DIVISIONAL PEN - GARY SALMON - DIVISIONAL GRAND MASTER - NORTHERN
Divisional Grand Masters Pen - June 2017
I find it interesting, and important, to reflect on the first six months of my appointment as your Divisional Grand Master and to understand the difference between being a District Grand Master and working at a Divisional level.
The first thing that became apparent to me as I looked at the landscape of the team for Northern Division, was that we actually have two distinct groups within the Divisional team. This makes it critically important that while we have two role groupings we must make absolutely sure that we all work together as “One Team”.
The first group is our District Grand Masters, these are the ones who actually manage the districts and have direct responsibility for the performance of lodges within their respective territories. The rest of us, with various portfolios of Divisional responsibility are to support the District Grand Masters and lodge’s with activity related to our individual responsibilities. As previously noted, we had a recent meeting of the Divisional Team and the need for us to work together collaboratively was a major part of our days discussion. I am delighted with the response and understanding of each of the Divisional team members and their strong desire and understanding of the need to work together with just one purpose and one aim in mind.
I am especially delighted with the first of our Divisional projects which was to establish a Divisional Website. The manner in which it is now integrated with the National and other Divisions is such a great outcome. We are eternally grateful to W Bro Russell Pratt, who continues to devote enormous amount of energy and time to consolidating the three Divisional sites, and to controlling the updates and currency of generic information.
However, it requires an effort on behalf of us all to keep supporting him with information and to communicate photographs and commentary that is of interest to the Division and in some cases to all of New Zealand. Remember, it is also a great way to “Speak up for Freemasonry” not only Freemasons visit the site and looking at the statistics there is also a good number of hits from outside of New Zealand.
During the past month the Divisional team have agreed a Divisional Plan with a number of targets that will give us focus for the next three years. They are realistic targets and we will be working hard to make progress on all fronts that we have identified as opportunities for the progression of Freemasonry in general. It is my intention to present this plan in a manner that is easily distributed to you all and I hope that you will work within your lodges to progress some of the targets in the best interest of your lodge and members.
While the plan sets out a number of intentions, some of which are difficult to report performance outcomes, we will be reporting statistical facts using the current data as our start point. Although not perfect this should provide us with some measure of outcome from our collective efforts.
I know it is early times, but we do need to start thinking about next year’s Divisional Conference. While I was pleased with the programme and arrangements for this year’s event we need to be thinking about what you would like to have in 2018. I therefore invite any of you who have suggestions to communicate them to me for consideration. It is my intention at this time to return to Alexandra Park and in accordance with the national timetable probably sometime in April as we did this year.
Brethren I know there is a significant amount of great Masonic activity happening throughout the Northern Division and I thank you all for the good work you are doing promoting and developing Freemasonry in your areas. I look forward to visiting events in your Districts or your lodges, as time and opportunity permits.
RW Bro Gary W Salmon
Divisional Grand Master
The Divisional Grand Masters pen - May, 2017
Welcome to the launch of our Northern Division Website. The launching of this site brings us into a common format with the other two Divisions in New Zealand and has the potential to significantly increase our information and knowledge sharing in Freemasonry, not only in the Northern Division, but throughout New Zealand in general.
There has been considerable procrastination in recent times and I am now delighted to present the new format of the Divisional website to you all. As you search through the site you will find there are still a number of areas where we have work to complete and we must work together to finalise those sections to enable us all to maximise the benefits and information that is available.
I am indebted to W Bro Russell Pratt, for his work in making this happen and VW Bro Graham Houston, who will be our Northern Division communications representative monitoring progress and driving updates to ensure we have timely and useful information throughout our term of office.
It is now four months since my installation as your Divisional Grand Master and unfortunately my term has commenced with some personal distraction. Firstly, just after the Christmas recess I developed a kidney stone and blood infection which impacted my ability to fully engage. Then secondly, my relocation from Auckland to Hamilton has also caused a major commitment of time and energy as we have moved to a new house and community. However, we are now well settled in Hamilton and my attention will again return to my Masonic commitments.
There are exciting times ahead, which I am sure will also bring challenges for us as we deal with the immediate, and prepare for the longer term future of Freemasonry in New Zealand.
Many will have already had the opportunity of meeting the Grand Master as he embarks on his journey of closer engagement with the districts and local lodges and the promotion of his “Speak up for Freemasonry” campaign. He has committed to a rigorous campaign of district visits and attendance at special occasions throughout New Zealand, including the Northern Division. I look forward to your support when he is attending activities in your district.
Final arrangements are now in place for our 17th Divisional Conference, being held at Alexander Park in Auckland and I look forward to that event. The keynote session at the conference will be a full explanation and demonstration of this Northern Division website and I am sure you will be amazed at the potential and features the website has to offer.
I look forward through a commitment to the use of this Website, and personal visits to your districts and functions, to improving our communications and keeping you informed of Divisional activities in the future.
RW Bro Gary Salmon
Divisional Grand Master