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Big gathering of Freemasons in Auckland

November 9 2004

Big gathering of Freemasons in Auckland

Freemasons from throughout New Zealand and around the world will gather in Auckland this weekend for the biennial Communication of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand Freemasons.

About 1,000 members, wives and partners will be in city for the three day meeting which begins on Friday, and includes the installation of leading Auckland businessman David Mace as Grand Master of the Order.

The three day Communication, the equivalent of a corporate annual general meeting, is being held in the Town Hall and the Aotea Centre.

The highlight of the Communication will be the installation of Mr Mace as Grand Master and the investiture of other officers of Grand Lodge at the Aotea Centre on Saturday afternoon. Families of Freemasons and invited guests will be able to attend the installation of Mr Mace, which is an impressive Masonic ceremony that dates back hundreds of years.

That ceremony will be followed by a grand banquet on Saturday night, and proceedings will conclude with a Church service at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell on Sunday.

Mr Mace, who is 63, will hold the office of Grand Master for two years.

He has extensive business experience in London, Canada, the United States and Asia and was for some years a senior partner in Ernst & Young in Hong Kong. In the 1980s, he served as Court liquidator of the Carrian Group in Hong Kong, which at the time was the world's largest corporate collapse.

Following his retirement from Ernst & Young in 1996, he served for six years as a Commissioner of the United Nations Compensation Commission reporting to the Security Council of the UN in Geneva. The Commission was responsible for overseeing reparations for the 1991 Gulf War, involving claims of $US330 billion. On completion of that assignment last year, Mr Mace established his own international consultancy practice advising multinational corporations on their Asian strategies and capital raising.

Mr Mace was founding chairman of the New Children's Hospital Trust (now Starship Foundation), and was finance director of the committee which won the bid for Auckland for the 1990 Commonwealth Games. He is a committed Anglican, and has served the Church in New Zealand, England, Canada and Hong Kong in many capacities.

He has been a Freemason for 41 years and has held senior ranks in the Order in New Zealand and Hong Kong. Freemasonry is the largest service-orientated organisation of its type in New Zealand with 305 Lodges throughout the country catering for 13,500 members. He replaces Central Otago high country farmer Laurie Inder who has held the office for the last two years.

As Grand Master, Mr Mace intends to continue the work of his recent predecessors in increasing community awareness of the unique combination of principles that makeup Freemasonry - the practice of ethics and value standards, fellowship and charity.


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