I congratulate the Lodges for managing their affairs during the uncertainties of Covid-19, in accordance with the wishes of members, National Office Directives, and Government/Health Department regulations. For some Lodges this has meant cancelling meetings. Others have submitted a tailored Risk Mitigation Plan and operated under these as private social gatherings while at Level 2. Importantly no one should attend if they are unwell, feel vulnerable, or have vulnerable people at home.
Things might change rapidly. I am aware that we are far from through the worst. As December approaches, we await the implementation of the Covid-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light System). The Grand Master has stated that: The Board of General Purposes will finalise their decisions and recommendations on the Covid-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light System) for lodges and members at their Board Meeting on Sunday 28th November 2021 after more clarity from the Government on how it will operate. Paramount will be the health and wellbeing of all our members and lodges will need to make decisions that reflect their lodge mitigation plan, facilities, demographic of membership, health, and wellbeing of all members (including vaccinated verses unvaccinated) under the framework. The new guidelines will be promulgated in an official message from our Grand Master MW Bro Graham Wrigley at the beginning of December.
In the meantime, we can operate as private social gatherings while under Level 2 providing a suitable Risk Mitigation Plan has been approved by myself. It is important that Lodges who wish to cancel meetings request dispensation to do so through the Divisional GM so that we have a clear record of what Lodges are actually doing. The Dispensation is simply a formality that keeps all the records straight in an organisation whose leaders regularly change.
You may care to follow the links
Facebook Page, contains Eastland Ruahine postings that show some things that have been happening.
My Comments (Central Division Website where this and previous updates can be read. I will also add a collage of recent snaps.
Central Division Main Page, contains many interesting links and a new message from the Divisional Almoner.
FreemasonsNZ- this is the main public-facing website and is getting an increasing number of visitors and enquiries from prospective members.
These are important means of communication and will continue to evolve and develop.
YMY & Special Olympics
I am extremely grateful to the Lodges who supported the Hawkes Bay Young Musician of the Year sponsorship and who have donated to the Special Olympics. It was a real pleasure and honour to have the Grand Master attend the YMY prizegiving and, the following day, present the “cheque” to the local Special Olympics Committee Chair. It is disappointing that both events have been affected by Covid, but Freemasons’ involvement has made it so much easier for the organisers to cope with the disruptions and postponements. The good that will-out from these events cannot be underestimated for the people involved and I am proud that Freemasons have enabled this. I hope that you have seen the pictures on Facebook or the My comments page.
Congratulations to VW Brother Adrian Douglas for his appointment as Divisional Grand Almoner and to RW Brother Colin Heyward for his preferment to Past Grand Warden. These two brothers have worked tirelessly for the good of Freemasonry.
WB Keith Scholes was installed as WM of Abercorn Tuahine Lodge No 76 on 9th October. It was a pleasure to be the installing officer on this special occasion where a Master Mason assumed the Chair of King Solomon. Unfortunately, Keith has since had a spell in hospital, and we wish him well in his recovery.
On 13th November, VW Brother Richard Bray was installed as Worshipful Master of The Woburn Lodge No 25. This, too, was a special occasion enjoyed by those who were able to attend.
Both of these installations involved official reception of Sister Constitutions.
I have previously congratulated W Brother John Miller for his installation as Master of Research Lodge No 305. This Lodge meets quarterly. All newly raised Master Masons are entitled to free membership for two years. At the November Meeting, a colourful and informative presentation of associated masonic Orders was presented by VW Brother Ken Edney PGL and WBro Bruce MacConnell PG Swd B. I have put up some snaps on My comments page.
It is with great sadness that I note the passing of:
VW Brother Michael Miller (12/06/1946 - 29/10/2021) of Lodge Abercorn Tuahine No 76. Michael served as Master in 2001 and 2002 and was District Grand Master 2006-2008.
W Brother Grahame Williams (15/01/1939 - 30/09/2021) of Lion Lodge No 114. Grahame served as Master in 1977 and 2002.
I pay tribute to all our departed Brethren, and express deepest sympathy to those who are bereft of their presence. The sprig of acacia, a significant symbol within our Masonic Brotherhood, signifies our Brotherly love and fellowship with them.
Resurgence of interest … Degree work pending
While these last two pandemic-years have been fraught with difficulties it is so encouraging to see the number of new or prospective masons coming forward throughout the District. Several lodges, from Gisborne to Dannevirke, have degree work pending and double-degree ceremonies or emergency meetings have been organised to help deal with this. I am reliably informed that this is a pattern repeated in other parts of the country. A combination of factors might account for this resurgence of interest, and I believe the time is right for us to stand up, speak up, and show up, (as we are able) for the good of Freemasonry. In conversation with many new members I have been impressed by the zeal and excitement expressed at having begun to discover some of what we, ourselves, have about our excellent institution. To the past masters I say: “Let us remember our own introduction to the Craft and allow the gentle unfolding of the mysteries…”. To the initiates: “Go steadily, at your own pace, and enjoy your Freemasonry”. I am so pleased that individual Lodges are making their presence felt in the community with their Lodge Projects. I note that Scinde Lodge No 5 are embarking on a year’s fundraising for Cranford Hospice. As part of this Barbara is joining with me in the cycle event this Sunday in Napier and I know of at least one Lodge that has decided to support this effort through Scinde Lodge in order to boost the one-for-one Freemasons Charity subsidy. We of course will be cheating by using our e-bikes! Non-cyclists are welcome to meet at Snapper Café for Lunch.
It would be trite for me to simply wish people a “Happy Christmas” when so many are affected by business, health, or family separation worries due to the global pandemic.
Last year, in her Christmas Day message, the Queen began by saying: Every year we herald the coming of Christmas by turning on the lights. And light does more than create a festive mood—light brings hope.
Continuing: For Christians, Jesus is ‘the light of the world’, but we can’t celebrate his birth today in quite the usual way. People of all faiths have been unable to gather as they would wish for their festivals, such as Passover, Easter, Eid, and Vaisakhi. But we need life to go on. Last month, fireworks lit up the sky around Windsor, as Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, providing joyous moments of hope and unity—despite social distancing.
The Queen also recognised, that: for many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness: some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family-members distanced for safety, when all they’d really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand.
Her Royal Highness has suffered her own personal loss this year and her example of fortitude is admirable. Winston Churchill famously said, “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection”. As Freemasons, we could do no better than to reflect on the symbolism of “light” and “the squeeze of the hand” in the Queen’s message.
May I convey every good wish for Christmas to you and your families. Be kind, and stay safe.
2022 sees the changing of the guard in Freemasonry. Serious thought needs to be given to succession management at National, Divisional, District, and Lodge level. There are proper and formal processes in hand for this, so stay alert.
It is important, however, not to wish away the time – there is still a whole year to go and much to be done. Building on the success of last year’s divisional conference, there are plans afoot to hold a special divisional Training Day and Charity Dinner in Palmerston North on Saturday 26th February. Please mark this in your diaries as an occasion to encourage attendance (Covid permitting).
|Research Lodge 305 describing Orders associated with Freemasonry.|
MW Brother Graham Wrigley, Grand Master visiting Woburn Lodge No 25 to invest RW Brother Colin Heyward as Past Grand Warden.
It made the papers!
|RW Brother Jim Watt, Deputy Grand Master was officially received at the installation of WBroer Keith Scholes, RH at Abercorn Tuahine No 76|
Presenting the "Cheque" to Special Olympics HB at the Celebratory breakfast,
Lodge Haeata, Lodge Woburn and Lion Lodge grouped together to establish a District Project which was generously supported by the other Lodges in the District and the Freemasons Charity,
Presentation of the Gold Ribbon Scholarship to Quinn Le Lievre, winner YMY 2021,
Presentation of Siver Ribbon Scolarship to Ivy Wu, 2nd Place
Click for more photos
This advertisement ran this morning’s Hawke’s Bay Today, Entertainment section:
Our sponsorship of this event is due to the generosity of the District’s Lodges and the Freemasons Charity. It is good to see that the organisers are working hard to make the event happen by adapting to the Covid restrictions. If we are still in Level 3, the event will be postponed by one week. I will be attending to award the First and Second Prizes which will be named Freemasons Scholarship Gold Ribbon and Freemasons Scholarship Silver Ribbon. We should all be proud of the encouragement we are giving to young musicians in the District to strive for excellence by enabling this event to take place.
This event and its sponsors are also being publicised in radio commercials and on the internet. I am very proud of this publicity – not because I want to boast about Freemasonry per se, but because such publicity places us firmly in the public eye and helps “normalize” our fraternity to an audience that otherwise has many mixed views about what Freemasons are and do.
This is exactly the same with the Hastings Junior Pipe Band Competition last year, and the National and District Projects supporting the Special Olympics this year. So, too, with your own Lodge projects – I urge you to try and maximise as wide an audience as you can – not to crow, but just to quietly keep our name in the public consciousness – which will hopefully encourage interest from other good men to enquire about joining.
There was a lot of excellent information in the Divisional GM’s excellent email to all brethren on Monday. I fully support all that Russell has to say therein and commend the work he has done for Freemasonry. All the points in his communication deserve full attention by all Freemasons. I shall not repeat what he has said but would strongly encourage you to go back and read his messages and follow the links again. I know that I had to do so as I was busy with something else when it first arrived.
Lodges will be planning to reschedule their meetings around the necessary Covid-19 restrictions, and this is frustrating for everyone, especially the management committee. But that is all we can do. Three dates in my Diary which I would like to share:
On a sad note, tomorrow I will be one of the 10 allowed attendees at the funeral of Rev’d Ann Dinniss, a personal friend and Lodge Haeata Widow who passed away last week, three days before her family who live in Sweden were released from MIQ.
Stay safe and be kind to your friends and neighbours.
“Hawkes Bay Athletes to Special Olympics”
I am pleased that Lodges have read and responded to the Special Olympics Circular. Prompted by enquiries from Lion Lodge and Woburn Lodge, and by agreement with Lodge Haeata, we are combining each of their Lodge fundraising projects into a District Project that will attract a 2-1 subsidy. Lion and Woburn have fund-raising projects in hand that includes firewood sale, and Lodge Haeata has set up a Movie Night. The proceeds will be pooled into the "HB Athletes to Special Olympics" fund and they will be used to help the local athletes attend the Special Olympics. I note the following extract from the circular:
It has been agreed that all funds raised for the Special Olympics by Lodges, Districts or Divisions will be banked into the appropriate Divisional Account. Central Division – ANZ Bank 06 0501 0871840 00
Divisional Treasurers will keep a spreadsheet and send this to The Freemasons Charity noting individual Lodge’s contributions.
The Freemasons Charity will provide for Lodges a 1:1 subsidy, or if it is a District a 2:1 subsidy to a maximum of $5,000.
If between us we can raise $5,000, then a further $10,000 will be provided by the Freemasons Charity. Note that $5000 is the maximum amount for which the subsidy will apply.
I invite other Lodges in the District to contribute to this fund by organising their own fund-raising activities (sausage sizzle, movie nights, raffles, Lodge Collections, etc). Please contact me if your Lodge is willing and able to contribute to this fund.
Message from District Charity Officer
WBro Geoff Waterworth may live in the southern part of our district but thanks to the wonders of modern technology, that does not matter. Telephone and email communication are all that is required. For those not familiar with the face of this hardworking and committed Freemason, I asked for a photo, and Geoff also sent a message:
Recently I was appointed as the Charity Officer for the Eastland Ruahine District. I have huge shoes to fill and thank VWBro. Paul Brittin on behalf of all Brethren within our District for the outstanding work he did, not only for the individual Lodges, but as a great advocate for the Charity.
Being new in the role, I have plenty to learn but commit to do my best to help all Lodges with their charitable projects.
It was evident at the recent seminar held at the Hawkes Bay Masonic Centre, the Freemasons Charity encourage, and welcome Lodge/District charitable projects and they really do want to support every project they possibly can.
The commitment made by the Freemasons Charity to support the Special Olympics is not only a great event, but an opportunity to promote Freemasonry to the wider public. Local Lodges are getting onboard by raising funds to assist local athletes attending the Games.
I do urge all Lodges, that if you have a charitable project in mind, to make contact so that we can approach the Freemasons Charity.
In the words of my predecessor, it is your charity Brethren, so not only can we support our local communities in a tangible way but promote the best of Freemasonry.
The Freemasons Charity will provide assistance where possible for those in genuine need, so please make contact in confidence any time if required.
I can only grow in this role with your support and ideas Brethren, I am only a phone call or email away.
WBro Geoff Waterworth - 027 437 8063 firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s been happening
Woburn Lodge worked a second degree for Brother Andrew Snowball – with a difference; after the Lodge was opened the Master ceded control and working of the Lodge to the “Electrical Brethren”. WBro Ross Braybrook took the chair and all the offices were filled by electricians (of one sort or another) to pass a fellow sparky. It was quite an illuminating evening! Lodge Omarunui also passed Brother Daniel Hurley to the 2nd degree, and they invited WBro Bruce Williams to present the working tools to his newly discovered long-lost relative. Congratulations to these two Fellow Crafts.
Congratulation to WBro Roger Sinclair on being installed into the Chair of King Solomon at The Heretaunga Lodge No 73 on Tuesday 13th July. The Lodge room was full, and the refectory well presented.
Congratulations too, to WBro Ian Tantrum who received his 50 year service Badge at HB Daytime Lodge last Thursday.
It was with great sadness that we paid tribute to Ted Hill PM Lodge Frimley. St Matthews Church, Hastings was filled with friends and relatives celebrating a life well-lived.
Gisborne and Wairoa have suffered badly with weather events over the winter which have caused road closures and cancelled meetings which has been most disappointing for all concerned.
Last night there were five entered apprentices in the Lodge room. One, a visitor from EC, three recently initiated members of Lodge Haeata who very competently presented each of the working tools to the candidate, Danny Blackman. Welcome to Freemasonry Danny.
There seems to be a resurgence of interest in Freemasonry at the moment. I believe it is the result of the increased openness and social media presence. Several Lodges have raised candidates in the last 18 months but I had to read the minutes of Lodge Rawhiti twice to see that at their last meeting 8 new candidates were proposed! They will have to resurface that section of State Highway 2 to accommodate the number of trips we will be making!
I look forward to meeting those who are able to attend the upcoming installations at Scinde Lodge and HB research Lodge.
Nigel Friggens, District Grand Master
What’s been happening.
I know that the Lodges have been remarkably busy as Freemasonry in the District has forged full steam ahead with social, ceremonial, and charitable activities. It has been a pleasure to attend the events that I have managed to fit in to my schedule. There has been too much write a full report but I have sent out the highlights to all Lodges.
The PDF can be downloaded here: Download Update12%20June.pdf
Update 31 March
Dear Brethren all,
What a great turn out to the GM’s Roadshow in Napier. About a quarter of the District’s members were present. Thank you for making the effort and thank you, Scinde Lodge, for hosting this event. I know there have been mixed reactions and that had been anticipated. I know that some attendees went straight back to put some ideas directly into action. One Lodge immediately amended the duties of the SW and JW to regularly follow up calls to members who do not attend. They also added to the Tyler's duty that of being a “meeter and greeter” at the start of the evening, particularly welcoming visitors.
I have deliberately waited until now to write to you, having only just read all the feedback comments from the Napier Road show AND the other two Road shows held in the Division. We are at a watershed and need to join the One Team. I apologise for the length of this update but encourage you to carefully read and consider what I say and view things through the eyes of newer members.
The bottom line is that Freemasonry will not survive unless there is a change. That change cannot be magicked from above, it has to come from the actions of its members over a period of time. We have the promise of improved resources and websites and we also have the expertise of a National Executive Officer who has been able to objectively view our situation and, working with the Grand Master, has offered us a call to action. We need a person from each Lodge, not necessarily tied up with the hierarchy, to be a champion for their Lodge’s path to becoming (or remaining) a thriving Lodge in this modern world (THAT IS OUR ONE VISION). From them I would like to find one or two District champions to help coordinate and share ideas and this could involve facilitating District socials; BBQs, get togethers; working bees – anything that, in turn, enables Lodges to thrive. Zoom communications will be available to assist.
Used here, the word “champion” means “a person who vigorously supports or defends a person or cause”. That cause for us is the active promotion of THRIVING lodges with ENGAGED brethren.
Our Divisional Grand Master, Russell, has written:
“To be clear – I have no intention to formalise the role of the Lodge champion in this Division. I don’t want to bog the role down with prescriptive job descriptions, the role has no rank, it is not ‘invested’ at installations – it’s a person in the lodge who will coordinate and “own” their Lodge’s “road” to thriving. The champion will most likely be a newer member; not a grand lodge officer; not a senior office holder in the lodge and be prepared to do the role for at least 3 years.
I would much rather a lodge not have a champion than have the wrong person. I am happy for District Grand Masters to call a District Meeting and talk about the role of the champions ahead of each being selected.”
As I see it, our committed, established Masons have much to pass on to the next generation and will continue to do so as they guard the Landmarks against encroachment. A new Master and his Wardens have a huge task in terms of ritual and planning meetings. With the best will in the world they cannot fully attend to these other issues. Other Master Masons also have much to offer. They could well be the champions we need to make Freemasonry a more enjoyable experience.
Recent surveys have identified the attributes that make some Lodges thrive. These will be shared through the Lodge champions. It will be useful for Lodges to look at each of the attributes; apply a ‘test’ to see whether they meet the bar – to learn what work then needs to be done. Lodges who have a living strategic plan have already done this. So, here is a possible plan for action:
The Lodge champion will be responsible for driving an annual (but rolling) exercise within Lodges to mutually identify and agree barriers to them being thriving. Each year each Lodge should choose no more than 3 improvement areas and focus on fixing them.
The Lodge champion will, in conjunction with other Lodge champions and the District champions define the interventions required by the Lodge as part of the improvement programme. What needs to happen; who needs to do it; how long will it take; and how they will know they have nailed it. The champion will ensure the Lodge celebrates small milestones on their “journey to great” (always knowing there will be bumps and setbacks along the way).
The Lodge Champion should be given 5 mins at each Lodge business session to outline what was achieved in the previous month and the plan for the next month.
So, the Lodge collectively decides what needs to be worked on; the champion facilitates, brokers and influences achievement of those outcomes by defining and measuring the small incremental activities required to deliver the bigger picture.
I propose to hold two short (1 hour) informal District meetings for ANY brethren to attend if they want to know more about champions:
These meetings may have 2 or 20 attendees – it doesn’t matter. It is for Lodges to ask questions or for individuals who are interested in becoming a Champion to present themselves. If you can’t make the meeting, I am happy to receive direct enquiries by phone, text, or email.
I have just viewed the final draft for the divisional conference that will be sent to all members in the next day or so. It looks exciting. A Charity Dinner on the Friday night with Ladies Programme and Conference on the Saturday. I hope that at least four members from each Lodge will attend including your champions or prospective champions.
This conference is an important step in the process of effecting change. It is important for all Lodges to support it in whatever way they can. There will not be another one for three years.
With the announcement of Freemans NZ sponsoring the Special Olympics, Lodges may wish to direct their charitable efforts towards event. This sponsorship, along with the two district projects, individual lodge projects, and the increasing social media presence, put Freemasonry very much in the public eye and men are wanting to join. Let us make sure that they join thriving Lodges.
Liberal Arts and Sciences
With all the talk about change, we should never lose sight of why we exist as a group. The sentiments expressed in our ceremonies are important and if we are true, we need to walk the talk. It, therefore, seems appropriate to include an article I put together in my own Lodge’s newsletter:
On a Mason’s journey through life, he is encouraged to pursue the study of the seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. If you Google “liberal arts and sciences masonic” you will find enough links to keep you occupied for a number of hours. In my search, I found the following graphics rather helpful.
Download nl.docx (Download to view graphics more clearly)
….and have found the following quotes interesting:
“The modern freemason can apply to the seven liberal arts and sciences a special and appropriate metaphor for a life of self-improvement and mental growth. This goal is symbolized in our lodges by the rough and perfect ashlars and by the Masonic agenda of taking a good man and making him better.” https://skirret.com/papers/seven_liberal_arts.html
“We may go a step further. Suppose a lodge member is critical, captious, fault-finding, prejudiced, and ignorant; he adds nothing to the Brotherhood, and he is a cause of trouble. If the lodge could persuade him to ascend the seven steps of the arts and sciences consider how it would affect him; his prejudice and vanity would drop away, for these are fruits of ignorance; his captiousness would vanish, for that comes from a lack of culture; his enlarged mind would make him more tolerant of others’ opinions and more patient with others’ faults, for great knowledge always begets humility. The man who has captured even a little vision of the wide world of knowledge can never be bigoted or vainglorious because he has learned how little he himself really knows. Masonry needs the Arts and Sciences for the sake of brotherhood itself!”
I might suggest that “captious” and “vainglorious” are attributes of the “cringe factor” in our meetings. Let us all guard against this. As I said in the recent Freemason magazine;
Our ONE TEAM needs to be: