DISTRICT ANNUAL CHARITY BANQUET – VW Bro. Iain Fraser
The Annual Charity Banquet of the District was held on Saturday 6 April 2013, at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg. As always, it was a Gala occasion with great ambiance, excellent food and enjoy- able company.
This year, the recipient of our Major Donation of R 850 000.00 was the Mothwa Med Step Clinic in Pretoria, with an additional amount of R 100 000.00 being allocated to the District Samaritan Fund, giving a total of R 950 000.00.
The Manager of this Clinic, Ms. Stephanie du Toit, was there to accept the District Donation from the DGM, Prof. Guy Charlesworth and gave a short address on their organisation and its plans for the future.
Mrs Chris Levings, the Honorary Treasurer and Secretary of G.E.M.Homes, was also there and presented a framed Certificate of Appreciation with photographs to the DGM, in acknowledgement of our donation to their organisation last year.
This year’s donation will fund phase 1 of the upgrade of the Mothwa (Moths Womens Auxiliary) Med Step Clinic, which will be rehoused in two refurbished wings of an adjacent retirement home complex, which are currently vacant.
The Clinic is a non-profit Step-Down or Sub-Acute facility, and is registered with the Gauteng Department of Health for a maximum of 17 beds. It will provide extended care for patients after hospital treatment and will be well supported by several medical aid funds, when complete.
W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar, the President of our District Board of Benevolence, investigated 10 other projects before recommending this one and he and W Bro. Charles Burn, the District Grand Treasurer, have met with their Management Committee, to advise them on financial and operational planning, to ensure the self- sustainability of the project. W Bro. David Griffiths, the District Grand Superintendent of Works, will monitor progress on site and advise on the staged transfer of funds.
FROM THE DISTRICT GRAND MASTER – RW Bro. Guy Charlesworth
2013 is a significant year for English Freemasonry. We will be celebrating the Union, two hundred years ago, of two Grand Lodges ‘The Antients’ and ‘The Modern’, to form the United Grand Lodge of England. Supreme Grand Chapter are using the date of Union, to recognize the Bi-Centenary of Supreme Grand Chapter. Whilst it’s true to say that we don’t really know the date of the origin of the Royal Arch, it was certainly in existence at a much earlier time, but at the date of Union it was formerly established as we know it. So on Wednesday, 16 October, Supreme Grand Chapter will be holding a celebratory event in London to mark the Bi-Centenary. Provinces and Districts are being encouraged to also hold local celebrations.
On Saturday, 30th November, our District will celebrate the Bi- Centenary at Park Lane. A demonstration of the ceremony of ‘Passing the Veils’ is being planned to be held in the late morning, followed by a finger-lunch to which wives/partners and friends will be invited to attend. Details of this celebration will follow.
To mark the occasion, a District Royal Arch tie, has been commissioned and is available to Companions from the District Office. A small profit will be donated to Charity.
The 300th Anniversary of Grand Lodge which is fast approaching, will be held in 2017. This is only four years away and will be a unique event in the history of World Freemasonry. Whilst large celebrations are being planned in London, Provinces and Districts are planning local celebrations. Our District and indeed I hope all Lodges in this District should start planning how they intend to celebrate this momentous occasion.
The President of the Board of General Purposes and I welcome ideas on how we can best demonstrate to our communities what Freemasonry has achieved and its role in Society.
Over the past three years my strategy for the District has mainly been directed towards:
The Mentorship programme, and the re-training and improvement of Lodge Almoners and the access to Freemasonry Cares, the portal of the Samaritan Fund of Grand Charity.
Both of these programmes are being rolled-out by W Bro Roger Webster, District Grand Mentor and W Bro Brian Kretzschmar, President of the Board of Benevolence and his Board, respectively. Essentially, both of these programmes address improved membership retention.
The Mentorship programme is designed to give the newly made Brother a greater understanding of Freemasonry. Each entrant into our Order is assigned a personal Mentor (usually the Candidate’s Proposer) to guide the young Mason through the three degrees and eventually to the Royal Arch, to show him how enjoyable Freemasonry can be, but above all to gain a better understanding of the degrees in Masonry. Brethren will gain greater confidence and be able to talk knowledgeably about Freemasonry. As the Grand Secretary has explained in his initiative ‘Ambassadors for Freemasonry’ it will enable us all to become proactive in openly talking about Freemasonry and what it means to us and to members of the general public. Why not try an after dinner conversation on Freemasonry with non-Masonic guests?
I consider the office of Lodge Almoner as one of the most important in a Lodge and as important as Mentorship for membership retention. Whilst it is true there are some Almoners who carry out their duties in an exemplary manner, there are unfortunately many who do not. The President and members of the Board of Benevolence are addressing the re-training of Lodge Almoner’s and have produced an updated Almoner’s manual. This is absolutely essential because we place an increasing reliance on Almoners to monitor and check the welfare of our Brethren and their families. They play an important role in assisting applicants to the Grand Samaritan Fund where there is a proven need, or to the TIMC for benevolent grants. In addition, there is much which we can do to assist our Brethren who are senior citizens.
I recall the original address that used to be given to the Almoner at his investiture and it’s worth repeating here:
“The high importance of this office is seldom realized as it is not clearly defined in our rituals. You must at all times be the link between the Lodge and the sick Brethren, and wherever there is a need for the relief of distress, you will endeavour to see that every deserving case is brought before the Lodge for sympathetic consideration.
A good Almoner is one who notices who is not in Lodge, finds out why and reports to the Worshipful Master. It calls for the sacrifice of your time, but the satisfaction that you will derive from knowing that no sick or absent Brother has been neglected or that no Brother’s widow has been forgotten, will more than compensate for the zeal and effort which I know you will apply to your duties.”
Welcome to this sixth issue of the Cornerstone!
THE LYCEUM LODGE OF RESEARCH 8682 W Bro. DICK GLANVILLE
The Lyceum Lodge of Research challenges all Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and ‘newer’ Masons to submit their written thoughts, ideas and perceptions of Freemasonry to Dick Glanville firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brethren may then be invited to present their work at the next meeting of Lodge members and Masonic friends.
The selected Brethren will receive a memento in recognition of their endeavours.
ANNUAL INVESTITURES IN LONDON – VW Bro. Iain Fraser
Our DGM attended the Annual Investitures of Grand Lodge on Wednesday 24 April and Grand Chapter on Thursday 25 April in London, this year. He was accompanied by W Bro. David Whitfield and several of the Brethren and Companions who received Grand Honours.
In the Craft, first appointments to PAGDC were received by W Bros. Graeme MacKenzie, Tim Smith, Marc Burton and George Watson, and W Bro. Pieter Wessels was promoted to PJGD.
In the Royal Arch, first appointments to PGStB were received by E Comps. Joe Moore and Geoff Williams. Hilly Rosen was promoted to PGStB and E Comp. Gert Rupping was promoted to PAGSoj.
Many of those in London, including RW Bro. Neil Molver, DGM of Zambia, attended the Installation meeting of South Africa Lodge on Monday 22 April where W Bro. Louis van Zyl was installed as Master of South Africa Lodge. Our DGM had great pleasure in presenting the Master’s address to W Bro Louis, who is a long standing member of our District and a Past Master of Orphic Lodge.
Following the investitures in London, Our DGM and his wife, Helen, took a short break and travelled to Ed- inburgh where they hired a car and toured around the Trossachs, Cairngorms and Highlands of Scotland before returning to London to fly home.
Congratulations to all these Brethren and Companions. We wish them many more years of service and enjoyment in our District.
BREAKING NEWS : NEW DISTRICT “CHAIN” APPOINTMENTS – VW Bro. Iain Fraser
At the Exsequi Lodge Installation meeting on 13 May 2013, our DGM made the following announcement regarding the new “Chain” appointments to be made at the Annual Meeting on Saturday 05 October 2013.
In the Craft, VW Bro. Iain Fraser will stand down as DepDistGM after three and a half years and will be succeeded by W Bro. David Whitfield. W Bros. Graeme MacKenzie and Brian McDermott will be appointed as ADistGMs. W Bro. Colin Lewis stood down as an ADistGM in February 2013.
In the Royal Arch, E Comp. Hans van Gaalen will stand down as 3rd DistGPrin. after two years and will be succeeded by E Comp. Tim Smith.
The DGM will announce the balance of the active rank appointments for the year ahead in the Craft and Royal Arch at the Festive Board after the Universal Friendship Lodge Installation meeting on 15 July 2013.
Congratulations to the above Brethren and Companions, with best wishes for many years of future service in our District.
DAVID PICKARD – DISTRICT GRAND SECRETARY
David I Pickard was born on 16th May 1943 in Ripley Derbyshire England. He attended the local Grammar School and at 16 started to work as a lab assistant at a local iron works, whilst going to night school to finish his tertiary education at University of Aston in Birmingham with a degree in Metallurgy.
He expatriated to the Zambian Copper Mines and diversified into Lime production. During this time, David was married and had two sons
David immigrated to South Africa where he ex- plored his fascination with rotary kilns by joining Blue Circle Cement in Works Management and was later transferred to the local subsidiary of Armitage Shanks as Managing Director in 1983.
David’s interest in Freemasonry started whilst working as a plumber’s labourer at his Uncle’s Company where he saw his Uncle going off at 5 o’clock with his little brown suit case. It took another 14 years before he met his Mentor W Bro. Jack Salmons and joined Bramley Lodge in 1980 and St Michael’s Royal Arch Chapter in 1981. He chaired Bramley Lodge 4 times be- fore it closed.
In the intervening period and under the guidance of Jack Salmons, he joined the Rose Croix which put him onto a very different Ma- sonic path.
David attained the 30th degree in 1998 and after some encouragement from W Bro. D.B.Whitfield, joined the KT, KTP and RCC. David is also a member of the Allied and Cryptic Orders.
The fulfillment of David’s Masonic career has been his appointment as District Grand Secretary and he is thankful for the guidance that W Bro. Stan Elms continues to give.
FREEMASONRY- THE RENAISSANCE – W Bro. Roger Webster
The new era of Freemasonry, where the lights in the Lodges have been switched on to bright, old cobwebs have be dusted out of forgotten dark corners, and once again, we start interacting with the public at large, openly inviting them to put forward their many and varied questions, is having a quite remarkable affect in many areas where we did not expect it.
Liken it to inviting someone into your personal home. The first thing you do is to ensure that it is SPOT- LESS. You don’t want people to think that you are living in a dirty environment and slovenly by nature. The same in Masonry, “I had better clean up my act, for if these people come and ask all sorts of varied questions, I had better be prepared to answer them openly, truthfully and honestly from a solid knowledge base!”
This has led to many Masons scrambling for books and all sorts of varied sources, to be able to show “a clean house” and this in turn, is moving Masons to find out more about their Craft. They are asking questions, finding answers and starting to speak out from a base of better and deeper understanding of all the nuances one finds within the Craft. Gone are the days when you could hide your ignorance with “no, no, you will learn the answer to that at a later date!” He wants answers to the questions he is asking pertaining TO HIS RELEVANT DEGREE, NOW! He wants answers and he deserves them. Imagine playing tennis and the umpire calls the ball “out!” You then enquire as to what this means and he replies, “you will find out later!” That’s just dumb! This is having a twofold effect. The first being that those who, during the dark and ignorant period, could hide lack of knowledge and moral rectitude in the darkened corners, now no longer can. For, as more and more light is thrown on the subject, its boundaries become more clearly defined. You either are a Mason and you behave according to its set standards, or you are not. It is now becoming more black and white, no more fuzzy boundaries as in the past. Almost a “shape up or ship out” situation.
The nett effect that this will eventually achieve is greater public acceptance through a better understanding of what we really stand for in any given community. This will eventually return Freemasonry in- to its rightful position, as an organisation that a community can be proud of and look up to, thereby attracting the leading citizens, who can live up to our moral standards, back into our ranks and once more stand proud to be Masons.
NEW INITIATES – W Bro. David Pickard
The District would like to welcome the following Entered Apprentices into our fold:
|van der Merwe||Jan||6017||13/03/2013|
|van der Bergh||Dawid||3259||03/04/2013|
|Gomes da-Silva||Fernando Acacio||7035||24/04/2013|
THE QUEEN AND THE NURSE’S BELT – W Bro. Dick Glanville
Every time a story involves the British Royal family, mass media are quick to document every single detail of it. When Queen Elizabeth left King Edward VII Hospital in London on March 3rd 2013, news sources covered the event extensively, even describing her outfit, her pearl necklace and her brooch. There is however one significant detail mass media completely ignored. Check out the nurse’s belt buckle!
This massive belt buckle features the Masonic square and compass alongside a pentagram or five-pointed star– another important Masonic symbol, used in the apron badge and jewel of Provincial and District Grand Masters. For the back- ground to the Nurses Masonic belt, read on for a fascinating history and story.
THE ROYAL MASONIC HOSPITAL AND ITS JEWELS
In 1911, members of Malmesbury Lodge No. 3156 became interested in the possibility of starting a Mason- ic hospital or nursing home and formed a committee with a civil engineer, Percy Still, as secretary. In 1913 Grand Lodge approved the idea and by 1916 fundraising had begun. The spiraling number of Great War casualties moved supporters of the hospital scheme to take out a short term lease of the former Chelsea Woman’s Hospital in Fulham Road, London and open it as the Freemasons’ War Hospital. Over 4,000 servicemen were treated at the hospital by the end of the war. Additional facilities were opened at Fulham Pal- ace and a convalescent home was opened in Caversham near Reading.
After World War I the Freemason’s Hospital and Nursing Home opened in the Fulham Road premises and accepted its first patient in 1920. Despite alterations this site proved too small and supporters continues their efforts to find a larger site. Once sufficient funds were secured a site was purchased at Ravenscourt Park, West London. In 1933, King George V and Queen Mary opened the hospital and the King granted permission for it to be known as the Royal Masonic Hospital. Money or the hospital was raised through donations, with donors being awarded a special jewel, known as the Permanent Steward’s Jewel.
By the late 1970s approximately 4,700 patients per year were being treated. Although patients were mostly freemasons, fee paying non-members were accepted from 1977. In 1976 the Grand Master, the Duke of Kent, opened the Percy Still wing, with four new operating theatres. However, fewer masons wanted to travel to London for treatment and running costs grew rapidly due to inflation. In 1992 Grand Lodge recommended that it’s closure to safeguard its assets. In 2002, the hospital buildings were acquired by the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust as Ravenscourt Park Hospital, to relieve bed shortages.
Numerous jewels were produced in association with the Royal Masonic Hospital, the most commonly en- countered being the Permanent Steward’s Jewel and the Redevelopment Fund Jewel.
From left to right:
Permanent Steward’s Jewel – It was designed by C.L.J. Doman (who also produced the Armistice Anniversary medal in 1928). Its ribbon is in the dark and light blue of Craft masonry and the design shows humanity succouring the sick. The motto, ‘Aegros Sanat Humanitas” means ‘Kindness Heals the Sick’. The five pointed Masonic star and the interlaced letters ‘FH’ (Freemasons Hospital) complete the design. The Jewel was first issued in silver, engraved on the reverse with the donor’s name and lodge number, but later was plain and in base metal. Depending on the donation the jewel sometimes had a bar marked ‘VICEPATRON’, ‘PATRON’, ‘GRAND VICE-PATRON’ and ‘GRAND PATRON’.
Redevelopment Fund Jewel – This jewel was issued to those who subscribed £12 or more to the Assistant Grand Master’s Redevelopment Fund to build the 1956 extension to the hospital. Those who already had the hospital jewel were given a bar to wear with it rather than this jewel. The jewel was the concept of Leslie Durbin, M.V.O. LL.D., artist and silversmith. It shows a detail of a hand from a painting by the artist Botticelli. Earlier versions had wording on the reverse but this was later omitted.
Jewel for ladies who became Life Governors in 1932, at the hospital’s opening, incorporating the image from the Permanent Steward’s Jewel. The bar monogram is ‘FH’ for ‘Freemason’s Hospital’ as the building had not yet been granted its royal title. The jewel is made from multiple parts and is 9ct gold. Jewel for lady patrons after the opening of the hospital. Generally similar to the above, but this is a single casting in silver gilt and enamel, with the monogram changed to ‘RMH’, for ‘Royal Masonic Hospital’. Other versions of this jewel and the one described above exist with slight variations.
Nurses’ issue jewel with an enamelled bar rather than a ribbon to make it suitable for wear with a uniform, incorporating the image from the Permanent Steward’s jewel.
© The Library and Museum of Freemasonry (Registered Charity No 1058497) 2010 www.freemasonry.london.museum
SUPREME ORDER OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH – E. Comp. Cleve Wiehahn
2013 is a significant and eventful year for the Royal Arch as Supreme Grand Chapter will be celebrating their Bi-Centenary on Wednesday 16th October at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London.
District’s celebration of the Bi-centenary of the Royal Arch will take place on the morning of the 30th November 2013 (being the fifth Saturday in November) at Park Lane. As this will be an auspicious occasion it is expected that Companions will have their ladies accompanying them. Excellent Companion Brad Gillies will conduct the ladies on a tour through the building and present a short talk to them while the Companions attend a demonstration in Chapter.
For the Companions, the highlight will be a demonstration of the ceremony of “passing of the veils”. This ceremony was discontinued in 1813 at the time the Articles of Union were signed, but many Chapters still continued to use it at Convocations for some years after 1813. In 1899 the ceremony was revived in the Province of Bristol. There, Bristol Chapters perform the veil ceremony, before the candidate is admitted into a Royal Arch ceremony, as part of their “Bristol Rite”.
Supreme Grand Chapter has now given permission to hold demonstrations of the ceremony on special occasions under the direction of Grand Superintendents and we urge all Companions to attend the demonstration planned for Saturday 30th November.
After the demonstration a finger-lunch will be held for Companions, wives / partners and friends. Companions will be circulated further details, nearer the time.
The consecration of the newly formed Chapter of Friendship No 1696 meeting in Phoenix, Mauritius will take place during the week of Monday 9th September 2013 (the exact date still to be confirmed) and will be followed immediately by the installation of the Principals and investiture of the Officers for the ensuing year.
The Brethren of Lodge of Friendship have for the past few years indicated their desire to have a Royal Arch Chapter attached to their Lodge. All relevant documentation was forwarded to Grand Chapter who granted permission for the formation of the new Chapter.
There are a number of Grand Officers who will be travelling to Mauritius to assist in the consecration ceremony and the Grand Superintendent is grateful for the support for this auspicious occasion. It will be the first consecration in our District for many a year.
On the advice of the Grand Scribe E’s office, there has been a name change for the new Chapter. It will now be known as “South Africa, North Chapter of First Principals”. All First Principals and Past First Principals will thus be entitled to apply for membership once the Chapter has been consecrated.
We look forward to your support at these mile-stone events and particularly the District’s celebration of the Bi-Centenary of the Order of the Holy Royal Arch.
DEATH NOTICES – Mrs Fern Rowles
|W Bro. J L Bing||PDistSGD||Golden Harvest||10/02/2013|
|W Bro. H W F Crooks||PDistJGD||Roodepoort||26/12/2013|
|W Bro. H J Davidson||PDistJGW||Southern Cross||03/03/2013|
|W Bro. J S Ferrans||PDistJGD||King Edward||27/04/2013|
|W Bro. R C Foxcroft||PDistSGW||Roodepoort||24/02/2013|
|W Bro. L M Galatis||PDistJGW||Golden West||01/02/2013|
|W Bro. P C Meintjes||PDistJGD||Apollo||01/04/2013|
|W Bro. P A Olver||PDistJGD||Vrede||07/05/2013|
|W Bro. D S Powell||PDistJGW||Melrose||08/12/2012|
|W Bro. A Puckey||PDistJGW||Victory||18/12/2012|
|W Bro. S W Rademan||PDistGStB||Acacia||16/04/2013|
|W Bro. D L Sim||PDistAGDC||Transvaal||19/02/2013|
|Bro. C P Bates||Witwatersrand||12/01/2013|
|Bro. G U Jansen||Edenvale||14/05/2013|
|Bro. L A Kay||Aviation||24/04/2013|
|Bro. J E Mitchell||Vernon||13/12/2012|
|Bro. F M de Fleuriot||Coronation||18/02/2013|
|Bro. W S van der Merwe||Roodepoort||05/05/2013|