Southern Division

Latest News - REPORTS


Updated 09/06/2017 New Items this week shown with a Star    


Just before Christmas last year Karen McLeod, Manager of the Edwin Fox Centre in Picton had an “On NO” moment.  She discovered that the seal on the door of the ship’s drydock had given way and the sea was pouring into the dock, it was far from dry and getting wetter, much wetter by the minute. Even at a friendly price from local firms the repair left the Marlborough Heritage Trust with a significant and unexpected account.  

When advised of this problem the Waitohi Masonic Lodge decided that they could and should help.  The Lodge and The Fox have both been part of Picton for a long time, since 1885 and 1897 respectively and the Lodge felt such a Picton icon as The Fox deserved all the help they could provide.  The Lodge though, like the Trust did not have a wad of spare cash so needed to raise the funds.  To do this they decided to apply to the local Masonic Charity who have provided $2,000.00 but also to cut and sell firewood.  Fortunately Dale Webb, one of the Lodge members has a rural property with a number of eucalyptus trees which are surplus to requirements so for the last several weeks many of the Lodge members, ably led by their Master Vaughan Machon, sometimes with a few other friends have been cutting, splitting and stacking wood.  Dale’s wife Bev though wonders if they come to cut wood or enjoy her pikelets and scones at morning tea time; perhaps it’s both.  How they are stacking the wood so that it dries quickly though is another interesting part of this little story.  Many rural property owners will know the magazine NZ Lifestyle Block.  In the May edition there was an article “The secrets to stacking wood like a Norwegian”.   They stack it in a round heap that looks something like an overgrown old-fashioned beehive.   There are now two stacks with more to come on a Marlborough property which when dry will be sold not to keep The Fox afloat but to stop it floating away.

Edwin Fox  staff and Neil Oliver (Scots TV presenter who makes the TV program Coast)

So the combination of some long standing members of the Picton community, the Nelson Marlborough Masonic Charity and the Lifestyle Block magazine, plus some energetic Lodge members should see the Edwin Fox safely tucked into its drydock for some time to come, the right place for the only surviving sailing ship that brought immigrants to New Zealand and Australia, convicts to Australia, soldiers to the Crimean war, played a leading role in establishing our frozen meat export trade and much, much more.  It’s well worth a visit next time you are in Picton.


Hi-Viz Jackets at Dog Show!

(On the Job -Bros Keith Woodham and Lloyd Anderson)

The sausage sizzle and barbecue held at the National Kennel Club’s show held at the Marlborough  Kennel Club’s site at Omaka on the weekend of 20th and 21st May.


The jackets certainly stand out and drew numerous comments

The project was capably organised by Bro Craig Hammond, supported by teams of brethren from each of the Marlborough lodges who worked in shifts over the weekend. Wet weather was not enough to deter wide support from all over the country.  

There were over 300 competitors, so the presence of Freemasons helping at the event was well received. 

Lloyd Anderson looking for customers, Bro Scott Pickering (convenor – in the Kennel Club Apron) and Keith Woodham at the ready with the tongs.



A partnership between the Havelock Masonic Lodge (N0 104) and Havelock Menzshed has resulted in new beds and bedding for the only Residential Addiction Centre above Christchurch in the South Island.

St Marks began as a Residential Alcohol Centre in a deconcentrated church in Blenheim in 1988. Since then the success of the Centre has meant it has evolved into providing treatment for all addictions and, although well supported by the community, the Centre has had a constant struggle to maintain the best service possible for the residents while making provision for extensions to its premises to accommodate the demand.

Lodge members were aware of the situation and asked the Manager at that time, Lois Miller, what was the Centre’s greatest need. Consequently, the Lodge asked the Havelock Menzshed if they would be willing to build a Child’s Fort which could be raffled. Over $3000 was raised and with a subsidy from the Freemason’s Charity, presented a cheque for $7441 to St Marks on 29 th May at a delicious roast sdinner

prepared and served by the Residents. The current manager, Peter Rijhnen, thanked the Lodge for their support and said how grateful the residents are. He mentioned that he had stayed in the Centre after the November earthquakes and what an uncomfortable night he had experienced.

IPM Ian Cameron thanked the Lodge members for their support, in particular W.Bro Ross Harvey and his wife Linda who had and his wife Linda who had spent many hours selling tickets at every supermarket in Blenheim and surrounds.


L to R: IPM Ian Cameron, St Marks Board Chair Jim Hasseldine, St Marks Manager Peter Rijhnen, WM Chris Bowhill

Child’s Fort built for Havelock Masonic Lodge by Havelock Menzshed. It raised $7441 for 2016 Master’s Charity.

Ian McLean's Newsletter - Issue 3 June to August 2017

Brethren all,

Well the winter has finally arrived in our District. I have been carrying out my ceremonial duties and enjoying every one of them. I would like to record that the hospitality I have received at all the Lodges I have visited has been second to none.  I would also like to thank all the Grand Officers who have supported me on these occasions.

So what else has happened since the last news letter. The first thing is that the cards we have prepared as an Aide Memoire for you when discussing Freemasonry with potential recruits have now been produced and distributed to all Lodge secretaries. These have been received very well indeed with some members having used them as “give aways” to potential members. We also received thanks from the Divisional Grand Master for a job well done in the form of an order for enough of these cards to be given to all Lodges in his Division. 

I have found that in addition to the Aide Memoire, wearing the simple clearly designed square and compass lapel badge purchased from Grand Lodge at $12.50 each (perhaps your Lodge Secretary could purchase a few for sale) has been much more effective than any previous badge  I have worn. Since I have been wearing it people have remarked “oh you’re a mason or what is the badge”. An ideal invitation to speak!

I have also been devoting time to the new District Web page. I view it as a vital tool in keeping you all appraised of what is going on the district. HOWEVER it will only continue to do so if you send reports and photos from YOUR lodge to me that I can include. This has not been the case so far and I have relied on a few individuals. This needs to change. If you want this web page to work you must send me the materials to work with. Will each Lodge please appoint someone to do this for us all. Please let me know who it is so I can contact them with advice and guidance on how and what to submit.

Whilst on the subject of this web page please note that on this web page can be found the replacement for the Dodger that for many years was prepared by George Staples.  As in the past this again relies on Lodge secretaries submitting details of the meeting, this time into the Divisional web page. This MUST be done before the end of the previous month or your meeting will not be included in the revised dodger. It can also be filled in for months ahead.

In my last newsletter I looked at the membership statistics for the district and I am concerned that every Lodge seems to have a large numbers of members who don’t attend. The word is Retention. However I am not sure how big this “problem”  is. I am therefore going to write to all Lodges asking them to submit a list to me of which members are active and those which are not. By active I mean, that over a year they attend 50% of the formal meetings of the Lodge. This will enable me to “measure up” the size of the task that may need to be done.

       Well that’s it for now – keep warm and remember to take every opportunity to Speak Up for Freemasonry

       Kind Regards


PS I 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)OUR 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.

Published 01/06/17

Victory Chapter - "Helping the Next Generation of Hospitality Professionals"

The Victory Chapter organised a fun evening out on the 7th of June and also helped a group of students at the NMIT. The chapter booked the whole Rata Room restaurant (45 covers) for an evening meal. The Rata room is a restaurant attached to NMIT which is run by students studying for a job in the Hospitality industry (Chefs and front of House etc). The meal was three courses, and each course had three choices.

Normally when they do this sort of event the restaurant gets bookings from small groups who arrive at various times during the 6 to 7.30pm time slot. The 42 members and guests of Victory Chapter all arrived together, and all sat down together. What was worse was that no meals were pre-ordered all were cooked A La Carte style. This would have presented a challenge to a group of experienced Chefs. So imagine how, for the young students, some of whom are just 17, this huge a task this would have felt! 

The students also run the bar and they kept us well stocked up with excellent local wines at a very reasonable price. How did they do?



Well there were a few delays between the food arriving at the two largest tables BUT the food was beautifully prepared and was delicious.  Of particular note were the desserts. The chocolate brownie challenge!  This was a huge portion and I have to report that in all my 69 and ¾ years I have never failed to eat all my dessert – I was defeated this night, by some margin.


The evening rounded off with the chefs and other trainees coming out for well deserved round(s) of applause and then walking round and talking to the diners.

Well done to the trainees and their tutors at NMIT. Everyone had a great time and Victory Chapter members felt they had done their bit in helping the next generation of hospitality professionals gain valuable experience which we are sure they will never forget.


David Marsh  Published 09/06/2017



It was a Grand Day out

On the 27th Of May Victory Wakatu Lodge held its annual installation of the new Worshipful Master and his officers. Following his so successful first year as WM Gerrit van Asche has been asked to continue as Master.  Under his stewardship the Lodge has recruited a number of new members with more in the queue to join. The photo below show Gerrit and his team of officers for 2017. 


Gerrit received seven sitting masters at the ceremony, this a testimony to high regard in which he and the Lodge is held in the District. Of note was that the Lodge’s newest brother’s (only just made an Entered Apprentice) attended this ceremony and was accompanied by his mother and father.  

However to the attendees from other Lodges (like me) the stars of the day were the Grand Lodge Officers, ably lead by Very Worshipful Brother Ian Mclean, who turned out on masse to support the installation ceremony. They came from all over the District and performed their parts in the ceremony with a sense of real occasion. When one of these so experienced masons presented a charge during the ceremony it was done with an ease and humility which is an example of to us all of how to make our beautiful ritual live.

V W Bro Mclean asked for a photograph to be taken of the NZ constitution Grand Officers that were there that day and so it’s with great pride we included it in this report to acknowledge the contribution that these masons have and continue to make to the District.


David Marsh  Published  30/05/17 


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

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



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


Waitohi Photo

This photo shows RW Bro Warren Workman, who is the main organiser of the woodcutting, W Bro Vaughan Machon, and Dale all of Waitohi 111 in front of the wood stacks.

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!



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

District 23 - June 2017 Calendar



District 23 June 2017

Report produced 01 Jun 2017 16:36:10




Visitors & Dress



Tue 06 Jun

Lodge Eckford No 334


7:30 PM



Please Note: Grand Lodge Visit - Lodge of Sorrow for W.Bro. W.G. McFarlane PDGDC, followed by 2nd Deg passing of Bro. Simon Jay Green

Wed 07 Jun

The Forest Lodge No 116


8:00 PM



First Degree - Simulated - Second Part.

Thu 08 Jun

The Havelock Lodge No 104


8:00 PM



Presentation of 1st Degree Tracing Board

Tue 13 Jun

Marlborough Lodge of Unanimity No 106


7:45 PM



First Degree Tracing Board

Thu 15 Jun

Lodge Awatere No 292


8:00 PM



Investiture of S. W. & S.D. Presentation M. M's. Certificate to Bro. Peter Barker. Explanation of M. M's. Certificate by Wor. Bro. M. Hole

Tue 20 Jun

Malbrough Chapter 14


7:40 PM



Marlborough Royal Arch Chapter Excellent Master

Wed 21 Jun

Lodge Nelson No 288


7:45 PM



Short meeting then Friends night and visit by Mr Grant McNeil, NMIT

Thu 22 Jun

Victory Chapter 12


7:30 PM



Royal Arch Meeting Candidate Lawrence David McDonald

Thu 22 Jun

The Waitohi Lodge No 111


8:00 PM



W.Bro. Dale Webb will give a talk on the historical sailing ship Edwin Fox.

Wed 28 Jun

Motueka Bays Lodge No 117


7:30 PM



A performance of the ceremony of Making a Mason as it may have been done before 1717.


Bb Blenheim Brayshaw Park.  Nn Nelson Nile Street.  Pt Picton.  Tk Takaka. Mo Motueka.   Wp Westport 


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

June 6th

Eckford Offical Visit


June 24th

Wairau Installation


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.