THE PROPOSED MASONIC GRAND LODGE OF AEW ZEALAND
A meeting of Freemasons wai held last evening, at th« Somernct M^oaio Hall, to consider tbo question of forming & Unlied Grand Lodge of New Zjalaad. The attendance w»3 not large, but included the Masters and a uumbar of P»st-Ma2te?a, offioere, aj:d msmbora o' iho three ioatl Lddsfei — Soraursot aod Si Jo'm'a. E 0 , and Tniatle, S 0.
Bro 0. Braddoll, P.M., w«a voted to I the chair, und mtrpduced tho queallon cc H one of great iacpo t srice, and not to be I rushed into ia a hairy It etruck him ' that they wore vary short of Information as to the advantage which tho pr m itere of the movement oonoidored would be derived froja the formation of a New Zjalaud OoDßtitation. Neither vras there auy Information beforo them as to the prcb»b?e ojbc of a United Grand Lodge, ttsgalis, fnrnlture, j nvob, &o, would have to bo purchased, and travelling expenses, salaries, and o.her oharges paid. These I would amount to a considerable amount, and against them what won'd be the probable benefit? If the Wing of any appreciable sum oouldba shown, oo that a comprehensive soheme of charity could be foandad, it woald no doabt bring support to the proposal. For hlmaalf he did not think the question could be deolded that night ; or even m a month's time. He did not wish to bias brethren, but wanted to know the cost, and m any case thought It would be well to look on for some time before joining the Union, Bro 0. W. Parneli asked if anything of the nature of a circular had been issued, pointing oat the advantages of the proposed ohange. He had seen nothing of the sort, The Chairman said he believed a circular had been issued, but he bad not seen it. He would ask if some brother m favor of the proposal would move a resolution. No response being made, BroH. W. Felton expressed regret that no one was present +o advooite the proposal. He would admit the advantage of a union of the three constitutions Wellington and Otago, and also Ohristohuroh appeared by tho newspaper repirte to be m favor of forming a United Qrand Lodge, but Wostland and Auckland bad pronouno k! ajL'aiunt it. The qaeailon of coot wan an important one. It had been stated that a yearly total of only £300 or £350 was sent Home by the thre9 constitutions, and ho could not see how a Grand Lodge oould be established without a oonsldflrable levy on Lodges, The regalia alone would cost £300 or £350. The annual cost, too, of officers and members attending Grand Lod^o would ba very heavy. There vtaa a difference between Australia* and New Zealand m this reupoct. Sydney wsb New South Wales, Melbourne Viotoria, and Adelaide South Australia, but m New Zealand thero was no such single capital. What members had they who could afford to
travel, say, from lavqroargl!l to Wellington, balng absent from home and business for a fortnight eaoh quarter. Brethren must also remember that if they once severed their oonneotlon with ijhelr
present Grand Lodges it could not be restored. He woutd leave the. matter m the hands of the meeting, merely expressing the opinion that It would be well to ten how the United Grand Lodges lo Australia suooeedod before taking the float step here.
Bro G. Blseet thought that the meettog Bhould come to some definite resolution on the question, and not merely bo lookerson. He moved " That In the opinion of this meeting the time |has not yet come for the formation of a United Grand Lodge of New Zealand." In Australia the formation of Grand Lodges had praotloaliy meant the absorption of the Scotch and Irlth const nations by the English . There the ICngilah lodges were m a very large majority, while m New Zoftfand, though ISnglish Lodges predominated, the Soottlsh Lodges were numerous, and m Otago outQumberad the English. Ho did not think thia strong body of SoottUh ftLßßom would abandon their traditions to unite on the basis of the English constitution, nor would English Mesons agree to adopt the constitution of a minority. In faot the resolution ia favor of the movement passed at one of the Uoion meetings was oirried with the condition that eaoh constitution should have equal representation m the United Grand Lodge Considering the disproportion m number of members of the different conatitutlonp, this Idea was quite unpraotioable, and nuch a resolution showed that it woald be Impossible at present to form a constitution which all would go under. The oost of a United Grand Lodge would be at least £100Q a year, and if travelling expenses were inoluded £2000 a yaar oould not meet it. This the Lodges could not stand m their present financial position. Although the resolutions m favor of the proposal had been carried at Ohristohurch and Dunedln by large majorities, aotlve, working Masters and Past Masters bad spoken against it, and, as it appeared a number of those present at the Chrlstoburoh meeting were not subscribing members of any lodge, it was extremely doubtful If the Lodges even m Ohriatchuroh were m favor of the proposal,
Bro A. Harrison aiked what was the annual contribution of any Lodge m Ashburton to the £300 a year sent Home;
Bro Felton replied that the Somerset Lodge sent about £2 5».
Bro Harrteon had great pleasure In seconding the resolution- He was proud of the connection with the Grand Lodge of England and wished it maintained. If a Grand Lodge of New Zealand were formed he wonld atill hold to the Grand Lodge of England, and was sure many others would do the same.
Bro Parnell thought the promo tors of tho movement should havo formulated aorae scheme for consideration. The reports of the various meetings left ua still In the dark. The first thing should have been to show the advantage to be gained. He oould not but look upon the financial aupeot of the question sb fatal to It being adopted, and would support the resolution before - the meeting, If the promoters oama forward with cogent reasons It was still open to them to join the movement.
Bro H, M. Jonei, W.M , St John's Lodge, 8.0., was surprised that the promoter! should my * ( we will have this Grand Lodge and settle details afterwards," It looked like a leap In the dark. He ooald boo no saving by the change, and thought masonry In New Zealand too young and too scattered for • GrandoLodge to be established yet. Bro Cockburn, E.W.M. Thistle Lodge, 5.0., hoped to bavo heard something as to the advantages to bo gained. He did not think the Sootoh masons were In favcr of the proposal, and dldilot think they wonld be working under a better constitution If a New Zealand constitution were formed. Bro B. J. Paul, WM. Somerset Lodge, E.G., said tbat If ho thought that a Grand Lodge wonld be unanimous he would support It at onoo. He had been through several parts of the country latoly, and had found that many of those who supported the movement had only looked at one tide of tho question and bad not considered the cost and other Important points. He did not think the time was ripe for a Grand Lodge of New Zealand. Tbe resolution was then put and oarrled unanimously. . A copy of the minutes of tho meeting was dlreoted to be forwarded to eaoh Lodge represented, and tbe mce'ing terminated frith a vote of thanks to the Chairman, who In responding expressed his pleasure at tbe harmonious tone of the meeting, and his entire oonoarrence with the rtsoloUon piseed,
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