Southern Division

Latest News - REPORTS


Updated 24/05/2017 New Items this week shown with a Star    

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


Letterhead - Speak Up for Freemasonry

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 Speak 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


  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.

W Bro Mervyn Barker Ties down the Past Masters Night


W Bro Mervyn Barker, one of the senior Past Masters in Lodge Nelson (centre) volunteered to organise the traditional Past Masters night which was held on the 17th of May 2017. In selecting Past Masters to assist him he tried to select as many as possible who had become joining members of Lodge Nelson. This was a bit of a mini challenge to them, as the Lodge Nelson traditional working has a few interesting tweaks from the NZ standard. Bro Scott Baker volunteered to be the candidate and the ceremony began once the Lodge Nelson WM, Gerald Lavercome ,had opened the Lodge. The ceremony went well and an enjoyable night was had by all.

The only real Hiccup - Mervyn’s  Bow Tie kept coming undone.  Hope he can "Tie it down" again next year.!!


Published 24th May 2017



Big gathering of Freemasons to welcome Jamie Williams to Unanimity Lodge




Victory/Wakatu Lodge made its annual visit to Unanimity Lodge In Blenheim on the 10th of May 2017.

The ceremony was a first degree for Jamie Williams (see Photo above). Jamie’s father had been master of the lodge and sadly died whilst he was in the chair. The evening was attended by 38 masons.
 It seems that the Freemasons in Blenheim do a lot more visiting than is seen in Nelson.

Victory Wakatu was well represented at the meeting including their new father and son members Robert and Tamas Fekete. (Photo left)

Gerrit Van Asche


Published 18th May 2017

Masonic Ladies “Doing it for themselves”



On the 29th of April Yvonne Mclean organised a get together for the Ladies of the Nelson and Marlborough Lodges at the Pelorus Café.

 Nineteen Ladies attended, chatted, ate lovely food and generally had a good time.

A number of the Ladies commented that it was good getting to know each other better as it makes it easier and more enjoyable when they meet again at installations.

Nelson and Marlborough Ladies will continue to meet separately until thier next joint luncheon in November, at a date and venue yet to be arranged. Published 2nd May 2017



Watahoi Installation – A Special Day – A Family Affair


Warning - This report does not include a picture of the District Grand Master! 


This time we concentrate on the "back story" behind the installation in Watahoi on Saturday 22nd of April. The new master Vaughan Machon was proposed by his father Dean Vaughan into Freemasonry, and Dean initiated Vaughan in 1982 into Whakatu Lodge when he was the master. Vaughan went to live and work in Australia and when he returned to NZ and was living in Blenheim joined the Waitohi  Lodge no 111. During the installation Dean presented Vaughan for installation.

Pictured left: Su, Vaughan, Dean and Marion Machon

After Vaughan was in placed in the chair and Dean had finished his duties as Junior Grand Warden (Dean is a VW P G Lec), VW Ian McLean invited Dean to join his son in the east. A good number of brethren and Ladies attended the installation Banquet
(pictured right).

Group Photo Watahoi Installation Banquet


Published 28 April 2017

Ken Smith becomes a Mark Master Mason


On Thursday 28th of April Bro Ken Smith of Lodge Nelson was advanced to the degree of a Mark Master Mason by V. Ex Companion Derek Nees and the officers of Victory Chapter. 23 members of the Chapter were present that evening to see and take part in this interesting and colourful ceremony. The evening was further enhanced by the presence of the Grand Superintendent of the district R.Ex Comp Max Currie accompanied by several Grand and other Companions from the Marlborough Chapter.

R Ex Comp Max Currie, V Ex Comp Derek Nees, Bro Ken Smith

R. Ex Comp Max, was on an official visit and also invested John Connor and David Marsh as Grand Officers. The ceremony was also watched by Lawrence Macdonald who was advanced to this degree previously this year. One new feature of the evening was the use of the new Test Questions and Answers which had been circulated by Supreme Grand Chapter. These Q & A sheets are to help new members comprehend  this rather complex degree in addition they  also are a help to established members to consolidate their understanding of the degree.

Published 29 April 2017

District Grand Master attends his first Master Mason Degree


Ian McLean with David Bayliss receiving his 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....


Water slide on the 2017 Soucts Annual Fun Day


Freemasons support Scouting in Marlborough on Fun Day! and


Scouts boating on the river 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 and 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



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


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!


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.

Murray Rolton, George Stone, a 6 foot pair of compasses and Jim Kennard


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. The above photo features Murray Rolton WM of Golden Bay, George Stone and Jim Kennard.

(P.S. George is six foot three and Jim six foot six!)



Little things can often mean the most.

Letterhead - Speak Up for Freemasonry

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 
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



  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 - May 2017 Calender

Published 28 April 2017

Date Lodge/Chapter At Visitors & Dress Cost Working
Tue 02 May Lodge Eckford No 334 BC 8:00 PM M   2nd Degree Passing of Bro. Simon Jay Green.
Wed 03 May The Forest Lodge No 116 N 8:00 PM M   First Degree (being done in two parts - First part only)
Tue 09 May Marlborough Lodge of Unanimity No 106 BC 7:45 PM L/E   To initiate Mr Jamie Williams
Tue 23 May The Wairau Lodge No 42 BC 8:00 PM M   Second Degree. Bro Mark Wilson Dui
Wed 24 May Motueka Bays Lodge No 117 Mo 7:45 PM L/E   NZ Freemasons awarded the Victoria Cross. A paper by VW Bro Rick Williams PG Lec
Thu 25 May The Waitohi Lodge No 111 P 8:00 PM M   Domestic Meeting. No visitors by request
Sat 27 May The Victory-Wakatu Lodge No 40 N 2:30 PM M $25.00 Installation W Bro Gerrit van Asch There is a ladies program 3.00pm A demonstration of paper craft skills by Annie Crosland.
Tue 30 May Malbrough RAC BC 7:30 PM E   Most Excellent Masters Degree ceremony for Comps Berry & Mir
Venues 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          
May 27th Victory Wakatu Installation          
June 6th Eckford Offical Visit          
June 24th Wairau Installation          


  May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Victory RAC No 12   22   24 23   23  
Malbrough RAC No 14   20     5   19   21  
The Victory-Wakatu Lodge No 40 27 13 11 8 12 10 14 12
The Wairau Lodge No 42 23 24 25 22 26 24 28  
Havelock 104 11 8 13 10 14 12 9 14
Marlborough Lodge of Unanimity No 106 9 13 11 5 12 10 14 12
The Waitohi Lodge No 111 25 22 27 24 28 26 23 13
The Forest Lodge No 116 3 7 5 2 6 4 1 6
Motueka Bays Lodge No 117 24 28 26 23 27 25 22  
Golden Bay No 144 8 12 10 14 11 14 13 11
Lodge Nelson No 288 17 21 19 16 16 18 15 13
Awatere 292 18 15 20 17 21 19 16 21
Lodge Eckford No 334 2 6 4 1     26   3 7 5
TOTS Research Lodge 22     28     27  





Print This Page
The content from this comments page is archived every few weeks to keep the listings at a practical length. Simply use the drop down below to review previous comments posted to this page.