Lodge Homewood

Ahdut Coah Hi - Strength Through Unity
Founded 6th August 1983
News - Archive
Solstice 2015 – Battle of Waterloo
This year Frank took on running a Battle of Waterloo themed evening for the Solstice. Some turned up in costumes which certainly added to the evening. We all managed to keep warm inside considering the frosty conditions Wellington was turning on; as usual, the mulled wine was out and provided a warm up for us once we arrived in the building.
It was a great night and those who missed out, really did miss out on yet another fanastic Solstice dinner. The Beef Wellington was, in a single word, amazing and was followed by a fantastic dessert, the Wellesley crew outdid themselves on the night once again. Credit must be given to the person who made the false teeth out of chocolate which we all took home. These were in tribute to the battle which caused the invention of porcelain teeth for dentures at a later date.
The Solstice dinners are an integral part of Homewood’s traditions and we have had huge effort put in each year by Frank and others and they are well worth attending. The evening was rounded off with a stirring rendition of Waterloo by Abba, sung by those in attendance with the backing of a stereo with the volume up. We look forward to the next Solstice Dinner and to see what next great idea comes around in 2016.
Installation 2014 – A Lewis takes the chair - Chris Paul Jnr
The night began with nervousness and one or two things not quite being in place. After we managed to get our ducks in a row, it kicked off in splendid fashion. The drinks and nibbles at the beginning set the scene for a fantastic night and provided for some entertaining conversation. Only one change to the programme announced, things went very smoothly.
With the exception of one person who is swanning around Europe, all our Officers were invested and Chris Paul Jnr was installed as Master for the next year. The Grand Lodge Officers were in fine form and made the evening all the better along with our newer Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft in attendance.
When the ceremony was over, we retired to the refectory for dinner, which as usual was excellent and we had some interesting speeches made including one or two small items by Chris Paul Snr which I think made Chris Paul Jnr blush. Seeing him speak about Chris was amazing and it really was special to have a Father and Son together at the top table in an Installation. Having a Lewis go into the chair with his father in attendance is something we can be very proud of.
We learned some history about our new Master and his family history care of WBro Charles Smith and his father as well.
To the right is a photo of the Master and his wardens WBro Andrae Peipi (left) and Bro David Ryan (right).
Master and Wardens 2014
2014 Master and his Wardens
Homewood and Empire Fergusson join forces to mark ANZAC (2013)
More than 70 freemasons braved the elements to attend the joint working between Lodge Homewood and Empire Fergusson Lodge on the evening of ANZAC Day (25 April). “Address to the Empty Chair” was the key business for the evening. The assembled brethren enjoyed drinks and nibbles on the first floor of the Wellesley Boutique Hotel ahead of the Lodge tyling at 6.30pm.
After tyling, Homewood Lodge briefly completed their domestic business after which the Worshipful Master, WBro Charles Smith announced the principal business of the evening. He then went on to explain that in battles past soldiers had enjoyed “gunpowder” prior to marching into battle. Gunpowder is a potent but pleasant mix of strong coffee and dark rum. He proceeded to “call off” the Lodge and the brethren retired to enjoy the “gunpowder”.
Upon returning to the Lodge the ceremony commenced. The “Address to the Empty Chair” was originally developed by an American Military Lodge and much of the content made reference to battles and events fought by the Americans.  Prior to the evening’s ceremony senior members of Homewood Lodge, including WBro’s Peter Fraser, Hadyn Nicholls, and Charles Smith, had virtually re-written the ‘ritual’ to reflect a more ANZAC-oriented ceremony.
The ceremony commenced with a lone piper - Bro Craig Fraser playing Sgt. McKenzie by Joseph Kilna McKenzie which was then sung as a lament by WBro Peter Fraser without accompaniment.
The pathfinder,  with candle lit and accompanied by the scroll bearer proceeded to each corner of the pavement, each being squared by a sentinel who read the name, rank, number, battle and Lodge of 6 brethren who were members of a Wellington Lodge, and who had made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. The Worshipful Master then, on an alarm, admitted the “Empty Chair” into the Lodge. The Chair, draped with the New Zealand ensign, also carried the hat of the New Zealand Army (lemon squeezer). He announced that the Empty Chair represented Brethren who had fallen in service of their country and who were seeking admission to the Lodge, not in person, but through their spiritual presence. They sought our continued remembrance.
The “symbolic” brethren were then invested with the apron of an Entered Apprentice Freemason.
Brethren of both Homewood and Empire Fergusson Lodge’s then delivered further charges concluding with an emotional rendition of the Lord’s Prayer in Maori, delivered by Bro. Andrae Peipi. WBro Hadyn Nicholls then recited “In Flanders Fields”; followed by “We Will Remember Them” by Hugh Fraser. After the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by WBro Clive Lloyd, the ceremony was concluded, the candle of remembrance extinguished, and the Lodge restored to light. WBro Smith then called the Lodge “on”; and the Lodge was then closed in Peace, Love and Harmony.
Over 70 Brethren attended a sumptuous 2-course meal which followed in the Wellesley Dining Room after the ceremony. During which John Lowen from the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces Masonic Association gave the reply to the visitors toast along with a short background on the NZEFMA.
The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended. The ceremony had been most respectfully crafted to honour those who had lost their lives fighting for the freedoms we all enjoy today. The ritual was poignant and thought provoking. The participating brethren had worked over the previous weeks to learn the ritual off by heart which added to the lustre of the evening. On the strength of the fantastic turnout Homewood and Empire Fergusson Lodges are currently discussing the prospect of performing the ceremony again, perhaps to coincide with other ANZAC milestones.

                        WBro Russell Pratt, PM - Empire Fergusson Lodge No. 225
Fallen Brethren Representation
The Empty Chair