February is fast coming to a close and it has been a time when most Lodges have been getting back to work.We have two new Masters in the District Wbro. Alan Dean at the Petre Lodge and VWBro. Roderick Biel at Lodge Rangitikei. Both Installations went well and I would like to thank not only those Brethren who participated in the ceremonies but also all those visitors who attended. This District is well known for our visitor numbers and I'm am sure it is one of the main reasons that we are maintaining our membership numbers, and I hope we can continue in the same way. There are a few things coming up in March Including the Installations at Lodge Wharite on 15th March and Tongariro EC on 16th and then on 18th the 125th anniversary of Lodge Otangaki which will be attended by the Grand Master. This is a special occassion and it would be good to see a great turnout for this event.
A great night was enjoyed at Lodge Otangaki No70 in Ashhurst last week, when two new brethren were welcomed into Freemasonry in a double Initiation, both of the candidates are members of the Widows Sons motorcycle group. Also present were four visiting Entered Apprentices, all recently Initiated themselves, three from the Ruapehu District and one visiting from Kapiti Wellington. Also visiting was RWBro Jim Watt DivGM. The candidates Bro. Nicolas Schmidtt is of South African Descent and Carl Capillon originally from France where he represented France at U19 level as No3 in Rugby Union.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the United Wanganui Lodge for their annual evening of Benevolence. it was a very impressive night and I would urge other Lodges to attend and see the way it is conducted. I appreciate that not every Lodge has the necessary finances to have a similar evening but for those that do It is an excellent example of benevolence. Contributions were made to ten (10) charitable organizations outside of Freemasonry and three (3) associated. Representatives from each organization were in attendance and each were presented with a donation and gave a brief resume of who they were and what the donation would be used for, after which a light supper was enjoyed along with the opportunity for Brethren and those representatives to interact. The following Wanganui local charitable offices were all represented and received between $250 and $725 each
Victim Support, Birthright, Plunket, NZ Riding for the Disabled, St Johns Youth Division, NZ Opera School, Red Cross, Multiple Sclerosis, Camp Quality and Junior Neighbourhood. The associated Masonic Charities were The Masonic Court, Almoners Association and the Masonic Youth Trust.
As previously stated this was an excellent evening and certainly highlighted Freemasonry in the Wanganui area. I heartily congratulate the Brethren of The United Waganui Lodge and look forward to their continuing efforts.
Brethren it has been a while since my last comments. Blame Winter and the fact that I like many hibernate during this season. But Freemasonry continues regardless, Masonically we have seen several Installations, in June at Lodge Otangaki WBro John Stantiall started his 2nd year in office, in July Bro Chris Sills became the W.Master of St Andrew Kilwinning and WBro Gary Roberts was re-Installed as Master of Pa Ka Ma and at the very begining of August WBro Frank Vandenberg returned to King Solomans chair in Lodge Rangitane. During the same period there have been three new brethren join the District, two for United Wanganui and one for Te Awahou, there is also initiations scheduled for Lodge Pa Ka Ma this month and Rongotea and St Andrew Kilwinning in September. Keep up the good work. On the social front it has been a quiet period with the exception of Lodge Rangitikei who held a Winter Solstice dinner in July and in this Month joined the St Francis indoors bowling club next to Palm dairy in Marton for a few ends before returning to the Lodge rooms for supper. Well done Lodge Rangitikei interaction with the Local community is exactly what we need to be doing.
On Thursday 8th June Lodge Rangitikei presented “ The History of Freemasonry in the Rangitikei “ where friends, family and other non-Masonic visitors were invited into the Lodge Rooms with the Brethren wearing their Regalia.
The presentation was delivered by WBro. Ashley Williamson DistGDC in a light hearted, very informative and easily understandable manner, and was hugely appreciated by all. Questions from the visitors were asked and answered and a short talk on Masonic Benevolence was given by VWBro. Kendrick DivGAlm. Afterwards a very social hour was spent with the visitors in the Refectory where there was a display of Masonic Regalia, Literature, photos and other current and historical items. The Wanganui Chronical, although unable to attend on the evening were interested enough to make contact and arrange a visit to the Lodge Rooms the following Sunday and report on the evening.
This was a Great Evening and a shining example of what we should be doing to raise our profile around the District.
Brethren, on Thursday 25th May Lodge Pa Ka Ma No. 319 for the first time (to my knowledge) held a family and friends night in the Lodge rooms to present a demonstration of an opening and closing of the Lodge with an explanation of some of the Lodge furniture and the duties of the officers explained inbetween . 52 Brethren, partners, children and friends attended, no signs were
communicated and the VSL and Tracing Board remained closed. Questions were raised and answered. The evening proved to be very successful, informative (to those non masons) appreciated presentation and an excellant social evening followed. In the future I hope to incorporate this presentaion ( with the assistance of the Lodges ) into open days in both Wanganui and Palmerston North.
Last month saw RWBro. Wally Plank recieve his 50 jewell (see below) and now this last week WBro. Malcolm Pettman RH, has gone one (or should I say ten ) better.
WBro Pettman RH recieved his 60 year jewell at a presentation made at The Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 on Wednesday 10th May in front of his Friends, Family and Brethren. He is a very well respected Brother and has always been an active and busy member of the Lodge as well as being the District planning officer and the Chairman of the District Building Committee. He was the Lodge Secretary for 14 years is an excellant ritulist. He is an outstanding example of what we should all aim to be ourselves.
23rd April 2017
RW. Bro Plank Past Divisional Grand Master
50 Years a Freemason
On the 13th of April 2017 RW. Bro Plank was presented with his 50 Year Service Badge at Lodge Rangitikei No. 38, Marton.
Wally was initiated into William Ferguson Massey Lodge No. 282, Wellington in 1967 at the age of twenty-two, proposed by his Step grandfather. He was passed and raised in the same year.
In 1976, he joined the Baden Powell Lodge No. 381, then joined Lodge Rangitikei no. 38, Bulls in 1980, becoming Master of the lodge in 1990. Wally is also a member of The Research Lodge of Ruapehu No. 444 where he was Master, Lodge Wharite No. 451 and The Petre lodge No. 457.
On the 26th November 1993 Wally was invested as a Grand Steward. In 1995, he became Grand Director of Ceremonies. Assistant Provincial Grand Master in 1999, District Grand Master in 2000, Junior Grand Warden in 2003, Senior Grand Warden in 2004 and finally Divisional Grand Master, Central Division.
Over the past 50 years Wally has been an active Lodge member, taking part in Lodge activities and well as active roles in the Almoner’s Association, various benevolence offices, Delegate for the Ruapehu Masonic Association Trust, involvement with Masonic courts and villages, plus many more Masonic activities.
As well as his masonic career, he has Served as a prison officer at Paremoremo Maximum Security prison, managed a 130-hectare dairy and beef farm, served nine years in the NZ territorial army, Cub Leader, volunteer Fireman, working with young offenders performing community work and involvement in school and church committees.
We would like to thank RW.Bro Plank for his dedicated service to Freemasonry, he has helped many Masons on their own journeys and we wish you many happy masonic years to come.
Greetings Brethren all,
April has so far been a busy month starting with the Installation of WBro. Harry Coulson as the Master of The Research Lodge of Ruapehu No444, followed the next week by the Installation of Bro. Iain Robertson as Master of The Manawatu Killwing Lodge No47. The following night saw the presentation at Lodge Rangitikei Lodge No38 of a 50year Badge to RWBro. Wally Plank and a Certificate of Merit to WBro Robin (Ivan) Macann.
Brethren 50year badges and above are I believe are presentations that we should make an effort to attend there have been quite a few in recent years and perhaps because of that have not been as well attended as they should. But that is changing as candidates get older and fewer reach that high award we should recognise the dedication of those who get there.
This week The United Wanganui Lodge Installed Bro. Gary Brown into the Chair of King Solomon and it was particularly pleasing that his father was able to give the Obligation of Fealty.
Next week the NZEFMA will be attending the ANZAC ceremony at The Ashurst Domain on Tuesday 25th 12noon to join in the the Memorial and Wreath laying ceremony.
On Wednesday 26th April there are two ANZAC meetings -
1. The NZEFMA will be at Otangaki Lodge No70 for their annual ANZAC Ceremony.
2. The St Andrew Kilwinning Lodge No79 will be doing The ANZAC ceremony to the Empty Chair.
Saturday 29th sees The Divisional Conference taking place in Wanganui registration 8.30 - 9.30am This is an opportunity for all to have a say and to learn what is happening in the Division and of course our District. It is not just a day for Grand Lodge Officers and Masters to attend it is open to all so please make an effort.
Finally Just outside of April on May 2nd there will be a District Meeting to be held at the Fitzherbert Lodge Rooms at 7pm all welcome.
We are fast heading towards the end of March, the first part of which I missed due to a welcome break on the Gold Coast but on my return things picked up fast with the Installation WBro. Robert McLellan at Lodge Wharite No.451 on 15th.
The 16th saw us visiting Lodge Tongariro No.705 English Constitution in Wanganui for the Installation of WBro. Robert Jenkins it was very pleasing to see all four constitutions not only represented but also taking part in the ceremony.
On Saturday 18th Lodge Otangaki No.70 celebrated its 125th anniversary and the Lodge was honoured by the presence of our Grand Master MWBro. Mark Winger. The Grand Master was received at 3.15pm and after greetings and introductions the Lodge performed a 2nd degree.
After the meeting the brethren retired to the Village Valley Centre and met up with wives and partners for a social evening with drinks and an excellent meal which was thoroughly enjoyed.
The following day Sunday 19th an informal Masters meeting with the Grand Master was held at the Fitzherbert Lodge rooms with a number of topics discussed for the betterment of Freemasonry in the District.
February marks the start of a new year masonically speaking (Wharite apart) and I hope everyone has had a good break and are ready to get busy again. It also means the first Installations for the new team, and like London buses after a long wait two come along together. The first being Petre on Wednesday 15th and then Rangitikei on Thursday 16th, hopefully both will go well! The date for the Central Division Conference (29th April) in Wanganui is approaching fast and the closing date for Lodge representatives is 24th of February. Just a reminder of the Speak up for Freemasonry campaign, I'm sure that in this District we have already been doing this hence our excellent record of higher membership levels but we must not get complacent, we all need to be working hard to attract new members. I would like to wish all Lodges and Brethren a great Masonic year for 2017.
Christmas is fast approaching and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the Brethren in the District, their families and friend all the best for the holiday season and to hope that the New Year brings prosperity and happiness to all.
Brethren all, I sincerely trust that you, families and friends have all enjoyed an excellant Christmas and New Year. Hopefully everyone is refreshed and ready for the forthcoming year, which starts earlier than normal with thhe Grand Masters visit to St Andrew Kilwinning on 20th January on the celebration of their 150th anniversary. Events have been organised for the 19th, 20th and 21st details have previously been circulated. Also upcoming in February are the Installations at Rangitikei Lodge No38 in Marton on 8th and Petre Lodge No457 in Wanganui on 21st. After much consideration I have decided that the District Charity for my term will be AutismNZ, raising funds to purchase special watches clocks and stopwatches for the use of those falling with the Autistic Spectrum, I look forward to your support. The Wanganui and Palmerston North offices of AutismNZ cover all of the Ruapehu district and our assistance will go a long way to aid them.
I look forward to working with you all in the forthcoming year and I am sure that with your continued efforts we will grow the Membership within in the District and maintain the Fellowship and Brotherhood that is so strong here in the Ruapehu.
A new year has begun and it brings new challenges,after what I hope has been a relaxing and happy time for all we need to get our masonic hats back on and look at how we can advance Freemasonry in our District. Bearing in mind The MWGM new initiative "Speak up for Freemasonry". There are two events coming up this month. Firstly on 17th The United Lodge of Wanganui invites all Masons friends and family to an evening entitled "My life in music" presented by Della Jones an NZ Opera Tutor the evening commences at 6pm with light refreshments.
On 26th we have the Summer Lecture at the Fitzherbert Ave Lodgerooms commencing at 7.30pm the guest speaker will be the Area Commander NZ Police once again the invite is to Masons family and friends.
I'm sure both will be very interesting evenings and our support where possible wold be appreciated.
Brethren Last night at Rangitane WBro Maru was presented with a Roll of Honour Certificate and Badge after a short Christmas message from Bro. Puki of Lodge Rangitikei. The presentation was made by RWBro. Marshall PDepGM and it was very interesting to hear the amount of work that Mick Maru has put, not only into Freemasonry but also into the local community. The evening was enhanced by the presence of wives / partners and guests including a ukelale group from the local Marae who played during the Refectory proceedings and I would strongly reccomend them to any Lodge who wants to enhance their evening.
I would also like to remind people that next week WBro. John Lowen will also be honoured with Roll of Honour at The Petre Lodge in Wanganui on Wednesday 14th visitors 11am a good turn out would be appreciated.
These awards are not given out lightly and the recipients are fully deserving of them and we should do our best to attend these presentations.
This is my first practice on the new comments site for the District. My first official visit has now been arranged and it will be to Lodge St Andrew Kilwinning. on the celebration of their St Andrews evening Grand Lodge will be recieved at 8pm and I'm sure it will be and enjoyable evening for all wives and friends are also welcome and a short address will be given in lodge by the Wanganui mayor before a traditional Scottish evening
20-11-2016. Brethren today is my first day as DistGM. after attending the Grand Installation and I would like to congratulate WBros Ashley Williamson, David Johnson and John Pennell, who were invested as Dist GDC and GS's respectively. The Insatllation was a great success especially when you consider the problems that have hit the Capital as well as many areas in NZ during the past week, and congratulations must go to the organisers. It was good to see some brethren in the audience especially those from our own District it was a pleasure to see them there. The Grand Istallation is not just for GL officers it is open to all. I have been invited to attend Rangitane Lodge on 6th December for their annual Christmas message this will be my 2nd official visit. I also will be attending the St Andrews Lodge Installation in Brooklyn 30th November to support the newly Installed VWBro Johnston (Merv) who has the privilage of being the first newly Installed DGM to conduct the ceremony.
First official visit completed nerves settled a little but the big test still to come, it was a very enjoyable evening at St Andrew Kilwinning with a relaxed feel and even brethren smiling in Lodge, the Mayor of Wanganui gave a short talk of his ideas for the future of thr area, it was good to see so many visitors and ladies at refectory, a very social evening and a pleasure to have been there. It was unfortunate that it clashed with the meeting at Otangaki, which I would also liked to have attended being a 3rd degree.