Central Division
NEWS FROM DIVISIONAL GRAND ALMONER - ADRIAN DOUGLAS
VWBro Adrian Douglas was appointed Grand Almoner for the Central Division in October, 2021 following the resignation in April of 2021 of VW Bro Paul Brittin. Adrian brings a wealth of experience to this important role and I am delighted to have him heading a team of busy District and Lodge Almoners and Charity Officers. Check back here often to read what your Charity is doing in the Central Division.
Divisional Grand Almoner Update - December 2021

Brethren and Ladies,

This is my first update since being appointed and invested by the Grand Master in my mother Lodge in late October. I am humbled by this, and very appreciative of the support I have received while acting in this position. I look forward to working hard in the Division on your behalf.

I have a few things to update you on:

Fast Track Grants Renamed

Recently, Fast track applications were renamed to Critical Need applications. It was felt by the Management Committee that this better describes with these grants were for. The Divisonal Grand Almoners can approve up to $1000 for a member or non-member who is distress and in need of urgent assistance, provided the application criteria are met. If you know if any brother, widow or non member who you think may require this assistance, please contact your District Charity Offcier in the first instance. They will be able to run you through the application criteria. Remember also, that these applications are kept strictly confidential and that they are processed with the utmost priority.  

Smarty Grants Software

A new charity management software system has recently been rolled out in the Central Divison. The software (called Smarty Grants) manages all applications to the Charity from both members and non-members alike. This software will also be used to manage scholarship applications and other projects. It manages the application process "end to end" - from application, assessment by the District Charity Officer, approval by the Divisional Grand Almoner - right through to budget alliocation, payment and statistical/regulatory reporting. The software has been thoroughly trialled in the Central Division by myself, our District Charity Officers and some Lodge Secretaries. A link has been sent to all Lodge Secretaries this week for their use when making Lodge or District Project applications, along with a request for them to send the link to any brother who assists the Lodge by making applications to the Charity. Our continuing feedback on the system will be important to further customise it for our use. Support regarding use of the system can be otained in the first instance by contacting the Charity Administrator during normal business hours on 04 385 5748. If you wish to make an application for a Critical Need Grant or an Application for Assistance, please make contact with your District Charity Officer. They will either provide you with the link to make these applications, or arrange with the Charity Adminstrator to do so.

Freemasons Charity Mission and Vision Statement

This is a one-page document that has recently been approved by the Board of General Purposes. It summarises the outcomes of a meeting that was held between the Freemasons Charity Management Committee, the Divisional Grand Almoners and a selection of District Charity Officers. This document should be your guide to making applications to the charity. In particular, it contains the outcomes based criteria that the Charity is looking for when assessing applications. The document can be found here.

Freemasons Charity Management Committee Changes

I have recently resigned from this committee on being appointed to this role. Brother Nick Langley from Central Otago is now a full member of the Committee and our very own WBro. Neil McKee (District Charity Officer Hutt-Wairarapa) has been seconded on to the committee. Congratulations WBro. Neil, and I hope you enjoy your time on the committee as much as I did.

Almoners Meetings

I am hoping to meet up with the Ruapehu and Eastlands-Ruahine Almoners Associations early next year, to ascertain from them how we can better support Lodge Almoners in the important work they do. I will be keen to arrange meetings with the other Districts to canvas their views also.

Happy Holidays

On a final note, I would like to thank you all for the work you have done in the charitable and almoning spaces this year. It has been a year full of challenges in a variety of ways. I particularly appreciated the magificent response to the Special Olympics National Summer Games national project. I look forward in 2022 to seeing some excellent Lodge and District Projects I have been hearing about come to fruition. These projects are important to freemasonry, as they see Lodges working and interacting with their local communities. I have spoken to new members this year who have joined freemasonry as a direct result of the charitable work we do.

To all brethren and their families, stay safe and well over the holiday sesaon. If you have to work, I hope things go smoothly - and that you get to enjoy a break when time and circumstance allows.

Regards

Adrian Douglas - Divisional Grant Almoner Central Division     021 540 865  divgalmcentral@gmail.com  




Acting Divisional Grand Almoner Update 30 September 2021

Brethren and Ladies,

First and foremost and on behalf of your charity I am seeking your assistance to be on the lookout for brethren and widows who may be in distress generally, or particularly following the recent COVID related lockdowns. I am aware these lockdowns can have wide ranging effects on many businesses and individuals and we have processes and funding in place whereby for those meeting the criteria short term relief can be provided to those in distress. Confidentiality is maintained throughout this process. We are very much reliant on the “eyes and ears” of brethren to alert us of situations where this relief may be required. We would all really appreciate your assistance in this regard. I have also recently sent a note to all Lodge almoners soliciting their assistance in this area.

As with all applications to the charity, first contact should be made with your District Charity Officer.  Their contact details are available on this page, or feel free to contact me directly if required.

Similarly, if you are considering a Lodge Project, early contact with the District Charity Officer will provide you with some valuable guidance. District projects should be co-ordinated through your District Grand Master.

Special Olympics

The great news here is that the Division has raised over $45,000 for this project so far – an excellent effort and one we should all be very proud of. I would like to thank all Lodges and Districts that have contributed and those that are about to. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

No doubt you have caught up with the recent announcement of the postponement of the National Summer Games until 2022. An unfortunate but understandable decision. The main message for you here is that we remain 100% behind this project. The games will go ahead, albeit at a later date – and our Grand Master has made it clear our support for the event will continue. With this in mind, we are definitely still accepting donations for this project to the Divisional account. 

 

Regards

Adrian Douglas – Acting Divisional Grand Almoner – Central Division     021 540 865 / divgalmcentral@gmail.com

 




Acting Divisional Grand Almoner Update - August 2021

Brethren and Ladies,

Welcome to my first update since being appointed as Acting Divisional Grand Almoner in early May this year. I hope to send these updates out quarterly and will do my best to restrict them to one page.

Charitable Activity

There have been many worthwhile Lodge Projects approved in the last 3 months. Recipient organisations have included Freedom to Learn, The Wairarapa Community Centre, The SPCA, Scouts NZ, Big Brother Big Sister, Palmerston North Hospital Oncology Ward, Sailability and the Wellington Children’s Hospital. I am also aware that some $20,000 was raised recently at the 12th Annual Whisky Tasting event in Wellington hosted by Empire Fergusson Lodge. Thank you to all those brethren and ladies involved in organising and participating in these projects. Two Fast Track Applications have also been approved to assist brethren in distressed circumstances.

The Freemasons Charity Special Olympics National Summer Games – Hamilton - December 2021  - Project Update

I am advised by our Divisional Treasurer that the total donated to this worthy cause to date is $20,028.60. The Divisional Conference dinner raised $40,000 inclusive of the Freemasons Charity contribution. It is absolutely fantastic to see Lodges from throughout the Division coming up with some great ideas for fundraising for this National Project. Remember, no forms are required to be filled in for this project. Simply bank the funds you raise into the Central Divisional Account – as detailed in the Freemasons NZ Circular dated 21 May 2021. The funds will then have the appropriate subsidy applied from the Freemasons Charity and be forwarded through Special Olympics head office to a Club local to the Lodge(s) involved.  It is certainly by no means too late to contribute, and I am aware of quite a few ongoing projects to support this worthy cause. Again. Thanks to those lodges involved in these projects. 

More information on this event here – including an opportunity to volunteer at the games if you wish to: Special Olympics New Zealand.

Hawkes Bay Seminar

A very successful seminar was held at Hastings on Saturday the 26th of June. Some 22 brethren and ladies attended to find out some more about our Charity and also to hear an address from Margaret Baker ONZM from Hawkes Bay Special Olympics. It was very pleasing to see a good number of ladies present, some who were assisting lodges with benevolence and almoning duties. These seminars will be continuing in the future, so keep an eye out for the next one near you.

District Charity Officers – Central Division

Details are below of your District Charity Officers. I highly recommend they are your first point of contact when you are considering a charitable project and you intend to apply to the charity for assistance. They are able to give you valuable guidance and assistance with the application process:

Eastland Ruahine   WBro Geoff Waterworth 027 437 8063 henworth@xtra.co.nz
Hutt Wairarapa Bro Neil McKee 027 611 6020 nellymac@hotmail.com
  RWBro Gordon Reid 027 471 6197 gareid@wise.net.nz
Kapiti Wellington WBro Malcolm Harfitt  04 905 1658 suemalharfitt@gmail.com
Ruapehu WBro Craig Ancell  027 552 1968 ancell36@gmail.com
Taranaki  WBro Roger Gregory  027 975 7940 rogreg41@kinect.co.nz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regards

Adrian Douglas – Acting Divisional Grand Almoner – Central Division     021 540 865 / divgalmcentral@gmail.com