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Update July 27

“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:

A person wearing a suit and tie

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceGreetings Brethren

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.

Yours fraternally

WBro Geoff Waterworth - 027 437 8063 henworth@xtra.co.nz

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


update June 12

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

Special-Olympics-Launch-GM-1 icon


Update 31 March

Update 31 March

Dear Brethren all,

Road show

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.

Lodge champions

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.


District Meetings

I propose to hold two short (1 hour) informal District meetings for ANY brethren to attend if they want to know more about champions:

  1. In Hastings Friday 9th April, Jervois Street 6:30pm
  2. In Gisborne Saturday 17th April, Gordon Road, 10 am (morning of Lodge Gisborne’s Installation)

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.

Divisional Conference

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!”


  • [Def: Captious: adjective FORMAL:  tending to find fault or raise petty objections.  Eg "a captious teacher"]
  • [Def: Vainglorious: adjective LITERARY: excessively proud of oneself or one's achievements; overly vain. Eg "this vainglorious boast of personal infallibility"]

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:


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