Oamaru pharmacist elected to national freemason role

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An Oamaru pharmacist has been elected to a national position within the Freemason fraternity.

Jim Hopley, co-owner of Oamaru Pharmacy, has just received notification that he has been elected to the position of Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order of the Secret Monitor of New Zealand.

Mr Hopley, who is a past Otago/Southland district grand supreme ruler, takes up his position in a year’s time and will be responsible for 35 conclaves, or districts, from Whangarei to Invercargill.

“The position is as high as you can go,” he said

“It’s an honour for me and an honour for our conclave.”

The convocation, or ceremony, will be held in Oamaru at the Wansbeck St lodge in August next year and Mr Hopley said they were expecting to host 120-160 freemasons, including representatives from Australia.

There are more than 20 different orders in North Otago, of which the Order of the Secret Monitor is one. Mr Hopley said this order was known as the friendly order because they were charged with looking after other members and their families.

“We have what we call visiting deacons who visit families to make sure their friend (a lodge member) and family is well,” he said.

“It makes good people better and teaches us to look after fellow man.”

More than $10,000 was donated to different charities in Oamaru last year by the Freemasons, Mr Hopley said.

By LINDA MCCARTHY

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

HONOURED: Oamaru Pharmacy co-owner, Jim Hopley, who has been elected to a national position within the Freemasons.