Posted by Jed Wieland on May 03, 2018

Dennis’ presentation informed us of the Potter Trust, its history, the man who started it all and why it is so familiar to many through the public places we come across, but not knowing why or who Mr. Potter was.

The Potter Masonic Trust is the legacy left by Bro Frederick Seymour Potter (1847 – 1941) who is the most generous individual benefactor in the history of Freemasons New Zealand.   The Trust funds projects generally relating to Children but including community facilities, educational programmes, music, disadvantaged children and health.

Mr. Potter arrived in New Zealand in 1858, when there were only 107,000 people living in NZ, 23,000 of them living in Auckland.  Around this time a phenomenal growth developed, and Mr Potter went into coach building.   He developed a number patents and grew into the largest operator with a wide range of related products.

Without any family to pass his business interests to he pursued his passion for children’s welfare and made a range of gifts including land for Potters park, built an orphanage in Whangarei and sporting fields, Seymour Park in Pah Rd.    His gifts have benefited several well-known organisations and now the prudent sale of some assets enables the Trustees to make grants that are targeted towards children and families.

Trees for Survival acknowledged a generous grant of $26,000 towards the cost of providing facilities for schools so that young people could grow and plant trees towards an environmentally stronger future and to carry forward the legacy of those who have gone before them.