Brethren it is with considerable pleasure that I welcome to the Divisional Team, WBro. Russell Pratt PGS as the new District Grand Master for the Kapiti Wellington District.
Russell is a fifth generation Freemasons and was initiated into The Coronation Lodge 127 as a Lewis in February 1983. He was Master of Lodge St Matthew in Masterton in 1997 and again Empire Fergusson Lodge No. 225 in 2010. He is also a member of the Waihenga St John’s Lodge and a member of the Research Lodge of Wellington.
Since November 2013, Russell has been the Divisional Representative on the Board of General Purposes. Russell has also been the driving force behind the formation, development and maintenance of the Central Division Website for the last 5 years and latterly the Northern and Southern Divisions websites.
Married to Tania and with 6 children (three daughter’s weddings in the last 6 months which have kept him busy) Russell can best be described as an entrepreneur having been self-employed for the past 30 years.
He is passionate about Freemasonry and he brings to the role a wealth of business and masonic skills.
Russell takes up the role on 1 March 2018 and a date for his investiture will be advised shortly.
I look forward to working with him over the next two years.
RWBro. Jim Watt
Divisonal Grand Master
I know that at this time Merv would be wishing you all a Merry Christmas in his cheerful Irish way, so I know that you will all join with me as we send our thoughts and best wishes to Denise and family for what is going to be a very diffcult Christmas for them. Our same thoughts and best wishes go out to all familes who this year face their first Christmas without someone they love.
2017 will go down as a year with many highs and lows, but we can at least look back knowing that to some extent it has masonically been a good year and that the Kapiti Wellington District No 19 is strong and healthy. I thank you all for your work and support of Merv over the year.
Penny and I extend to you all our best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We trust it is shared with the ones you love and I look forward to seeing you all in 2018.
On Sat 4th of November W/Bro Bill Taylor was installed as Master of The Coronation Lodge, It was a fantastic to see the large number of Brethren accompanied by their wives and partners turned out to support Bill on his big day.
Brethren, On the 16th of Oct United Horowhenua Lodge hosted the Dep Grand Master RW/bro Graham Wrigley to there 200th Meeting of the Lodge, It was also a special meeting night for Bro Andy Hardy to have the Deputy Grand Master visiting to witness him take his first step in freemasonary.
A good turn out of visitors wives and partners supported the Lodge on this special ocasion,and a large number of Grand Lodge officers also attended to welcome and support RW/Bro Graham Wrigley Deputy Grand Master.
Brethren, It was great to see a good gathering on the 3rd of October to witness W/Bro John Irving being installed as Master for a second term at Lodge Aquarius No 466, John is making great progress with his lodge and we wish him well for the coming year.
Brethren, it was indeed a pleasure to be at Bro Callum Frasers 1st Deg on the 28th September at Lodge Homewood 447. I am sure his Father, W/Bro Craig Fraser & Grand Father VW/Bro George Staples Past GL, were very proud to welcome their son and grandson into the Lodge.
What can only be described as a huge month for Lodge Homewood, with W/Bro Craig being installed as Master on the 2nd Sept in the presence of the Grand Master MW/Bro Mark Winger GM who, while in Wellington on other masonic meetings, seized the oppertunity to visit an Installation in Kapiti Wellington District 19.
The United Horowhenua Lodge welcomed another new member last evening when it initiated Bro Gilmar Freire back into Freemasonry on the 18th September. Gilmar was initiated over twenty years ago in his homeland Brazil, but Brazil not being recognised by Grand Lodge, had to start over which he did with style. The Worshipful Master W/Bro Brian Evans welcomed Bro Gilmar into Freemasonry as did the District Grand Master VW/Brother Merv Johnston who welcomed him as a member of the Kapiti Wellington District. A great evening attended by visitors from five Lodges who witnessed an excellent ceremony and finished off with supper in the refectory.
The 15th September was a fantastic night enjoyed by all who attended Westminster Lodge 308 Installation,and to witness and support the installing of W/Bro Richard Illingworth as the new Master for the year 17/18. The refectory that followed was one of enjoyment and comardarie, sharing a glass of wine and conversation with old freinds,and best of all celebrating new freindships that were made on the night.
What a fantastic night for W/Bro Craig Fraser as the new Master of Homewood Lodge. It had it all on the night with the visit of Grand Master attending the Installation while in Wellington at meetings. this really capped of a great night for Craig
What a proud night for W/Bro Craig with his 2 sons and other family and friends around him celebrating a grand feast in refectory. the room was a buzz of activities including the fantastic toast to the Haggis by RW/Bro Kevin Nelson SGW.
On Thursday the 24th August I had the oppertunity to welcome another fine young man Bro Julius Pagaduan into the District 19. It is great to see the number of young men joing the lodges of our District, and great for Freemasonery in general, long may it continue
Brethren it was fantastic evening on the 22nd of August to witness the Installation of W/Bro Bill Hudson as new Master of Empire Fergusson Lodge No 225 the ceremony was carried out by the Railway Craftsmen. R/WBro Warren Workman PDepGM as Installing Master for the evening. Railway craftsmen came from all over the country as far away Marlborough, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay & Manawatu for this ceremony, The large attendance was also kept well entertained in refectory preceedings afterwards with lots of toasts and good old reminiscing of past association history of this group of worthy Masons.
We had another fantastic night at United Horowhenua Lodge on Monday the 21st August to witness Bro Ronnie Baker take his first step in Freemasonry, Ronnie will be one of four young men to be initiated into United Horowhenua Lodge 464 this year so far, everyone who attended the evening had a great time,and as always the lodge really looked after their visitors with hospitality and a warm and friendly welcome.
The 9th Aug we had the installation of W/Bro Fraser Stephens at Lodge Hinemoa Karangi No122. Fraser is continuing for a second term and is looking forward to a great year. The installation was well attended and enjoyed by all who visited on the night.
W/Bro Leon Grandy's last night as Master of lodge Westminster was an eventful night of presentations & ceremonial work.
A packed lodge room witnessed a special night for Bro Chris Wellington being raised to the degree of Master Mason. The evenings ceremony was made even more special on the night as a proud father W/Bro Terry Wellington PM obligated his son.And other family relations also took part in the ceremony.
There was another proud father in Lodge the same evening Leon's Dad had traveled all the way from Canberra Australia to be part of the evening.
Bro Geoffrey Moss was presented with His 50 year badge by RW/Bro Peter Willis PGW and gave a mighty rendition of Bro Moss's Masonic career.
Bro Kent Chamberlain was initiated into Westminster Lodge in 2001. Shortly thereafter, he left to live in Australia where he developed a stellar career in the mining industry.
While Kent remains an international player the family has relocated to Wellington and he was welcomed back into the Lodge. He filled in the gap of 16 years by describing a range of projects and postings in places as diverse as Western Australia, USA, UK, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A special guest in Refectory was a 2017 Freemasons University Scholar, Nathanael Walker-Hale who, due to research commitments at Cambridge University, was not able to be present at the May Awards Ceremony. Victoria University Selection Chair, Warwick Bell, made a special presentation to Nathanael.
Nathanael is undertaking a BSc Hons with majors in ecology and biodiversity and in statistics studying at Victoria and at Cambridge University. A top student, he was invited to complete five months of research in the Evolution and Diversity Laboratory at Cambridge. Nathanael will investigate the evolution of a unique group of plant pigments and their functional role in stress tolerance.
On completing his Honours, Nathanael aims to return to Cambridge to do a PhD with the same laboratory group. Nathanael has excelled at the sport of fencing, competing at national and international levels.
It was great to be present on Thursday 3rd of August at a 50year badge presentation to Bro Ray Read at The Coronation Lodge No127.
VW/Bro Keith Knox PGC gave an excellent oration in the refectory of Rays masonic career and their long association of being in the NZ Police together going back a good number of years. It was a fun night of stories of past memories and great friendships.
Brethren, we had 3 Installations in the Month of July. Tuesday 18th W/Bro Malcolm Harfitt was installed into the Chair at Tawera "O" Kapiti.
Thursday 20th W/Bro Bill Shugg was installed as Master of Herbert Teagle - Taia Lodge. Both of these installations I am sorry to say I missed due to a virus. I would however, like to express a big thankyou to VW/Bro Graham Redman PDistGM who stepped in at very short notice to cover for me, Thank you Graham very much appreciated.
On the 27th July W/Bro Steve Griffin was installed for a second term at Lodge Waikanae. In the refectory everyone enjoyed an evening of good food,and above all, great friendships.
I trust you are all well and getting through winter, unlike my self being struck down with a pretty nasty virus during the month.
Brethren, on Tuesday 4th July I had the pleasure, accompanied by my wife Denise, of attending Lodge Mana. We joined with a large number of brethren, accompanied by their wives and partners, and W/Bro Norm Justs PGO family to celebrate the presentation of his 50 year service badge in Freemasonery. His long time friend MW/Bro John Litton PGM did the honours.
During the evening there were numerous anecdotes by MW/Bro Litton of the fishing and golfing trips that they enjoyed through their years of friendship.
June was the month of Installations. It was great to Travel with Brethren from United Horowhenua 464 to visit the Lower Hutt Lodge Installation of RW/Bro Bill McCarroll PGW. it was great to see such a large turnout for Bill and for the members of Lower Hutt Lodge who put on a fantastic meal in the ajoining refectory, where an atmosphere of kindrid spirit was shown to all.
Tuesday the 6th of June Bro James Mitchell SW was installed as Master of Lodge Mana, the night for James was made even more special with the presentation of his Masters apron being presented to the District Grand Master by W/Bro Fraser Mitchell James father to invest on his son with in the ceremony of Installation that follwed. The evening that followed in refectory had a fantastic atmoshere of great food and friendship shared to all.
Wednesday the 7th June Bro Howard SW Johnson was installaed into the Chair at Ngatiawa Russell Lodge, once again we had a good turnout on a cold night to show support for the New Master, brehren it may have been cold outside, but the warmth and freindly atmosphere of comraraderie both in the Lodge & refectory was fantastic.
The 20th June W/Bro John Linshoten went back for a second term at Lodge Windsor.
On the 21st of June accompanied by VW/Bro Duane Williams P/Dist GM and VW/Bro Ross Craig PGLect i attended the Installation of Bro Christopher French into the chair at the Wellington EC Lodge 1521, it was also very special to have a part to play in the ceremony of W/Bro French's evening. and also to represent the New Zealand Constitution.
We had a fantastic evening of great food and entertainment and lots of toasts. but above all freindfellowship and enjoyment was the nrequirement in the refectory that preceeded, it was an evening enjoyed by all who attended.
It was also great to see the four constitutions together on the night sharing one common goal "Freemasonary" and enjoying what we all aspire to Fellowship & Freindships and above all haveing fun.
RW/Bro Bryce Matthew Reid Smith Assistant District Grand Master.DistrictGrand Lodge North Island,New Zealand United Grand Lodge of England.
RW/Bro Murray B SmithPGrand Supt Works,Provincial Assistant Grand Master, Provincial Grand Lodge of New Zealand,Grand Lodge of Ireland.
RW/RM Russell,Hon SJGW,Past Rt Wor District Grand Master, District Grand Lodgeof the North Island, New Zealand,Grand Lodge of Scotland.
VW/Bro Mervyn Johnston,District Grand Master District19 Kapiti-Wellington District,Grand Lodge of New Zealand.
Last Thursday night the 25th May I had the pleasure of being present and to congratulate Brother Tim Sherry on taking his first step in Freemasonary at Lodge Waikanae.
The night was made even more special by a close family freind and Tim's nominator 90 year old W/Bro Jim Annear RH and Master of Lodge Timaru 196 who flew all the way up from Timaru to attend this special night for Brother Tim, and Brethren i might add W/Bro Annear RH delivered a well executed and word perfect Charge in the North East Corner.
I believe we had another worthy nonagenarian brother W/Bro Frank Thum pictured beside W/bro Mick Smith IPM both enjoying chat and each others company on a great night.
To cap off a most welcoming and enjoyable evening the refectory was buzzing with toasts and songs lead by no other than W/Bro Eddie Martin ans MW/Bro Litton tinkling the ivory.
A most enjoyable night was had by all.
The 23rd of May was a very special night for Bro Jerry Flores to have his Son Patrick join him in New Zealand Pacific Lodge No 2 which i also had the pleasure of congratulating and presenting Bro Patrick with a lapel pin & welcoming him also as a new member of Kapiti Wellington District19, It was also discovered that on the same evening there was 2 other father & Sons members in the lodge that same evening these were W/Bro Gordon Sutherland and his Son James JD of the Lodge, and also Bro Brian Coomber and his son W/bro Martin Coomber.What a proud evening for all the brethren.
The evening as all ways at New Zealand Pacific No2 was filled with great fellowship and a bit of good old enjoyable banter.
On the 16th May i had the pleasure of attending a family, freinds,and invited guests evening at Lodge Windsor supporting the initiative of the Master W/Bro John Linshoten on "Speaking Up For Freemasonary" the evening was a well planned event with a presentation by W/Bro John Mitchell Master of the Reserch Lodge of Wellington on the general aspects of freemasonary . we then retired to the refectory to be treated to a fantastic meal of Grayfish, wild pork & venison. served up to us by the ladies of the local Eastern Star and no forgetting a haggis for starters which was piped in by Bro Craig Fraser of Homewood lodge. A great evening was enjoyed by all.
Brethren it was a great night on the 18th of April to be present and to privilage to welcome Mr Matthew Clements into the Lodge St Andrews aswell as District 19. From his reply to the brethern in refectory I believe Brother Matthew will be a great asset to Lodge St Andrews in the future years.
It was also great to witness VW/Bro Grahame Webb GO recieve his Grand Lodge certificate and congratulations from our Divisional GM RW/Bro Jim Watt Div GM.
The night was one of one good freindly banter & freindship and great hospitiality. this brethren is what visiting is all about.
It was a great night in a full lodge rooms at Lodge United Horowhenua 464 on Monday 24th April to welcome Mr Chris Corke into Freemasonary. Bro Chris tells me his main reason for joining Freemasonary is his misson in life of Benevolance & Charitable beliefs.
It was also great to have VW/Bro Rick Masterton DistGM District 21 accompanied by Bro John Woodall and Bro Mallari with the Worshipfull Master from The Coronation Lodge 127.Plus Bro Graeme Gibson From Westminster Lodge No300 a freind of Chris.
Thankyou to all brethren for attending and making Bro Chris's big night special.
Brethren i had the pleasure of being present at most enjoyable Presentations of a 50year Badge to W/Bro Tony Ancell and a 60 year bar to W/Bro Eric Batten,
The presentations where carried out by RW/Bro Brian Kennedy P/DepGM. And VW/Bro Keith Mitchell P/GAlm who gave the brethren and visitors a very intresting back ground insight into the long and rewarding masonic career of Eric and Tony.
It was also a special meeting for the lodges recent member brother Jimmy Lin to be presented his lodge name badge by W/Bro Tony Ancell.
March looks like not slowing down, we have our first District meeting on the Thursday 23rd of March at the Lodge rooms in Phillips Street Johnsonville, Time 7pm. this is our first District meeting of the year and is open to all District 19 Brethren.
On Tuesday 28th March Bro Stephen Bell will be installed in to the Chair at New Zealand Pacific Lodge No2, I would like to see a good turnout at this meeting to support Stephen on his big day.
Recently at the December Christmas meeting at Lodge Mana, I had the great privilege to present W/Bro Henry Child RH with his certificate and Roll Of Honour Badge. This was a well and worthy honour to be awarded to W/Bro Henry Child RH for his dedication and hard work serving as chairman of the Windana Hall company & as Lodge Almoner spanning over the numerous years.
It was fantastic to see the number of brethren and their wives attending and also including lodge widows who really enjoyed the evening and a fantastic Christmas dinner.
It was also great to see MW/Bro John Litton & and his wife Diana who attended Christmas dinner. MW/Bro Litton who is a member of Lodge Mana No352, gave an entertaining rendition of memories of himself and Henry as they followed each other through the chairs at Lodge Mana.
As i put pen to paper with great joy, the first week of Feb has turned out to be a great start for 3 of the Lodges in our District.
On the 1st Feb Ngatiawa-Russell 345. I attended the Initiation of Bro Jimmy Lin a young man who i'm sure will enjoy his Lodge & Freemasonary.
The 4th Feb I was privlaged to witness and welcome Brother Lawerence Mallari take his first step in Freemasonary at the Coronation lodge 127.
On the 7th Feb i was welcomed into Aquarius lodge 466 by the Worshipful Master W/broJohn Irving to witness Bro Julius Capilitan take his first step in Freemasonary.
It is great to witness these bright young men become masons, which bodes well for their Lodges and for the District.
On the 12th of December 2016 the lodge will be celebrating their Christmas dinner with a difference.
The two other Masonic orders Royal Arch & Rose Croix, will combine with the Blue Lodge in a get together at the refectory to a sit down dinner and celebrate the spirit Christmas with lodge widows, family and friends.
At this special meeting the District Grand Master will present Bro Ian Mark with his 50 year badge.
Bro Ian has diligently served both the Blue Lodge & Rose Croix chapter as Almoner for many years in the craft. Ian has asked specifically for this event to be the highlight of his Masonic career which he relishes in his benevolent nature.
The Christmas function for members of Lodge Tawera-O-Kapiti on Saturday, the 26th of November at the Otaihanga Boating Club was a “Special Occasion” for some of the guests of the evening. VW Bro Merv Johnston District Grand Master and a member of our Lodge presented wives of Almoners with their own badges. Such being to recognise the work they undertake with members partners widows and others in the community in assisting the Lodge almoners in the work the latter undertake for each Lodge. Almoners work is normally quietly undertaken but the assistance undertaken by the ladies in this area is
“under the radar.” It was to reflect this work that VW Bro Johnston undertook this very pleasant duty.
Mrs Denise Johnston pinning the badge onto Mrs Anna Kennett the wife of W Bro Murray Kennett the present Master of Lodge Tawera-O-Kapiti No 253
VW Bro Johnston, presenting the badge to VW Bro Keith Knox Past GC on behalf of his wife Mrs Gill Knox who was unable to attend, being in Auckland for a Council meeting of the New Zealand Genealogical Society. In the background Mrs Anna Kennett, listening very attentively to VW Bro Johnston.
The third recipient Mrs Raewyn Lawry, wife of Bro Bruce Lawry almoner for Lodge Waikanae No 433, was also absent and a presentation will be made to Mrs Lawry in recognition of her work at a later date.
24.11.2016. Brethren Denise and I accompanied by RWBro Marshall Scott and wife June had a fantastic weekend in Wellington with the sun finally shining through after all the drama in the early part of the week of (Earthquakes & Floods) etc.
In writing this snippet a resounding accolade must go to the Installation organising team in and in particular RWBro Jim Watt our Divisional Grand Master and his wife Penny who did an outstanding job along with the well drilled assistance of VWBro Warwick Bell and his team to put on this spectacular event in such trying circumstances.
As District Grand Master of kapiti - Wellington District 19 I’m so proud of our Grand Director of Ceremonies VWBro Dennis Blacklaws for his outstanding performance on the day of Installation a superb job. Ably assisted by RWBro Bob Black PGW.
I would also like to acknowledge at this time sincerely to Congratulate WBro Mick Turner and WBro Craig Nunnerley who were invested as District Grand Stewards of our District19, which I am sure is an extremely proud moment for both of these brethren.
I would also like to sincerely thank all the Brethren of lodge United Horowhenua 464 & Tawera ‘o’ Kapiti 253 who travelled down to support me on the big day. I thank you brethren for you support it is greatly appreciated.
Brethren please also note in you Diaries the St Andrews Lodge No32 Installation of WBro Gerard Stack on the 30th of November. A St Andrews’s night to be remembered.