MESSAGE FROM THE DISTRICT GRAND MASTER
– RW Bro. Prof. Guy Charlesworth
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 members of the Jewish faith, a Happy Festival of Chanukah.
We have had a most successful Masonic year in our District. Not only have we addressed the needs of our Brethren, but we have also made a conscious effort to assist those in Society less fortunate than ourselves.
We look forward to celebrating 300 years of English Freemasonry next year. Whilst we reflect on the past, we also look to the future of this wonderful Order and may the New Year bring Peace, Joy and Good Health to you and your loved ones.
THE DISTRICT OF S.A. NORTH – CHARITY BANQUET
– W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar
On the evening of Friday the 4th of March 2016, the District of S.A. North held their annual charity banquet in Parktown. A chilly breeze followed the guests between the towering pillars of our lodge and into the reception room for a warming sherry. It was an opportunity for renewing acquaintances and enjoying friendships. The ladies looked resplendent in their evening wear.
Gentle music accompanied guests to our refurbished dining room which was splendidly decorated in District blue.
The District Director of Ceremonies, W Bro. Simon Knutton, opened proceedings with his usual aplomb, ensuring that proceedings flowed with ease.
He then introduced the District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Professor Guy Charlesworth, who gave an enjoyable speech of welcome and proposed the toasts.
A delicious three course meal with wines was followed by coffee.
Then to the highlight of the evening – the charity donations to our honoured guests.
Hundreds of thousands of Rands are donated from lodges directly to charities of their choice, with a portion being presented to the DGM to donate to charities at his discretion, with guidance from his Boards.
This year our major donation was to HEADWAY – an organization dedicated to the physical rehabilitation of people with brain injuries.
The second major donation was to Amazing Grace; an orphanage where we built a laundry, as well as work and storage facilities which form a part of our capital project strategy.
Other recipients included:
The Hero Burns Unit – Pretoria (W Bro. George Watson).
Green Beings – solar lights for schools in Cosmo City (W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar). Helping S.A.’s Elderly Care Project (W Bro. Brian Kretzschhmar).
IMPILO – child protection and adoption services (W Bro. Richard Moore).
The Gordon Foudation – Swaziland school project (Swaziland and St George’s Lodges). Coach – a coalition of Anglican Childrens’ Homes (W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar).
These projects would not be possible without the magnificent charity efforts of all the brethren in our District. Well done!
GRAND LODGE AND SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER APPOINTMENTS 2016
– W Bro. David Pickard
The Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Prof. Guy Charlesworth wishes to inform all the Brethren of the District of South Africa, North and offer congratulations on their behalf to the following Brethren who have received Grand Rank Promotions and 1st Appointments this year.
Grand Lodge Appointments:
W Bro. DA Gurney PAGDC Boksburg St John Lodge No. 8642 W Bro. AC Krause PAGDC Verona Lodge No. 8187
W Bro. GN Mackenzie PJGD Kosmos Lodge No. 2768 W Bro. B Krone PJGD Corona Lodge No. 2731
Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments:
E Comp. CJ Robinson PGStB Denver Chapter No. 3167
E Comp. JA Stephens PGStB Doornfontein Chapter No. 7035 E Comp. VP Williams PGStB Orphic Chapter No. 5949
E Comp. Tim Smith PGSwB Fairview Chapter No. 3010
DISTRICT SENIOR GRAND WARDEN – GEOFF WILLIAMS
My Masonic career commenced on the 22nd March 1968 when I was initiated into Warrant Officers Lodge No. 2346 in London. It took 18 months to be made a Master Mason and I was informed that it could take more than 25 years to become the WM.
The Lodge had a Lodge of Instruction which met every Monday evening and was operational from September to May, I joined on the Monday after my Initiation and found this to be a good grounding.
In 1974 I was exalted into the RA, something new and exciting.
I was fortunate to be able to attend every one of my Craft meetings and was a willing participant. I slow- ly climbed the ladder through every office, finally becoming WM in 1980. After completing my year as IPM; my wife, Val, and our two sons and I moved to South Africa.
In 1983 I joined New Horizons Lodge in Roodepoort, becoming WM in 1987. I had previously also joined Doornfontein RA Chapter in 1984.
My first district appointment was PDAGDC in 1991. I will then promoted to Steward in 1996, DAGDC in 1997; DJGD in 1999; PDJGW in 2001 and PDSGW in 2006.
I became the caterer at Freemasons’ Hall in 2001, a job I continued until 2009. During this period I became interested in all the other Degree’s in Freemasonry and joined Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, Royal & Select Masters (Cryptic), Order of the Secret Monitor and Allied Masonic Degrees which added to those I had already joined United Orders of the Temple (KT), Knight Templar Priests, Rose Croix, Red Cross of Constantine, Royal Order of Scotland and lastly the Operatives.
In 2016, the DGM offered me the position of DSGW. To say that I was speechless could not describe the emotions that coursed through me. I realised that after 48 years as a mason, I had achieved the greatest honour. It goes to show, that you are never too old.
My wife, coming from a Masonic family, has been completely supportive of my Masonic career, and my goal driven need to do the best that I can in every field I tackle.
I do believe that there is more for me to achieve given the opportunity and I relish the challenge, which keeps me young at heart and strengthens the mind.
DISTRICT JUNIOR GRAND WARDEN – PAUL KNIGHT
I was born in Glasgow Scotland in 1949 and was educated in both England and Scotland. My tertiary education was in Scunthorpe Lincolnshire. I emigrated with my wife Anita and our two children to South Africa in October 1979, I worked for Union Corporation as a draughtsman on a three year contract…I’m still here !
I was initiated into Lodge Cornwall No. 3490 on 9th May 1991 and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on 11th May 1992. I Joined Fordsburg Lodge No. 2718 in April 1997 and went through the chair for the first time in 1999; again in 2002 / 2003 and 2010 / 2011.
My first District appointment was in 2004 as a District Grand Steward, then In 2005 I was appointed District Grand Pursuivant. All other promotions have been to Past rank until my promotion to District Junior Grand Warden.
At the present time I am also Master of Transvaal District Grand Steward’s Lodge.
In the Royal Arch, I was Exalted into Clarendon Royal Arch Chapter on 19th August 1993 and went through the First Principal’s chair for the first time in February 2002 and again in 2008,2009 and 2010. My first District appointment was as an Assistant District Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2006. In 2010, I was appointed District Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, a post I held for two years.
I thoroughly enjoy my Masonry and as a consequence I belong to all the Orders available in Johannesburg. That is the Mark (PAGDC), Royal Ark Mariner (Grand Rank), Rose Croix (30° ), Red Cross of Constantine (PGPref.), Royal Order of Scotland, Knights Templar (PG Aide-de-Camp), Knight Templar Priests, Allied Masonic Degrees (PGSD), Secret Monitor (PDStd Br), Operatives (7°), and Cryptic Council of which I am the District Grand Master.
I am looking forward to my year as District Junior Grand Warden being able to interact with all the Brethren that I have previously met and also meeting new brethren on my Masonic Journey.
THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH – ENJOYMENT, RECRUITMENT, RETENTION
– Speech by E Comp The Rev Elkan Levy to Supreme Grand Chapter
The Royal Arch is a most beautiful degree. It stands beyond Craft Masonry as the culmination of the candidate’s journey through pure Antient Masonry.
The beautiful lesson that this degree teaches, places man in the context of eternity. A brother becomes a complete Mason when he takes the Holy Royal Arch, and it is therefore our duty to ensure that this degree is as widely disseminated as possible.
However, because Chapter deals with a different set of relationships, it will appeal to brethren on a different level to the Craft, and partly for different reasons. To those who find it attractive, the Royal Arch is a never-ending source of interest, study reflection and self-awareness. In many ways, it is the serious Mason’s degree.
Recruitment is a problem, and this is for reasons that significantly go beyond Freemasonry. We live in a world where people tend not to join organisations, with the possible exception of the health club.
Religious bodies of all denominations, Rotary, Scouts, clubs of various types, all suffer from the effect that television and the Internet is having on human behaviour.
Isolation and loneliness can readily occur in the midst of crowds. All of us here know the warm sense of brotherhood and friendship that comes with membership of Freemasonry. The Holy Royal Arch is known as the friendly degree; we should stress this when recruiting, and welcome the candidates with genuine warmth.
Recruitment to the Royal Arch will increase in proportion to the publicity that we give to it within our own Lodges, and the image we project. Chapter should be seen as something special, and membership of the Degree as an exaltation, a higher sense of Freemasonry. Masters of Craft Lodges should be encouraged to take wine, at least once a year, with Companions of Chapters – any Chapter, not just the one moored to that particular Lodge.
If there is a Chapter closely involved with the Lodge, the names of the Principals could be publicised within the Lodge. The respect that junior brethren tend to feel towards senior members of their Lodges could then be channelled into joining those brethren in the Lodge’s Chapter.
The candidate would be able, should he so wish, to complete his journey through pure Antient Masonry in company with those brethren with whom he is already familiar. We need to stress the brotherhood of Masonry.
Retention will often be a question of involvement. The new ritual, more comprehensible and understandable, can easily be mastered in bite-sized chunks.
Not everyone will work the ritual to the same high standard. Inevitably there will be variations, but a sense of enjoyment and participation will carry the Chapter along, and raise its standards.
Those that need help, will be helped and encouraged. We need to explain the Royal Arch to its new exaltees, and we need to encourage them in a non-judgemental way.
Progress is not always easy – many Companions can only progress with difficulty, but we must help them to do so, even if only an inch at a time.
The more a Companion participates, the more he gets involved, the more will he feel a sense of belonging to his Chapter, and the loyalty that follows from ownership. Retention will become much easier, and those Companions who are happy in their Chapters will themselves bring in
their brethren from the Craft, Finally, enjoyment. There is no point in being a miserable Freemason. Freemasonry in its widest sense, and particularly this Degree, with its interesting and dramatic story, its strong sense of morality, its deep lesson and its happy atmosphere, is here to be enjoyed, not to be endured.
Freemasonry is important in today’s society. It encourages mutual respect and tolerance, qualities that are becoming increasingly necessary in a progressively fractured world. It adheres to standards of morality and behaviour in a society that seems increasingly unable to tell right from wrong.
But, most of all, it is fun. The grand design of being happy and communicating happiness affects and benefits us all. The Royal Arch is there to be enjoyed. If we can communicate our sense of enjoyment, all the rest – recruitment, retention, growth – will inevitably follow.
Mozart enjoyed being a Freemason – so should we!
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: INSTALLATION BANQUET OF THE LODGE OF FRIENDSHIP, September 2016 – MAURITIUS
LODGE OF DISCOVERY IN PORT VILA, VANUATU – REBUILDS A SCHOOL LIBRARY
– W Bro. Russell Chilton
Those in Vanuatu who experienced Tropical Cyclone Pam will always remember the night of Friday the 13th March 2016. The category five cyclone swept across the Pacific and glanced across many of the islands in the archipelago bringing destruction to buildings, crops, trees and livelihoods with it’s 270kph winds gusting up to a reported 320kph.
Mere days after the cyclone passed, Grand Charity in London released £20,000 via Red Cross for immediate relief and soon Lodge of Discovery was receiving
pledges from Lodges and Masonic organisations around the world. A committee was quickly tasked with managing the incoming funds and finding a suitable project to assist the rebuild of critical infrastructure for the local community. The Lodge wanted a local recipient, as this would give them more control over the costs and a collateral benefit to the Lodge.
A local group who were already building new classrooms for a community school before the cyclone, approached the Lodge sub-committee for help. The school bore the brunt of the winds and most of its buildings had suffered damage including the library that was now beyond repair. Brethren looked at the plans, inspected the site and judged it to suit the criteria set out.
The Lodge suggested moving the site of the library to a more central base to the whole school and, with some cost savings, increased the original footprint to include a media centre so that the school would benefit from the building into the future. The Lodge insisted that the project engineer inspect the library every year and produce a report in order that regular maintenance could be scheduled. A local builder and workforce were employed solely for the library to keep consistency throughout the build.
After about three months the Suango School Library/Media Centre was completed. A handover ceremony was arranged to coincide with a regular meeting of the Lodge, which saw a delegation of Brethren present for the ceremony. They were brought on to the school grounds by local dancers and presented with traditional salou-salou garlands before both parties gave speeches. The WM spoke about the importance of education and continued learning, then asked Lodge Secretary and Grand Officer, W.Bro Alan Churchill to formally open the school and handover the keys.
W.Bro Russell Chilton is the DC at Lodge of Discovery, Vanuatu; Chairman of the Post-Cyclone Relief Fund; and Past Master of Corinthian Lodge, Pretoria.
WE CARE – W Bro. Dick Glanville
On Saturday 5th December 2015 a NPO (We Care) organised a Christmas function for guests from old age homes and retirement centres around Johannesburg. The residents of these retirement centres are not in a position to enjoy such festivities without assistance. Most have little or no in- come, other than a pension.
A few Masonic Lodges became involved in this worthwhile cause by raising funds, donating food and offering physical assistance. In 2015, the luncheon was held at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Malvern East and 400 deserving senior citizens were treated to a wonderful festive spread. The food was plentiful and guests were encouraged to take extra food home with them.
The Lodges which were involved in this cause included; Prosperity and Doornfontein Lodges, who between them raised in excess of R10 000. Members of both lodges and their families were also on hand, before and after the event to offer assistance.
It was heart-warming to see “the old folk” thoroughly enjoying the festivities. Various local com- munities laid on wonderful entertainment including Portuguese song-and-dance troupes in full costume, local singers, a disco and much more. The party was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Over-and-above the Christmas lunches, the We Care organisation arranges transport to take the elderly to hospital and for doctor’s appointments. They also organise fun days, tea parties and are involved in fund raising for blanket drives and feeding schemes. I hope that more lodges will become involved with We Care in the future.
WIDOWS SONS SOUTH AFRICA UPDATE – W Bro. Lance Epstein
Time flies when you are having fun, or so the saying goes. Since our last communique in the November 2015 issue of the Cornerstone, The Widows Sons South Africa has grown in leaps and bounds! Let me remind you of their mantra “Masons FIRST and Widows Sons thereafter”. I can report that the synergy between Freemasonry and Widows Sons has proved itself time and again over the last few months.
The Widows Sons is made up of members of all four constitutions (EC, SC, IC and GLSA), and the support between the lodges has been simply outstanding. This can be seen by the attendance at the Norwood Lodge initiation where 55 masons were present, almost half of whom were members of Widows Sons or guests.
During 2016, the Widows Sons had their first ever National Gathering in South Africa at which, the first Widows Sons Branding Ceremony was held in KZN. The weekend was arranged by the Widows Sons, KZN Chapter, where there were over 100 Widows Sons members, associates, family and friends in attendance.
The National President of the Widows Sons Bro. William Bowers, who visited the Widows Sons in the USA in 2015, rode up from the Cape with 5 Widows Sons from the USA and Canada. The meet and greet was followed by the AGM where the South African Chapter was handed its Alliance membership.
Widows Sons of the South African Chapter has now grown to over 220 members.
This confirms our official recognition of the patents and emblems associated with the Widows Sons. The next day, a convoy of more than 70 bikes rode from Amanzimtoti to Margate. It was a proud moment, Widows Sons riding in the name of Freemasonry.
In June, Widows Sons from the Cape and Gauteng travelled to Port Elizabeth where a new Chapter received their charter. The Eastern Cape Chapter, “Spirit of Hiram” received their charter on Saturday the 18th June, followed by one of the Widows Sons being installed to the chair of KS. The brethren then travelled back to Gauteng and the Cape stopping at various Masonic temples and an impressive museum in Steinsburg on their return.
The Widows Sons embraces the lesson of the NE corner charge and uses every opportunity to help those in need. In terms of charities, each Chapter has a cause that they contribute towards:
The East Coast Chapter, KZN , assisted Lake Haven in Sea Cow Lakes, a home of safety for children that burned down. 8 kids passed away and the rest left destitute. East Coast Radio put out an appeal for assistance and the Widows Sons answered the call, arranging donations, food hampers and clothing.
Central Chapter, Gauteng, has adopted the “Sunshine Home 4 Kids”, a place of safety for children removed by the court. The home currently has 13 children between 3 months and 15 years of age. The home is a registered NGO and the Chapter has been working with SAPS assisting with urgent matters. The Brethren, ladies and friends of the Widows Sons have been extremely generous with donations in various forms, be it sponsoring a day out, cleaning utensils or simply giving of their time. Charity is after all, not just about money.
East Rand (ER) Chapter, Gauteng, is in the process of identifying a needy charity to adopt and support. Originally under consideration was the Jubilee Home, a place of safety for children removed by the court. A recent recce to the home, which has 80 children between the ages of 2 months and 15 years old, was conducted by the Leadership and members of ER Chapter. This initial visit involved a small function consisting of gift packs and entertainment for the children, followed by a walk-through of the facility and a meeting with the management. It was revealed that this home is already well supported and the members of the ER Chapter have decided to consider other facilities which are not in this fortunate position.
The Widows Sons has added another dimension to Freemasonry, nothing new, just a band of merry men, ably assisted by their ladies in being part of a rider’s association where one continues the brotherly love, relief and truth, simply extended into what we do when we are not at lodge
– ride bikes!
Website – www.wssa-central.co.za