Wor Bro Rob Ellis
Full Un-edited Transcript of the video:
Hello, my name is Rob Ellis. I’m a member of the Duke of Albany Lodge,
which is based in Hellensville, 50 kilometres northwest west of the Auckland CBD.
This is a real country lodge.
I’m also a member of the Duke of Albany
chapter, which is basically the same lodge room.
I’m also a member of the of the local mark, George Mark and Constantia.
Which is a conclave of the order of the Red Cross of Constantine.
They’re all based on the same lodge room.
I’m a past master of the Duke of Albany Lodge. I held the rank of past
District Grand Persuavent. In the chapter.
I am currently the first principal
and I am what is known as the most
Persuavent Sovereign of Constantio. Which is pretty grandiose title as it is.
And certainly means you’re in the chair. I joined in 2010.
It’s been a fairly
a fairly convinced Masonic career, I guess because of my age
at the age of 76. You never know.
I could be Ghoga by this time next year, so I might as well get it then.
And I was born in New Zealand and I’ve always lived here.
I grew up in Northcote, which is a suburb just to the north of the Harbour Bridge in Auckland.
That was in the days before the Harbour Bridge, of course,
When Northcote was a village,
Birkenhead was the nearest village
and then there was Takapuna and Devonport, which were separate villages.
So, Northcote was a very different very different place in those days.
But I came to the craft in this manner.
My wife and I
live as all our married and working life and where we brought up our children
in Glenfield, which is a suburb in Auckland and adjacent to Northcote.
And we move to the Hellensville area
when we retired.
And I saw a notice on the local paper,
one day advertising for members
of the local Masonic Lodge and it was extremely well written.
I thought this must be a great bunch
of guys to be able to sit down and write an article like this.
I think I’ll go along and see about joining started.
I’ve been asked over the years if I was
interested in joining the usual method of approach.
Back in those days, they’d say, Oh well, you come along and have a drink with me.
And that was the usual approach from Freemason’s back in the day.
And I knew what it was about, but I wasn’t really interested in that state.
And it was until I retired that I became interested in.
My father had been a Mason back in the 1950s, and I know he,
he enjoyed it for a time
and I thought it would be interesting.
But he resigned from Masonry back in the day when you weren’t supposed to.
And he fell out for some reason.
And I asked him over the years,
I was asking, dad, why didn’t you resign from Masonry?
And he would never say.
And it wasn’t until having joined and
looking back on his old lodge room and the name is on the noticeboard.
I had a fair idea why he did resign. Knowing something about the local politics
of what needs to happen in the local area back in those days.
But I didn’t join until after he died
and I would not have joined while he was still alive.
So that’s a bit of psychology.
I think it was part of emotional.
And I know that he learned his ritual
properly and always thought he was an able and he ran a small business
and he was a respected man in the local community.
So I don’t think he was passed over because he wasn’t good enough.
Well, especially a group of men and in a village, as it was on those days.
And anyway, that’s all in the past.
but that’s that’s the fact of the matter.
My first career was as an accountant and I
worked as an accountant from 1960 when I was a clerk back on those days.
And you could get your accounting
education while you worked on the job through till 1975
and then I became involved in coat manufacturing.
And later on when
New Zealand lifted the lid on imports
and the local manufacturing businesses were having a hard time.
I became involved in importing
women’s fashion and wholesaler throughout New Zealand.
That was my last career.
So I’ve been an accountant.
I’ve been in manufacturing and I’ve been in marketing.
My wife and I married for nearly 50 years
and we have three children in the forties and two grandchildren.
One is an accountant.
One is in human resources and the other is
a is a contractor in the computing business,
I was married in Whangarei.
My wife came from Whangarei.
I met with work in Auckland.
When my wife was in Auckland working, we worked in the same office.
That’s where we met.
I’m in my second year, I started in my office, District Grand Persuavent and now I am past District
Grand Persuavent, because that’s an office you hold for one year.
I don’t regard the craft really is something that we are particularly interested in rank.
I just enjoy it.
If rank comes along well, that’s okay.
But it’s not as if I expect at all or go on looking for it.
And I don’t think that’s probably the right way to go about Masonry.
If you’ve got ambition regarding your rank in an organization,
you’re probably better off to go somewhere else.
In Masonry, we don’t compete.
And the thing about Masonry is you go along to a lodge meeting
and you end up with a whole a whole other bunch of guys you’re friends with.
If you’re not friends with, you can become friendly with them.
One thing about Masons is that you can trust the.
And you don’t you can’t trust people who you’re competing with for promotion,
and that’s one of the very good things about Masons.
So we don’t we don’t compete with the. If promotion comes along.
That’s absolutely fine.
But I doubt any I doubt any of us are actually looking for it.
Well, I think the main strength of Masonry
is the trust we have on each other, as men.
The main weakness of this stage is that Masonry has been reducing in numbers.
And I’m sure that that’s about to change.
But the reason why that’s happened is because the young blokes,
obviously, we’d like to see you,
members of Masonry but the young blokes, got so many other things to do
They’ve got to work longer hours than most of us.
And our generations had to do
very heavy responsibilities in
regard to mortgages and child raising, which seems to be
full of so many do’s and don’ts these days that whenever our restrictions
and and they’ve just got all this stuff weighing down upon them
and they probably feel they don’t want to be saddled with anything else.
The thing about Freemasonry is that
Masonry does not seek to put responsibility onto its members.
An actual fact
With masonry, you can get help in a whole lot of other things of masonry has a lot
to offer that you really only find out about
when you join.
And for a young bloke joining a masonry,
you will find that he is not saddled with any responsibility that he doesn’t want.
Certainly responsibilities are available to him but they are not expected.
Masonry in recent years has become a lot more open than it used to be
50 years ago.
Masonry was pretty much a secret society, and that’s by no means the case.
Now, masons very open about about what they do,
what they do in the lodge as well as outside the lodge.
I think we have to become more open still and more openly welcoming.
Well, I think the main thing is,
you’ve got to make sure that your wife or partner is.
because it’s important to get the backing of your wife or partner.
I you don’t get that, you’ve got a problem.
And more or less what I’m going to be talking about, the fact is what
a mason has to offer what is expected of him.
And more importantly, what is going to be expected of him.
The thing is, he’s going to have to spend
a certain amount of time, probably a minimum of one evening a month.
And he really needs to be able to spend
that time. his wife or partner
has to be prepared for him to go out and have
a night with the boys that way or at least once a month.
Well, I think Freemasonry is more important in today’s world than ever.
Today’s world is full of so many changes
and it’s pretty hard to keep up with all these changes.
But there are some aspects of Freemasonry that are absolutely timeless.
Freemasonry has been in existence for over three hundred years.
Some of the things that we done in the lodge
pretty much unchanged over all that time.
And they are not going to change.
And that’s an important other important thing about Freemasonry is that you go
along to a larger meeting and you’re not faced with the constant
demand to keep up with change, that you are in the outside world
and go along if you’re comfortable, the kind of pressures that you get
with a lot of work are just not there in Masonry. Masonry is actually a good antidote.
To the day’s events, you go along and have some fun and relax and enjoy yourself. And also
find you’re getting some value out of the night in Masonry.
I think the charitable side, quite frankly, is difficult.
It seems to me that the Masonic charity now are trying to put pressure on members to give
and up to a point that’s fine as long as they don’t push it too hard.
But I think they have to be very, very careful.
Otherwise, they’re going to drive people away.
I think they kind of take a leaf out of the
English Masonry book as it applies in England.
where some of their members
are probably very well and they dip their hands
to their pockets in any time.
But that is not the case with New Zealand Masons.
And some of the Masons in New Zealand are hard pressed
financially and they can only just pay
the Dues and unless the charities are very, very careful.
They’re going to be driving people away.
It’s the way I see it going right at this moment.
I am what is known as the most
sovereign of constant here, which is pretty grandiose title, isn’t it?
What’s it mean and certainly made here in the chair.
If you get any interesting,
humorous stories in the crowd, the crowd stayed in the news now.
None that I can think of offhand.
There is plenty of them there, but I just don’t immediately cut the line.