Southern Division

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Updated 12/04/2017 New Items this week shown with a Star    

Ian McLean's Newsletter - Issue 2 April - June 2017


Greetings to you all Brethren.

Welcome to my second newsletter, the last two months have been a very steep learning curve for me as your new District Grand Master. The first of the many new challenges that faced me was getting the installation ritual under my belt. It will come as no surprise that learning a ritual for the first time even though you have heard it many times is not easy. As you get more mature the task does not get any easier I can assure you. My first few installations were not easy but due to the support I received at those installations I am now getting a little more comfortable with the task.

 The big surprise was the amount of behind the scenes work that is required as District Grand Master. These requests, duties and problems to be dealt with came thick and fast. Some were easy to deal with, others required me understanding a whole new world of protocols between constitutions and also the NZ book of constitution as well. Many a happy hour was spent digging through these I can assure you

 The final and perhaps most personal surprise was the change that I found in how even old friends now regard me. Before my appointment as District Grand Master I was just W Bro Ian or just Ian, now I am DGM folk regard me as the District Grand Master. It’s not that they are any less friendly, just a little more guarded as they are now talking to me in my new persona. 

My initial series of meetings within the Nelson and Blenheim Lodges was to consult you in relation to the stand up for Freemasonry campaign. I have received some feedback from that presentation and also further information from Grand Lodge. Accordingly I have updated the information I distributed at those talks and I have prepared a small card as an Aide Memoire which is at the bottom of this news letter.

What I plan to do is to prepare copies of this Aide Memoire for you all which will be sent to your Lodge Secretary. It is not all I want you to say, or what you must say, it’s the start of a conversation so you may feel more comfortable in responding to others. I know that if you use these as guidelines it will help you in deciding what to say. Also in June you will receive a new booklet “Simple answers to leading questions” included in your Freemasons magazine. The Aide Memoire together with this new Grand Lodge booklet will provide you with an excellent way of discussing Freemasonry with interested individuals.

I also commend to you the new District web site pages which are within the Southern Division part of the Grand Lodge web site. (The address is first go to then click on District Grand Masters Comments – then Nelson Marlborough).  The site is regularly updated with the reports I receive from the meetings and also it contains a list of the meetings and social events coming up in the next month or so and which ones I plan to attend.  So if you are having a meeting please take a photo and write a few lines about what happened and send it to me so I can let others know what we are up to.

I am also particularly interested in ensuring social events are reported and given the publicity that your efforts so richly deserve.

Kindest regards




What does becoming a Freemason commit me to?


  • A commitment to attend the regular meetings of the Lodge.
  • Becoming practiced in its ceremonies and customs.
  • Visiting other Lodges.
  • Having an active social life both within and outside the Lodge.
  • Involvement in charitable activities.


For further information see the booklet “Simple Answers”


Speak Up for Freemasonry

An Aide Memoire






What is Freemasonry

Freemasonry is a brotherhood of good men meeting and working in harmony.


The Benefits of being a Freemason


  • Lifelong friendships.
  • Mixing and working with men of high integrity.
  • Local and international friends.


Self Development

  • Character and Confidence building.
  • Experience in organization management.



  • We care for the needs of the members
  • Care of the whole community.
  • Awareness of the needs of those around us.


Life balance

  • It is an oasis where calm and order prevails.
  • Provides a distinct and refreshing channel for diversion and relaxation.


  • Family activities and Involvement.
  • Social programmes.
  • Social engagement with other families.

District Grand Master attends his first Master Mason Degree


















Lodge Nelson on the 19th of April was honoured by the official visit of the District Grand Master Ian McLean to his New Zealand mother lodge. Ian was there to see the third degree on David Bayliss. David had his second degree in Wellington as Lodge Nelson has had a flurry of new candidates recently.

David answered his questions with aplomb and this set the tone for an excellent ceremony which was watched by many Lodge Nelson members (20) plus 9 visitors.  One of the highlights of the night was the tracing board which was delivered by the Senior Warden Bob Llewellyn in an exemplary manner.


A great example of Speaking Up for Freemasonry....

Freemasons support Scouting in Marlborough on Fun Day! and

The Scouts hold an annual fun day for kids on the banks of the Opawa River in Blenheim. The main attraction consists of two water slides. The kids use inflatable rafts, inner tubes – or just body-slide. Thanks to Chris Bowhill - Havelock Lodge No 104 and his supporters, this year the Freemasons of Marlborough turned up in force to assist the organisers deliver the equipment to the site, set things up and supervise the event. It proved very popular and Scouts New Zealand were very happy to have our support.

The Scouts have been running this event for the past five years or so, and it usually runs in February. There are a number of physical activities (trampolines, gymnastics, water activities plus sausage sizzle, drinks etc), so there is a lot to organise. Like everyone else, their organisers are stretched pretty thinly, so the offer of help from us was gladly accepted. We have the advantage of a fairly diverse group of people and a wide age range from within Freemasons New Zealand. It was a great opportunity for some of our younger members to be seen to pitch into something tangible and to 'Speak Up for Freemasonry'.

Photos - Max Currie
Credit - Chris Bowhill and Max Currie





Brothers Are Now Companions


Max Currie, Brian Cameron, Ian Cameron, Peter Craig

On Tuesday 18th of April The Marlborough Royal Arch Chapter (14) made two brothers Mark Master Masons. This unusual event was presided over by Peter Craig the J of the Chapter and Worshipful Mark Master and the Grand Superintendent for the District, Max Currie. It is a complicated ceremony and given the necessity to fill roles extempore it went very well. This is was the first meeting since the Chapter Installation and the new team of Gordon Berry who is Z (who is doing a second year and Ian Plummer who is H, seem well at home in their new roles.

Also present that night was Bro Scott Pickering who was made a Mark Master  in February 2017. This is the first time he has seen the ceremony and to see a double one would have helped him understand this rather complicated part of the Royal Arch degree.


Father and Son - Now Brothers 11th of April

Lodge Victory  -  Wakatu had a really special event on Tuseday the 11th of April when W Bro Gerrit Van Asch carried out the Initiation of Tamas Fekete. Last month his father Robert, received his Master Mason degree so now the Lodge has a Lewis in its midst.  It has been a busy week for the WM of Lodge Nelson (Gerald Lavercome) who attended together with representatives of the Forest and Motueka Bays Lodges. Robert Fekete gave the charge after the apron, his first charge in a Lodge which I am sure made it a very special evening for his son. Later in the Refectory Tamas delivered the shortest response to the new brother toast I have ever heard – “Thank you very much”. Well done that man!

Gerrit Van Asche, Tomas Fekete, Robert Fekete, Gerald Lavercome


Big Night at Golden Bay 10th of April




Golden Bay Lodge was the host to Lodge Nelson on the 10th of April when the WM (Gerald Lavercome) and three of the brethren went  over the “marble mountain” of Takaka hill (270 plus bends) with the tracing board for a special event. It’s always a joy going to the Takaka lodge rooms because of the warm welcome you get from its members and to see that very special carpet.


One of the Lodge Nelson brethren, Jim Kennard, spends a lot of time away from Nelson working on a survey boat in the middle of nowhere, so it has been a tricky scheduling problem to give him the explanation of the second degree tracing board. The Secretary of Lodge Nelson (Derek Nees) made arrangements with the Secretary of Golden Bay (also Derek Nees) to do the explanation at their April meeting.  The presentation was given by George Stone who did it in an exemplary manner and even demonstrated some of the details of the size of the Pillars in that presentation using a huge pair of compasses which he has in his hands.

Photo has : Murray Rolton WM of Golden Bay, George Stone and Jim Kennard

 BTW George is six foot three and Jim six foot six!



Ian Plummer is the new WM of Awatere Lodge 292

Ian and Sue Plummer at Ian’s installation dinner for the Awatere Lodge No 292 held at the Redwood Tavern.   Ian is taking the chair for a 2nd year and has just had surgery on his back which makes him feel like a rejuvenated person. With the continued  support of a very experienced team within the lodge  and several new brothers  Ian expects the lodge to go forward with great vigour and enjoyment to the members. Ian is well known for his research into, and the presentation of unusual and special versions of well known charges, and we look forward to hearing some more of these over the next year. Also in the pictures above - The most important guests of the day - were the wives and partners  who attended the dinner after the  installation.

Little things can often mean the most.

Nelson Masonic Hall is used by all the NZC lodges in the area and during the day part of the Hall car park is used to provide economical parking for local businesses. In addition the Hall Company also allow the local school, (Central School) which is just across the road, to use the car park for the parents to use while they are picking up the children. Thus making it safer for the children and other road users.

The Hall Management Company recently received this letter.

Enough said!

From: Paula Cunniffe

Date: 17/03/17 2:20 PM (GMT+12:00)


Subject: Thank you for parking permits in Nelson - please forward this message to them


I would like to say to the Nile St, Nelson Lodge, thank you so much for providing free 30 minute permits to allow parents of Nelson Central School students, to park there while they drop them off and pick them up.
It's been an ongoing issue for years, that NMIT students and CBD workers monopolise most of the parking around the school, making it a very dangerous place for parents and children during this time. Parents are forced to break the law and receive fines for illegal parking or stopping, just so they can safely deliver their children to school on time.
My grandson, whom I have custody of, is in his first year at Nelson Central and like other junior student parents, we need to deliver and pick up from the classroom. 
I have serious health issues, with autoimmune arthritis being one of them with mobility issues, and damage to the bones in my feet. After school pick up time had me waiting from 2.15 everyday, just on the off chance that I could find a park, so that I don't have to walk two to four blocks at a snail pace. 
My grandson suffers trauma from an abusive childhood and has Sensory Processing Disorder, and if I am late he is unable to cope with the anxiety he experiences as a result.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The caring generosity of the free parking permit from the Nile St Lodge will make a big difference for many stressed parents at pick up and drop off time.
Can you please be so kind as to forward this email to them.

Warmest wishes,
Paula Cunniffe, Nelson.

Havelock New Master - A piece of cake?

On Saturday the 18th of March 2017 I installed Chris Bowhill as the new Worshipful Master of the HAVELOCK Lodge.

This was performed in the Lodge rooms at Brayshaw Park in Blenheim. It is always a great pleasure to do such ceremonies in this historic Lodge room which was moved from Havelock to Blenheim on the back of a lorry many years ago. The Lodge room has wonderful, but tricky to get the best out of, acoustics. Chris’s ceremony was followed in the refectory by the presentation of a wonderful cake. In the picture Chris and his partner Rebecca Allen are seen ceremonially cutting the cake which was enjoyed by all.

If you have never visited Havelock then please do so. I wish Chris a successful year in this one of the special Lodges of my District

Ian Mclean


Really Special Night - Victory-Wakatu Lodge


For the WM of Victory Wakatu, Gerrit van Asch, it was the first time he had seen a third degree presented in his Lodge since he himself was the candidate. Robert is originally from Hungary and is a recent New Zealander. So the ceremony was truly international. To hear a Dutchman giving an obligation in English to a Hungarian gave us all a reminder of the international appeal of freemasonry. Gerrit has more candidates in the pipeline (including Robert’s son) and said he was looking forward to doing another third degree soon! (Brian Rodley was the Junior Deacon and John Connor the Senior Deacon).
The presentation to W Bro Rodley of the 60 year bar was carried out by V Wor Bro Roger Chapple. Roger had previously invested Brian with his fifth year badge for the Craft  and his 40th for the Royal Arch. At the craft ceremony Brian had asked if Roger would do the presentation of his 60th year bar. Roger said he would only if they were both alive. Well they are and looking very well indeed. Roger and Brian exchanged many smiles during the presentation ceremony – it is so good to see such friendship in Freemasonry. Did Brian ask Roger to do the 70th bar presentation –I hear you ask - Well sort of!


New Master Mason for Lodge Nelson

This week has been a very busy one with Lodge Nelson meeting on the 15th of March 2017 to carry out the raising of Bro Herb Heskwith to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. For many masons this was the third meeting in the same week as Golden Bay had its meeting in the 13th and Victory/Wakatu on the 14thHerb’s ceremony was conducted by W Bro Gerald Lavercome who is having a second term as Master of Lodge Nelson some 21 years after his first in 1995/96.

Herb had obviously received some excellent coaching on the test question answers from his mentor as he answered them with an accuracy and confidence rarely heard in Candidates. Gerald was assisted by a number of the past masters with W Bro Blundell who proposed Herb as a member taking over the role of inner guard that night.

In addition to the Lodge Nelson members present (20) the Lodge had many visitors including the Masters of Torea (west Coast), Golden Bay, Victory/Wakatu.   There was a large contingent of visitors from Victory/Wakatu who came with their newly raised Master Mason Robert Fekete.

The presentation of the third degree tracing board was ably carried out by W Bro Quentin Barridge from the Forest Lodge and Robert Fekete was invited to sit alongside Herb for that presentation.

(Quentin and Herb work together.)


David Marsh



Forthcoming Event - Yvonne McLean organises Pelorus Bushwalk for April

Following on from the very successful afternoon Tea organised last month Yvonne McLean is organising another such event.

Combined Ladies Lunch at Pelorus 12pm Saturday 29 April.

Nelson and Blenheim Ladies are warmly invited to share lunch together followed by a bush walk for those who would like to do so.
This is a change of venue to the location previously advised due to poor road conditions.

Car-pooling would be ideal to foster fellowship and reduce our carbon footprint!
Please RSVP Yvonne McLean by clicking here.

Many thanks

  SPECIAL SOCIAL EVENT June 7th 2017  6.00 for 6.15pm

Victory Chapter


Victory Chapter are organizing special social event which is open to all Freemasons and their family and also any friends they would like to bring along. On the 7th of June they are organizing a special meal at the NMIT RATA rooms in Nile Street. The RATA room is where the students at the NMIT, who are trainee chefs and undertaking hospitality training, practice and polish their skills on the paying guests. Several of the Chapter members have attended such events before and on their recommendation the Chapter is organising an evening where if we get 30 or more bookings we will have the whole restaurant to ourselves. The cost is 36 dollars per person plus local wines and drinks  (which is provided almost at cost price). The three course meal comes with four choices on each course. So Freemasons its time to give the specail people in your life a real treat of a night out.

Register your interest by contacting David Marsh at

PS: If you would like to see a recent review of the Rata room use this link:

District 23 April Calendar
Date Lodge/Chapter At Visitors Dress Cost Craft/Arch/0ther               Working
Sat 01 Apr Lodge Awatere No 292 Bb 3:00 PM M $22.00 Craft Installation. W.Bro. Ian Plummer. PM. Refectory at Redwood Tavern. Served meal choice of 2 mains+sweets.Ladies program, meet at Lodge room at 3.00pm.
Tue 04 Apr Lodge Eckford No 334 Bc 8:00 PM E   Craft 1st Degree Tracing Board.
Wed 05 Apr The Forest Lodge No 116 Nn 8:00 PM M   Craft Simulated 1st Degree
Sat 08 Apr Nelson Priory 31 Wp 2.00 PM L   KT Open meeting - Lecture on Chartres Cathedral
Mon 10 Apr Golden Bay Lodge No 144 Tk 7:45 PM M   Craft Presentation of 2nd TB to Bro Jim Kennard, Lodge Nelson
Tue 11 Apr Marlborough Lodge of Unanimity No 106 Bc 7:45 PM M   Craft Grand Lodge Official Visit.Discussion: Lodge Office Bearers' roles and goals
Tue 18 Apr Marlborough RAC Bc 7:30 PM M   Arch Mark Degree (double)
Wed 19 Apr Lodge Nelson No 288 Nn 7:45 PM M   Craft Raising Bro David Bayliss All welcome
Sat 22 Apr The Waitohi Lodge No 111 Pt 2:00 PM M $25.00 Craft Installation. Bro Vaughan Machon SW & Investiture of his Officers. There is a Ladies Program. Banquet bookings essential to 
Wed 26 Apr Motueka Bays Lodge No 117 Mo 7:45 PM L/E   Craft First Degree Tracing Board
Thurs 27 Apr Victory Chapter No 12 Nn 7.30 PM L   Mark Mark Degree Ken Smith
2nd Lodge Eckford No 334 Bc          
3rd The Forest Lodge No 116 Nn          
8th Golden Bay Lodge No 144 Tk          
9th Marlborough Lodge of Unanimity No 106 Bc          
11th Havelock 104 Bb          
17th Lodge Nelson No 288 Nn          
18th Lodge Awatere No 292 Bb          
22nd ToTS            
23rd Wairau 42            
25th The Waitohi Lodge No 111 Pt          
26th Motueka Bays Lodge No 117 Mo          
27th Victory/Wakatu 40 Nn          
Venues  Bc Blenheim Charles Street.  Bb Blenheim Brayshaw Park.  Nn Nelson Nile Street.  Pt Picton.  Tk Takaka. Mo Motueka.   Wp Westport.                                                  
Dress  E Evening. L Lounge. M Masonic. S Summer. SC Summer Casual. TC Tidy Casual. L/E Lounge Evening. L/S Lounge Summer.


District Grand Master to attend

Apr 1st
 Awatere Installation            
         5th  Forrest Official visit            
       11th  Unanimity Official visit            
       19th  Nelson Official visit            
       22nd  Waitohi Installation            

May 27th

June 6th

June 24th

Victory Wakatu Installation

Eckford Offical Visit

Wairau Installation


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