A District View
Hutt Wairarapa District
Welcome to my final Edition of "A District View"
Have you accidentally deleted a copy of an earlier newsletter? Or perhaps you've just recently joined our mailing list. Whatever the reason you can always access previous editions here. Simply click on the dropdown below to read any of our previous issues.
Masonic Quote of the Month...
Each month we include a famous quote. This month’s quote is from Alan K Simpson.
"If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters".
This newsletter is a great vehicle for communicating all of the local news and events to you. However it is also a fantastic way for YOU to get your message out to other Lodges and other Masons.
If you’ve got something interesting happening in your patch, need help with a special event or working, or just want to share your news with like-minded Mason’s in the District then this is for you.
All you need to do is email your copy to email@example.com and we will take care of the rest. If you have photographs or pictures you want included in your article - email those to us as well.
Our deadline for material is the 20th of the month. We can add a day or two if we know it’s coming!
IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU....
IN THIS MONTHS ISSUE
YOU ASKED FOR MORE TWO RONNIES! I'M HERE TO SERVE!
Volume 2: Issue 11
1 November, 2013
Enhancing Our Ceremonial
This Month: Masonic Signs
WE HAVE A WINNER!
IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Meet the new Divisional Grand Master elect - John Peryer
WHY MEN DIE FIRST Part 5.
Russell's Column of Totally Useless Facts...
I've got a few more useless facts for you this month. Impress your friends and family by "reeling" out these useless facts at the dinner table or over a beer at the pub on a Friday.
Useless Fact #1
Useless Fact #2
Useless Fact #3
USHERS REQUIRED FOR GRAND INSTALLATION
November Competition - Win a $10 loaded Subcard!
Be like Mac McKenzie, winner of last month's competition. Simply answer the question and if you answer correctly by 10 November you're in to win the $10.00 loaded Subcard. The card can be used at ANY Subway throughout New Zealand.
And this month's question... in the interview with John Peryer he discloses where the next two Divisional Conferences will be held. Where will they be in 2014 and 2015? You can find the answer by watching this months video interview!
Click here to email me the answer. Remember there is only one prize! Check out the new rules below on how we'll choose a winner
It seems that most of our readers like the chance to win a prize each month. I received an email from a reader in June asking if we could choose the winner from those who reply with the correct answer before a certain date. He explained he only checked his email weekly - so would never get the answer in quick enough to win the prize. So let's give it a whirl. From this month we'll draw the monthly winner from ALL of the correct answers received by the 10th of the month. So get your answer to me by 10 November. Good luck!
New Method For Selecting Competition Winners
Famous Freemasons From New Zealand and Around the World!
Four times as many women suffer from migraines as men.
I suggest you keep any thoughts you may have on this matter strictly to yourself! :-)
Lady GaGa took her name from the song "Radio GaGa" by Queen.
I'm picking Freddy Mercury would be turning in his grave.
The world's oldest mother, India's Omkari Panwar, was 70 when she gave birth to IVF twins. Her husband was 77.
Over the next few months I will be introducing you to a number of famous people who also happen to be Freemasons. Did you know these "household names" were Masons? A few surprises here.
Tt is really important to appreciate that for every recognisable "famous" Freemason there are thousands, of ‘ordinary’ Freemasons who go about their particular work quite anonymously - and most prefer it to be this way. To be a humble, hardworking Freemason makes you just as "famous" to your Lodge as these men have been for theirs.
Banks, Sir Joseph - 1st Baronet (1743-1820)
Joseph Gordon Coates 1878 - 1943
This is the fourth picture in a collection of images that provide fairly strong evidence to support why men die first. You'll be staggered at the stupidity of some blokes. Click on the picture above to get a better look.
CUTE OR WHAT?
This year's dinner will be held on 9 November. Diary this date now and plan to be there to enjoy an early start to the Christmas festivities. This is the weekend before Grand Installation.
Venue is the Kaitoke Gardens with a buffet meal - more details to be provided soon.
Register your interest with Rick Masterton by clicking here. The event is limited to 130 person’s so get in early.
Our District Grand Master VWBro Warwick Bell will be Head Marshall at the upcoming Grand Installation.
He needs assistance over the course of the event. If you are in a position to assist as an usher please click here to read the email he recently sent to Lodge Masters and Secretarys.
Bob Miller - Everything a Great Freemason Should Be and More!
JOB INTERVIEW PRANK
Speaking of Brian Black - he also sent me this youtube clip of a job interview prank using one of the new flash LG 85inch TVs.
The clip is not in English - but don't worry - the interviewees speak an international language of fear! :-) Enjoy!
Click on the picture to start the clip.
For many of us - the thought of our Division being led by any one
other than Steve Salmon was hard to comprehend. For many months I
pondered on who the selection team could choose that would hold a
candle to a man who has become a Masonic icon in our District.
When I heard the news that John Peryer had been selected to replace
Steve I made it my business to find out more about what makes this
man tick and what the Division can expect under his stewardship.
I was pleasantly surpised.
Despite being keen to get back to Havelock North to watch Bathurst,
John graciously gave me his time to film this video interview with him.
The interview was filmed in a motel room in Palmerston North after a
recent Divisional Meeting of incoming and outgoing District Grand
So what can you expect from John Peryer? A man whose roots are in a
Services Lodge; a man who values good ritual and strives for
ceremonial excellence; a man who speaks his mind and encourages
others to do the same.
The verdict? For me John will bring a new set of skills and a new vision
to the Division - different from Steve - but with the same passion and
One word of advice. Do not play golf with this man! He used to be on a
single figure handicap!
Click on the picture of John at left to play the video.
The Freemasons District Charity Concert - An event without parallel!
This noted naturalist accompanied Captain Cook on his journey from England across the South Pacific to New Zealand (1768-1771). He was elected to The Royal Society of London in 1766 and, in 1778, became its’ President.
A botanical advisor to King George III, Joseph Banks is credited with introducing acacia, ‘Banksia’, eucalyptus and mimosa to the Western world.
The beautiful, Banks Peninsula on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand is named after him as are Banks Islands in Vanuatu.
Sir Joseph was initiated into Inverness Lodge, No. 4367
Sir Joseph Banks
Joseph Gordon Coates
NZ Prime Minister
1925 - 1928
Farmer, soldier, politician. Prime Minister May 1925 - December 1928.
Joseph Gordon Coates was born near Matakohe, in Northland in 1878. Known as Gordon, he was educated at the small Matakohe School. Although he was not noted as a scholar his mother rounded his education and gave it a polish.
After a distinguished military career the elections of 1911 saw Coates win the parliamentary seat of Kaipara, which he continued to represent until his death.
Coates was sworn in as Prime Minister of New Zealand on May 30th, 1925. He collapsed in his office and died on May 27, 1943 while preapring to stand for Parliament again.
He was a member of Lodge Franklin No. 2138, Pukekohe; and was a Past Senior Grand Deacon (PSGD) at District Grand Lodge.
A FALCON NESTING IN A TREE!
When Brian Black sent me an email entitled "Falcon Nesting In A Tree" I imagined something similar to what you see above.
Not so. Brian has just returned from overseas - and he has come back wittier than ever. Click on the picture above to see what I mean!
District Grand Master
Meet John Peryer - Div Grand Master elect
Walking on Sunshine - Your New District Team
Freemasons Charity Concert - A Great Success!
Bob Miller - Roll of Honour and all round great guy!
Enhancing Our Ceremonial - Masonic Signs
The Secret to being a Great Freemason
Famous Freemasons from NZ and Abroad
John Barns Graham - a "Credit to Freemasonry"
...plus much more!
We’re here. The three year term of your current District team ends this month - it has I believe passed very quickly.
It has been a privilege to be your District Grand Master. Being a role which I have enjoyed immensely, I will end it with mixed emotions. While it will be nice to have some more time to fulfil other activities, I will very much miss the opportunities that being the District GM has provided - the increased fellowship and social time, charitable initiatives, and much more.
The role has been made much easier by a great team of brethren. Particular thanks to Laurie, Rick and Ray for their excellent contributions in their active roles. Well done guys.
Also a big public thank you to the other members of the District team whose roles also officially end. They have done much of the day to day work behind the
scenes for which we must all be grateful. Without lessening the input of the others, particular acknowledgement to Roger Wills who has been the District Minute Secretary for 11 years. Thank you Roger for your help during my term and that of my predecessors.
One last plug - we have the last Installation of the present term at Research Lodge of Wellington when VW Bro David Egley is installed by the Taranaki District brethren. It will be great to have a large turnout.
Then we have the District dinner at Kaitoke - it’s not too late to advise your attendance - see the notice elsewhere.
Finally the Grand Installation. As I have written previously the latter promises to be a great event. There are three events all brethren can attend at no cost (the Business session, Grand Installation and Church service) and I encourage you join us for all three. The impressive Grand Installation has been shortened to around 2 hours and I encourage you to bring your spouse or partner, and other family and friends to witness the unique display.
Wishing (V)W Bro Glen Houlihan DistGM elect and his team a great three years - I know the District is in good hands.
All work and SOME play for the new District Team!
If the way in which our new District Team have embraced the training they recently received from Warwick is a guide to how well the team will perform - we're in for an exceptional 3 years!
Warwick rung me a few weeks ago to tell me that he was conducting an induction day for the new team at Cape Palliser in the Wairarapa. He said it would be good for his Comms man to cover the event and perhaps take a few photos for the District newsletter.
I dutifully obliged and took my camera to Cape Palliser hoping to get a story and some pictures for this edition. Little did I know that Warwick had insisted that they all take their togs and bathing caps.
I arrived just in time to film this team building session down at the beach. The svelt physiques of these future Masonic leaders was a sight to behold. But you be the judge. Click on the picture above to see your future leaders in action. What confidence it instills...
Over 300 people turned up to support the Freemason's Charity Variety Concert. I asked organiser, Ray Keenan, to give me the 'hot oil' on how it went. This is what he had to say:
"On behalf of the organising committee I just want to say thanks to so many of you in our District and Kapiti Wellington for helping us make the night a very successful one indeed, but not only for the funds that were raised, which was absolutely awesome, but also for Freemasonry in general. It has really put us out there in the Hutt Valley. Just so many people have been talking about that concert that was put on by the Freemasons. Isn’t that awesome?
As most of you know The purpose of the concert was to raise funds to help purchase two Bladder Scanners to assist the staff of MAPU(unit) and The Community Health Nurses. The Scanners are a much needed piece of equipment by both of these departments, and indeed no doubt the rest of the hospital.
Our efforts have been well rewarded and we now await the outcome of our application to the Freemasons’ Charity. All members of the organising committee as well as the Nurses of both departments are waiting in anticipation and with all fingers and toes crossed.
Headline Act "The Aussie Boys"
featuring Lyndon Keenan; Ray and Dale Keenan's son. Wow - what an Act!
The Variety on the night was great BUT our Headline Act was the Aussie Boys. Three brilliant young guys with an exciting new sound from ACROSS THE DITCH! 100% Australian (well - just about). We were just so, so lucky to score these guys, however it might have had something to do with one of them being my son. I think I told him that it was payback time Lyndon! These guys did a half hour slot and the crowd wanted more. All I can say is "Watch this space folks".
All in all an absolutely very successful night for one and all. Thanks to you all for your support and the artists who helped on the night; absolutely brilliant. To Geoff our sound man, you're just the best, man.
Let’s do it again next year!
Just on the side if anybody took a video of Lyndon singing “You Raise Me Up” can you please contact me"
Thanks Ray - you're an inspiration to us all.
Lodge Te Puni and
a great juggler!
Bob Miller - Roll of Honour
Lodge Te Puni should be extremely proud that from a list of worthy nominations from throughout the District Bob Miller got the nod to be preferred as Roll of Honour.
I remember Jim Watt, District Grand Master for the Kapiti-Wellington District talking at an Installation meeting a couple of year ago. I can't remember his exact words - but he said that he holds a very special respect for any brother preferred with Roll of Honour as it signals to him that that person has the complete and total respect of the brethren within his Lodge. Nothing could be more true for Bob Miller.
Mac McKenzie, current Master of Lodge Te Puni, had this to say:
"When Bob was Master of his Lodge the first time, in 1982, he visited 110 times during that term in Office. Such was his commitment to Freemasonry, and as most people will attest, still applies to the present day.
Bob worked for Wright & Carmen Printers & Publishers and InPrint New Zealand before eventually owning his own Printing establishment.
Among the interesting printing jobs that Bob was involved in over the years, was the printing and binding of Masonic Ritual Books; Order of Proceedings of Grand Lodge; and the production of Master’s Books.
As a young man, Bob was a keen swimmer, yachtsman, and rugby player for the Wellington First XV.
Bob was an enthusiastic rugby coach for Petone Club and is highly regarded by all who know him and was well respected by those he coached.
Bob continues to be active within Freemasonry and associated organisations.
He is also a keen train enthusiast. Go down to his shed to witness the fascination he has in all things "railway" - even down to the Casey Jones hat!"
Did you know: Bob Miller is Andrea Houlihan's father. Andrea is married to Glen Houlihan, District Grand Master elect for the Hutt Wairarapa District.
Many brethren confuse the ‘sign of fidelity’ and the ‘sign of reverence’. There is an important difference which involves creating a square. It is difficult to give a full description here therefore.
Brethren are encouraged to discuss this in their Lodge and inform themselves when it is appropriate to use either sign.
Do You Know The Secret To Being A Great Freemason?
Here's a story about a farmer in Taihape during the 2nd World War. Can you relate to this?
"Mary, you have a shawl you never use, may I have it?”
She looked at him strangely, but got the shawl.
He thanked her and left the house. She was not only puzzled, she was suspicious. Several evenings during the last couple of months, he had left after dinner without any explanation. He hadn’t stayed away long, and when he returned he had a strange air about him. He seemed to have an inner peace. He said nothing; neither did she.
About a week after this latest incident Mary was shopping in Taihape when she saw her shawl again. She was shocked. It was on the shoulders of a beautiful young lady. Angrily Mary followed the girl to a shabby house on the outskirts of the rual town. After the girl had entered, Mary knocked on the door. The girl opened it and smiled when she saw her visitor. She held the door open and Mary stomped in.
As she looked around she saw an elderly lady propped up on a single bed. The lady smiled and said “How nice of you to visit us.” Mary was stunned. She didn’t really know what to say, so she just looked from the elderly lady to the girl. The girl asked if she could fix her a cup of tea. Mary nodded and the girl turned to put a kettle on the stove.
While the water was heating Mary sat in a chair beside the elderly lady. I don’t know exactly what to say, so I will tell you
the truth,” she said. “I saw my shawl on your daughter and I was furious. Last week my husband asked me for it, but didn’t tell me why. I’m sure now that he did not have an ulterior motive, but I still don’t understand how you have it.”
The girl and her mother looked at each other. Then the mother said: “We have no idea who left it. We have no idea who has been doing some nice things for us for the past several months. Perhaps now we can solve the mystery. It started soon after my husband died. We had no money and I am unable to work. And Nancy couldn’t find a job. We were desperate. We had no food and no fuel. Then one morning when Nancy opened the door she found several packages of food, clothing and coal on the doorstoop. You have no idea what that meant to us.
“A short time later, along with more packages, Nancy found a note telling her to see Mr. Tompkins, the lawyer, if she would like a job. She did and Mr. Tompkins hired her. He sent a doctor to see me. He has been coming regularly to see me ever since, and he won’t take any money. And we still find packages, but have no idea where they come from.”
They drank their tea and chatted pleasantly for some time. The mysterious packages were mentioned from time to time. Suddenly Mary asked: “Was your husband a Mason?”
“Yes he was,” said the lady. “He loved his Lodge. I don’t think he ever missed a meeting.” A short time later Mary left, promising to visit often. After dinner that evening, Mary worked on the quilt she was making while her husband read. She looked up from her work and said: “I think I learned the great secret of Masonry today.”
Her husband looked at her in alarm and asked: “Oh! And what is it?”
Mary answered: “To do good and not say anything about it!”
Mary’s husband and the members of the little Lodge in Taihape, plucked off their shoes to help those in need. Should we do anything less?
An Unsung Hero and a "Credit to Freemasonry"
One of the biggest thrills I get out of producing this newsletter for you is meetingpeople I wouldn't otherwise meet. Our newsletters are forwarded to Masons around the country and indeed around the world. I now regularly correspond with more than 30 Masons from around the world who read our newsletters.
A little closer to home, I received an email a few months ago from Geoff Mather, the Master of Lodge Rotorua. As well as asking to be added to our mailing list Geoff shared his enjoyment with me of a publication he had been receiving for several years from Alpha Lodge in the Waikato. I asked Geoff to send me a copy so I could see what he was going on about - and I was amazed at both the quality and purpose of this great newsletter.
I made it my business to find out more about this great 'read' and the inspiration behind it. It turns out that John Barns Graham has been authoring this 20-page publication for more than 10 years. Here's what I found out.
Born in Gisborne in 1945, W.Bro. John Barns Graham was initiated into the Alpha Lodge in June 2001. He quickly became involved with the Alpha Gazette, a small magazine style notice paper set up a couple of years earlier by Peter Durney. John took over from Russ Ringland in its production becoming editor in April 2003. The 20 page magazine includes the Alpha Lodge notice paper and is produced for all 11 months of the year.
He also developed the Alpha Lodge website, where each month's Alpha Gazette is uploaded to. The last 11 issues are on-line at any one time.
John became District Membership Officer in 2003/4, and a member of the Visual Aids group in the Northern Division. His most memorable work is the Famous Freemasons display, a fast 15 minute display of many famous freemasons. He is custodian of one of the five Northern Division's data projectors.
John is active in organising the Fieldays stand, having done so since its beginning. He has set up a database program to record people who visit the stand, and has sent names of interested persons to lodges in the far north to the Southernmost parts of New Zealand.
He also organises the Alpha lodge stands and displays. John has produced a number of booklets for the Alpha lodge, not least being the membership booklet given to each new member which has a photograph and information on each brother, and the One Masons series of explanations of the three degree workings. He designed the Lodge logo, and the Alpha Lodge badge.
John was master of the Alpha Lodge for two years 2008/9 and 2009/2010. Also he is currently the master of Lodge Pukemiro no 301 a daylight Lodge in Hamilton.
John is married to Sarah, and has 3 daughters - Caroline, Helen, and Jennifer, and 7 grand children.
John Barns Graham
author of the Alpha Gazette since 2003!
Photo courtesy of Kerry Blakeney-Williams
The picture above is of John when he was installed as Master in 2008. If you click on the image you will see District Grand Master and Installing Master V.W.Bro. Warwick Roberts, the Alpha Lodge Master W.Bro. John Barns Graham, The Grand Master Most Worshipful Brother Barry McClaggan, and Alpha Lodge's most highly ranked Grand Lodge officer at the time of the photograph, R.W.Bro. Jim McQuitty, Senior Grand Warden.
John, I know what a challenge it is sometimes to meet production deadlines; chase people for stories and keep the layout and format crisp. You have been doing it for over 10 years; and your publications just seem to be getting better and better. I salute you Sir!
To read the latest Alpha Gazette - click here.
Saturday 9th November - District Dinner, Kaitoke
Thursday 14th November - Installation of VWBro David Egley PDistGM as Master of the Research Lodge of Wellington - the fraternal visit of Taranaki District who will undertake the working.
Friday 15th November - Business session prior to Grand Installation
Saturday 16th November - 3pm - Grand Installation at the Michael Fowler Centre
Sunday 17th November - Church Service at Old St Pauls
See Wellington Workings or Masonic Hub for more details.
Congratulations to Trevor (Mac) McKenzie Master of Lodge Te Puni (pictured above). Mac was the first to correctly answer the competition we featured last month.
Mac is the first "double winner" of our monthly competition - as he was also the lucky winner back in April of this year.
Good on ya Mac - you enter the competition every month - so it is only right and fitting that your name was picked from the hat again this month.
We featured a "grassroots" profile on Mac in our July edition. You can read more about this man and his contribution to Freemasonry by clicking here.
This clip arrived in my inbox during the month from Tim Brown, a past member of Coronation Lodge No. 127 (my mother Lodge).
The caption reads:
The story behind this picture is this:
Everyday - at the same time - she waits for him. Sometimes she barks to call him. He comes; they rub and greet each other and they go for a walk. They have done this for 5 years and no, they don't belong to the same owners.
The owners didn't know until neighbours, seeing them together so frequently, commented to the cat's owner, who then followed the dog home and discovered it was a distance away, not in a house close by or next door.
How it started no one knows.
Wouldn't it be great to have friends like this always there, no words needed, they just intuitively recognise the value of each other in their lives and act accordingly.
Click on the picture to get a better look.
Thanks Tim - very touching.
It is always great to get feedback from readers. Over recent months I have received a lot of emails from readers telling me how much they enjoy the "Two Ronnies" clips from the 80's.
I've got hundreds of them - so by popular request I'll be including one each month for the next few months.
This particular clips features the Two Ronnies doing Mastermind - but with a twist! You'll see the twist when you view the clip. Clip on the picture above to start the video.
NEXT MONTH'S ISSUE
December's issue is shaping up to be our best yet!
We will be featuring a video interview with Graham Wrigley - President of the Board of General Purposes. Few people realise that this man, and his Board, carries the weight of the future of Freemasonry in New Zealand.
Graham and his team are behind the new strategic vision for Masonry. I can't wait to hear more about the vision and how it will be implemented over the coming years.
We will also carry an interview with George Allan, Master of the Hutt Valley Lodge and Chairman of the National Education Committee.
I'll also be featuring a restrospect of the upcoming Grand Installation and; of course; we'll have a new District Grand Master at the helm! Bring it on!