It is with some regret that this will be my last submission to the Ruapehu Reporter as your District Grand Master. I started my term with a bit of trepidation but was soon made comfortable by the tremendous support of the District as a whole. As a consequence I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the Brethren of the District in this capacity. We have had Highs and Lows during the past three years with highly regarded Brethren being called to the Grand Lodge Above. This has called us to consider our own approaching dissolution and how we face our demise.
On the other side we rejoice at the number of new Brethren who have joined our Fraternity, giving us hope for growth in our ranks. This has not happened by chance but by the consideration and hard work of the Brethren in our district. We should steel ourselves to continue to promote the Craft and strengthen our numbers. I wish to congratulate the Brethren on the various Charitable Projects undertaken by them over the term, these varied from providing firewood to the needy to the District project providing i-pads to low decile schools a great effort by all. In this respect the Almoners Association deserves appreciation for their unseen but vital assistance being provided to the distressed and needy. I am especially pleased that the brethren have engaged in what we have stealthily attempted to introduce to our meetings, “Participation” I believe I can see smiles during the meetings and that Brethren are beginning to experience a new and in some cases a renewed enjoyment and companionship.
Ritual I believe continues to improve but as we all know it requires work to achieve the desired result I urge experienced brethren to continue encouragement and where earned “praise” to everyone who delivers a charge and ensure that their efforts are appreciated. The District under new management will, I have no doubt prosper. We have what we might describe as a relatively younger team of Grand Lodge Officers assuming responsibility and on your behalf I wish them well! The subject of Masonic accommodation in Palmerston North continues to engage the Brethren and I am confident that the work already done by the District Building committee has not been wasted and that we will reach a suitable conclusion in the foreseeable future. For this to happen we need the enthusiasm of all the brethren affected.
The Final Installation of my term of Office will be that at Lodge Otaihape No 142 on the 8th Nov. Le us make it one to remember! I again thank everyone for their support and assure you it is “Very Much Appreciated”.
D. Johnston DistGM
November is almost upon us and we are all I am sure looking forward to an bit warmer weather. Over the past few years we commenced Summer Dress on the 1st of November but we have had mutterings that it may be a bit to early as we still have some cold evenings at the beginning of November. For this reason I have decided that Summer dress this year will commence on the 14th November following our final Installation of the year at Thaihape. St Andrew Kilwinning of course continue to resist a Summer Dress code in favour of Air Conditioning in the Lodge Room at Wanganui.
Our November meetings commence on the 1st with a Presentation by WBro Frost at Te Awahou No133 Visitors will be received at 8pm. As you will observe the meeting is not on their usual date as it has been brought forward to facilitate a fraternal visit to Otaihape Installation on the 8th.
On the 8th Brother Chris Sicely will be Installed as Master of The Otaihape Lodge No142. Visitors will be received at 6.30pm and Grand odge at 7pm. This is the final Installation to be carried out during the present Grand Lodge Term of Office and I lookforward to a Great evening.
On Wednesday the 9th Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge will be Receiving Grand Lodge Officially. This will be the final Grand Lodge visit in our District by me as District Grand Master. The Divisional Grand master RWBro Peryer will be in attendance. Our Chief Executive RWBro Laurence Milton will give a presentation on the Masonic Apron. At 8.30pm St Andrew's Celebrations will commence in Refrectory. Entertainment will be provided by members of the Lodge and the usual Scottish Fare will be provided. Auld Lang Sang will be at 10.30pm. Refrectory charge of $10 applies. I for one am looking forward to see what hidden talents are exhibited during the evening.
On Thursday the 10th VWBro Rod Biel will make a presentation at Lodge Rangitikei No38 Visitors will be received at 8pm. Brethren VWBro Biel is an accomplished speaker with a vast experience in many Masonic bodies and I am confident he will hold everyone in a spellbinding evening.
United Wanganui will work the 2nd half of a simulated 3rd Degree on Tuesday the 15th. Visitors 8pm.
On Wednesday the 16th Wharite Lodge No451 will be treated to a presentation by VWBro Muir. Visitors will be received at 10.40am.
On the same evening Rongotea Lodge will host an Education evening. Visitors will be received at 7.45pm
The Grand Installation will take place on Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th in Wellington. I would encourage any new Brethren or indeed those who have not attended this three yearly event of Pomp and Ceremony to make the effort and attend. The Business session in on Friday afternoon and the Grand Instalation on Saturday afternoon. "All Brethren" are invited and I know you will have a lasting memory of the event!
On Tuesday the 18th of October I, accompanied by WBro Walker DistGDC visited United Wanganui Lodge to witess the annual Presentations to Charities in the Wanganui District. The recipients were:- Opera week Wanganui.
Blind Foundation Wanganui
Junior Neighbourhood Support
Combined Almoners Association
Koha Shed Wanganui
As you can see brethren this is a comprehensive list of beneficiaries and the Lodge is to be congratulated of this Annual effort in supporting Local Causes. Each of the recipient causes were in attendance to receive the gifts and a good attendance by both Brethren and Ladies added to the evening. Each reciepent addressed the audience on their work and everyone left with an increase awareness of the volunteer work being carried out in the Wanganui Area.
I believe the District is moving in the right direction and I encourage brethren to continue in the manner we have been pursuing in the past few months. Have you considered your year ahead? The National Education committee have launched their curriculum and a National programme for Mentoring. . We are Very Fortunate to have the national pillar Head for education as our Divisional Education officer. VWBro George Allen has indicated his willingness to Visit Lodges/Districts to impart his knowledge. Should you wish to pursue this avenue with respect to the education of your members please contact WBro Ashley Williamson GS, our District Education Officer. If interest is high enough we might have a District Education Evening.
Brethren, I have been giving some thought to the association of Royal Arch Masonry to the Craft particularly within our District. As many of you will be aware the Grand Master and the First Grand Principle of the Royal Arch have come together in an much firmer relationship than for some time. The Royal Arch is an extension of the three degrees in the Craft and seeks to answer those questions unanswered in the third degree. They form part of the six degrees recognised by the Grand lodge and are a natural progression in Freemasonry. I would encourage brethren to give consideration to joining the Royal Arch and by so doing further Strengthening the fraternity! Membership of Royal Arch is open to "ALL" Master Masons and in my humble opinion they should take the opportunity to join early in their Masonic Journey and reap the benefits of that knowledge which comes with membership.
At the beginning of my tenure I expressed my desire that everyone take a personal 'Pride" in all their dealings in their Lodge. I am especially gratified that this wish is permeating within the District. I do hope that everyone experiences the elation of a job "Well Done".