W Bro. Chris Hobbs welcomed the Official party for the Regular meeting.
Forest brethren conducted an important working on this occasion. Bro Albert Oberholzer was passed to the Fellowcraft degree. The venue was at the Waimea Club in Richmond where District Grand Master VW Bro Allan Cameron sent greetings on the first call from the Grand Master, MW Bro Graham Wrigley.
It is pleasing to see a new mason progressing through the craft degrees. There is much learning, development and growth to be had for both Bro. Oberholzer and the brethren of The Forest Lodge. An invitation was extended for an end of month Grand Lodge working at Waitohi Lodge in Picton to the newly passed brother to attend as a visitor.
There will be a double Second degree, with one candidate from the Forest Lodge, the other from Lodge Eckford in Blenheim. The working will be conducted by Grand Lodge Officers assuming the Officers’ chairs and conducting many of the charges.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 20-04-2022
Torea Installation & 70th Year Award
The Installation meeting of Lodge Torea No.121 was held recently with much celebration and ceremony. The Grand Master MW Bro Graham Wrigley attended accompanied by District 23 Grand Lodge Officers with District Grand Master VW Bro Allan Cameron. The special occasion was to especially recognize the service to craft with a 70 year award to W Bro. Frank Robertson.
Worshipful Brother Francis Alexander Nieson Robertson, born 6th August 1924 in Cardenen Fifeshire, Scotland. His father travlled to New Zealand preceding the family to work in the mines on Denniston.
Mrs. Robertson, sailing from Edinburgh with 9 children, upon arrival she said these words famous in the family, “O Whattie what hae you brought us to?”. With a house at Coalbrookedale to live in the first improvement was hot and cold running water from the creek to the new bathroom. The first house over the way to have running water.
School days for Frank was at Burnetts Face school, he was dux of the school in 1937. With 12 months at Denniston High school, Frank followed the family tradition of working in the mines and all earlier thoughts of a career ended with his first job as a 14 ½ year old clipping on and off the rope road. Later an apprenticeship in the carpentry shop was available and. Without older brother Bobby Robertson arguing with Franks father about this, he may not have had the opportunity to take it up.
Franks father was not keen as Franks wages would drop considerably and would affect the whole family. At 15 he joined St Johns First Aid and later went to Auckland to train as an ambulance driver, being the first qualified for the Buller. He got a civic award for his duties 57 years later and he is a life member.
After a 5-year apprenticeship he worked for 45 years as a carpenter for the mine. Building around the mines and pulled them down again after the rush. He built 3 houses in Waimangaroa, one of which is his own.
When the Waimangaroa Community centre was built, the soccer clubs Frank and all his brothers belonged to, fund raised. Working to pull yellow pine out of the bush and set the piles up for the building of the Waimangaroa Community Centre.
With his knowledge on the building committee and for over 60 years Frank was Chairperson, with his wife Cath as secretary until just a few years ago. He was on the committee of the Buller Mining Districts Community Centres from 1948 until recently also.
Both Frank and Cath during their 75 years of marriage have been very strong supporters of their community, with a great love of soccer, and the Waimangaroa Brass band, plus Medical association. With four sons interested in Scouts, so a Scout hall needed to be built.
They are founding members of Westport’s Older and Bolder group travelling around New Zealand and even Australia. “Friends of the Hills” both Cath and Frank are founding members, although Cath has lived her entire life at Waimangaroa, the maternity ward at Denniston Hospital was where she was born.
With Frank’s first home Coalbrookedale on Denniston, both have worked to see the community building back on the Hill. Frank has been and still is a trustee of “Friends of the Hill”.
His Masonic career began 1/9/1952 at Lodge Aorangi No. 89 on Denniston and being I n the mine on shifts it was with great difficulty to travel, but travel they did, the length of the coast from Kumara to Blackball and north to Karamea, in the dead of night with tough roads to drive as he travelled home.
The year Frank become Master of the Lodge in 1960 and the huge job of moving the Lodge down the hill and reinstate at Waimangaroa with the hallway and kitchen built from salvaged materials from the old Lodge at Denniston.
Aorangi Mokihunui No. 89 formed in the 1970s and even in the 2000’s Frank and his team of younger workers were under this building re-piling. Frank has a Roll of Honour for his work around the Lodge. By 2011 Aorangi Mokihinui closed and joined Torea. During the finalizing the move, it was found that when the lodge was moved down the hill all brethren brough shares. £100 was raised to move the Lodge. This was a significant amount of money to come out of a family, but they all did.
Over time it was found there needed to be two signatories to tidy up ownership, so Frank and his brother Bobby the last living brethren signed over free of charge the building for the use of Freemasonry. This building still stands today with thanks to the work, dedication and community spirit shown to us by Worshipful Brother Francis Alexander Nieson Robertson.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 20-04-2022
Masonic Assistance from Australian brethren
W Bro. Rich of the Forrest Lodge in Nelson, New Zealand was thankful for the assistance his 81 year old mother received from a group of Freemasons at her residence in Melbourne, Australia. In his own words, “this is Freemasonry at the grass roots”. Brighton Freemasons recently sent out the word to help those in need.
Mrs Rich very proudly relayed to the Brighton brethren that her son was a Freemason in New Zealand. W Bro Rich was very appreciative for what the Brighton brethren did for his mother, assisting with a garden clean up at her home recently. A credit to the brethren and Freemasonry in the region.
W Bro Harry Pontikis from Brighton remarked, that W. Bro Rich has brothers world wide and they were only too pleased to lend a hand. New Master mason Bro Mark Harrison from Oakleigh was one masons who provided relief by living his masonic values alongside the other brethren. The “Gather my Lodge” working bee concept is a real and visible way lodges can help those in need in their communities directly.
Mrs Rich was very grateful for the help from the local Freemasons, who couldn’t thank them enough as she is not able to tend to her garden as she has in the past. The result was a garden transformation and a job well done.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 20-04-2022
Fellowcraft Degree – Lodge Waitohi No.111
The February Regular meeting in Picton at the Waitohi Lodge No.111 was a special evening for Bro. Nicodemo. The Lodge Brethren under-took his Passing to the Fellowcraft, or Second degree of Freemasonry. He is now mid-way on his Masonic Journey. The ceremony instils in candidates to make the Liberal Arts and Sciences his future study: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy.
It was a well-attended gathering of visiting brethren from across the region with humour and fun shared in refectory. A theatrical Third degree with the fraternal visit is planned for May 2022, to the North Island to be hosted by Lodge Eketahuna no. 92.
The invite has gone out to all brethren in the region to accompany Lodge Waitohi brethren, who share fraternal ties with Lodge Te Puni in the Wellington region. Lodge Te Puni will travel with the Southern brethren to the Wairapara, for a ‘special third degree ceremony’.
Masonic-Marlborough Special Olympics BBQ
On a Friday evening, 25th February local Brethren from the 6 craft lodges in the region came together with the Marlborough Special Olympics community athletes’ families and supporters. The Marlborough Kennel club allowed us to use their Club rooms and grounds to host a bbq meet and greet.
There were 41 participants who had a thoroughly enjoyable shared bbq. A fantastic range of food and drinks for all. Thank you to W Bro Barker and Bro Malin who manned the bbq, which was on loan from the Mortgage Room in Blenheim.
It was a great opportunity to strengthen efforts to assist Special Olympics Marlborough over the coming months. In practical terms looking to gather a list of volunteers to do transport to weekly sports practices in the region. The athletes participate in: Ten pin bowling, golf, Swimming, with a wish to add equestrian too.
Freemasons New Zealand have naming rights to support the National Special Olympics held later this year. Lodges at a Regional level have been encouraged to get in touch with the Athletes and supporters to see where assistance is needed.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 19-04-2022
Greetings Brethren – Freemasons Charity
From the pen of the Southern Divisional Grand Almoner – V.W Bro Dai Eveleigh
Greetings to all. I’m very proud and excited to have been appointed the new Southern Divisional Grand Almoner and look forward to continuing the excellent work of V.W.Bro Jeff Elston. I have personally been involved in charity projects since joining The Crown Lodge, Canterbury District no.25, both in raising funds for charity and supporting local organisations.
Sitting on the Canterbury Masonic Charitable Trust as a Trustee and Past Chair has been particularly rewarding, helping groups of all shapes and sizes in the Canterbury area. The opportunity to extend this Charitable work in the Southern Division was one of the main reasons to accept the nomination for Southern Divisional Almoner.
Outside of Freemasonry, I enjoy rabbit hunting, adventure motorbike riding and camping with my wife and daughter. My career as a Financial Adviser and Director of the business allows flexibility in my schedule and I hope to visit Lodges throughout the Division when possible.
I look forward to working with the District Charity Officers, Lodges and Brethren to promote and enhance charity in the Division.
V.W. Bro Dai Eveleigh
Charities Update 2022
From the Southern Divisional Grand Almoner:
There have been a number of exciting developments at The Freemasons Charity over recent months including the successful implementation of the online Grant management software, and the release of the Charity strategy, mission and vision statements.
Fast Track Grants have been renamed as Critical Needs Grants to better reflect the purpose. Critical Needs applications can be made though the District Charity Officers to supply vouchers up to $1,000 in value, with decisions and payment made quickly.
Lodge Projects that meet the out-come based criteria can apply for a 1 for 1 grant from the Freemasons Charity.
What is out-come based criteria? The Freemasons Charity have stated the criteria as the following; Provides relief of need, improves the lives of individuals, provides a benefit to the community, will build our community profile, involves active participation by Freemasons. For an application to be successful, it must meet at least one of the out-come based criteria.
For more information or to discuss your Lodge or District Charity project, contact your District Charity Officer(s).
Uploaded by Chris Williams 12-02-2022
Lodge Waitohi Christmas Gathering
The Waitohi Lodge anchored in Picton recently hosted local brethren from the region. The gathering was the Annual Christmas dinner, opened this year to brethren from the wider Masonic community.
Covid-19 vaccine passports were required for entry at the Waitohi Sports bar and restaurant (formerly the Toot n Whistle). A large continent of Masons and partners enjoyed a night of fun, laughter, friendship and dining. It is at these events we connect with brethren and families building stronger bonds enjoying the benefits of Masonic family and fraternity.
Willow Bank ‘Tiny Lodge’ Official Opening
The Forest Lodge No.116 extend thanks to the Guardian of Willow Bank who sponsored the build after suggesting that we erect a Tiny Lodge on site at Wakefield. The seed for the project followed an installation at the Village in 2019. Eighteen months since plan hatched, and twelve months since first groundwork began the Tiny Lodge is complete.
In early December, the Tiny Lodge was formally opened. A brief Masonic meeting was held in the lodge. A family BBQ was enjoyed afterwards in the grounds of Willow Bank Heritage Village, Wakefield. District Grand Master, VW Bro Cameron travelled over from Blenheim to officiate and to 'cut the ribbon'. Three other Blenheim brethren rode over on Harley Davidsons.
A number of brethren from across the District attended this very special evening to open the Tiny Lodge, unique to the Nelson region and within New Zealand. Visitors to the Heritage Village will be able to explore the lodge on open days. When Masons are present a look inside at the details of the interior will be open to one and all, all questions invited.
Partners in Freemasonry
The monthly Wives and partners lunch was organised by Wairau Lodge No.42. The groups organise independently each month to connect and enjoy each others friendship. Every month a new venue is selected to dine for lunch with the Marlborough region offering a range of choices.
This month the group dined at Fairweathers Restaurant and Bar in central Blenheim. The lunch was the last for 2021. Keep an eye out for future get togethers for early 2022. All Masonic partners are welcome to join this social group at upcoming lunches from early next year.
Lodge Eckford – Installation
The meeting held under dispensation for Lodge Eckford No 334 on the last Saturday of November was well attended. W Bro Williams was installed into the Chair of King Solomon. Officers of the Lodge were invested on the occasion, with newer members taking up a new challenge for the ensuing year.
The Annual ceremony of Installation is incredibly special for a Craft Lodge. W Bro Williams has previous experience in as Lodge Master. He will be well supported by the Lodge and the wider Masonic community. V W Bro Cameron, District Grand Master and District Grand Lodge Officers carried out the ceremony of Installation.
A good number of visiting sitting Masters and accompanying brethren attended in support. The Refectory dinner was held at the Clubs of Marlborough’s Taylor room.
First Degree – Entered Apprentice
Lodge Wairau No.42’s November meeting was the initiation of Bro. A Verhey, the Lodge’s newest Entered Apprentice. Sitting Master W Bro M Uren was in the chair of King Solomon. Bro Verhey begins his Masonic Journey. The Lodge welcomes Bro Verhey to the craft and the wider local Masonic community.
Sublime Degree of Master Mason
The November meeting at Lodge Awatere No. 292 was particularly special for sitting Master, W Bro. Barker. This degree working marks the Masonic journey for a new candidate in special terms. In this case it was especially memorable, as the candidate was W Bro Barkers son. Bro. Barker was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. W. Bro M Barker travelled from Nelson to participate in this family celebration. Lodge Awatere welcomes its newest Master Mason to the fraternity.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 30-01-22
Royal Arch Presentations
The Marlborough Royal Arch Chapter met recently to award several companions their Royal Arch certificates. Companions Malin, Barker, and Stevens were presented certificates by RE Companion Marsh. Presentations were made to a number companions who under took the Arc Mariner degree earlier in the year. In addition the sitting First Principal, VE Companion Mir and VE Companion Plummer immediate past First principal obtained degrees for Commander Noah.
A pathways ceremony to the Cryptic degrees was also delivered by members of the Cryptic Council. To encourage participation in side branches of the Craft.
Sublime Degree – Master Mason
Lodge Havelock 104 raised Bro. Campbell to the Sublime degree of Master Mason at the November Regular meeting. Bro Campbell has been progressing on his Masonic journey as one of Lodge Havelock’s newest brethren. A Daily advancement in Masonic knowledge and understanding, as well as contributing to the community is at the heart of all our endeavours.
Lodge Unanimity – Entered Apprentice
The November meeting of the Marlborough Lodge of Unanimity No 106, with W Bro McDonald in the Chair was the initiation of Bro. Austin. Lodge Unanimity Officers did a stirling job in guiding the Lodge’s newest Entered Apprentice during the ritual. The Inner guard and Junior Deacon did excellently. For some Officers it was the first degree working since installation, owing to Covid 19 Lock down meeting restrictions. All performed well. Bro Yakoya was presented with his Master Mason certificate by RW Bro Musgrove GJW on the same evening.
Lodge Waitohi – Second Degree
The Lodge at the October meeting passed Bro. Horscroft to the Fellowcraft degree, with W. Bro Smith in the Chair. This coincided with the re-scheduled annual Grand Lodge visit by VW Bro Allan Cameron, accompanied by Grand Lodge Officers of District 23.
The night was unique in the recognition of several Waitohi Brethren. W Bro Bill Keenan received a Roll of Honour award for his services to the Lodge. W Bro Bascand and W Bro Robertson having earlier in the year received awards were photographed in Grand Lodge Regalia. W. Bro Bascand awarded for his services as Lodge Secretary for 30 years. While W. Bro Robertson, awarded the rank of Past Grand Tyler.
Joining Bro Horscroft in the South-East were 2 visiting Fellowcraft brethren from Lodge Awatere and Lodge Wairau. A great sight.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 25/12/2021
Fellow Craft Degree – Lodge Wairau
The October Regular meeting for Wairau Lodge No.42 was the passing of Bro. Figuracion to the Fellow craft – Second Degree. It was a special meeting where sitting Master, W Bro Uren gave the chair to VW Bro Warmouth to undertake the degree working. W Bro Warmouth had not in the past the opportunity of conducting a Second degree working in the Chair of King Solomon.
Bro. Figuracion is encouraged to make the 7 Liberal Arts and Sciences his future study to add to his Daily Advancement in Masonic Knowledge. The Lodge looks forward to his next step in the Masonic journey.
Grand Lecturer – First Degree Presentation
The Regular meeting of Lodge Awatere No. 292 in October was well attended by visitors to partake in a special Presentation. It was the first meeting after Level 4 Covid lockdown in the Marlborough region. Many brethren took the opportunity in a fraternal visit hosted by Lodge Awatere.
The Education night was the delivery of an ‘in-person’ Zoom adapted researched presentation by V.W VW Bro David Marsh, one of the District 23 Grand Lecturers.
The presentation was on the First Degree ceremony, designed to de-mystify the meanings, symbols, and content of this degree. VW Bro Marsh illustrated with thought provoking evidential content. He left the audience to consider some interpreted explanations as well as letting the brethren do some further Masonic learning to add to their Daily advancement in Masonic Knowledge.
District 23 – Zoom meetings
Freemasons NZ working at Divisional level set up specific Zoom meeting accounts to allow brethren to connect during the Nationwide Level four Covid Lock-downs in August 2021. Supported by District Grand Master Allan Cameron, brethren met online on a weekly basis until October to co-ordinate assistance for brethren and families, connect, and speak face to face using video calling technology.
The zoom platform was used especially well by District 23 brethren, whilst compared to other regions in New Zealand. It allowed direct contact with Freemasons down as far as Greymouth and up to the top of the South island; Marlborough and Nelson.
This platfrom was especially useful in the cancellation of the New Zealand-Australia Research Lodges’ (ANZMRC 2021 Tour) tour by Lecturer Jack Dowds. The one off face to face presentations throughout NZ were replaced by twice weekly zoom lectures over September, from sets of popular papers.
Lodge of Instruction
A Lodge of Instruction was held recently in October during Level 2 Covid alert at the Charles Street Masonic centre in Blenheim. The session was led by District Grand Master, VW Bro Allan Cameron.
It was well attended with a wide cross-section of brethren from the 6 craft Lodges in the region: Havelock, Waitohi, Eckford, Wairau, Unanimity, and Awatere. Brethren were selected to take Officer’s roles that were new ad unfamiliar.
A run-down on the function of the Lodge, symbolism, and meaning of the Officer’s roles was given. The brethren performed an opening and closing with discussion and questioning round the aspects of the process.
The Lodge of Instruction is intended to be informal, informative and interesting for those attending. All attendees learned and took something away from the evening, while older brethren refreshed their Masonic Knowledge too.
One positive outcome was to bring Brethren together and discuss aspects like Land marks and those unique customs each lodge holds as a part of their culture.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 14-12-21
Partners in Freemasonry
The monthly Masonic Ladies lunch was held recently and was hosted by Lodge Waitohi. The lunch was held at the Waitohi Sports Café and bar. A great time was had by the attendees with great food and company. Get in touch for future gatherings, the wives and partners would welcome one and all to attend.
Uploaded by: Chris Williams 11/12/21
Lodge Nelson – Sublime Degree
A new Master Mason at Lodge Nelson’s Regular August meeting was raised to the third dgree. Bro Nick Watts was impressed with the ceremonial efforts by the Lodge Nelson brethren. A number of Masonic visitors enjoyed the hospitality of the brethren of Lodge Nelson on this occasion.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 28-08-2021
Havelock Fellow craft
The August Regular meeting of Lodge Havelock 104 hosted a great number of Masonic visitors to pass Bro. Campbell to the Fellow craft degree. Bro Campbell did exceptionally well with his test questions of the First Degree. It will be exciting to witness his further progress in the craft. The Senior Deacon of the Lodge, Bro Rowlinson conducted the ceremony with confidence and decorum. It is pleasing to see brethren progressing through the Officers’ chairs, while guiding newer members.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 28-08-2021
Combined Lodges’ Mid winter Dinner
This year’s Marlborough masons Mid-winter dinner was hosted at the Clubs of Marlborough. Of the 43 diners assembled there was good representation of families from the 6 craft lodges in the region. The Taylor room at the Clubs decoratively set up for Christmas, with a tree and decorations, and table settings.
It was especially heartening to welcome new families to the Masonic fraternity, with friendliness, welcoming chats, and great banter. The relaxed dining experience was accompanied with roast beef and ham, roast vegetables presented well, and a range of dessert options. The children’s table was well received with the young folks in charge of boxed chocolate to divide and share and take home.
Uploaded by Chris Williams 27-08-2021