Northern Division
LATEST COMMENTS FROM DON SEATH - WAIKATO DISTRICT
From the District Grand Master June 2018

 

FROM THE DISRICT GRAND MASTER

31st May 2018

 

May began insadness with the loss of WBro Harry Pettit PDist.GDC. Harry was a good friend to many of us and I was very proud of the Masonic tributes paid to him by the Waikato District and beyond.

Harry was in our thoughts when we celebrated The Alpha Lodge’s Installation a few days later. He would have been pleased with the jovial mood which prevailed at that meeting.

The Official visit to the Taupiri Lodge on the 16th  May highlighted the benefits of Official Visits. A few extra visitors and the host Lodge putting its best foot forward really makes for a good meeting.

On Sunday 10thJune at 3pm in the Barton Street Masonic Centre, The Waikato District will present a cheque for $30,000 to the Graeme Dingle Foundation. This is a result of a fine effort by Lodge Tawhiri to lead a fundraising campaign for the District. There has been a substantial contribution from the Potter Trust to support this donation, as well as a contribution from the Freemason’s Charity.

The money will go towards programs to assist underprivileged young people in the Waikato.

I urge you to attend the presentation on the 10thJune. The Lodge room will be open to the Public and you are welcome to bring friends to witness Freemasonry at its best.

Please reply with numbers attending to Bryan Bevege on 027 29 1818 or secretarytawhiri.166@outlook.comas soon as you can to assist with catering.

 

Coming Up:

 

Wednesday 6thJune - Lodge Nau Mai No. 177 Grand Lodge Official Visit. 60yr Badge presentation to WBro Ron Rhodes PGBB.

Sunday 10thJune – Lodge Tawhiri hosts and presents a cheque to the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

Monday 11thJune -   The Beta Waikato Lodge No.12 Installation of WBro Ralph Evans.

Wednesday 13th– Saturday 16thJune –Fieldays.

Friday 22ndJune – Lodge Copernicus No.505 Grand Lodge Official Visit.

Tuesday 10thJuly – The Alpha Lodge No. 81 Grand Lodge Official Visit.

Thursday 12thJuly – Lodge Waitomo No 469 Grand Lodge Official Visit.

Thursday 19thJuly – Lodge Waikato No. 475 Installation of WBro Graham Hallam. 

 

Don Seath

District Grand Master.

 




From the District Grand Master May 2018

May 2018

April has been an eventful month starting with the Installation of WBro Bruce Brodie to the Chair of Lodge Piako on 5thApril.

The Waikato District ran a stand at the Waikato Showcase event at Claudelands from 6th-8thApril. This event again proved quite fruitful and was well received by the many people who stopped for a chat. I am grateful for the help I received from the 9 Brethren who gave up their time. I am convinced that the benefits of this activity cannot be measured in new members, but rather in terms of raising the public awareness of our organisation.

There were Official Visits to Lodges Pukemiro and Waikato, the latter to celebrate 50years of Paul Sutcliffe’s Freemasonry. Paul’s night was very well attended and a fine tribute him.

The Northern Division Conference was held in Auckland on the 21stApril. This Conference was one of the better organised and managed Conferences. I am sure that further improvements, particularly with registrations and voting, will follow in future Conferences.

On Sunday 22ndApril a presentation and luncheon for the winners of this year’s Waikato University Scholarships was held in the Alpha Lodge Rooms. Again, there was an impressive line-up of young people who I am sure will make a valuable contribution to our community.

The Waikato District Fundraiser for the Graeme Dingle Foundation has been boosted by a substantial contribution from The Potter Trust. The exact amount will be announced shortly and when a date has been finalised, an invitation will be issued to all Lodges to attend a function to formally hand over the cheque. A separate invitation will be sent out soon.

 

Coming up:

Tuesday 8thMay –The Alpha Lodge No.81 Installation of WBro Sam Annison.

Wednesday 16thMay – The Taupiri Lodge No. 118 Official Visit.

Monday 11thJune – The Beta Waikato Lodge No.12 Installation of WBro Ralph Evans

Wednesday 13th– Saturday 16thJune –Fieldays’

 

Don Seath

District Grand Master.

 




Speaking up for Freemasonry at the Waikato Winter Show

Left to right: WBro Martyn Todd, VWBro Don Seath, WBro Ralph Evans and Bro Bryan Bevege.

Getting ready to "Speak Up" for Freemasonry at the Waikato Show 6th-9th April 2018.

“The 3 days spent there, with help from an additional 5 Freemasons, was highly successful. A large number of people visited the

stand and took away pamphlets, wallet strips and booklets. Several promising leads for Candidates and re-joining Members were made."

Don Seath

District Grand Master




FROM THE DISTRICT GRAND MASTER April 2018

 

APRIL 2018

I received some valuable feedback from those who were present at the District Meeting on 27thFebruary. Unfortunately, there was only 1 Master Mason there, but I have been able to get some good information from MMs with the help of Marc Dresser at the TeAroha Installation. This information will go into a District Plan to retain members.

Sunday 4thMarch was a great day organised by Lodge Tawhiri at the Minogue Park Model Railway  to raise funds for the Graeme Dingle Foundation. This project is gathering momentum and will be supported by the Freemasons Charity.

The Waikato University Scholarships have been decided and will be awarded at the Alpha Lodge Rooms on Sunday 22ndApril at 11.30 am. The applicants were again of a very high standard. These scholarships are earning us a good reputation in the University.

I will be contacting some people for help in manning the Freemason’s stand at the Waikato Showcase at Claudlands from Friday 6thto Sunday 8thApril.

There have been 3 Grand Lodge functions in March – Lodges Waipa and Waitomo combined for a great night on 14thMarch, The TeAroha Lodge hosted us alongside the Northland District on 17thMarch and we combined again with Bay of Plenty in Rotorua to Install Jim into the Chair at the Waikato Lodge of Research. All very enjoyable occasions.

I regret to report the loss of John Waldron, PDist.GM. He died suddenly last weekend at his home in Tauranga.

Coming Up:

Wednesday 4thApril:                       Lodge Piako Installation.

6th, 7th& 8ThApril:                           Waikato Showcase – Claudlands

Thursday 19thApril:                         Lodge Waikato Official Visit. 50yr Badge presentation:

                                                            VWBro Paul Sutcliffe PDist.GM

Saturday 21stApril:                          NorthernDivision Conference, Auckland.

Tuesday 8thMay:                              The Alpha Lodge Installation

Wednesday 16thMay:                       The Taupiri Lodge Official Visit.

Please note: The Copernicus Meeting on 20thApril will not be an Official Grand Lodge Visit.

Don SeathDistrict Grand Master.




FROM THE DISTRICT GRAND MASTER March 2018

MARCH 2018

February was a quiet Month for the District but, there has been a lot of activity behind the scenes in most Lodges, making plans for the year ahead. There are encouraging signs of Candidates coming forward. With this in mind a District Meeting was held on the 27th February to ask the question: “How can Lodges ensure that new Members are receiving well planned and executed Mentoring?”

The meeting produced many good ideas and a small committee was formed to follow up on the suggestions. This will be chaired by Tony Dixon, District Education Officer. A summary of the meeting will be circulated.

An Official Visit to Lodge Nau Mai to present a 50yr Badge to Bro Noel Jones took place with the famous, warm, Nau Mai hospitality enjoyed.

Sadly, Lodge Nau Mai suffered the loss of Joan Street soon after the visit. Joan was a great hostess and stalwart of Lodge Nau Mai. She and Noel hosted many occasions in Taumarunui for the Waikato District. Our thoughts and prayers go to Noel.

On a happier note, Susan and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary in February.

Could all Lodges please send me their notice papers and their plans for the following month as well. This will help in publishing the Dodger in a more timely manner and help Lodges plan their visiting program.

Coming Up:

Wednesday 14thMarch:                   Combined Meeting of Lodges Waipa and Waitomo Official Visit.

Saturday 17thMarch:                       The TeAroha Lodge Installation of Bro Alan Wilkinson

                                                            and Northland District Official Visit.

Tuesday 20thMarch:                        Waikato Lodge of Research Installation of VWBro Jim McLaggan.

                                                            Bay of Plenty and Waikato Districts combine.

Wednesday 4thApril:                       Lodge Piako Installation.

6th, 7th& 8ThApril:                           Waikato Showcase – Claudlands

Thursday 19thApril:                         Lodge Waikato Official Visit. 50yr Badge presentation.

Saturday 21stApril:                          NorthernDivision Conference, Auckland.

Don SeathDistrict Grand Master.




FROM THE DISTRICT GRAND MASTER February 2018

I hope you have all enjoyed a good break from Masonic activities and spent some quality time with your loved ones. We certainly had a busy 2017, so the Holiday period has been good to re-charge the batteries.

2018 will be different. No new Lodge to be formed (that I know of), 2 less Lodges and a small influx of new candidates. Therefore, the emphasis this year will be to consolidate the gains by looking after the needs of our newer members. With this in mind, I am calling a District Meeting for Tuesday evening on the 27th February. I would like all Lodges to attend – Masters, Wardens, Officers and any other interested Brethren, particularly new members. The venue and agenda details will follow by separate notice. Please keep the date free.

In December WBro Peter Saunders was promoted to the rank of Grand Sword Bearer. He will be invested at the Divisional Conference in Auckland on the 21st April. Congratulations Peter.

2 of our stalwarts have been having too many visits to hospital during the holidays – Harry Pettit and Barry Bone. I hope you both recover soon to join us with your cheerful company soon.

The dress code for the summer months (February and March) and for daylight meetings is Lounge Suit.

Coming Up:

Wednesday 7th February: Lodge Nau Mai Official Visit to present a 50yr Badge to Bro Noel Jones
Tuesday 27th February: District Meeting.
Tuesday 6th March: Lodge Tawhiri Official Visit
Wednesday 14th March: Lodges Waipa and Waitomo Official Visit
Saturday 17th March: The TeAroha Lodge Installation of Bro Alan Wilkinson and Northland District Visit.
Tuesday 20th March: Waikato Lodge of Research Installation in Rotorua of VWBro Jim McLaggan.

Don Seath
District Grand Master.




New Beginning for Freemasonry in the Waikato

Nearly 200 Freemasons from all over New Zealand arrived in Hamilton over the weekend of October 14-15 to witness and officiate at the Constitution and Dedication of the new Lodge Waikato.

The membership of Masonic Lodges throughout New Zealand has been ageing and falling for decades. The Hamilton area had six lodges with about 300 members between them and there was a growing need to rationalise and to make the organisation more attractive to younger men.

Starting about 18 months ago an initiative driven by District Grand Master Don Seath and member Grand Steward Murray Loft has led to the disestablishment of three lodges, Te Marama, Hamutana and Hillcrest, the establishment of the new Lodge Waikato No 475 and the installation of its new 'Master'.

Seath said the initiative was not only a new grouping and a new centre but signaled a new way of doing things.

''We have talked about amalgamation for several years. It is very difficult to run a lodge when you get to fewer than 10 people. We've known for some time that something needed to be done - not a merger of lodges, but the establishment of a new lodge with a new set of objectives.

To read the full story click here.

For the latest Waikato Workings click here.

 




From the District Grand Master - 30 November, 2017

November was a very busy month in the Waikato District. There were 4 Installations; Lodge Nau Mai, Lodge Tawhiri, The Taupiri Lodge and Lodge Copernicus all held their Installation Ceremonies and very enjoyable Installation suppers/dinners. Charters were surrendered at Lodge TeMarama and Lodge Hamutana. These were relatively low-key evenings with much reminiscing of the “good old days.” They and Lodge Hillcrest, who also surrendered their Charter last month, are to be congratulated on their forward thinking and focus on the future. 

A 60-year Badge was presented to WBro Trevor Jones in Lodge Waitomo. These presentations are great opportunities to celebrate long and faithful service to the Craft. The Publicity through the “Speak-Up” campaign appears to be having an effect, with a number of Candidates contacting us via the Web site. We will see some Initiations in the coming months and I urge Lodges to look after them with a well-planned Mentoring program. The past year has been a busy but enjoyable year. I wish you all a Merry Christmas with your Families. Have a good holiday and I look forward to an exciting 2018. 

Coming Up: Thursday 7th December – Lodge Alexandra No. 1188EC Installation 

Don Seath 
District Grand Master.




FROM THE DISRICT GRAND MASTER 30th October 2017

My Mother Lodge, TeMarama, held its last full meeting on 2nd October. It was a great night attended by 90 people who were treated to some interesting history of TeMarama, a cooked meal and an excellent Toast to the Lodge by Paul Sutcliffe. Many people have commented how important it is to preserve as much as possible of TeMarama’s magnificent Lodge Room. I guess we could say the same about King Solomon’s Temple.

Lodge Waipa held their Installation Meeting on 11th October with Bruce Brisco taking the Master’s Chair.

The New Lodge Waikato was Constituted and Dedicated on 14th October by the Grand Master, Mark Winger and his Presiding Officers. This rare ceremony, with all its pomp and colour, was attended by 170 people and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who came.

The Installation of the first Master Willy Willetts followed and 95 people celebrated both ceremonies at a Banquet in the evening. Highlights of the day for me were Ian Nathan’s Oration and Digger Tibby’s Address to the Brethren. These two Senior Brethren set the standard for us all to follow.

A Journalist was in attendance for most of the day and has produced an article to be published in the November issue of “Seasons” magazine. Seasons has a circulation of 30,000.

Lodge Hillcrest surrendered their Charter on 19th October with a short but dignified ceremony.

Coming up:

Saturday 4th November – Lodge Nau Mai Installation. Bookings and payment for Dinner are essential.
Monday 6th November – Lodge TeMarama Charter Surrender.
Tuesday 7th November – Lodge Tawhiri Installation.
Wednesday 15th November – The Taupiri Lodge Installation.
Friday 17th November – Lodge Copernicus Installation
Monday 27th November – Lodge Hamutana Charter Surrender
Thursday 7th December – Lodge Alexandra (EC) Installation
  
Don Seath
District Grand Master.




FROM THE DISRICT GRAND MASTER 29th August 2017

The highlight in July was the Grand Master’s visit to the Waikato District on the 18th.  Mark Winger is really supporting our District and we will be seeing more of him in the coming months. Thank you to Lodge Copernicus for organising his visit so well.

Lodge Tawhiri organised a very enjoyable night out at the Riverlea Theatre on Friday 4th August. Apart from having a very good time, funds were raised for the Graeme Dingle Foundation. I have decided to commit Waikato District funds to boost this fundraising effort this year and encourage all Lodges to continue their support for it.

The Camp Quality appeal for funds is underway for the camp in January. Some Lodges have already started their fundraising for this.

There have been numerous meetings with the Consolidation Committee and plans are well advanced for the formation of the new Lodge Waikato on the 14th October. A small group from Lodges TeMarama, Hillcrest and Hamutana have been working really hard on this for many months. 

There was a very enjoyable Installation of W Bro Denis Sharpe at Lodge Waitomo on the 10th August. A different format was trialled and judging by the smiles (and the late night for some), it was a huge success.

Official visits were made to Lodges Alpha and TeAroha. Both were good nights and The Alpha Lodge successfully recruited several Candidates by opening to the Public, not only for their Lodge, but others as well. 
 
Coming up:

Tuesday 5th September – Lodge Tawhiri. The Grand Master will present RW Bro Athol Thorpe with his 75yr Badge.

Monday 11th September – Lodge Pukemiro Installation.

Wednesday 13th September – Lodge Waipa Official Visit.

Wednesday 27th September – Lodge TeAroha Official Visit to present a 50-year Badge to Logan Packer.

Monday 2nd October – Lodge TeMarama Official Visit – the last big night for a Great Lodge.

Wednesday 11th October – Lodge Waipa Installation

Saturday 14th October- Consecration, Dedication and Installation of new Lodge Waikato.
  
Don Seath
District Grand Master.
 




Citizenship Ceremony with a Difference
The photograph shows from left to right: Mayor Alan Sanson, Bro. James Parker MM, James’s Wife Sarah and VW Bro. Don Seath Dist. GM.

Last month James Parker received his New Zealand Citizenship at a ceremony in the Waikato District Council Chambers from the Mayor Alan Sanson.

James is a keen Master Mason and requested permission to wear his Masonic Regalia at the Ceremony. The Mayor quipped that our Masonic “bling” was more impressive than his.




From the District Grand Master... 30 July, 2017

On Sunday 9th July Lodge Piako unveiled a Memorial Plaque in honour of the late MW Bro Barry McLaggan. The occasion was well attended with accolades to Barry’s huge contribution to Freemasonry and the Community, made by VW Bro Jim McLaggan, Master of Lodge Piako and the Grand Master, MW Bro Mark Winger. The day was well organised and a fitting tribute to a great man.
 
Lodge Pukemiro hosted a very enjoyable Official Visit on 10th July. RW Bro Ian Nathan was Honoured by the Waikato Lodge of Research for his many years of interesting lectures. His Wife, Barbara, was presented with flowers in gratitude for her support for Ian and Freemasonry generally.

Official visits were also made to Lodges Hillcrest and Hamutana. These were in lieu of their Installation Meetings which have been postponed pending the formation of the new Lodge Waikato. Lodge Hillcrest conducted a very enjoyable “Table Lodge” in the Refectory and Lodge Hamutana were treated to an interesting Lecture presented by W Bro Len Jeffrey Dist. GDC.

The plans for the formation of the new Lodge Waikato are progressing well. All the major decisions have been made and the date for the Dedication of Lodge Waikato is set for Saturday 14th October 2017. This will be followed by an Installation Ceremony and a celebration Dinner in the evening. Details and an invitation will be send out very shortly. This project is a significant step forward for Freemasonry in the Waikato District and for Hamilton.

It is with sadness I acknowledge the deaths of 2 great Freemasons:

RW Bro Tony Fitzherbert, Past Provincial Grand Master and 60 years as a Freemason.
W Bro Andrew Kay RH, Lodge Waipa and especially noted for his work as an Almoner.
 
Coming up:

Friday 4th August- Lodge Tawhiri hosts the “Oklahoma Premier” at the Riverlea Theatre. This is a fundraiser for the Dingle Foundation and supported by the Waikato District.

Tuesday 8th August – The Alpha Lodge Official Visit

Thursday 10th August - Lodge Waitomo Installation

Friday 18th August – Grand Master Official visit to Waikato hosted by Lodge Copernicus. Details have been sent out by separate invitation. Please reply to Lodge Copernicus if you wish to attend.

Wednesday 23rd August – The TeAroha Lodge Official visit

Tuesday 5th September – Lodge Tawhiri. Grand Master will present RW Bro Athol Thorpe with his 75yr Badge.

Monday 11th September – Lodge Pukemiro Installation.

Wednesday 13th September – Lodge Waipa Official Visit.
 
Don Seath
District Grand Master.




From the District Grand Master - 30th June, 2017

The Installation of W Bro Ralph Evans to the chair of The Beta Waikato Lodge no.12 on 12th June went well despite several people being unavailable because winter ailments. I discovered that Freemasons could sing more or less in tune without an organist.

I attended a meeting in Auckland with the Northern Division GM and Dist. GMs. It was mainly house-keeping and some more instructions on how to use the new web-site. They also announced a new “fast track” method of processing applications for relief through our District Charity Officer. (Wayne Roberts)

The Feildays stand was well run and supported thanks to Warwick Roberts and Sam Annison in setting up and dismantling. Also, the

volunteers who “manned” the stand throughout the 4-day event. You all did a great job and I am sure some recruits will result. Apart from recruiting, we were certainly noticed and gave a good impression of Freemasonry to the general public.

There have been several calls to improve our communication methods. I am going to reinstate the Dodger until we are satisfied that the website can deliver the information we all need.
 
Coming up:
Sunday July 9th – Lodge Piako unveiling of Memorial Plaque for MW Bro Barry McLaggan. This is not a Lodge meeting for Lodge Piako, or an Official visit.

Monday July 10th – Lodge Pukemiro Official Visit

Thursday 20th July- Lodge Hillcrest Official Visit

Monday 24th July – Lodge Hamutana Official Visit

Tuesday 8th August – The Alpha Lodge Official Visit

Thursday 10th August - Lodge Waitomo Installation

Friday 18th August – Grand Master Official visit to Waikato hosted by Lodge Copernicus.
 
Details are being worked through, but at this stage the intention is for a short Lodge meeting in the late afternoon, official reception of the Grand Master into the Lodge, Grand Master to meet Lodge Masters and then close the Lodge.

We will then retire to the Cambridge Raceway to meet up with our Ladies for drinks, entertainment/speeches and dinner. There will be a charge for dinner and bookings with payment is essential. A formal invitation will follow shortly.

Wednesday 23rd August – The TeAroha Lodge Official visit

 
Yours Fraternally,
Don Seath
District Grand Master.




Report To The Waikato Almoner’s Association

Brethren, I am delighted to share the following comments with you:

As the result of a chance phone call by Don Seath to Integrated Recovery Service (iRs) a successful collaboration to provide care packs to the Waikato Emergency Department has been re-established.

Integrated Recovery Service is part of the Waikato District Health Board and provides a community, recovery focused rehabilitation service for people with mental illness. Understanding the importance of the community as a valuable resource in the rehabilitation process, iRs occupational therapists were excited by the idea of supporting Waikato Almoners with this worthwhile initiative.
 
It was agreed that Waikato Almoners would supply the items for the care packs and iRs clients would make the packs up and liaise with the Emergency Department.

The care packs are practical and consist of: toothbrush and paste, comb, tissues, shampoo, soap, wet wipes, shaver pack (men only) and Freemason information strip. The care packs are designed to support those who arrive unexpectedly at the Emergency Department without personal necessities.

When the Emergency Department manager was approached about the initiative the response was immediate and positive “That is such a great idea – we would love to be involved”.

iRs clients were also on board with the idea and volunteered their time to make up the packs. According to one client: “the project is worthwhile and it makes me feel that I have been able to help others and that is important to me”. She goes on to say “After all the years I have been in hospital it is nice to be able to give something back”.

From an occupational therapy perspective the initiative has provided opportunities for clients to develop skills and contribute to society. Low mood and motivation can be common amongst the iRs client group and a worthwhile/ community project such as this can lift the mood and provide a much needed boost to confidence and feelings of self worth.

Julie Flaws, Occupational Therapist, Integrated Recovery Service,
Waikato DHB




"Not So Plain" English Guide to Freemasonry

The Waikato District rented a stand at the Clubs and Creativity Showcase in Hamilton on the weekend of 8/9 April.

On Sunday the Prime Minister, Bill English, visited the site and happily posed for a photograph. 

He wanted to know what the gavel was used for and was instructed how to use it and that, with that in his hand, he was the boss!

He was also very interested in the Freemason’s Charity work. When that was explained to him he was very complimentary and told us to keep up the good work.

The Chair, pedestal, column and gavel are 106 years old and supplied by Lodge Te Marama No. 186.

Speaking Up for Freemasonry can produce another sort of PM!

Don Seath
District GM Waikato.