After a busy time during April my visiting during May has been somewhat limited. However, there have been a number of enjoyable occasions which I am pleased to note. I had the opportunity of attending the Manurewa Installation ceremony and during the refectory proceedings was able to present a St John Ambulance long service medal to Aileen Elliott, the wife of W Bro Robin Elliott. Aileen is very unwell and it was a wonderful opportunity to make the overdue presentation in front of her friends and family.
The month was also tinged with sadness as we reflected on the passing of RW Bro Tony Smith, during a Lodge of Sorrow. We also received news the District Grand Director Ceremonies for Northland District, W Bro Trevor Hall, daughter passed away suddenly.
I was disappointed to have missed the opportunity of visiting Kaikohe with the Grand Master on the occasion of an initiation ceremony for twins. I had to apologise at short notice due to the death of a senior St John member who passed away and I was committed to attend his funeral service.
I did have a very enjoyable opportunity to attend the Freemason Scholarship presentations at Parliament buildings in Wellington. It is a wonderful privilege to be part of an organisation contributing to the education and development of such emerging talent within these young people.
Lodge Nau Mai
I had the pleasant opportunity last week of being in Taumaranui for the presentation of a 60 year Jewel to W Bro Ron Rhodes. It was a very special occasion and well attended by members of Grand Lodge, along with some of his family and friends.
Later today I will be attending a presentation to the Dingle foundation and Sir Graeme Dingle will be in attendance to receive a donation from the Freemasons supporting the work of his Charity. The fundraising has been led by the Tawhiri Lodge supported by other Hamilton lodges and in particular, the Mt Roskill foundation. This is another example of the ongoing charitable work of Freemasons throughout this division.
Next week, on Tuesday the 12th of June 2018, the Grand Master will be making a formal visit to Lodge Pakuranga for the presentation of a 60 year Jewel to W Bro Morrin Cooper. He will also take the opportunity of investing a replacement District Grand Director of Ceremonies for the Auckland district, W Bro Evan Taylor, Past District Grand Director of Ceremonies, who has agreed to except the role for the remainder of this term of office. We are grateful for his support.
The Ara Lodge, Irish constitution, will be holding their installation ceremony on Saturday, 23 June 2018. This is a very popular installation ceremony among Auckland members and I am pleased to have the opportunity of representing the Division and the New Zealand Constitution on this occasion. I would be most grateful for the support of any Grand Lodge Officers who are able to join with we on the occasion. All members are of course invited to attend and if anyone has the opportunity I am sure you will greatly enjoy the ceremony and festivities of this installation.
At the end of this month the Grand Master and President of the Board of General Purposes have arranged for the Divisional Grand Masters and members of the board to join in Wellington for a weekend of discussion to review our Masonic strategy. This an exciting opportunity for us to discuss the focus required for the immediate and longer-term future of freemasonry in New Zealand. I look forward to a positive outcome from the discussions and reporting from the weekend in due time.
As usual, I thank you all for what you continue to do supporting and promoting Freemasonry in your local areas and encourage you to remember the principles of our “Speak Up for Freemasonry” campaign and not to neglect the opportunities for open discussion about the Craft.
RW Bro Gary W Salmon
Divisional Grand Master