Brethren it has been another busy month of activity for me on divisional business and I am pleased to summarise some of the activity of the last few weeks.
Firstly, I had the opportunity of presenting a past masters bar to the immediate Past Master of The Ponsonby Lodge number 54 at their installation last week. This was a special privilege because I was the installing master when W Bro Jeasy Sehgal was installed into the chair of his lodge two years ago. Jeasy has been a good Master and this has been highlighted by the lodge’s recent quadruple initiation ceremony attended by many Auckland brethren.
Since my appointment as Divisional Grand Master, I have established a Divisional administration team to assist me with the administration and organisational duties required of the Divisional Grand Master. We started with the Divisional Secretary VW Bro Ken Galley and the Divisional Treasurer VW Bro Mike Cadman and more recently have included in the team VW Bro Mike Wyse a past District Grand Master from Auckland East District and W Bro Paul Sargison who has a senior management background and brings accounting and business skills to the team. There is much to do behind the scenes to ensure the Division performs well and I am very grateful for the support of these brethren making a commitment to monthly meetings where we discuss Divisional activity and plan for future events.
Following the Divisional team meeting in Auckland last month we have continued to work on the development of a summary overview of the Divisional Plan and develop a format that can be easily disseminated to you all. I am pleased to confirm the “Plan on a Page” is now being peer-reviewed and I look forward to disseminating it to you all in the next few weeks. It is a high-level summary of the intentions that we will focus on during the next 2 ½ years. I hope you will agree the content covers those facets of freemasonry in the Northern Division that deserve focus and attention, and that you will support the Plan by adopting a focus on those targets that will be of benefit to your own lodges.
We have just this weekend enjoyed the celebration of 50 year badge presentations to Bryan and Bruce Wigg, when the Grand Master was formally received into the Coromandel Lodge for the occasion. There were more than 200 Freemasons from across New Zealand, with their wives, family, and friends in attendance at a specially prepared Lodge room at Toll Stadium, Whangarei. Bruce and Bryan Wiig were originally from Bluff, and were initiated into Freemasonry on the 15th July 1967 in Lodge Fortitude No 64. Bruce now lives in Auckland with wife Carol, and Bryan in Whangarei with wife Marie. Northland, District Grand Master, VW Bro Kevin Burch received and welcomed the Grand Master, MW Bro Mark Winger and 48 Grand Lodge officers.
I take this opportunity to thank the Coromandel Lodge for hosting the event for Bryan and Bruce and for agreeing to hold it in Whangarei. It will prove to be one of this year’s signature events and greatly enjoyed by all who had the opportunity of attending.
I will be in Australia from the 4th – 9th of August 2017 celebrating a birthday with my family and grandchildren. If you require anything during this time please contact the Divisional Secretary who will direct you accordingly.
I continue to appreciate and thank you for all that you do to promote Freemasonry and all the great things that are happening throughout the Division. I look forward to joining with you as time and opportunity permits during the next month.
RW Bro Gary W Salmon
Divisional Grand Master
Brethren I have enjoyed the past few weeks and the opportunity to visit a number of Lodge Installations. I have greatly enjoyed the visits and I thank you all for your generous hospitality. We had a wonderful night in Thames at the Walter Scott Installation, followed by Ara 1 in Auckland and then last Saturday the Coromandel Lodge Installation at Papakura.
However, the highlight of the past month has been our Divisional team meeting which we held in Auckland on 10 June, and with the exception of the Grand Lecturer, VW Bro Mark Hall, who was overseas, all members were in attendance. It was a full agenda of discussion, the intention of which was to clarify working arrangements and importantly to discuss a draft Divisional Plan. We all enjoyed the opportunity of sharing recent experiences in our current roles and I am sure by understanding each other’s circumstances it will make for a harmonious team effort as we progress with supporting Divisional activities.
As a result of our meeting discussions, it is clear there is a significant amount of activity throughout the Division and our Districts are in generally good heart. We are now looking forward to the next significant event for the Division on 15 July 2017 when we have the opportunity of being in Whangarei with the Grand Master, for the occasion of 50 year presentations to Bruce and Bryan Wigg. I understand that current registrations indicate there will be about 200 members and partners attending, so we look forward to a very enjoyable weekend of masonic celebration.
I continue to thank you for all that you do in the name of Freemasonry and look forward to seeing you when I have the opportunity of visiting your lodge.
Firstly I take this opportunity to thank all of those who made the effort to attend our Divisional Conference and I trust that you enjoyed the day and found the content of discussion useful. I hope that you’ve been able, in particular, to share with the members of your lodge the presentation from W Bro Russell Pratt on the Divisional website. I must say, it is very encouraging to see the number of our members who are visiting the site and I am sure you are being rewarded with a wide range of useful and interesting information. I take this opportunity to thank all of those throughout the Division who have been contributing various articles and news items that have been used nationally and locally.
I recently had the opportunity of joining members from the lodge of Peace in Auckland on the occasion of their scholarship presentations. It was again another fantastic evening celebrating our charitable activity and meeting such wonderful and talented young people that give us confidence that we have such developing talent and skills ready to lead this country, our various business and innovation developments in the future.
I have more recently been somewhat busy with my St John activities, a number of which have occupied weekends and limited my ability to be out and about visiting with you. I am about to leave for South Africa on 19 May for a week of International St John business and I look forward to being more actively involved on my return.
It is encouraging to hear from our District Grand Masters that work in the districts is progressing in such a positive manner. I am pleased also to confirm the Divisional leadership team will be gathering in Auckland on Saturday, 10 June for a meeting to further synchronise our activities and support for each other.
In the meantime, I extend to you all my very best wishes and urge you to continue to “Speak up for Freemasonry” and take advantage of all those positive things that are happening around this at this exciting time.
RW Bro Gary W Salmon
Divisional Grand Master
Brethren is my intention to communicate with you through this page on our website keeping you up-to-date with my activity and visiting programme, as well as special promotions that will be of interest to the Division from time to time.
I take this opportunity to thank the members of Lodge Te Papa, in the Bay of Plenty for their hospitality last week when I had the opportunity of attending their installation ceremony and presenting the address to the Brethren.
On 1 April the members of Nau Mai Lodge in Taumaranui enjoyed the opportunity of hosting the Grand Master. I know they appreciated the commitment of MW Bro Mark Winger and his willingness to travel to Taumaranui and being received into their Lodge.
The pressure is now building as we finalise the details of our day’s activity at the Divisional Conference next Saturday and I look forward to seeing as many of you in attendance as are able to make it. We tried to make the start and finish time such that Brethren travelling from out of Auckland can do so with some ease and I hope the programme on the day will be informative and useful to all those attending.
My Fraternal Best wishes
RW Bro Gary Salmon
Divisional Grand Master