DISTRICT GRAND MASTER’S MESSAGE
At this time of Christmas I am mindful of the very old Angelic Hymn with
the words attributed to the Angels that sang when the birth of Christ was announced to the Shepherds:
Glory be to God on High
On Earth peace
Goodwill towards men
This year we have made tremendous strides with the rolling-out of Freemasonry Cares under the
auspices not only of our Grand Charity, but also that of our District Grand Charity.
We are not only addressing the needs of our Brethren, but are making a conscious effort to attempt
to address the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves in our general society.
My wife, Helen joins me in wishing you and your Family a Blessed Christmas and to our Families
of the Ancient Faith a Happy Festival of Chenukah.
May the New Year bring Peace, Joy and Good Health to you and your loved ones.
BERNIE KRONE – DISTRICT SENIOR GRAND WARDEN
Bernie was born in Halstead, England on 14th June 1953 and immigrated to South Africa with his parents in 1961. His interest in Freemasonry was instilled by his business partner, Hollings Norton, a PM of Corona Lodge, who now lives in Australia. Bernie was initiated into Corona Lodge in 1995 with the late Dr. Ross Parry-Davies being his proposer. He served as Master of Corona Lodge in 2002 / 2003.
His first District appointment was that of District Grand Steward in 2005. He progressed well, being promoted to Past District Senior Grand Deacon in 2008, before being appointed District Senior Grand Warden in 2012.
Bernie joined Universal Friendship Lodge in May 2009, was installed as WM at the next meeting and has been instrumental in rejuvenating this lodge. He has subsequently been through the chair again in 2011.
He is a Past Supreme Ruler of Gemini Conclave and a Past Most Wise Sovereign of Corona Rose Croix Chapter.
He joined President Lodge in 2011 to as- sist in getting this Universities Scheme Lodge off the ground.
He has enjoyed a long and enjoyable association with Corona Lodge’s annual Box and Dine over the years, graduating from an attendee 30 years ago to the current Chairman of the Organising Committee.
Bernie is CEO of EsorFranki Limited, a listed construction company, and lives in Bedfordview with his wife, Martie and their four children. He also has two sons living in the UK with five grandchildren. He is an active sportsman and still competes annually in the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the Argus Cycle Tour, as well as numerous long distance events in both disciplines. He actively promotes Freemasonry at every opportunity.
DR RON POOLE – DISTRICT JUNIOR GRAND WARDEN
Ron, who was born in England in 1945, grew up in London and studied in the UK and Canada, where he completed his doctorate in Chemistry. He left England in 1968, the day after marrying Christine and studied and worked in Canada and Scotland, then Smelted Aluminium in Bahrain, where he lived with his young family, finally arriving in South Africa in 1981 making a career in the Platinum Metals industry. Both his daughters are artists, which Ron feels is a wonderful balance to his technical background.
Ron was initiated into Jack Folly Lodge on 23rd March 1987 and was installed as WM in 1992. He continues to be active in his mother Lodge as Director of Ceremonies.
He was exalted into the Benoni RA Chapter in 1989, was installed as MEZ in 1996 and is currently PDistG Soj.
He has more recently joined Golden Harvest Lodge and occupied the chair in 2010.
Ron is a past MWS in Calvary Rose-Croix Chapter and holds the 30o Degree. He is also a founder and active member of St Vitus Chapter, where he has recently discovered the joy of acting out those rarely seen degrees.
He has also learnt to wield a sword (symbolically) in the KT and was Provincial Prelate last year. He recently assisted in founding the Seychelles Preceptory. He is active in several other “military” orders, having been through the respective chairs, and is SW in both Mark and RAM. Being semi-retired, the opportunity of some spare time has now been found to engage in the Cryptic Council and Allied Degrees.
Ron thoroughly enjoys the side degrees and is impressed by the interconnection of them all and how they underpin, illustrate and expand on the fine principles of Craft Masonry – the foundation of it all!
He continues to involve himself technically by consulting, in the field of Precious Metals, to industry and academia. He is an active member of the local model railway club. For relaxation he likes to travel, dabbles in oil painting and he has three grandchildren who keep him busy.
PERCY GREEN – DISTRICT GRAND SCRIBE NEHEMIAH
Percy was initiated into Boksburg Lodge No. 2480 in March 1980 and served as the Worshipful Master on two occasions, in the years 1988-1989 and 2010
-2011. He received the following promotions in the craft; PDistAGDC, DistJGD, PDistJGW and PDistSGW.
Percy was exalted into the Boksburg Royal Arch Chapter in May 1985 and served as First Principal in 1993. He received the following promotions in the Royal Arch; DistGStdB, DistPrinGSoj, DistGSwdB.
Percy is also a member of Calvary Rose Croix Chapter and has reached the 30th Degree in the order. He served as chairman of Central East Rand Temple for twenty six years, from 1982 – 2008 and has been a member of the Board of Benevolence for about fifteen years.
Outside of masonry, Percy’s other great interest is dogs, having bred and exhibited Keeshonds which are no longer bred in this country and Shih Tzu. He was involved in Goldfields Kennel Club for forty three years, serving as Vice Chairman for fourteen years and Chairman for twelve years. He also served on the main body of dogdom for a number years. Percy started judging dogs in the mid seventies and was fortunate enough to have judged in many countries on numerous occasions.
Percy has been married to Beulah for fifty one years and they are blessed with three daughters, two grand daughters and a grandson.
Percy was honoured with a District Grand Master’s Certificate of Service to Freemasonry in 2010 and is proud of his appointment to District Grand Scribe Nehemiah.
G.E.M. HOMES OPENING CEREMONY – W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar
During late August, our District Grand Master ceremoniously started up the heat pump system for 84 cottages at the Roosevelt Park Home for Gunners, Engineers and MOTHS in the presence of the press, dignitaries and guests.
Heat pumps are used to warm the water in geysers using solar energy and thus create considerable savings in electricity bills. We also installed low flow showerheads and fittings to further reduce electricity and water usage.
To enhance self sustainability, a bookshop was built to assist with their fund raising efforts. The bookshop also serves as a book and TV tape library for the residents in the Complex.
Well done Brethren One and All!
CORONA LODGE’S CHARITY CONTRIBUTION – VW Bro. Iain Fraser
Corona Lodge arranges a Gentleman’s Box and Dine Evening in June each year, and has consistently made record breaking contributions to Charity for the past 33 years.
At their Installation Meeting on 03 November 2012, the Lodge donated a total of R371 300 to Charity.
This was made up of two cheques to District, one for R100 000 and a second for R130 000, to be paid to nominated Charities.
The Lodge also made three direct payments to Charities for a total of R19 500 and paid a further total of R121 800 to the 21 Lodges which assist them at the event each year.
W Bro. Bernie Krone (who chairs the Lodge’s Boxing Com- mittee), assisted by W Bros. Vernon Botha (who also arranges an Annual Golf Day) and Kit Markotter (who arranges the boxing), work hard each year to make the event a great success.
W Bro. Kit Markotter was involved right from the start. As Secretary of the Southern Transvaal Amateur Boxing Association, he was approached by the Charity Steward of Corona Lodge in 1980 to arrange the first Dinner Evening with Boxing, which was held in the Johannesburg City Hall in September that year. It was a great success and has remained an annual event since then, with Kit arranging the boxing bouts, referees and judges each year.
W Bro. Kit Markotter, PDistGSwdB., is a proud member of Corona Lodge and a keen supporter of our District.
Congratulations to Corona Lodge for another outstanding achievement this year.
NINTH WITS LODGE TWO PILLARS TROPHY CLAY SHOOT – W Bro. Chris Adams
As has been customary for the last nine years, a group of keen clay shot-tists gathered together to compete for the inter-lodge “Two Pillars” Clay Pigeon shooting trophy.
On Saturday 27th October all the planning came to fruition and Wits Lodge was blessed to have 90 participants. An impressive field considering the initiative started with just 16 competitors nine years ago.
With Semper Vigilens Lodge not fielding their normal team of experienced guns, there was a sense of anticipation around the range as it was likely that there would be a new trophy holder at the end of the day. Apart from the usual entries from Wits, Emrys and University Lodges, teams from Vernon, Exsequi, Lurgan (Irish Constitution) and Lodge Apollo were also in full force.
After a welcome by W Bro. Beare, the WM of Wits Lodge and a safety briefing by Jim (the owner of Hippo Creek Shooting Range) the competition got underway. Some three hours later results were collated, raffle tickets sold and a sumptuous lunch enjoyed. It was clear that we were in for a close result. The conditions were really tough and the Top Gun was awarded to Justin Northfield who has been a regular for every shoot and started as a novice some nine years ago. There were prizes in all categories, but the one that elicited the greatest applause was young Nina Patience who was awarded top Junior lady.
After some real negotiations, the Top Team (to the great delight of their 22 supporters) was Emrys Lodge, closely followed by the Wits Lodge first team and the Wits Lodge second team.
We look forward to next year’s bumper Tenth Edition and we really hope to see some more teams in the hunt!
BENONI CHAPTER NO 3157 E.C. – BRIEF HISTORY 1910 TO 2010 – E. Comp. Cleve Wiehahn
Benoni Chapter was consecrated on Wednesday 15th June 1910, by Excellent Companion Charles Abur- row, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of the Transvaal.
Excellent Companion T. Bertram was given special dispensation from Grand Lodge to take the office of Charter First Principal as he had already been installed as First Principal of Germiston Chapter No 2498 and was not allowed to hold the office of First Principal concurrently in two Chapters. The Consecrating convocation was held with: Excellent Companion T. Bertram as First Principal, Excellent Companion W.R. Gray as Second Principal, Excellent Companion J.A. Rawer as Third Principal and 14 Founder members.
In the latter half of 2007, the Chapter started planning for their centenary. Unfortunately, the meeting set to take place in 2010 had to be postponed when the minutes of the first meeting (a requirement of Grand Chapter) could not be found.
Excellent Companion Stan Elms, District Grand Scribe Ezra , Excellent Companion Cleve Wiehahn and Excellent Companion Keith Rayne spent many weeks searching for this document, unfortunately to no avail. The Brethren were ready to give up when, whilst moving some cupboards, Excellent Companion Graham Bradley found the elusive minute book stuck between the wall and the back of the cupboard. The Chapter were finally able to celebrate their centenary on Friday 13th July 2012.
The discovery of the minutes tells us that at the first meeting on Friday 12th August 1910, 11 shares were offered at 5 pounds a share. The shares were snapped up and the 55 pounds raised was used to purchase various items required in the Chapter. The shares were bought back by the Chapter in February 1917 at 6 pounds 12 shillings and sixpence a share. On the 18th August 1921 the Chapter agreed to purchase 10 shares Number 190 to 199 (cost unknown) in the new Benoni Temple. In response to an appeal by the District Grand Master in 1940 the Chapter donated 10 pounds to the District Grand Master’s War Fund.
On the 10th May 1981 it was decided to move the Chapter to the Central East Rand Temple in Boksburg as the old Temple in Ampthill Road Benoni was being sold. This was only temporary until the Masonic Centre in Rynfield, Benoni was completed. On the 4th February 1984 the Chapter moved to the new Masonic Centre in Rynfield. However, with the closing of the Masonic Centre in Rynfield a few years later, the Chapter moved to Boksburg North but as the Companions resided in Benoni and Springs it was decided on 6th November 2006 to move to Springs where it now meets.
The Chapter was always strong. Membership continuously varied between 90 and 40 due to Companions moving around the country, emigrating and moving between the mines because Benoni had a strong mining community. It was noticed that there was a downturn in membership from about 1990. In the period dating from 2000 Springs Chapter started playing a role in the future of the Benoni Chapter for it was at this time that Benoni had only seven regular members. Excellent Companion Bill Cooper-Williams was aware that Springs Chapter was in dire straits with a membership of five and was ready to hand in their Charter. He made contact with Excellent Companion John Padginton and they put it to the Companions of the two Chapters that they should consider amalgamating. On 4th February 2002 a ballot was taken and the Chapters agreed to amalgamate.
At the first installation a companion of each Chap- ter held an office thus physically merging the two Chapters. The amalgamated Chapter started with 12 members which has subsequently grown to 28.
This is surely a success story – from two Chapters about to hand in their Charters a strong Chapter has emerged.
THE ORDER OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH – RW Bro. Prof. Guy Charlesworth
What is the Order of the Holy Royal Arch?
The Royal Arch is the fourth step completing the journey through “Pure Antient Freemasonry”. The Preliminary Declaration of 1813 in the Book of Constitutions states that:
“Pure Antient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, i.e. those of Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch”
Following a strategic review of the Holy Royal Arch during 2007, it was recommended that clearer emphasis was needed to establish beyond doubt the inseparable bond between the Craft and the Royal Arch. A re-positioning statement was approved to support the earlier Preliminary Declaration to read:
“The Order of the Holy Royal Arch is an integral part of Pure Antient Masonry, being the completion of Craft Masonry, and the essential next step in Freemasonry for all Master Masons.”
For many years the Royal Arch was described as the completion of the Third Degree which as the Grand Master stated in April 2004, implies that “neither the Third Degree nor the ceremony of Exaltation is complete, which is surely untrue.” However, he further made the point that “ a Man can only become a complete Mason when he takes the very important step into the Royal Arch”
So the Royal Arch provides the last part of the journey through which Pure Antient Masonry is completed. It should not be considered as an optional extra, but the means by which a Master Mason completes his basic Masonic knowledge and experience. You might compare your Masonic journey to a 4-Act play and with- out that fourth and final act i.e. the Royal Arch, the Master Mason is incomplete.
Why join the Holy Royal Arch?
The Royal Arch completes “Pure Antient Masonry”, a fascinating journey of self-knowledge and self- discovery beginning with the Entered Apprentice degree in the Craft and culminates in the Installation into the First Principal’s Chair of the Holy Royal Arch.
In Craft Masonry, a Candidate is taught in the three degrees, to improve his relationship with his fellow men and Society at large, to address the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves and to uphold a code of conduct throughout life, based on the five points of fellowship. The teachings are illustrated through the re- enactment of the building of King Solomon’s Temple. The Mason is taught the practical lessons of Birth, Life and Death and to practice the three great principles by which we live: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. In the Royal Arch, the Master Mason explores beyond the Third Degree, beyond ‘…that mysterious veil which the eye of human reason cannot penetrate unless assisted by that Light which is from above.’ We are invited to reflect and contemplate on our own spiritual well- being and on our individual relationship with the Supreme Being.
In our Constitution, the Royal Arch has four ceremonies, the exaltation ceremony where new members are admitted and an Installation Ceremony for each of the Principals of the Chapter. The exaltation ceremony is in two parts: First a dramatic presentation of the principles of the Order followed by three lectures in which the history, symbolism and principles of the Royal Arch are explained further.
The allegory of the exaltation ceremony is based on the Old Testament explanation of the return to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity to rebuild the city and Temple following the destruction of the Temple.
Built by King Solomon. In clearing the ground of the original temple for the foundations of the second, the Candidate makes a number of discoveries which emphasise the importance of God to man’s life and existence and, without stepping-over the bounds into religion, leads the Candidate to a consideration of the nature of God and his relationship with him, however one worships him, and of service to his fellow man. Thus the Royal Arch completes the practical lessons learnt in the Craft by a contemplation of man’s spiritual nature, not replacing but reinforcing and supporting what he has learned from his religion
When is the best time to join?
Many Brethren prefer to join a Royal Arch Chapter which is attached to their Craft Lodge or which has a close association with their Lodge. Whilst some Brethren, however, choose to join a Chapter unconnected with their Lodge, or that even meets in a different Masonic Hall, as this will allow them to develop and widen their relationship with other Masons. The final choice is yours. To assist you, a full list of the 39 Chapters in the District and the meeting dates and places of meeting can be found on the District website (www.dglsanorth.org.za)
For further information about join- ing your local Royal Arch Chapter or any other Chapter in the Dis- trict, please contact your Lodge Mentor and the Royal Arch Rep- resentative in your Lodge, or the District Grand Scribe E at:
District Grand Chapter, Freemasons’ Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg, 2101
Tel: +27 (0)11 643 3311
Most Royal Arch Chapters meet four times a year. These meet- ings are called ‘Convocations’, one of which is the Installation of the Principals and investiture of Officers of a Chapter.
You will need to ensure that the meeting dates of the Chapter do not clash with those of your Craft Lodge. The Royal Arch Representative in your Lodge and the Lodge Mentor will be able to assist you in this matter.
Regalia and other costs
You will be required to purchase a Royal Arch Apron, Sash and Breast Jewel. These can either be purchased new from a regalia shop, or alternatively good second hand regalia is available from the District Grand Tyler (011 643 3311 during office hours), or from E. Comp. Norman Woolf (011 646 2800), who deals with second-hand regalia for Charity.
Subscriptions and costs of festive boards vary from Chapter to Chapter, but subscriptions are usually much lower than the Craft.
FREEMASONRY CARES – RW Bro. Prof. Guy Charlesworth and W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar
At the beginning of the year, the District Grand Master approached me as President of the District Board of Benevolence to give a Power Point presentation to Senior Members of the Grand Charity at the District Grand Masters’ Conference held in April at Grand Lodge in London.
This Conference afforded us the opportunity of meeting and discussing all aspects of Charity with the decision makers in Grand Charity. It also gave us the opportunity to show what we are currently doing in the District and outlaying our future plans to a group of District Grand Masters from all over the World. The presentation was extremely well-received and their response was encouraging with requests for copies of the presentation from Districts ranging from the Caribbean to the Far East.
During ongoing contact, our District Grand Master was able to open a particular portal to the MASONIC CHARITY FUND to allow APPLICATIONS to the fund for members in DIRE FINANCIAL NEED for surgical/ medical intervention. This portal may only be accessed via the District Board of Benevolence. Freemasonry is not a Benevolent Society. Both the Grand Charity and our own District Grand Charity support are limited by the extent of our resources. As much as we would like to help everyone in need, it just isn’t possible.
Before all the application forms, stipulations and agreements were in place, we suddenly had our first crisis applicant. The wife of a longstanding and well respected Freemason in the District urgently required a triple heart bypass operation. The Johannesburg Hospital had a 12-14 month waiting list which was out of the question. As pensioners with no medical aid, private means, or family support, their only option was the cut rate sale of their home, have the operation and pick-up the pieces later. Government requires a cost means test if you have property and banks won’t make loans against property to those over 65.
A mountain of forms, proofs, medical records and quotes were couriered to London under the approval of our DGM. After many telephone calls and e-mails to London, we received the wonderful news from Mrs Pat Reed and her team at the Grand Masonic Charity Fund, that the application had been approved.
The applicant had her life-saving operation at the Milpark Clinic in Johannesburg. It was successful and she is recovering well.
PRESIDENT LODGE – W Bro. Chris Adams
One year later, President Lodge has a new WM – W Bro. Roland Dunstan and is set to further advance in the new calendar year. We had a busy first year with no less than nine new candidates initiated. The workings even included, under dispensation, a triple first which required much choreography and rehearsal. Our newly made brethren have embraced the Craft with gusto and enthusiasm visiting extensively in the District and even including some Inter-constitutional visits. One such visit was to the GLSA Lodge Eendracht Maak Macht in Roodepoort. The calibre of these young men in respect to the enthusiasm to the workings and ritual within the lodge has been exceptional and we invite any brethren to join us at our meetings and festive boards in the new year and experience what is fast becoming one of the most dynamic lodges in the District.
LODGE OF FRIENDSHIP – W Bro. Simon Knutton
SWAZI’S AT WORK AND PLAY – W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar
After the long trip to Swaziland, we were warmly welcomed by the Brethren who opened their homes to us for the weekend.
On Friday 12th October, an Open evening was arranged by St George’s Lodge and supported by Swaziland Lodge, for wives, family and the public in general. With the Lodge at ease, the District Grand Mentor, W Bro. Roger Webster, took command of proceedings in his inimitable way – casting light and wonder on his interested audience. Many of the questions from Entered Apprentices, wives and families were later answered informally over refreshments.
We began our visit early on Saturday morning to the beautiful Nkonyeni Golf Club and Estate – over an hour’s travel from Mbabane. A bus was provided as the police are extremely strict on speeding and drinking and driving.
The golf course was magnificent. The Worshipful Master of St George’s Lodge, W Bro. Vikesh Tailor lost over 70 balls in one round of golf! Bro. Mathew Harmer was the “keyman” of the day! While visitors took first place, our Masonic Brethren took 2nd and 3rd places in a most enjoyable day of golf.
Following golf, we had a quick shower, collected the ladies and then made our way to a dinner-dance at the Portuguese Hall in Mbabane. The food was excellent and we danced while the electricity held out. Much fun was had by all. Bro. Kieran Thurgood conducted the raffle and an auction of 2 bottles of fine wine and special presents for the best judged MAN & WOMAN raised R3 000. The events of the day, together with a cheque from District, raised R12 300 for local charities.
The President of the Board of Benevolence then held a training session for the Worshipful Masters, Senior Wardens, Almoners and the Area Almoner for Swaziland.
Following tea and then lunch, which was generously provided by Sonia Angus, the District Grand Mentor continued the training of the invitees.
W Bro. Anthony Angus (St Georges Lodge) is the AREA ALMONER for Swaziland, whilst W Bro. Gaz Barlow (Swaziland Lodge ) is the REGIONAL MENTOR for Swaziland.
After a well-deserved late breakfast on Monday, we thanked our hosts, Anthony and Sonia Angus, Kieran and Shayla Thurgood and made our way back to Gauteng.
After a well-deserved late breakfast on Monday, we thanked our hosts, Anthony and Sonia Angus, Kieran and Shayla Thurgood and made our way back to Gauteng.