A MESSAGE FROM THE DISTRICT GRAND MASTER
As we approach the Festive Season, I would like to extend to you and your Family my very best wishes for a Blessed Christmas and to the Members of the Jewish Faith, a Happy Festival of Chanukah.
This year has been one of the most successful Masonic years in our District. Not only have we had an increase in Members, but we have been able to participate in celebrating 300 years of English Freemasonry.
Recently in London, several of us had the opportunity of attending the Tercentenary event at the Royal Albert Hall where we were able to enjoy with immense pride, an outstanding performance of the past 300year-old history of our Order.
Earlier in the year, our own District had an excellent celebratory event at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg, where we enjoyed a symphonic performance of music based on the work of prominent Masonic composers from the past 300 years, under the baton of Richard Cock. Also throughout the District, many of our Lodges have successfully held their own celebrations ranging from banquets and dinners to sporting events and potjiekos competitions.
Whilst we have been able to reflect on our past history with immense pride, we look to the future of this wonderful Order and our District with confidence and enthusiasm.
May the New Year bring Peace, Joy and Good Health to you and your loved ones.
DEPUTY DISTRICT GRAND MASTER – CHRIS VAN GAALEN
Christopher is the first born son of Hans and Yvonne van Gaalen and was born in Gauteng on the 9th of April 1968.
During his years at Primrose Primary School, Chris joined the swimming team and played the trumpet in the school’s brass band. He was appointed as Head Boy for his final year.
Following his successful primary school career, Chris attended the Bedfordview Technical High school where he was appointed as Cadet Band Major. Chris didn’t consider himself much of an
athlete nor an “A” student, but his leadership skills again came to the fore as he was selected as the Head Boy for the year 1986.
After completing his National Service as a Commissioned Officer, Chris was employed at
Haggie Rand where he served an apprenticeship as a pupil engineer and Superintendent of the wire drawing department. During this period, he completed a National Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering T4. Chris now runs the family business as a third generation Managing Director.
Chris and his wife, Ena, will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary next February. They have two children, Kerri-Anne who is in her first year studying Biological Science and Simon who is in grade 10.
As a Lewis, Chris was initiated into Freemasonry in 1995 in The Ionic Lodge No. 3235. He is a past master of The Ionic, Germiston and Royal Edward Lodge. He is also a Past Master in Lyceum Lodge of Research, Transvaal District Grand Stewards and President Lodge (University scheme Lodge). He holds membership in the following side orders: Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, Operatives, Knights Templar, Red Cross of Constantine and Rose Croix. Finally, he is a member of Loge Eendracht Maakt Macht nr 88, Onder het Grootoosten der Nederlanden Oosten.
Chris received his first District appointment in 2004 as DistGStwd. This was followed by DistAGDC in 2005, a three year stint as DistDepGDC (2006 – 2009) and DistGDC between 2009 and 2011. He was promoted to PJGD in 2012 and PSGD in 2017. 6 years as Assistant District Grand Master has culminated in his latest appointment as Deputy District Grand Master.
ASSISTANT DISTRICT GRAND MASTER – CHARLES BURN
Charles Burn was Initiated into Universal Friendship Lodge No. 9042 EC in November 1995. His proposer into Freemasonry, Adrian Durrant, is a long time friend from primary school and the son of the Charter Master of the Lodge.
Charles went through the Chair of the Lodge in 2002/2003 and again in 2008/2009. His first District appointment was as District Grand Steward in 2006 which was followed by a two year stint (from 2007 to 2009) as District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
He was appointed as District Grand Treasurer in 2011, a position which he held for six years before being appointed Assistant District Grand Master.
Earlier this year, Charles was thrilled to have travelled to London to attend the Annual Investiture with the MW the Grand Master HRH the Duke of Kent appointing him Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Charles is also a member of the Transvaal District Grand Stewards Lodge No 8942 EC and the Woodlands Lodge No 3668 EC.
Charles was Exalted into Apollo Royal Arch Chapter in February 2002, served as Zerubbabel of the Chapter in 2008, was appointed as DistAGDC in 2013 and District Grand Treasurer in 2017.
He was Perfected into the Witwatersrand Chapter No. 297 Rose Croix in November 2002 and Enthroned as Sovereign of the Chapter in 2012. He was appointed as Treasurer of the South African Branch Council in November 2012 and continues to hold this position. The 33° was conferred on Charles in January 2015 and he was appointed as Inspector General of the District of South Africa North East in January 2016.
In term of side degrees, Charles is a member the Gemini Conclave No. 41 and District Grand Sword Bearer in the Order of the Secret Monitor. He is also a member of both Corona Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 557 and the Johannesburg Preceptory No. 160 of the Knights Templar. He continues as treasurer of the Transvaal Inter-Constitutional Masonic Charity.
ASSISTANT DISTRICT GRAND MASTER – SIMON KNUTTON
Simon Knutton was initiated into St Michaels Lodge no. 8643 in August 1997 when it was still meeting in the Anglican Church in Bryanston. Mentored by W Bro. Paul Stocken, he went through the Chair in 2005/2006
As a result of the close association with Boksburg St John, he became a joining member of that Lodge in 2006 and took the Chair in 2008 and 2009. Following on from this, Simon received his first active District appointment as District Grand Steward in 2009.
He continued his active duty as an ADC in 2010, Deputy DC from 2011 to 2015 and as the District Grand Director of Ceremonies from 2015 until his appointment to Assistant District Grand Master at the 2017 Annual Meeting.
In between his District commitments, Simon is also PZ of Denver RA Chapter, a PM of Corona Mark Lodge and Past Commander of both the Cinderella Royal Ark Mariner & Transvaal Installed RAM Commanders. He was promoted to Grand Rank in the Mark at the Annual Investitures of Mark Masonry in June 2017.
Not content with three Craft chairs behind him, he was Worshipful Master of St Michaels again in 2014 and was the WM of Pyramid Lodge no. 5003 in Naboomspruit from 2015 until 2017.
Happily married to Cindy for almost 25 years, his daughter and son are both undergraduates at Stellenbosch University – Keeley is going into her 4th year of an LLB Environmental Law and Chaz into his second year of Civil Engineering.
Outside of Masonic activity, Simon is very active on his Mountain Bike and has competed in nu- merous long distance and stage race events this year – he even took his bike to Mauritius during the Installation week in September where he “rode over the island and back for a decent Cappuccino” . . . 122km and over 1100m of climbing.
In his on words, “Masonry has done some great things in my personal development and my relationship with others”
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE BOARD OF BENEVOLENCE IN 2018
– W Bro. Chris Adams, President District Board of Benevolence
The Board of Benevolence (BOB) is a formal structure within the District which was formed to manage the physical and mental wellbeing of Brethren and their families, as well as, attend to various recommendations in respect of masonic grants, educational bursaries and charitable donations.
We are in place as a service entity to deliver relevant services to the Brethren and their families within our District. We cannot however work in isolation and rely heavily upon input from WMs, Lodge Almoners and Lodge Secretaries. To accomplish this, we intend to develop good communication throughout the entire District, involving all Brethren. We have started and will continue to circulate a regular newsletter “Benevolence matters” that will be distributed to all – we do of course ask that you share this with your families. As communication must always be bi-directional we have established a dedicated email address for communication to BOB
email@example.com , We welcome any input or queries.
We are currently working on several projects for our term of office. These include building on and updating the list of both general and masonry specific benefits which should be available to each lodge in their Almoners manuals. If you don’t know what the Almoners manual is then I suggest to ask your Almoner and WM!
We are looking at organising a Wellness day at Park Lane and if successful using it as a model for similar ventures around all areas in the District.
We are gauging interest in implementing a “hospital visitor” program and have called for volunteers who would be willing to visit Brethren who have taken ill. So far response has been very slow and we urge you to contact us if you can assist.
In closing , if your lodge has no working scheduled you could always approach BOB to come and give a presentation on the work we do and why we think we are an important part of the District. The one thing to keep in mind is that we would need some notice to schedule the presentation
COMMEMORATING A 1925 FOUNDATION-STONE LAYING
On 18 November 2017, Unanimity Lodge no. 3372 and Pyramid Lodge no. 5003 held a combined regular meeting at the Chapel on the Klipspruit farm in the Entabeni Nature reserve in Potgietersrus. The meeting was to commemorate the laying of a Foundation stone which took place on 23 May 1925.
The Foundation-stone was to mark the building of a Church by Brother JB Goodrich, dedicated to the glory of T.G.A.O.T.U., in honour of Freemasonry and Sacred to the memory of his wife Evelyn Agatha Goodrich.
Following the opening of the Lodge and general business, the Lodge was adjourned so that Brethren, including the RW DG Master W Bro. GS Bent Andrews could proceeded to the farm “ENERGLYN” in the district of Waterberg.
The WM, W Bro. Gilbertson proceeded to the laying of the foundation stone in due and Ancient form.
Background to the foundation stone:
In the ceremony of depositing the corner-stone, the sacred elements of masonic consecration are produced and the stone is solemnly set apart by pouring corn, wine and oil upon its surface.
Each of these elements has a beautiful significance in our symbolism.
Collectively, they allude to the Corn of Nourishment, the Wine of Refreshment, and the Oil of Joy, which are the promised rewards of a faithful and diligent performance of duty and often specifically refer to the anticipated success of the Lodge they have consecrated.
They are, in fact, types and symbols of all those abundant gifts of Divine Providence for which we are daily called upon to make an offering of our thanks and which are enumerated by King David in his catalogue of blessings, as “wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.”
THE ROYAL ARCH AND THE CRAFT
In 2012 and again in 2014 the ME Pro First Grand Principal addressed the appointment of Royal Arch Representatives in Craft Lodges and the taking of wine with Royal Arch Members at Craft Festive Boards. This was in line with the recommendation of a strategic working party set up in 2012 to promote membership into the Holy Royal Arch Order.
The following address was given in 2014:
“The relationship between the Craft and the Royal Arch – specifically covering two issues, firstly, the selection of Royal Arch representatives in Craft Lodges and secondly, the taking of wine with Royal Arch members at Craft Festive Boards.
The appointments and monitoring of the Royal Arch Representative in a Craft Lodge needs careful consideration. There has been debate as to who is responsible for this important appointment. In Provinces and Districts, where the Provincial / District Grand Master and Grand Superintendent are the same, there should be no issue. However, where the heads of the two orders are different, I believe it essential that the Provincial / District Grand Master and Grand Superintendent liaise. The appointment should never be a “tick in the box” exercise.
As a member of the Royal Arch, the Representative will need to have sufficient knowledge about the merits of joining the Order and be able to work closely with the Lodge Mentor. In many instances, it could be best that a member should be approached at the same time that he receives his Grand Lodge Certificate. I know from experience that there is a balance between judging whether someone will enjoy the Royal Arch, with the right time for that individual to join.
This timing is also pressurized by the concern that an individual will be approached to join one of the side orders first if there is any delay in recruitment. I continue to believe that there is a good stage to brief Master Masons on the merit of the Royal Arch, but that the actual timing of joining should be linked to each individual’s appetite for Masonic advancement and personal circumstances.
For those of you who are very involved with the side orders, please do not think that I am in any way against Craft members joining them, far from it. However, I do firmly believe that the Royal Arch should be the first priority.
As for wine taking with Royal Arch members at Craft Festive Boards – I believe that this custom should be treated sensitively – in any event the decision should lie in the hands of each Provincial / District Grand Master. I can see a case for this WHERE A CHAPTER IS LINKED TO A CRAFT LODGE – but even so, it is recommended that the wine taking is conducted with everyone sitting down, so that those who are not members of the Order are not embarrassed or
– worse still – pounced on with a joining application.”
TEARS AND TEDDY BEARS
The Widows Sons continues to grow from strength to strength with approximately 200 members across five provinces. The organisation has a strong focus on charity and the Central Chapter recently held one of the most tear jerking charity drives of the year when they donated teddy bears to the Pretoria Masonic Haven. These teddies are used as an aid in Alzheimer treatments.
Following this moving visit, the Chapter donated approximately 800 DVD’s and equipment required for the special room used to care for these Alzheimer sufferers.