The 2019 ANZMRC Lecture Tour
The ANZMRC, or Australian and New Zealand Masonic Research Council is the organisation which links most of the research lodges and chapters throughout the far East, Australia and New Zealand. Bro Kerry Nicholls, as President, and Bro Colin Heyward, both in New Zealand, have combined with their colleagues in Australia, Bros Brendan Kyne, Neil Morse and Kent Henderson to organise the biennial tour of the group by a visiting lecturer. In the intervening year a conference is held – last year in Melbourne (2018) and next year in Dunedin (2020). The tour has welcomed a number of top-level Masonic speakers and writers over the years, primarily from the United Kingdom and Europe. This year the guest visiting lecturer will be Bro Dr Mike Kearsley.
W Bro Mike Kearsley, Grand Orator, Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex (UGLE) is the ANZMRC Travelling Speaker for the 2019 Australasian Tour
The twelve papers offered for this tour are listed below. These are the papers that will be printed in the Tour Book “On the Square”.
- 1814, Consolidation and change, the first year of UGLE – the Prestonian lecture
- Sir John Soane, architect and Freemason – the first Grand Supt of works
- The three Cs – Cagliostro, Casanova and Crowley (the bad boys of Masonry?)
- Rob Morris – the Grand Luminary, his life and works
- The Morgan Affair in the N East United States
- The Roberto Calvi Affair – a Masonic scandal?
- The N East corner – foundation and cornerstones, the Masonic myth.
- The formation of the NZ Grand Lodge
- The Grand Lodge certificate
- King Solomon’s Temple, fact or fiction?
- Four years on the Square – the musings of an editor
- Reflections on the meaning of the Royal Arch
My most popular presentations at this point are:
- 1814 Conflict and Change – my Prestonian lecture for 2014. This tells the story of the first year of the forced union between the Antients and Moderns in 1813. It has been given throughout the world and UK more than 60 times. There is a booklet to accompany the lecture.
- The Roberto Calvi Affair – a Masonic Scandal. This tells the story of P2 lodge, the Mafia, the Vatican and the Banco Ambrosiano set within the context of Italian independence and the influence of Freemasonry in the same.
- The Morgan Affair in the 1820’s when the supposed murder of William Morgan by Freemasons unleashed one of the greatest attacks on the Craft and its members
- Grand Lodge Certificates – a detailed description of the development of design and the history of GL certificates – UK and others.
- The Three C’s – Cagliostro, Casanova and Crowley: Aleister Crowley – the world’s wickedest man. The story of this infamous character who always wanted to be a real Freemason. Courtesy of a colleague.
- The formation of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. The Norman Spencer prize winner detailing the shenanigans when three rivals tried to get together. The results of the formation of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand – did it achieve its aims? Was it as successful as it hoped it would be? What can we learn from this?
- Reflections on the meaning of the Royal Arch ritual. The Gordon Bourne lecture which seeks to explore why no one seems to understand if the Royal Arch ritual has any meaning at all.
- King Solomon and the temple – what do we really know and why are there no foundations for a temple on temple mount? The latest discoveries that the temple is actually somewhere else. This can be linked to a presentation of the second temple as described in the Royal Arch and what was Cyrus actually doing allowing the Jews to leave?
About The Lecturer:
WBro Dr Mike Kearsley is Provincial Grand Orator for Middlesex and has been involved in the oration scheme for seven years. He was initiated into freemasonry in the Hawera Lodge № 34 in Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand and was passed and raised in Mairehau Lodge № 391 in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the 1980’s he put all the members of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand (44,000) onto computer for the first time thus opening the door to better communication. He was a member of the Avon Lodge Orchestra. Later he joined the David Bonner Lodge № 9678, the Musicians Lodge of the province of Middlesex, under the English constitution becoming its Master in 2010 and Secretary. He is a member of the Temple of Athene Research Lodge № 9541, becoming Master in 2013, the Feltham Lodge № 7307, becoming Master in 2012, Quatuor Coronati Lodge № 2076 where he was secretary of the lodge and of the correspondence circle and London Stone RA Chapter № 2541, becoming MEZ in 2012. For a year he worked in Freemasons Hall in the QCCC office to ensure the running of this and to transfer all membership to external organisers and close the office. For the last three years he has been editor of The Square Magazine – the independent magazine for Freemasons which is circulated around the world. In this capacity he has visited many conferences as a guest speaker and reported on many Masonic events. He is the organising chairman of the European Masonic meeting planned for June 2nd 2017 in Twickenham and London when Freemasons and their wives from all over Europe meet to socialise and enjoy their Masonic connections. He is also supporting the organisation of the Province of Middlesex 300th anniversary celebration for June 24th 2017 as organised by Temple of Athene Lodge.
He has always had an interest in Masonic research and was a member of the correspondence circle of Masters and Past Masters Research Lodge, Christchurch, New Zealand. He has, therefore, produced many papers and presentations for Masonic audiences. The province of Middlesex is part of the national oration scheme and continues to provide over 100 presentations to lodges each year. In 2011 he was awarded the Norman Spencer prize, by Quatuor Coronati Lodge, for a paper on the formation of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, after which he was offered full membership. In 2014 he was appointed as the Prestonian Lecturer and his paper was 1814 Conflict and Change – the first year of the United Grand Lodge of England. In this capacity he has now presented over 60 lectures in such as the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, South Africa, Gibraltar, Greece, Portugal, Israel and the United States. He has been able to donate considerable sums to his chosen charity – DEBRA.
During his career, he was in sales and management in IBM, the marketing director for Alexander Stenhouse and Marsh McLennan, insurance brokers, the marketing director for Computations Plc, now part of Misys and principal consultant in Coopers and Lybrand (PWC). He has operated as an independent consultant for many years and continues to lecture in marketing, consultancy and general business areas at several Universities. He holds a number of degrees in business and education and is a fellow of many professional bodies for the same. He is the author of a number of publications and papers in these areas. He has travelled extensively for business purposes and as a guest lecturer and speaker at conferences.
The Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hongkong and Australia legs of the tour are now complete. See reports of some sessions already held.
Once further detail becomes available this list will be updated.
Presentations are, of course, shorter than the book chapters and every presentation is full PowerPoint and colourful.
The New Zealand leg
Thursday 10 October 2019:– Wellington – Four Years on The Square – the Musings of a Masonic Editor.
Saturday 12 October 2019:– Foxton – 1814, Consolidation and Change – the first year of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Tuesday 15 October 2019:– Eketahuna –The Roberto Calvi affair, a Masonic Scandal?
Wednesday 23 October 2019:– New Plymouth –Four Years on The Square – the Musings of a Masonic Editor.
Thursday 24 October 2019:– Auckland – A United Masters Lodge and Masonic Heritage Society presentation.
Monday 4 November 2019:– Hastings – at Hawkes Bay Research Lodge Meeting – The North East corner – foundation and cornerstones, the Masonic myth.
Tuesday 5 November 2019:– Gisborne – The Formation of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. – This will be a unique experience where four Lodges have bonded together to bring this presentation to you. A big thank you to Abercorn-Tuahine Lodge No 76, Lodge Gisborne No 233, Montrose Lodge No 722 and Turanganui Lodge No 1480.
Tuesday 19 November 2019:– Rotorua – King Solomon’s Temple, fact or fiction? – It is befitting that the Waikato Lodge of Research (Bro Mike’s) N.Z Research Lodge are hosting this presentation.
This will complete the North Island Lecture Tour Presentations, however due to the approaching holiday season we will commence the South Island tour presentations in late January 2020 to Mid -February 2020.
The following two dates have been confirmed for South Island presentation’s.
Friday 24 January 2020:– Blenheim.
Wednesday 29 January 2020:– Timaru.
Thursday 13 February 2020:– Invercargill. The Roberto Calvi affair, a Masonic Scandal? On 11th February the Southland Research Lodge will hold its Installation. Make this a double banger event not to be missed.
Tuesday 18 February 2020:– Dunedin.
Highlights from the Tour
The 2019 ANZMRC Speaker Tour has begun and Bro Mike has arrived safely in Kuala Lumpur from London at 5 pm on the 24th July and is in the very capable hands of Bro Anton Alers.
Prior to any presentation Bro Anton Alers (on Mike’s left) took Bro Mike to a diner in order to test and prove him a Worthy Malaysian with the trial of Bak Kut Teh and the consumption of Durian.
Once this formality was completed then the evening dinner at the Royal Lake Club with brethren and ladies of SEAVIC, Baldwyn Lowick Lodge (E. C.), Lodge Harmony (I. C.) and Tullibardine (S. C).
Bro Mike arrived safely in Singapore on Sunday 28th July and there was a small dinner attended by some of the Lodge officers of The Lodge St Michael in the apartment of Bro Michael Gray (on left of Bro Mike). A happy time was had by all with plenty of discussion. But it is down to work today with a lunch time presentation and another one at a meeting of Lodge St Michael this evening.
Two photos of Bro. Mike giving his lunchtime presentation to a group of Freemasons at the Masons Table Restaurant, Freemasons’ Hall. Singapore on Monday 29 July 2019.
The presentation was “The North East Corner – Foundation and cornerstones , the Masonic Myth”.
This was followed by an interesting discussion which extended beyond the lunch.
Mike gave a presentation to the regular meeting of The Lodge St Michael 2933 EC at Freemasons’ Hall. Singapore on Monday 29 July 2019 on “1814 Consolidation and Change – The First Year of the United Grand Lodge of England”.
The attendance was very good with a number of visitors including those from the Scottish, Irish and French Constitutions.
The presentation was received extremely well by all that attended with many favourable comments resulting in a wish that Mike could return at a later date. The lecture will go down in the records as being one of best, if not the best, lectures that have been presented at the Lodge in recent memory.
The Lodge St Michael No 2933 EC is the second oldest Research Lodge in the English Constitution having been founded in 1902 on the initiative of Sir Charles Warren, the first WM of Lodge Quatuor Coronati, after he was posted to Singapore and became the District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago.
Bro Mike arrived safely in Perth and presented his paper on ‘The Roberto Calvi Affair – a Masonic scandal’ to a mixed audience of 24 on the 5 August.
His tour books were a sell-out with some further orders received.
The feedback is that they would like an encore and would love to have Bro Mike return for future presentations and visiting to a number of West Australian Lodges.
A very enjoyable and informal BBQ was arranged that led to some discussion and get together of a number of people.
The Launceston leg of the 2019 ANZMRC tour has been a success, with 41 in attendance and all the tour books sold out. The feedback was as follows: m- what a wonderfully entertaining speaker is Wor Bro Dr Mike Kearsley, thank you.
The ANZMRC produced book of Bro Mike’s talks is a special treasure!
The Hobart leg of the tour has been completed and Mike did not disappoint. Around 50 Brethren and guests attended his presentation of his 2014 Prestonian Lecture on the formation of the Union of Lodges to form the UGLE.
Attendees were enthralled and entertained by Mike for over an hour, at a time when most would be heading for the bedroom, and following his presentation a banquet was held in the dining room.
The Worshipful Master of Hobart Lodge of Research, Jack Clear, and his wife took him to lunch at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania on Tuesday which he thoroughly enjoyed and again held our attention for another 2 hours over lunch.
The Worshipful Master of Hobart Lodge of Research, Jack Clear, thanked ANZMRC for your selection of such an outstanding presenter.
The photos show those attending his presentation with Mike in full flight.
A raffle was held as a fundraiser for his chosen charity DEBRA and a donation of $240 was made by Hobart Lodge of Research.
Again all the tour books were sold out and orders have been taken.
Friday 16 August the Victorian Lodge of Research hosted W Bro Dr Mike Kearsley at the Australia Club for the speaking event in Melbourne.
This was well attended with over 50 people present.
It was an outstanding presentation by Bro Mike on the “Roberto Calvi Affair & the P2 Lodge – a Masonic Scandal?” and once again all tour books were sold out.
Thursday 22nd August Bro Mike presented at Discovery Lodge of Research in Sydney.
The presentation was the “Roberto Calvi Affair & the P2 Lodge – a Masonic Scandal?”
25 were in attendance.
The presentation was well received and entertaining for all.
Monday 26th August Bro Mike informed and entertained masons and friends from the ACT and Queanbeyan with his presentation on the “Roberto Calvi Affair & the P2 Lodge – a Masonic Scandal?” after witnessing a second degree performed by Lodge Canberra Unity.
The Preceptor of Linford Lodge of Research, W Bro Don Ray, and the WM of Lodge Canberra Unity, W Bro Damien Donavan, presented Bro Mike with a book “The Bush Capital”.
All books were sold and orders for more were taken.
Several people remained for some time after the close of the meeting chatting with Bro Mike until 11:30.
On the 29 August Barron Barnett Lodge (Brisbane) hosted a special meeting wherein Bro Mike Kearsley presented his ANZMRC 2019 tour lecture, on this occasion the subject being “The Roberto Calvi Affair”.
His presentation was excellent and well received by all present including the Grand Master and two PGMs.
This was an informal (open) meeting on a Thursday evening at Stones Corner Masonic Centre.
Attendance was about 40 members (including one lady).
The atmosphere was very enthusiastic and enjoyable.
W. Bro Mike gave his interactive presentation – ‘Reflections on the meaning of the Royal Arch Ritual’ to a group of seven enthusiastic brothers at Tully, Cairns, on Sunday 1st September.
Even though it was Fathers’ day it was an invigorating and very good session.
At Yungaburra the following evening 2nd September we had a group of 15 plus two ladies to hear W. Bro Mikes presentation ‘Reflections on King Solomon’s Temple, fact or fiction?’
We had an interesting forum of questions and discussion after.
Overall it was a worthwhile and interesting time.
Pictured: Bro. Mike, Richard Illingworth (Master of RLW) and Ed Robinson (RLW Editor and ANZMRC Committee member.)
Bro. Mike’s presentation Research Lodge of Wellington was the resumption of the New Zealand leg of the 2019 ANZMRC tour. Bro. Mike covered his experiences as Editor of “The Square”, an independent Masonic magazine in England.
He covered a wide range of material, giving a summary of issues relating to historic research, masonic personalities, and current issues from the magazine and of concern to wider Freemasonry.
Bro. Mike had given careful attention to the presentation – attracting and keeping our attention with a careful mix of pictures, humour, facts and issues to keep us thinking.
A great after dinner talk which pleased ladies and masons alike.
Episode 14: Saturday 12 October 2019.
Kerry Nicholls, the ANZMRC president, met up with Bro Mike in Wellington and they went to the Featherston Bar for a light lunch and a Guinness.
They then proceeded, after lunch, to the Wellesley Boutique Hotel and heard the presentation of two interesting papers of Masonic interest, then drove north for a couple of hours to Foxton where Bro Mike presented ‘1814 – Consolidation and Change – the first year of the United Grand Lodge of England’. This was well attended by a mixed audience of 32.
There were many questions not only in relation to the presentation but also on other areas of Masonic interest. The presentation was met with very positive comments after it had concluded and Bro Mike then mingled with many attendees, whilst a fine supper was enjoyed, seeking to soak up his vast expanse of knowledge.
Bro Mike arrived safely in Eketahuna on Tuesday 15 October 2019 and presented his paper on ‘The Roberto Calvi Affair – a Masonic Scandal’ to a mixed audience of 28.
Even though a bitter southerly was the weather outside the Lodge Room was very warm and inviting, with a great supper of finger food including cakes, savouries and other tempting morsels.
W Bro Peter Knight and his team provided an excellent venue and are to be congratulated on their hard work.
Attendees came from at least 3 Masonic Districts as well as some members of the public.
A very happy time was had by all with plenty of discussion.
We now look forward to the next presentation at Research Lodge of Taranaki in New Plymouth od Wedensday 23 October.
Episode 16: Monday 4 November 2019.
Bro Mike gave a presentation to the regular meeting of The Hawkes Bay Lodge of Research – No 305 in the Refectory after the Lodge had completed its very short business meeting.
The presentation was before a mixed audience of 30.
It was ‘The North- East Corner: Foundation and Cornerstones, the Masonic Myth’.
The presentation was received extremely well by all that attended with many positive comments and interesting questions from the floor.
This presentation has to be seen as one of best presented at this Research Lodge for some time and there is no doubt it will lead to what will be many follow ups of other presentations being given.
A light supper was served at the conclusion with informal discussions with Bro Mike. The book sales exceeded expectations.
All in all a very productive and enjoyable evening of Masonic Research.