I hope that you have all survived the last months heat and as I write this the days are getting cooler.
On the 10th January,the Methven Lodge held the only meeting in the District when they combined with St Augustine Lodge
No 99 and The United Forces Lodge No 245 and initiated Mr Stephen Houston. At the same meeting the Divisional Grand Master; R W Bro Rob Angelo presented Bro Jock McCrory with his sixty year Service Badge.
At the same meeting, R W Bro Angelo presented V W Bro Ray Gudex and V W Bro David Darling,with Certificates of Merit for the work they have done and are doing for the District.
On the 17th February 2018, R W Bro Richard Taylor will be installed as District Grand Master, South Island, New Zealand, Grand Lodge of England at the Timaru Masonic Complex, commencing at 2.00pm and I'm sure that you join me in wishing him all the best in his term of office.
On the 15th February, Lodge Timaru No 196, will be initiating; Mr Phillip Lamb and at the same meeting; R W Bro Rob Angelo, Divisional Grand Master, will be presenting W Bro Bruce McDuff with his Roll of Honour badge. Would brethren please support W Bro McDuff on this special occasion.
Brethren I hope you have had a relaxing festive season and are recharged and ready for what 2018 has to throw at you.
It was pleasing to see a good gathering of Senior Brethren and Widows at the Ashburton Almoners Christmas Party on the 26th November.
A week later Timaru held their party and although there were numerous other outings on that date there was still a good turn-out.
we were invited to the Oamaru Almoners Christmas Party and four of us went when Anna and Duncan McLaghlan gave a report on their daughter Charlees progress since her operation.It is going to be a long slow journey for Charlee but already there has been a marked improvement. John Ruddick is in constant contact with the family and I am sure their needs are being met.
Just a reminder that the registrations for the Divisional Conference close on 16th February so if you are intending to go to this event now is the time to register
We are nearly into November and before we know it Christmas will be here.
Three Installations in November. On the 7th November Bro Roel Rojas goes into the Chair at Harmony Lodge in Ashburton and on the 9th of November WBro Richard Fraser takes charge at the MacKenzie Lodge at Fairlie. On the 15th of November WBro Merv Green is installed in the Thistle Lodge in Ashburton. It would be good to see the Lodge full at these Installations.
The Midland Masonic Choir is giving a concert at the Savage Club Hall on the 11th of November when the students from the Southern end of the District will receive their Musical Scholarships. An entertaining night well worth attending.
We were privileged to receive a visit from the Grand Master who attended the St Augustine Lodge meeting in Waimate and witnessed a second degree and presented WBro Ray Bennett with his sixty year bar. The Grand Master had the assistance of three Fellowcrafts and one Entered Apprentice in making the presentation. A very moving and nice ceremony.
The West End Hall is being re-opened on the 3rd of November and it will be good for the Timaru brethren to have their Lodge Rooms handed back to them. A lot of work still needs to be done - but it's heading in the right direction.
Don't forget to stay safe - and always "Speak Up".
It is nearly October and time for daylight saving which means we get an extra hours work into the day.
On the 24th September at the Ashburton College Auditorium the Midland Masonic Choir along with the St Josephs School Choir and the Ashburton M S A entertained us with an enjoyable concert. The organisers were able to hand to the Life Education Trust a cheque for three thousand seven hundred dollars and music scholarships were handed out to Megan Calder from Opihi College, Jack Bubb from Ashburton College, Dylan Taylor from Mt Hutt College, Logan Keggenhoff from Geraldine High School and Megan Hay from Mackenzie College. We thank the Midland Charitable Trust and the Sophia Street Car Park Trust for once again supporting this concert. A concert for the pupils from the Southern end of the District will be held in November at Timaru and I urge you to attend.
We are to receive a visit from the Grandmaster at the St Augustine Lodge on the 11th October and it would be good to see a full house for this visit. The Lodge will be doing a second degree and the Grandmaster will be presenting a sixty year badge to W Bro Ray Bennett, a well known Freemason from this district.
Hopefully in the next two months the West End Hall will be completed and the Timaru Lodges will be able to return home.
District Grand Master
We are around the corner and nearly into spring so in another fortnight or so we will not need to go to the Pacific Islands for a holiday as it will be warm enough here.
Some dates to mark on your calender:
On the 13th September the Divisional Grand Master will re-dedicate the portico at the Methven Lodge Rooms. This Portico came from the Lodge Malvern No 230 at Coalgate who received it from Clutha Lodge No 14 so it has been around a bit. It has been erected in the Methven Lodge and looks very good.
On the 18th September Bro Ariel Ocon will be installed as Master of Arowhenua Lodge No 473 at Winchester so it would be good to see a full house.
On the 24th September at 2pm the Midland Masonic Choir will put on a concert at the Ashburton College Auditorium when Musical Scholarships will be presented to Pupils from Mt Hutt College, Methven, Ashburton College, Geraldine High School, Opihi College Temuka and Mackenzie College Fairlie. I ask that you attend this concert and support the choir and the pupils receiving the Scholarships. A concert for the pupils of the Southern end of the district will be held in November.
On the 7th August I accompanied John Poland and Lars Hansen to the West End Kindergarten when Lars Hansen presented a cheque to the Kindergarten for $1426 from the Freemasons Charity through the Caledonian Lodge so that they could replace some aged play ground equipment. In October we hope to receive the Grandmaster at the St Augustine Lodge, we are busy organising this now and will keep you posted.
In the meantime keep warm and do not forget to cancel those tickets to the Pacific Islands.
I hope you are all managing to stay warm as we journey through Winter. We have had two Lodges have to cancel their meetings because of snow (so much for global warming) and as I write this many parts of the Eastern South Island are under a State of Emergency due to flooding.
On Sunday 9th July about twenty freemasons gathered at St Johns Ambulance Temuka where W Bro John Lynch Master of Lodge Arowhenua No 473 and V W Bro John Kinvig Past District Grand Master presented a cheque for $7420 from the Brethren of the Midland district to the Association. This Money will be used to purchase new equipment for training staff.
On Saturday 24th June twenty freemasons meet in Ashburton for a Seminar run by the Southern Division. The Divisional Lecturer V W Bro Graeme Martin led a discussion on Education of new Brethren, Expectations about the work for new members and enhancing membership of your lodge. W Bro Graeme Wakelin the Charity Officer led a discussion on fraternity of the mason and W Bro Geoff Cain spoke of efficient lodge meetings/good information/talent. We then had a discussion on strengths and weaknesses of our District.
Our next Installation is at Waimate on 9th August when W Bro Arthur Mahan is installed as Master of St Augustine No 99 and it would be good to see a good turn out at this Installation.
In the meantime keep warm.
District Grand Master.
May saw two Installations with W Bro Mark Aguila being re-installed as Master of Lodge Erewhon and W Bro Peter Rusbatch taking over the leadership of the Methven Lodge and by the time you read this V W Bro Alex Solomon will be re-installed as Master of The Caledonian Lodge.
It was very humbling to be able to state that the lodges of Mid-South Canterbury and North Otago as well as two English Constitution Lodges were able to raise four thousand dollars ($4000) for the Charlee McLachlan appeal which with the Freemasons Charity contribution will help with her
rehab and the many trips to Dunedin Hospital. As her mother Anna said in an E-mail to one of our members:-
“We can not thank the Freemasons enough for what you have done for Charlee. I cried a great deal when I opened the E-mail and sent a photo of it to Duncan straight away as he was with Charlee in hospital when it arrived. We do not know how to thank the members as we were completely lost for words on how much you all managed to give”.
Thank You Brethren, have a good month and keep warm.
It was pleasing to see The Mackenzie Lodge have a stand once again at their local show in a prime position where the public could see them and having Brethren from throughout the Island come and make themselves known. It can only do good for the organisation.
Next month May we have two Installations, the first is at Ashburton on the 4th May when W Bro Mark Aguila is re-installed at Lodge Erewhon No 200 and then the next week on the 10th May.
W Bro Peter Rusbatch takes charge of the Methven Lodge No 51. It would be great to have a good turnout at these Installations.
On the 12th April Methven Lodge No 51 held a Vacant Chair ceremony which was well attended and a report on this well attended meeting was on the last issue of the carousel updates.
The Divisional Conference is over for another year and it is good to hear how some progressive Lodges are attracting members. One of the best conferences I have attended, good popular topics discussed in a cheerful and good masonic way.
Our next installation is at the Waimate Lodge Rooms on the 20th April when Mr James Annear RH is reinstalled for Lodge Timaru No 196. Jim is a popular member of our Organisation and an inspiration to all of us. At ninety years of age and one of our elder Masters in the country he can still at a couple of days notice do any of the charges in the three degrees including the Tracing Boards. He is a person that keeps his brain very active and has no worries about those problems that some older people have like loss of memory. It would be great to see a good turnout of Brethren at this Installation.
It is also good to see the Lodges supporting the appeal for Charlee McLachlan, thank you for that.
Have a good month.
To those lodges that were waiting to hear from me re the collection for the four year old twin Charlee Mclachlan from Duntroon in Nth Otago who has to raise $120000 to travel to America for an operation for cerebal paisy I can advise that Lodge Kurow has given us the OK to proceed. I understand that the girls Grandfather was a Past Master of Lodge St Augustine No 99 in the 1980s and the girls mother spent a fair bit of time in Mid-Canterbury.
Lodge Kurow has approached the other Lodges in Nth Otago and between them and the lodges in the Midland District hopefully we may make a difference to this young girls life.
The Sophia Street Car Park Trust has already made a generous donation of one thousand dollars to set this appeal going, and any donation will be thankfully received.
We are at the stage with our websiten where everything is staring to happen and George Currie has the whip out and it is starting to hurt.
December was tken up with quite a few Christmas functions for our widows and older brethren and it was good to see good numbers at these functions.
January was reasonably quiet Lodge wise, but Methven, Waimate who normally meet on the same night and cannot visit each other joinwd forces with the United Forces Lodge from Christchurch, a former 2nd Wed night Lodge and worked a second degree, with the usual large turn out for a January meeting, (69 present).
February brought with it a busy month with most Lodges working degrees and it is gratifying to see a good number of nominations coming through.
This month of March we install Robin Gourdie into the chair at the Midland Lodge of Research #436 at Winchester Lodge rooms and it would be good to see good numbers there.
Later this month we have the Southern Divisional Conference at the Methven Resort Hotel in Methven, and after a slow start numbers are starting to pick up, and looks like it will be very worthwhile.
The Hall next to the Lodge rooms in Timaru is about to get the roof on after thw disasterous fire 10 months ago, and it will be good when we can get back into our Lodge rooms again, it can't come soon enough.
Brethren this web page is for you and the more material we get to put on it the betterit will be. You will either make or break it, so any thoughts, opinions or anything else will be gratefully received.
Have a great month.