Central Division
LATEST COMMENTS FROM JIM WATT - DIVISIONAL GRAND MASTER

Kapiti Coastguard Presentation

Those of you who have taken the time over the last year to read my comments will note that I have not used this medium to report on my visits etc. However last Saturday I had the pleasure of presenting a cheque of $100,000.00 on behalf of the Freemasons of the Kapiti/Wellington District and the Freemasons Charity to the Kapiti Coastguard for their new rescue craft.

The new rescue boat is to be sign written with “Freemasons New Zealand” on it, and is going to be known as “Freemasons Rescue”. This will be used as a call sign and for all reporting. This boat has a 20/25-year life span, so our name is going to be seen round the Kapiti Coast for years to come.

The boat is now under construction and it is anticipated that it should be ready for launching in October/November 2018. We will keep you informed of the date and details.

Congratulations to the Lodges and Brethren who got behind this and drove it, especially VWBro. Chris Bryant and WBro. Peter Woodward.

 





Lodge Planningwords designed to instil fear and horror into the hardest of souls.

Not True.

A Lodge Plan is simply a road map for your Lodge, a GPS readout for those who have forgotten what a map is.

It is a simple directional tool for your Lodge – something to keep your Brethren on track and to help them work towards and focus on those things that you as the members of the Lodge feel are important. A simple documenting of the culture and DNA of your Lodge.

Has your Lodge got one?

If you have, when was the last time you reviewed it?

We now have in place a helpful presentation on Lodge Planning, your secretary has the link and templates to help you prepare a Lodge Plan and your District Grand Master is ready and able to help your Lodge through the planning process.

It really is a simple question – does your Lodge want to survive?

If it does, then the first step is a Lodge Plan.





Lodge Almoner or Lodge Charity Officer?

Does your Lodge have one of each?

Do you understand their respective roles?

At his investiture, the Lodge Almoner is told:

Your jewel is a scrip purse with a heart engraved thereon, an emblem of Brotherly Love and Benevolence.

Your duty is to visit the sick and such of your Brethren as are in need, to dispense such comforts as in your opinion are necessary, reporting back to the Lodge for further action if required, always remembering that brightest jewel of our Order, charity, raising

His duty is to the Brethren of the Lodge and to the Lodges Widows. He may be involved in applications to the Freemasons Charity when assistance is required, but primarily his role is one of maintaining contact with the brethren and widows and reporting back to the Lodge as and when required.

The Lodge Charity Officer on the other hand is the direct link between the Lodge and The Freemasons Charity. Their role is to apply for and manage the dispensing of charity from the Lodge to the respective recipients, who may not necessarily be masons or have a masonic connection.

Within a Lodge, the Lodge Almoner and Lodge Charity officer may be the same person though we recommend that they not, so that the two roles are kept distinct and are not confused.

So how should it all work?

Masonic Assistance: Should assistance be required for a brother or widow then the Lodge Almoner should bring this to the attention of the Lodge who will in turn decide on what action is required. If an application is to be made to the Freemasons Charity for assistance, then at this stage the Lodge Charity Officer should become involved.

Non-Masonic Assistance: If the Lodge wishes to undertake a lodge project, regardless of whether it is going to require assistance from the Freemasons Charity or not, this should come under supervision of the Lodge Charity Officer.

What does the Lodge Charity Officer have to do?

Before the Lodge commits itself to any project or any form of benevolence, masonic or otherwise that may require Freemasons Charitable assistance, the Lodge Charity Officer should contact the District Charity Officer to ascertain if the application will meet the criteria as required by the Charity. If it does, then the Lodge Charity Officer can proceed with the formal application.

What happens next?

The Lodge application once completed, is forwarded to the District Charity Officer, who after confirming that it is all in order and that the application meets the criteria then forwards it to the Divisional Almoner for approval and processing. Once approved, funds are deposited into the Lodge bank account.

NOTE: We do not give away cash. Funds deposited must be used for goods or services.

So why should I make an application to the Freemasons Charity?

The Freemasons Charity is your charity and its role is to aid the Lodges when they embark on a charitable or benevolent project (subject to criteria of course).

For example, your Lodge may have a project in mind that requires $2000.00 to complete. An application to the Freemasons Charity which meets the criteria may see it qualify for a 1 for 1 subsidy, meaning your Lodge now only needs to contribute $1000.00 or half of what is required.

In some circumstances, a multi Lodge project or a District project may qualify for an even higher subsidy.

What does my Lodge Need to do?

Appoint a Lodge Charity Officer, then make contact with your District Grand Master and District Charity Officer who will walk him through process of what is required to make an application to the Freemasons Charity.

And once he is appointed use him. Become active in your community and more importantly support your brethren and widows when assistance is required.

 





Some of you will have heard this at the Divisional Conference but it is so inspiring as to what we have achieved as Freemasons that I will share it with you again here.

The following is a summary of the presentation made by Warick Dunn  C.E.O. of The Masonic Villages Trust

Aged Care and Masonic Trusts

The Masonic Villages Trust, a registered charity, has been providing great care and great communities to older people and others in need since 1967.

The Trust is one of the largest charitable retirement and rest home providers in the southern half of the North Island, and has stand-alone retirement villages in Eltham, Foxton, Hawera, New Plymouth and Waitara. At its villages in Levin, Lower Hutt, Masterton and Palmerston North, it also operates care facilities providing rest home and hospital level care. The Central Division therefore has the largest number of Masonic aged care facilities in Freemasonry, covered by four Trusts, Napier & Hastings, Ruapehu, Wanganui, and the Masonic Villages Trust 

As a charity, The Masonic Villages Trust is reliant on the kindness and goodwill of its many supporters to provide a higher quality of care and service for its residents and patients than government funding allows.

All of the Trust’s villages were set up independently by Freemason lodges based in different regions of the southern North Island. Initial funding came from local lodges, charitable donations from individual Freemasons, their families and the wider community, together with government grants. Site development often involved the voluntary efforts of lodge members.

All the villages operate on the charitable and benevolent principles that lie at the core of Freemasonry. In recent years, the villages have come together under the umbrella of the Trust to share resources, spread overheads and to ensure greater resilience.

The Trust’s villages perform an important role, providing homes and care to older people with a wide range of interests, lifestyles and budgets. We also have villages located in suburbs and provincial towns where it is uneconomic for the commercial providers to operate. This allows residents to retire in the community where they have lived their lives, close to friends and family.

Because each village was set up by Freemasons working with their local community, each village has a distinctive character and culture which reflects the interests and needs of its residents. This local flavour is maintained under the umbrella of the Trust, which allows each village a high degree of local autonomy.

Some Numbers

50% of the Masonic Villages Trust Board, are Freemasons appointed by the Div. GM

Turnover $28 million with a surplus of $2.16 million

Gross assets $237 million and nett assets $120 million

450 employees’, a 1000 bed units and 31 villages

Building on our success a $50 million facility is being built in Wainuiomata, and the Edale Aged Care Trust in Marton will merge with the Masonic Villages Trust in April 2018.

In summary as the conference theme is Building on our success, I would remind you what the eldercare trusts do is incredible successful and with your help we could do better, come and visit us.

https://www.masonicvillages.co.nz/wainuiomata-retirement-village-gets-the-green-light/ 

And if that does not make you want to Speak Up for Freemasonry nothing will!!