Central Division
2nd March Update

Dear Brethren all,

This message is being sent to Masters, Secretaries, and Grand officers in District 17. Each Lodge should decide if and how to on-post to their members, but it will be posted on my Comments page on the Central Division Website along with some photos.

I strongly support Lodges making sensible decisions about their meetings following the 7-Day Alert Level 2 restrictions. My Guidance to Lodges is similar to the last time we were in Level 2. I remind you of the link to a number of excellent resources - https://freemasonsnz.org/covid-19 - which have been designed to make it quite simple for Lodges to understand the protocols.


If you are not aware, our RW Brother Pratt is leading 2 of the workstreams for the Department of Internal Affairs around Covid resurgence so I am confident that the information I receive from him is sound and well informed.


Under Level 2, meetings of less than 100 are allowed provided social distancing is respected, contact tracing is undertaken, people who are unwell are told not to attend, and handwashing/surface cleansing practices are applied as appropriate.


Should a Lodge decide to cancel or postpone a meeting because of Covid, then please follow the proper process. Approvals for such changes will not be unreasonably withheld however the proper process must be followed to ensure that GL records are kept straight.


We are all waiting for the next announcement, but at the moment are working in the hopeful assumption that the District will be back to Level 1 next week.

I am delighted by the response from Lodges who have so far agreed to support the District Project sponsoring the Junior Pipe Band National Competition in Hastings. The organisers are waiting until Monday to decide about the viability of this taking place under the new Covid circumstances. Be assured that the monies that have been given will be faithfully applied for the purposes for which they were donated. They are so hoping that the competition will be able to proceed as planned and our sponsorship will help enable that if at all possible. I will keep you informed but would ask Lodges who have pledged a contribution to transfer the amount into the account so that I have a proper record from which to apply for the FC subsidy.


The Hawkes Bay Young Musician of the Year sponsorship reached its target and is scheduled to take place in September. Thank you for supporting that.


Look out for publicity recognising Freemasons' support for both these events in the media.


Last week saw the start of the new Masonic Year. Congratulations to VW Brother Ken Edney and the Officers of the HB Day Time Lodge who were reaffirmed in office last Thursday. Congratulations also to W Bro Don Casagranda and his team at Lodge Haeata. Seven Masters were present at this Installation which was followed by a most enjoyable dinner. I am particularly grateful to the Grand Lodge Officers who assisted me on these occasions. The Masters have asked me to especially pass on their appreciation.


I am looking forward to the Installations of WBro Ross Braybrook and WBro Bruce Taylor. Please note times.

Dates in my Calendar *indicates provisional





Visitors & Dress



Mon 8 March

District Roadshow meeting


6.30pm for 7pm

Smart Casual


As indicated

Wed 10 Mar

Lodge Omarunui

No 216






Sat 20 March

Lodge Waikaremoana

No 158






Sat 1 May

Divisional Conference*

Central Division


Smart Casual


In planning with possibility of Charity Dinner on previous night.





Update 13 January

Dear Brethren all,

This message is being sent to Masters, Secretaries and Grand officers in District 17. Each Lodge should decide if and how to on-post to their members, but it will be posted on my Comments page on the Central Division Website along with some photos.

We have said goodbye to a very disrupted 2020 and now live in hope that 2021 will be Covid free for us and that the vaccines will be successful in putting a close to the pandemic in the coming year. I sincerely hope that you and those you love have not been too badly affected - but am aware that some peoples’ lives have been changed irrevocably and many families have had to cancel international visits. We should be mindful of our members and neighbours circumstances and act accordingly. The bright side of 2020 is that we have learned to wash and sanitize our hands and to stay away from Lodge if unwell. Long may this practice continue. So, in wishing you a very Happy, Healthy, and Rewarding new year I encourage continued vigilance.

We want 2021 to be one where Lodges Thrive, Brethren are engaged, and Membership grows.


You will have read in the Freemason Magazine and elsewhere the purpose of the Grand Master’s Road Shows. These are the culmination of a lot of hard work and research by the GM, DGM, Chief Executive, Div GMs, Dist GMs and National Office. Please make every effort to have a good representation from your Lodge attend. The evening will be challenging and it will be somewhat of a watershed or turning point for the future of Freemasonry. I have booked Scinde Lodge refectory space and organised 100 chairs for our meeting on March 8th. All Key officers and committed newer members are especially encouraged but it is not an evening for prospective members. Your input will be welcomed and if 5 or 6 members from each Lodge can take the outcomes back then we will set on a path to establishing One Vision, One Goal, One Team. This is in your hands.


In each District Roadshow, there will be a short “Good News” section to recognise and highlight some of the good things that have resulted from Freemason activity in the community in the last 12-18 months. I am aware of the main projects but also know that there are many smaller stories that individual Lodges have undertaken. Please send me some detail and photographs of any Good News stories that I may not be aware of.


It is a privilege for me to be invited to be Installing Master at Lodge installations and I welcome all invitations to so preside. It does take some effort to arrange the team and with last year’s disruption there have been alterations to installation dates. I should also take this opportunity to thank VW Brother Colin Heyward for maintaining the DateCard and sending it out to Lodges. As with all things there are changes that occur due to circumstances, so it is important to communicate these. Please do inform me of your plans for Installation this year even if at stage they are provisional. It is extremely helpful if meeting dates are posted on the on-line calendar: One Lodge has posted planned regular meetings for the next 5 months with the Work TBC. I would really like to improve the use of this and am happy to post them for you if you inform me of the detail.

Dates in my Calendar *indicates provisional





Visitors & Dress



Mon 1 Feb

HB Research Lodge No 305


7:30 PM




Thu 25 Feb

The HB Day Time Lodge No 453*


11 am



Master reinvested and proclaimed. 50 year  badge presentation with Ladies/Guests in lodge followed by meal.

Sat 27 Feb

Lodge Haeata

No 272*





Installation. Lodge will tyle at 3pm and will receive visitors at 3.45pm and Grand Lodge at 4pm. Ladies program. Meal

Mon 8 March

District Roadshow meeting


6.30pm for 7pm

Smart Casual


As indicated

Wed 10 Mar

Lodge Omarunui

No 216*






Sat 20 March

Lodge Waikaremoana

No 158*






Sat 1 May

Divisional Conference*

Central Division


Smart Casual


In planning with possibility of Charity Dinner on previous night.




I will continue the tradition of wearing a Lounge Suit to Installations that receive me before 5pm and Formal Tails for those after 5pm unless otherwise requested by the Lodge.


Finally, I wish to sincerely thank all Brethren for the tremendous support I have enjoyed during the first of my three-year term. It is always good to receive feedback.



Here are  a couple of snaps:

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The Grand Master recognising the sirling work done by

Mike and Marion Kendrick over 6 years.



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Grand Almoner,                                                             Grand Lecturer,

VW Brother Paul Brittin                                                  VW Brother Graeme Morgan


Update 25 November

Dear Brethren all,

This message is being sent to Masters and Secretaries for on-posting to members. It will be posted on my Comments page on the Central Division Website where you will also find some photos of recent events – do take a look, I am always happy to receive contributions to this.

Christmas Greetings

I note that there is just a month until Christmas Day, so most Lodges are well into planning their end of year Christmas celebration. What a year it has been! We are so lucky in New Zealand to be able to gather safely as Freemasons and with our families at this time. It is pretty grim in other parts of the world where I know many of you have family and friends who face greater restrictions and/or are at greater risk of infection form the Covid19 virus. Personally, it has been difficult for Barbara and me as we have cancelled our visit to UK to see our newest grandchild and to celebrate Christmas with my 93 years young mum. Thank goodness for video messaging! I sincerely wish all Freemasons from all faith traditions good wishes and good health over this coming festive period. It is a time to look after each other, our elderly brethren, and our widows and perhaps to remind ourselves of the basic tenets of Freemasonry including the five points of fellowship. I would encourage all brethren to start the new year with optimism, being open in their outlook and noble in their intent and purpose by encouraging other good men to step forward in Freemasonry. To realise our purpose requires us to be tolerant and trusting of others, engaging and enlightening in out interactions, active and affirming in our relationships and mindful of the personal circumstances of others. Not all people are like this. Thank goodness for Freemasonry!

Recent workings

I have myself been reminded of the five points of fellowship several times recently as I witnessed Brothers Kelvin Divina (Rawhiti), Michael Hallager (Woburn), Derek Massey (Rawhiti), Sebastian Nilsson (Scinde) and Jon Farquharson (Scinde) raised to the 3rd degree. Lodge Rawhiti No 66 brought Derek to Lodge Haeata 272 on a fraternal visit and to demonstrate the alternative ceremony. There was a good feeling in the Lodge with about 45 in attendance. I have also recently attended the initiations of Brothers Zhane Whelan (Gisborne) Michael Job (Scinde), Eon de Klerk (Scinde), Andrew Woolman (Omarunui), Daniel Hurley (Omarunui) and Gilezandro (Glen) Asuncion (Haeata).

I have also placed the following Worshipful Brethren into the Chair of King Solomon: Colin Hinks (Research 305), Mark Holdaway (Rawhiti 66), Ross Braybrook (Omarunui 216), Ian Tamblin (Abercorn-Tuahine 76). I wish them and their teams all the best for the coming year. Lodge Omarunui’s Centennial installation was a splendid occasion with the attendance of the Grand Master and 70 or more enjoying an excellent dinner.

I have also attended three AGM’s, two District GMs Meetings, three Masonic AGMs, two service badge presentations, two charity presentations, as well as various other ceremonies in this District and in Auckland. This "busyness" has meant that I have been remiss in updating my comments posting and so have now added a medley of photographs to the posting below this one (more can be added)

Roadshow Update

I can now announce that the GM’s Roadshow is scheduled for Monday 8th March, probably at 7pm in Hastings (TBC). Please mark this in your Diary now, there will be a personal invitation to follow. If you need reminding of the purpose of this Roadshow I refer you to the Grand Master’s -  you can view it here and the Divisional Grand Masters’ video you can view it here. 

In October, the Divisional GM wrote to all members, saying that to ensure the future of Freemasonry we need to be “One Team with One Goal focusing on our One Vision” and that… “To bring this to life, we will be hosting roadshows early next year in each of the three Divisions. These workshops will enable you to hear how we plan to assist you in building thriving lodges but will also enable us to hear from you and the challenges you are experiencing at a local level.  The Grand Master and Executive Director will also be in attendance at each of the roadshows.

……We don’t have the luxury of this latest initiative being a talkfest – our numbers are sending us a clear message for the need to change – if we don’t do it now – it will be too late. So – you can expect a lot less “hui” and a lot more “doey”. You have our word.”

 Divisional Conference Update

The Divisional Conference is set for 1st May in Palmerston North. It will be following up on the Roadshow as well conducting Divisional business and other items of interest. We really hope to attract at least 4 members from each Lodge in the Division. At present we are trying to assess if there would be an interest for some in attending a Charity dinner on the Friday evening before the Conference. I will inform you of the progress as decisions are made but in the meantime be aware of the dates.

 One Vision, One Goal, One Team

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I was asked to sum up in 100 words my ideas/thoughts/plans in relation to One Vision, One Goal, One team for District 17. This was my response:

2021 promises to be a great opportunity for regeneration and growth. All Lodges need to be part of this, and the old hands should strive to identify key younger brethren to bring along to the District Road Show in the new year and the follow up Divisional conference on May 1. Our ONE TEAM needs to be:

              Optimistic and open in outlook

Noble in intent and purpose

Encouraging of personal development


Tolerant and trusting

Engaging and enlightening

Active and affirming

Mindful of member’s circumstances


Let’s make a future for Freemasonry!

Update 11 November

Apologies for the delay in updating activities - It's been a busy time. The following table is a Medley of snapshots. I will add more as they are sent to me.

WB Bruce Williams reciting one of his infamous poems in honour and tribute to Barry.



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Worshipful Brother Bary Severinsen's 50 years of active membership of freemasonry at The Lion Lodge no 114 where he is currently Master.

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Cutting the celebration cake under the Direction of DoC VW Brother Colin Heyward.




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WBro Mark Holdaway, WM Lodge Rawhiti 66 addressing Brother Derek Massey, MM


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VW Bro Ian Hunt, P Dist GM, Education Officer, making a presentation to Bother Derek.


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WBro Mark Holdaway exchanging the Hughes Gavel with WBro Don Casagranda (Haeata 272)at the fraternal exchange meetingIMG_1243 icon
IMG_0221 iconThe amount of Gold has discolored this photo!

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WBro Ross Braybrook, W Master

Brother Daniel Hurley being congratulated by WBro Bruce Greathead one week before the Centenniel Installation of Lodge Onarunui 21620200923_211707 icon

The Grand Master in the Masonic Hotel lift with appropriate floor decoration.

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The amazing Centenniel Cake

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IMG_9419 iconCombined constitutions presentation to Hawke's Bay Fallen Soldiers' Memorial Hospital .


IMG_9429 (1) iconTeddies for Loving Care Charity


20201029_185535 iconFriends of Malaghan Institute presentation at Lexus Hawkes Bay showrooms.



Brother Zhane Whelan (Lodge Gisborne 233) with WBro Ralph Scott, WM.

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Right-> Zhane with his proposer WB Rev Chris Douglas-Huwriwai, IPM.


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Update 30 September
119063449_3266848236741111_4370884688990884419_n icon 118933495_3266848600074408_2722743577981340806_n icon119048982_3266848676741067_1554008932271640308_n icon
119203363_3266848420074426_5504715877534273036_n icon Congratulations to Man Lok Tsang - flutist who won the HB Young Musician of the Year Competition with outstanding performances of works by JS Bach, Mozart, and Chaminade.
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Congratulations too, to the Hawkes Bay Branch of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers under the Chair of Mary McHattie for arranging such an excellent event. Paul Brittin and I were privileged to be invited to attend and present the first prize. The standard of all entries was exceptional. 

I am so pleased that through the generosity of District 17 Lodges, supported by the Freemasons Charity, we are now able to sponsor this event for the next two years as well.

I am grateful to Eve Casagranda for taking these photographs. Don Casagranda (Master of Lodge Haeata 272) and his wife, Eve were enthusiastic supporters. Thank you.


Update 3 September
Download YMY.pdf

Dear Brethren all,

I trust that you are all well. Our Freemason activities have been a bit like the weather; up and down – thanks to Covid19. I am writing mainly to update you about the Young Musician of the Year Competition and have attached the Poster that the organisers have produced. You may well have seen the advertisement and article published in the HB Today newspaper yesterday. It was good to see the Freemason Logo on display in the local rag. I am going to the venue today to deliver some of those smart-looking banners to be placed in the entrance and on the stage. I have been delighted by the generosity of Lodges and, as I said previously, will write to each participating Lodge to report what has happened and to thank them personally. At the Divisional Charity Conference in Palmerston North on Saturday, we were reminded that along with “rendering assistance to the aged and infirm” our charity extends “to rewarding merit and encouraging endeavour” which is clearly where this District Project sits. It is great that the Freemasons Charity are matching each Lodges’ contribution dollar for dollar.  I encourage Lodges to publicise their support for this in their newsletters and other communications as it is a tangible example of local Freemasons supporting youth and culture in the community.

I also attended a Divisional meeting of Dist GMs with RW Bro Pratt Div GM which was informative and useful. Initial planning has begun on organising a full Divisional Conference in Palmerston North on 1 May 2021 – so mark this in your diary. More details later.

Two other dates you should note are

  1. Installation of WBro Mark Holdaway at The Rawhiti Lodge No 66 on Saturday 19 September
  2. Installation of Brother Ross Braybrook and Centenary Celebration at Lodge Omarunui No 216 on Saturday 10 October. The Grand Master will be in attendance and will be accompanied by the DGM, Div GM, GDC, and many others.

With the worries over Covid it is very difficult for Lodges to organise these events with certainty and I know it would be helpful and appreciated if you register as requested in the Lodge Summonses when they are published.

Thank you to those Lodges who are successfully using the National Workings database and the electronic Dispensations system. Some computer security software systems automatically post a warning about the site being potentially dangerous. It is not. It is our site, known to us and I am assured that there is absolutely no danger to your computer system by accessing it. In time the necessary upgrades will prevent this warning from showing. In the meantime, you can just override this warning or add the site to the “white list”, if you know how to.

Here is the current listing of Workings on for our district on the database (http://www.themasons.org.nz/cdiv/createaworking.php ) – but it is not exhaustive (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE):

Wouldn’t it be great if all meetings were listed?

I will be uploading this update along with some recent photographs to my District Grand Master’s Comments page http://www.themasons.org.nz/cdiv/17comments.php later today.

You can read what Russell has to say here http://www.themasons.org.nz/cdiv/divcomments.php  

Congratulations to all Lodges who have been able to meet in these difficult times. In particular, congratulations to WBro Shaun Rogers (Scinde Lodge No 5) and WBro Colin Hinks (HB Research Lodge No 305) for assuming the Chair of KS. Also, respect and admiration to VW Bro Colin Heyward for being installed as Master of The Research Lodge of the Taranaki Province No. 323.

I have also attended two excellent 3rd degree ceremonies at Lodge Waikaremoana No 158 and The Rawhiti Lodge No 66. Pastoral visits to Gisborne and Central Hawkes Bay have been most enjoyable. I am especially looking forward to attending the various initiations that have been scheduled this month.

Sadly there are now only 12 Lodges in the Eastland Ruahine district. Emotions ran high on the sad occasion of Lodge Frimley’s closure. We know how hard they worked to keep going but are pleased that their members are deciding which Lodge they will now join and I know that they will be well received. I conveyed their Charter to Grand Lodge on Saturday. Their thoughtful legacy, passing on their building funds for use in the District, has been gratefully acknowledge and will be faithfully applied. The Trustees have written to me to advise all Lodges in the district that they have various assets to pass on to other Lodges and while they have had several verbal requests, would prefer requests in writing sent to Douglas McGechan <doug.claire@nowmail.co.nz>.

We remember and honour all our distinguished Brethren who have passed to the Grand Lodge Above. I met with four Lodge Haeata Brethren to share in the streamed funeral service of W Bro Bill Robottom. I am advised that the planned memorial service for WBro Bernie Kent has been postponed until 9 October.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have personally gained so much from my Freemasonry and made so many friends that I am ever hopeful that by Speaking up, Stepping up, and Showing up we will encourage others to join in, please continue to help me in this task.



frimley 8aug2020b icon Lodge Frimley No 359
frimley 8aug2020c icon W Bro Barrie Gibson receiving PM Certificate 
VW Bro Shuker presented W Bro Wallace Bain with his 60 year Bar at home wallace bain 60yr badge icon
Shaun Rogers before his installation icon Brother Shaun Rogers relaxing before installation at Scinde Lodge No 5
RW Bro Jim Watt, The Deputy Grand Master, addressing W Bro Shaun Rogers. IMG_4765 (3) icon
IMG_4753 (2) icon W Bro Shaun Rogers in the Chair
The Wendelboe-Madsen clan - Poul, Dane, and Raynor a family affair at Lodge Waikaremoana No 158 20200811_190018 icon
20200811_210638 icon W Bro Richard Mercer addressing Brother Raynor


6th August Update

Dear Brethren and visitors,

It has been a remarkably busy 6  weeks since moving down to Level 1. Many Lodges in the District have held a tentative “reconnect” meeting followed by trying to pick up where they left off before the Covis19 lockdown. One or two Lodges have decided to move more cautiously and will resume later in August or September. I have been able to make pastoral visits to Lion Lodge, Lodge Frimley, Scinde Lodge, Lodge Haeata, Research Lodge, Lodge Omarunui and Lodge Gisborne and have been please to find the brethren in good heart.

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On Saturday 18th July Brother Shaun Rogers was installed into the Chair of King Solomon. Scinde Lodge No 5 were honoured to have RW Bro Watt, Deputy Grand Master, MW Bro Pope, Past GM, and RW Bro Pratt, Div GM in attendance. On Monday 3rd August WBro Colin Hinks was installed as Master of the Hawkes Bay Research Lodge No 305. Being a former seaman, the Naval Compass Charge was presented by WB Courtney-John who travelled up from Wellington with VWB Masterton PDist GM Hutt Wairarapa and 4 others.

Sadly, I will be received  by Lodge Frimley No 359 at their final meeting on Saturday. The ceremony will honour the work done by the WM Master and Officers and the many former worthy brethren who have passed on to the GLA. More positively, the existing brethren will transfer to other local Lodges and help strengthen them by their support and membership.

I also launched a District Charity Project for which I am seeking support from the Lodges. So far response has been pleasing. The project will run for three years where I have undertaken to sponsor the Hawkes Bay and District Young Musician of the Year Competition. Please see my letter to Lodges and the press release put out by the Registered Music Teachers association in the following Links:

Download Letter%20to%20Lodges%20YMY.pdf
Download 200804%20Media%20Release%20Young%20Musician%20of%20the%20Year.pdf

On the 11th, 13th and 18th I will have the pleasure of attending 3rd degrees at Waikaremoana, Woburn and Rawhiti Lodges respectively. It would be good to have company to help welcome these new Master Masons into the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.



Scinde Lodge No 5. First meeting after Lockdown

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Photo courtesy of WB Gary Severinsen

Scinde Lodge was due to hold it's installation this month, but due to the lockdown restrictions, this has been moved to July. I enjoyed my pastoral visit which was a time for brethren to reconnect and for me to get to know some of their newer members better.

The photo shows WBro Richard Millea WM presenting Bro Tim Rutledge with his MM Certificate, assisted by the Lodge's DoC, VWBro Ian Hunt Past Dist GM, on 16 June 2020 at the first regular Lodge meeting after the lockdown. Tim was a butcher by trade, then decided to join the firm, Willis Legal in Napier as a Legal Executive.  He will be installed IG Saturday 18th July 3pm.  



Lion Lodge No 114- first meeting since lockdown!
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Brother Peter Jackson was invested as Senior Warden by W Bro Bruce Williams and, as Dist GM, I presented the Warden's Address.

WBro Vic Ives was invested as Chaplain and Bro Paul Roberts was invested as SW.

W Bro Barry Severinsen receiving his Past Master's Certificate for 2019/20. By special dispensation, due to Covid19, he is continuing as Master without formal ceremony.

20200608_120617 iconThere was a great feeling in the Lodge Room as the brethren reunited after Lockdown.

Level 2 restrictions complied with which included a modification to the S Warden's investiture (so that Gavel and Column were not handled. We held our breath for the photo opportunity.



20200608_122441 iconThe Toasts were proposed and honoured before departing for luncheon at The Black Dog.

VW Bro Bruce Hastie replying to the Visitors' Toast.


8th May Update Pandora's Box or Aladdin's Cave?

image icon Link to all on one page post

If you are a Facebook user or a regular Freemason website reader you have probably seen this. Even though I do both those things I have just realised how good this "All on one page" list of links is. It just turned up on my Facebook page (as they do) and I was amazed at the venerable Aladdin's Cave of resources both useful now and moving forward.

The pages says: We want to remind our Brethren of the resources we have on our website for this difficult time.

On our Covid-19 tab, we have ideas for Lodges, Freemasons and families. From Sudoku to Trivial Pursuits, Crosswords and YouTube videos, there will be something to keep all members entertained. We will continue to release more newsletters and resources in the coming weeks.

We encourage you to remain in touch (though distanced physically) with your Lodge, community and loved ones.

I felt that it was an excellent posting and put in here because I am sure there are many who have not yet seen it. It is certainly worthwhile clicking on the links to find the gems.  I wonder how many people have looked through the 14 pages of "Tool Box" ideas. The graphic below is from Page 12. 

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Happy surfing.

Most of you will have received the link to the MW Grand Master's video update #8, Here is the link if you missed it: https://youtu.be/J2c2iITOdkw

As I said in my recent communication to Lodges, perhaps we can now glimpse sight of the end of the tunnel. But as the GM says, follow the rules and keep safe. We are all eagerly awaiting the further instructions. I know how hard our senior team has been working in the background to think things through for the Good of Freemasonry in these extraordinary times. Thank you to those who have kept in touch with me.  You know, I even got my GL ritual book out last night for a refresher!

Fraternal good wishes

Nigel Friggens, District Grand Master

Freemasons, Family, and Friends...

Eastland/Ruahine District Members and their families reconnecting after lockdown.

65 joined for Sunday Lunch on Winter Solstice

Napier War Memorial Conference Centre was the perfect location and June 21st, the perfect day for a mid-winter get-together after the isolation of Covid-19 Lockdown. Eleven of the thirteen Lodges were represented at this celebration. It was not a day for long speeches but one for catching up with old friends and establishing new connections.

The caterers provided a delicious lunch at a reasonable price. There was no need for background music because the chatter would have drowned it. After a short welcome, respecting that some Lodges and some Brethren in the district did not wish to attend as they still felt vulnerable, Dist GM Nigel Friggens proposed a toast to Absent Friends. After, a heartily sung Grace, we enjoyed a feast of slow-cooked beef cheek, Hot roasted potatoes Green salad with lettuce, spinach, and beans. This was followed by Tea, Coffee, and slice.

Had the weather been kinder, there was a plan to explore the Marine Parade. To our Farmers' delight, it was raining! We were therefore particularly grateful to have a short concert and talk by a young solo Piper, Liam Reid. This was particularly well received.

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Liam Reid, a senior student at Napier Boys’ High School where he is currently Pipe Major. Liam studies under the supervision of Stuart Easton from Palmerston North.  Stuart is a past world champion in solo piping and is currently in the world top 10.

Thank you to Richard Bray, P Dist GM for organising Liam to perform for our entertainment and edification.

A big thank you to Liam and good wishes for his future career in piping that we will watch with interest.


A big thank you to Liam and good wishes for his future career in piping that we will watch with interest.
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Marion and Keith Bell with Ron Barrett.


Keith was one of three brethren who’s prompting sowed the seed for this post-lockdown get-together.


April 24 Update

Greetings Brethren All,

Since my last despatch, I have listened with interest to the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master in their Facebook live Q&A session. Here is a link to its recording if you missed the live event: https://www.facebook.com/freemasonsnz/videos/911387862638331/

Also, tonight I watched the Grand Master’s 6th Covid 19 video which you can see

on the the Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/freemasonsnz/,

the Fremasons Website http://www.themasons.org.nz/cdiv/

or on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUUzq7kUoxk&feature=youtu.be

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It is quite clear that every attempt is being made to reach out to Freemasons at this time. I myself have been in regular Zoom meetings with our Divisional GM, Russell Pratt, and my fellow Dist GMs. I have hosted some “random” Zoom chats with brethren in the district. It has been great talking to and seeing brethren from Gisborne in the North to Ormondville in the South (Hopefully I will connect with brethren in Waipukurau and Dannevirke soon - I appreciate and note their apologies). If you receive an invitation, I would be delighted to catch up with you face to face -you just need to click the link that I send at the appointed time – and if you want to jump the queue send me an email.

I appreciate that not everyone is geared up for this online world and I am so pleased to learn that the Lodge telephone trees are working well and that brethren keeping in contact that way. I am also very pleased when Masters simply pick up the phone and give me a verbal update;

I am posting this late on Friday night in the knowledge that some of you will be up at dawn in the morning and may well be checking your emails early. Yesterday I reminded you of the combined Freemason/RSA virtual ANZAC Service will stream live at 10 am tomorrow and I too encourage brethren and Lodges to “attend” this and to support the associated poppy appeal.

Instructions on how to access the Facebook Live

You can access it by first navigating to our Facebook page: 


At 10am, the live stream video will be at pinned at the top of the webpage for your viewing. The large, red LIVE icon will be visible to you. From there you will be able to add comments and watch the ceremony.

I have learned of several Lodges who have been making good use of this time to work on their Strategic Plan, review their bylaws and/or review their succession planning for the longer degree charges. All power to them!

I have also heard that this has been a very productive time for many in their gardens and with those DIY jobs that needed attention. For myself, I have painted the walls and window frames of my study and spare bedroom and the vege patch has never been so tidy!

We should always remember that this is a time of great stress for some people – as I read recently; “we may all be in the same storm but we are not all in the same boat”. Some brethren’s livelihoods are uncertain or at risk, others may be in a dark place through isolation from family and friends; still others are having to cope with working from home while looking after children. This is a time where brotherly love, relief and truth are much needed in our brotherhood and the wider community.

It has been distressing to learn of one or two of our members and Widows who are unwell in hospital and others who are undergoing surgery. Please reach out to them.

It must also be very frustrating to newer members whose advancement in Freemasonry has been put on hold. Please reach out to them too. If you are a newer member do not hesitate to pick up the phone to others in your Lodge.

While a little sombre, I thought I would end with some words that I think are appropriate at this time. A poem which speaks to Self-discipline and fortitude in adversity:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.





  • During the night he feels thankful for being fearless




  • He perseveres despite all the negative occurrences



  • Beyond his current life there are horrible things’ but even though time has passed he is not worried about what will come.



  • He is not concerned about his future because right now he is in charge of his actions

I have no knowledge as to whether Henley was a Freemason or not – but he should have been! A little research told me:

Invictus is a poem that focuses on the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity. It is a rallying cry for those who find themselves in dark and trying situations.

The poet certainly knew hard times. Born in Gloucester, England in 1849, he was diagnosed with tubercular arthritis at the age of 12 and went through years of pain and discomfort.

W.E. Henley wrote Invictus whilst in hospital undergoing treatment for tuberculosis of the bones, specifically those in his left leg, which had to be amputated from the knee down. He was still only a young man at this time.

It is reported that Henley met the writer Robert Louis Stevenson in Edinburgh. They became friends and corresponded on a regular basis. Stevenson later admitted that he had based his character Long John Silver - from the book Treasure Island - on Henley, he having a wooden leg, a strong rasping voice, and a forceful personality.

Stay home, keep safe, keep well, reach out.

Fraternal good wishes

Nigel Friggens

April 8 Despatch

I was extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of the new District 17 team. Over the summer we rehearsed the installation ceremony five or six times with the valuable assistance of past officers. In February, it was a proud moment for me to install Worshipful Bro Don Casagranda as Master of Lodge Haeata No 272, my Mother Lodge. Later in the same week, I had the pleasure of installing VW Bro Ken Edney into the Chair of Hawke’s Bay Day Time Lodge No 453. Both occasions were well attended by brethren from throughout the District and carefully organised  Ladies programmes were well subscribed and enjoyed. It was a great start to our term.

Having “bloodied” the gavel, baton, and wands we were geared up for what was to be a very busy month of installations including the Centennial Installation of Lodge Omarunui No 216 with a visit by the Most Worshipful GM. It was a particularly courageous and selfless decision for WM Bruce Greathead, Master Elect, Brother Ross Braybrook and the management team to pull the plug on these celebrations. This occurred on the day before the Level-2 alert was announced and the pandemic threat was only beginning to be realised. Looking back, it was exactly the right call to make but at the time things were not so clear.

As the level-4 alert and lockdown have come into effect lots of stories of disruption and plight have been reported in the media. I learned that WB Richard Mercer, WM of Lodge Waikaremoana and his wife Caryl had a very worrying time getting back from their trip to see relatives in Australia. Speaking to Richard yesterday, he was relieved to be safely in lockdown on his property in Wairoa after a grueling and uncertain flight back to Auckland eventually arriving home at 2.30 am last weekend. Spare a thought for PDistGM Bruce Hastie and Colleen who are packed up and ready to move into their new villa in a retirement village – the move was supposed to be last Wednesday but now the sale cannot be completed until 5 days after the lockdown.

In contacting the Lodges in the district, I have been encouraged by learning how the telephone trees and social media apps have helped keep people in contact. All we can do is look after each other by staying in contact, staying safe as we look forward to the resumption of masonic activities later in the year. With the latter in mind there is an opportunity to turn this  unprecedented situation to our advantage by using the time to make a daily advancement by improving  our ritual work – hence my challenge below:

VW Brother Colin Heyward’s Charity Beard Shave
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  • As featured in the Freemason Magazine, VW Bro Colin Heyward placed himself on the line by staging this Charity Fund Raiser,, I congratulate Colin and the team from the  Lion and Woburn Lodges for the success of their initiative.  It was reported that, at the close off date of 31st March there was a total of $7020 donated (this included a $2750 grant from Freemasons Charity) – what a great response effort.
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From my March 25 Update to Masters

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During this time of lockdown, you may like to take up what I have called the Eastland Ruahine Ritual Challenge:- there are three levels. I’ve suggested that you work with another brother by Phone, but it could equally be by Skype, Facetime, Messenger. This would work outside of the telephone tree and could be arranged centrally or individually.

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Level 1 – Newer members

Under the Phone Guidance of your mentor or Lodge Education Officer:

Pick a straightforward charge from the Blue book

Eg: Charge after investiture

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Level 2 – New Officers

Practice Openings and closings of all three degrees for your current and for your next position on the Ladder. Practice with the brother immediately above you on the ladder.

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Level 3 – More Experienced Charge Givers                         

Learn a new Charge: In consultation with you Lodge DOC or Secretary, find out which of the longer charges (any degree or tracing board) could do with having another presenter – and learn it


Grand Installation Photo of the District Team

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       Bill Feetham             Nigel Friggens            Paddy Driver          Graham Bundle

Quiz/Auction Night on October 4th, to raise funds for Hastings Womens’ Refuge.

Lodge Haeata 272, held a Charity Quiz/Auction Night on October 4th, to raise funds for Hastings Womens’ Refuge.


The Women’s Emergency Centre Hastings (INC) has survived only by the valiant efforts of a wonderful group of volunteers and the Grace of God. It is now firmly established and known, and proved to be providing an essential service in the relief of misery, the preservation of families, and the welfare of children.

Caring for people through charity is key to Freemasonry, and the members of Lodge Haeata 272, supported by  Hastings and Napier Lodges, are passionate about the difference that the refuge makes and want to contribute to supporting the women and children whose lives are turned around by the support they receive from our local Women's Refuge team.

The Hastings Women's Refuge are establishing another Safe House, and our Hastings and Napier Masonic Lodges want to provide the necessary funding to furnish the house.

Benevolence and helping those in need is a cornerstone of Freemasonry, so to this end, we organised a Charity Quiz Night and Auction, at the Havelock North Community Centre on Friday October 4th.

We wish to thank the 120 people who attended the evening and extend a special thanks to all our sponsors for their generous donations.

Cranford Hospice Syringe Driver Appeal

Hawke’s Bay-based Cranford Hospice sought assistance from the Freemason’s Charity to fund one of five Syringe Drivers that they needed for their palliative care patients. District Grand Master VWBro Ian Hunt made it an Eastland Ruahine District Project, contacting the Lodges in the District for their assistance. Although the two Gisborne Lodges fall outside of Cranford Hospice’s area and Lodge Haeata were already committed to their significant Hastings Women’s Refuge project, such was the immediate response from the other Lodges in the District that it became clear that funding the full five Syringe Drivers was a possibility.

Scinde Lodge No 5, The Woburn Lodge No 25, The Rawhiti Lodge No 66, The Heretaunga Lodge No 73, The Lion Lodge No 114 and Lodge Waikaremoana No 158 all donated to the Project and, with the assistance of Central Division Grand Almoner VWBro Mike Kendrick and District Charity Officer VWBro Paul Brittin P Dist GM, a Freemason’s Charity subsidy was approved. The District Grand Master added the Grand Master’s District Charity sum and when the Hastings District Masonic Trust generously donated to the Project the full amount of $12 970.00 was realised for five syringe drivers.

At the cheque presentation in refectory at Scinde Lodge, Cranford Hospice Volunteer Co-ordinator Amanda Aitken spoke of the specialist palliative care, grief support and care planning that the Hospice provides. Amanda also explained how syringe drivers allow patients to receive medication while still living at home with their family, maintaining as much of a  normal life as possible. Bro Jon Farquharson then gave an impromptu personal explanation of how Cranford Hospice had helped his partner Nicci and his family when they needed it most.

VWBro Ian Hunt, Amanda Aitken and Jon Farquharson

Update 31 March

Road show

Lodge champions

District Meetings in Hastings (9th April) and Gisborne (17th April)

Divisional Conference

The Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dear Brethren all,

This message is being sent to Masters, Secretaries and Grand officers in District 17. Secretaries, please on-post to all members.

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:

Download nl.docx

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