HOWARD FREEMAN – THIRD DISTRICT GRAND PRINCIPAL
Howard was born in Johannesburg on 24 March 1956. His late father was Merton Freeman, PDGM and PGSupt of the Transvaal. From the age of 7, he started travelling with his family through the Transvaal District as his father and grandfather attended Masonic meetings.
Howard was initiated into Aviation Lodge in May 1977 and has been invested as the Third District Grand Principal. His Masonic achievements include:
- Initiated into Aviation Lodge in May 1977
- Past Grand Standard Bearer of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England
- Past District Grand Scribe Nehemiah of the District Grand Royal Arch Chapter of South Africa, North
- Past First Principal of Transvaal Jubilee Chapter No. 6143 EC
- Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies of the United Grand Lodge of England
- Past District Junior Grand Warden of the District Grand Lodge of South Africa, North
- Past Master of Aviation Lodge No. 8471 EC
ANNUAL INVESTITURES IN LONDON – VW Bro. Iain Fraser
Our DGM attended the Annual Investitures of United Grand Lodge and of Supreme Grand Chapter on Wednesday 30 April and Thursday 01 May, in London. He was accompanied by VW Bro. David Whitfield as well as several of the Brethren and Companions who received Grand Honours.
In the Craft, first appointments to PAGDC were received by W Bros. Mike Edy, Bernie Krone and Dr Ron Poole. W Bro. David Whitfield was promoted to PGSwdB, W Bro. Richard Moore to PSGD and W Bro. Brian McDermott to PJGD.
In the Royal Arch, E Comps. Percy Green and David Johnston received first appointments to PGStB and E Comp. John Edby to PAGDC. E Comp. Brad Gillies was promoted to PGSoj and E Comp. Stan Elms to PAGSoj.
Congratulations to all these Brethren and Companions. We wish them many more years of service and enjoyment in our District.
DISTRICT GRAND BANQUET 2014 – W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar
This year’s Charity Banquet was a truly splendid occasion. It was held for the first time, in the re-decorated main Park Lane Dining Room.
The President of the Board of General Purposes, W Bro. Mike Edy and his committee arranged a sumptuous menu and glittering table settings, all at two thirds of the cost of the previous banquet, making it more affordable for the Brethren and their wives. Well done!
With sherries away, the resplendent ladies and their penguins took their seats. After grace and starters, the RW District Grand Master welcomed guests and proceeded to the toasts, ending with a toast to our beautiful yet long suffering ladies.
I delivered a speech and PowerPoint presentation on behalf of the Manager of the MOTHWA Med-Step Clinic, who was unable to attend.
Mrs Yolandi McMaster (Accounts Manager) and Ms Reynecke (Duty Manager), then presented a certificate of appreciation from the MOTHWA Med-Step Rehabilitation Clinic to the RW District Grand Master.
After the delicious main course and just a few glasses of wine – an outline of the charity donations for the year was explained. The major recipient, Oliver’s House will utilise the donation for the building of classrooms in order to encourage promising students in maths and science – the essential building blocks of our country’s future.
The RW District Grand Master made the presentation to Mr Terence Ferreira (Chairman) and two of his Board Members, Mrs Helene Barker and Mr Charles Mahlangu.
In an impassioned response, Mr Ferreira gave an outline of work successfully undertaken by Oliver’s House and their enthusiasm for the new projects of the future.
Dessert and coffee were then served to end a thoroughly successful Charity Banquet.
A MASONIC JOURNEY APRIL 2014 – W Bro. Dr. Ron Poole
It was a privilege to find myself awarded Grand Rank and to be invested at Great Queen Street in London. With the weak South African currency it made sense to visit other places of interest while in the UK.
First, was to visit Mariner Lodge at the Queen Street Masonic Centre in Brighton (the centre of Masonry in Sussex) to attend an Initiation. They follow the Emulation ritual with some interesting differences known as the “Sussex way”. The meeting was preceded with a couple of toots and followed by a marvellous festive board. Most of us left by taxi which magically appeared after the function. This was the last opportunity for me to wear my District Regalia and also resulted in an open invitation to Brighthelmstone Lodge.
A visit to Batemans, Rudyard Kipling’s home in Sussex, run by the National Trust was worth a visit where his Masonic jewels were on display. Kipling enjoyed his masonry but did not aspire to rank, which I found surprising from the author of, “The Man Who Would be King”.
My next adventure was to take my sister to Picardy to pay homage to our great uncle who fell during battle in Pozieres in 1918. We drove across the Somme battlefields and trenches – what a grim experience! The cemeteries and memorials, of which there are many, are beautifully maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. We visited several facinating museums run by the French. Delville Wood has re-grown and is very beautiful with a magnificent carpet of blue bells in Spring. After the battle, there was one tree left standing, which can still be seen.
Surprisingly, we did not find any Masonic references or exhibits but we were on another mission. The grim conditions were probably not conducive to practising Masonry. Nevertheless, one cannot help but remember the great numbers of Masons who served and fell on both sides and to remember why we have, until recently, worn black ties. The journey was also a fitting preface to the Grand Festival at Freemasons’ Hall, which was built as a permanent memorial to those who lost their lives during the Great War.
Off to London to attend the Craft Investiture. It was a delight to attend a Supreme Council Short Discussion Meeting and tour of the Duke Street HQ. This was followed by a superb buffet lunch in the Solarium, which included Cumberland sausage and a fine selection of cheese. Afterwards we retired to the Great Queen Street Freemasons Hall where the King Edward VII Chapter of Improvement demonstrated the 4th and 5th degrees. It was interesting to compare their productions with those of our St Vitus Chapter.
The great day arrived – Wednesday 30th April. The Investiture was in the afternoon and, prior to the Meeting, it was quite an experience to see so many Masons in dark suits milling around be- forehand. This included several brethren from South Africa, North, as well as brethren from other South African Districts – we appreciated your support. We were guided to dressing rooms and then to the Grand Temple itself, quite a logistical exercise which was well managed by older masons directing us through a “rabbit warren”. If you think Park Lane is extensive, think again!
1700 Brethren packed into the Grand Temple. The meeting was opened by our Grand Master, the Duke of Kent. We, first appointments and promotions to Grand Rank, were carefully collect- ed by Grand Stewards who walked us with great decorum to the Grand Master himself. The shaking of hands, investiture as PAGDC and brief exchange of words passed all too quickly. In future, I will know who I’m toasting as Grand Master at our festive boards – it makes such a difference! We closed by singing the National Anthem “God save the Queen” – it was so moving.
The Stewards cherish their positions and incur much expense for the privilege, including having to sojourn through France to seek out and buy suitable wines for the following banquet.
The Grand Temple is aptly named. This is beautifully decorated and includes the magnificent Star Ceiling. No photos are allowed and all cell phones were ordered off but I can attest to the awe inspiring setting.
On to the Connaught Rooms next door where we were plied with champagne in the Champagne Bar and then to the Grand Connaught Room for a superb banquet. We were all served in unison by very pretty students recruited for the day.
The Grand Connaught room is bright with huge wall mirrors reflecting the crystal chandeliers. The speeches were well delivered, the food wonderful and the wine well chosen by the Stewards. Overwhelmed, I retired replete to my hotel for a cognac nightcap on the patio overlooking Lincolns Inn Fields.
The next day, a shopping trip was necessary to buy a new white shirt. Not easy as the London shops stock all designs and colours, but a simple white shirt! Having succeeded in my quest I made my way to meet our DGM and Deputy DGM in Leicester Square. On my way back, I took the opportunity to browse the regalia shops. Central Regalia and Toye, Kenning & Spencer all stocked Craft and RA items including books and ties of various orders. It was difficult to resist the temptation to acquire those items of regalia which are not so readily available here in SA. Unable to resist, I came away well laden.
The RA Investiture, also in the Grand Temple, was next on my agenda. Now being somewhat more familiar with the procedure we again enjoyed another professional ceremony, this time as an observer and finished by again singing “God Save the Queen”. Finally, another lunch in the Grand Connaught Room.
Finally, on to Heathrow to do battle on the Tube (crowded and recovering from a strike) and with a very full suitcase. A young lady seeing me struggling with my burden offered me her seat, which I graciously declined, reminding me that none of us are getting any younger.
In my early days as a Mason, I remember being in awe of the top brass at Installations. I never thought I would become one of them and never aspired to. My Masonic journey of some 27 years continues culminating in a marvellous journey to London to receive Grand Rank. My sincere thanks go to those brethren of our District who gave their support and particularly to VW Bro. David Whitfield for arranging such a memorable and fulfilling Masonic week in London.
|ACTIVE CRAFT OFFICERS 2014 – 2015|
|Dist G Chap||Vernon||van Wyk|
|Dist G Treasurer||Charles||Burn|
|Dist G Registrar||Gordon||Martin|
|Pres DistBd GP||Mike||Edy|
|Dist G Sec||David||Pickard|
|Pres DistBd Benev||Brian||Kretzschmar|
|DistG SwdB||Guss||Sou thgate|
|Dist G Orator||Dick||Glanville|
|DistGStB||J Francois||de Coriolis|
|DistG Pursuivant||Ross SV||Cole|
|DistGStwd||Jose (Joe)||de Mosquita|
ACTIVE ROYAL ARCH OFFICERS 2014 – 2015
|Dep G Supt||Tim||Smith|
|3rd Dist G Princ||Howard||Freeman|
|Asst to Dist Grand Principals||Colin||Robinson|
“STANDING ROOM ONLY!” – W Bro. Richard Glanville
On 29 July 2014, approximately 270 Brethren, their partners and guests attended a Masonic lecture hosted by Lodge Lyceum, No. 8682 EC. The well attended meeting took place in Temple 1 at FMH.
It was a very special Masonic lecture; as it was delivered by a lady who is not a Freemason.
Mrs Louise Schoeman presented a well researched paper entitled “Freemasonry, a Living Encyclopaedia of Ancient Insight and Wisdom”.
Louise, who holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology, held the audience spellbound as she traced and discussed the history and origins of the esoteric knowledge that we accept as part of our Craft. It was amazing to learn that the same principles and beliefs were common in so many of the ancient cultures of the world, which were, ac- cording to contemporary history, isolated from each other.
Louise has been researching Freemasonry for 28 years. She started the investigation when con- fronted with criticism from the local Church in her home town of Vredefort, where her father was Master of his Lodge. What started as a project to defend her Father became a lifelong quest for knowledge when she realised the beauty of the principles and tenets of the Order.
The passion that Louise has for her subject came through in the relaxed and erudite manner in which she made her presentation and this enthralled her audience. Question time was lively but sadly had to be limited due to the lateness of the hour. Louise has also delivered lectures on the subject at Wits University and has taken part in radio broadcasts.
The lecture was followed by supper, which regrettably was available to only half of the attendees. Such was the demand.
The concept of exposing the principles of Freemasonry to our friends and connections through successful lecture evenings has once again proved the Lyceum slogan: “Moving ahead with Masonic knowledge”.
FREEMASONS TO THE RESCUE – W Bro. Brian Kretzschmar
Tyrone is 6 years old and has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. As part of his condition, he has a dislocated left hip and curvature of the spine to the right. The orthopaedic surgeon treating him has indicated his need of a specialist wheelchair (called a Chunc 45) to balance him. Tyrone is pictured in his old wheelchair which he has now outgrown.
The cost of a new wheel chair is R52 000. The family’s medical aid was prepared to pay R20 000 to- wards the wheel chair and the family needed to raise another R32 000.
Tyrone’s mother, Mandy, is not able to work as she needs to look after him. Eslie, his father is the only source of income for the family.
Tyrone’s mother, Mandy, is not able to work as she needs to look after him. Eslie, his father is the only source of income for the family.
The family, needing assistance to acquire this chair, contacted everyone they knew in Rustenburg, including the Methodist Church where a number of our Freemasons are parishioners.
W Bro. Bill King, a senior member of our District in Rustenburg, contacted me on the Board of Benevolence with a plea to assist as after 6 months, the R32,000 was still outstanding. After all the checks and balances had been done, the District Board of General Purposes agreed to assist. The new adjustable chair which was made overseas has now been delivered, giving the little lad great relief from pain and putting a smile on his face.
Well done Bill, the driving force behind this project and all the Lodges that have made charitable donations during the course of the year.
CONSECRATION OF SOUTH AFRICA, NORTH 1ST PRINCIPALS CHAPTER No. 8192
This Oration was given by E. Comp. Richard Moore PGSwbB, Past Deputy Grand Superintendent at the Consecration.
“ME Grand Superintendent, E. Comps, Comps All
At the outset might I thank the Grand Superintendent for the privilege of presenting this Oration. Described in the Oxford Dictionary as “a formal speech, especially one given on a ceremonial occasion”. Comps. I think the occasion qualifies for an Oration.
Those of you who know me and the passion I have for this glorious Order, will know just how much I appreciate this honour. The consecration of another Chapter so soon after the recent opening of the Chapter of Friendship in Mauritius, speaks volumes for the ever-increasing enjoyment the District is deriving from this, the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.
I will not bore you with a dissertation on the inexorable link between the Craft and the Royal Arch as detailed in the Preliminary Declaration, but I do feel compelled to highlight to you, two subsequent pronouncements:
In 2007 Grand Lodge issued the following repositioning statement: “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.”
Our Grand Master, H.R.H. The Duke of Kent, saw fit to comment further on this subject: “A man can only become a complete Mason when he takes the very important step into the Royal Arch.”
There are times that I am vexed and perplexed by what might be described as the contrary behaviour of a few Brethren in our District. As the Petitioners and Founders of this new Chapter you have a primary deep responsibility to ensure the enthusiastic, non-negotiable adherence to the Aldersgate Ritual; such Exaltation and Installation Ceremonies are to be conducted with the utmost dignity and decorum that the Ceremonies demand.
I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the other primary objectives of this new Chapter:
- The first objective must surely be to provide a vehicle so as to encourage Past Principals to maintain their on-going enthusiasm for the Order, having completed their term of Office in
the First Principal’s Chair of their respective Chapters.
- This Chapter is to be considered to have similar well known objectives as that of the Transvaal District Grand Stewards Lodge, whose number it
- To give lectures as requested so that the Historical and Symbolical aspects of the Ritual, so that the Furniture and the Layout of the Chapter may be better understood, appreciated and thus
- To assist Chapters when an office needs to be filled; be it a regular Exaltation or Installation (reasonable notice Companions is not one hour!)
- Every two years or so to demonstrate the Ceremony of “The Passing of the Veils”.
- Let the Festive Boards be noted for their superb fare and resulting
May the enthusiasm and excitement at the founding of this the South Africa North 1st Principals Chapter No. 8192 EC prevailing today NEVER diminish. Companions, Thank you. “
To demonstrate Royal Arch workings To act as a service to Chapters
To recruit new members
Demonstration of Exaltation ceremony
- Correct way of opening and closing a Chapter
- Correct procedure for balloting
- Correct way of conducting a candidate
- The correct way of showing the signs and their explanation
Demonstration of the Installation Ceremony
Demonstration of procedures for installing Principals Lectures
Lectures on the ritual – to be given in chapters when requested General lectures to be given at the request of Chapters Lectures to be given in Craft Lodges regarding the Royal Arch.
Assist Chapters when an Officer is required for exaltation or installation
Explanation of various items and procedures.
Splitting the ritual between the Principals and Sojourners
Conducting a quiz within a chapter or between Chapters
Ceremony of the Veils
To be demonstrated every two or three years.