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Provincial Grand Master's 2019 address

Address to Provincial Grand Lodge 2019

Welcome Brethren and thank you so much for turning out in such magnificent numbers to support us today. Thanks, once more, to our Distinguished Guests, many of whom have traveled great distances to be with us today.

Today is, of course a celebration of all of those who have been appointed or promoted within Provincial Grand Rank. This is your day and is recognition of all that you are doing within your Lodges. It also marks the point at which you should consider the further support that you can now give to enhance the initiatives being rolled out from within the Province.

I thank the retiring team of Acting Officers who this last year has set exemplary standards with some members exceeding more that 100 visits each to Lodges in support of the Province. This year’s team have a very high standard to rise to, but I hope that above all they enjoy the experience.

Retiring this year is our Provincial Grand Secretary W Bro Mike Reeve who stands down after four very busy years in Office. I thank him for all of his hard work, enormous time devoted to the job, and his friendship and guidance throughout. I hope that he and Linda can now enjoy more time with the grandchildren.

Also retiring after four years is W Bro David Whitehead our Provincial Assistant Secretary. Dave has worked tirelessly and meticulously within the Office and I truly thank him for the many hours of service he has given.

Our Provincial Grand Registrar, W Bro John Walsh, retires today also after three distinguished year as Registrar and many more than that within the Office. I particularly thank him for the way he revolutionised the way in which we use Adelphi to sort the Promotions and Appointments system.

Congratulations to those, who last month received Appointments or Promotions within Grand Lodge, namely :

  • W Bro Ian Hart PAGDC

  • W Bro Derek Sara PGStB

Promotions too for:

  • Deputy PGM Chris Rogers to VW Bro PGSwdB

  • Assistant PGM Peter Manning to PSGD

  • Assistant PGM John Hayward to PSGD

  • W Bro Andrew Sweeney to PSGD

This year my PGL message is to say thank you to the ‘TEAM’ and I will use that word often.

Firstly to the Deputy PGM who leads the team in charge of our ‘Exit Strategy’ Together they have ensured that over this last year the number of our resignations have been cut in half. Thank you particularly to Lodge Secretaries who are completing the documents and getting them to him quickly enough for action to be effective.

Thank you to Assistant PGM Peter Manning who leads the Education and Development Team who have completely redesigned our website and are constantly making materials available to us for improving our Lodge Masonry. Especial thanks here to the Provincial Mentor, David Butcher; and the Provincial Orator Steve Townsend for their outstanding work with their teams.

Thank you to Assistant PGM David Stanford our Prov. Membership Officer and his team for their wonderful and enthusiastic work this year. David and his team can advise you about best use of the Members Pathway and how to improve your Lodge procedures. His team have been taking out our ‘Let’s Talk’ information gazebo into local towns to great effect, increasing our awareness within communities. When added to increased interest from our website David is getting more enquiries of interest than every before. He informs me that we are no longer losing members but are now on the increase. Brethren this is just the start but it is truly great news and thank you all of this team who are very effective.

Thank you to Asst. PGM David Greenwood and his team for the magnificent way that they are managing and leading our MCF 2023 Festival. You have heard about our progress and initiatives now help us to keep the momentum going. The alms collection today will be in aid of our 2023 Festival.

Thank you to Assistant PGM John Hayward who leads an increased team of Visiting Officers who are now able to respond to your Lodge needs much faster and guide you to the specialised help that we have to offer to improve the dynamics of your Lodge. Brethren your VO is the conduit that you need to access all of this help.

I also thank the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowen, an enthusiastic and essential part of the team, who has today been reappointed after nine years service. John plays such a crucial part in our Consecrations, Centenary celebrations as well as the Church Service.

Then there is the vast team of Officers without Collars who work so hard for us.

W Bro Ian Slesser, PCO has a great and dedicated team updating our website and generally improving communications ably assisted by Tony Cheesman, and others.

Dan Thomas and his team have been working with Ian in producing a web based payment scheme for Provincial events which is now active for our Provincial Church Service. Many thanks to all of them for this ground breaking work.

W Bro Steve Price leads a hard working team looking after our Masonic Centres who are now sharing good practice and getting the best out of the Heritage Fund, now so ably lead by VW Bro Michael Morris.

The Prov G Almoner, John Harris and Prov G Charity Steward, Geoff Walker lead the Charity team who administer aid to our Brethren and Family’s and distribute £150 thousand per year to Non Masonic Charities. They are assisted by a team advising about our investments, led by W Bro Chris Grove and the very wise W Bro Richard Barker who ensure that we get the best returns we can.

Within the Office we have W Bro Roy Dawson editing our Year Book, which is now available on line at the members’ area of the website, W Bro Derek Sara too has been assisting the Prov. Registrar, and I thank him as he stands down this year.

Then of course we have Wendy Eades who really is the ‘glue’ to all of the process.

So Brethren you see that I am very privileged to lead such a vast, hardworking and successful team, and I thank them all for their hard work. Together they are giving us all the information and opportunity to make our Lodges better. Please make sure that you use them.

I was out with a WM recently and he remarked that at the Master and Wardens dinner I said that the Province is here to support you in all that you do. He then said that he heard me say it again somewhere else. Only when he saw the Provincial Team in action did he appreciate that we are there to help.

Finally I thank each and every person who has worked so hard to make today such a success. To Past Prov Sec Mike Reeve, Wendy and all of the staff in the Provincial Office for their hard work.

Prov DC Peter Clarke and his team for their tireless work in ensuring that this Annual Meeting was such a success.

To the Prov Stewards team for their tremendous help in making the day run so smoothly.

In fact thank you all for coming to make this significant day so special. It is a privilege, and pleasure to be your Provincial Grand Master. I thank you for all of your support and urge you all to continue to enjoy your Freemasonry, and do tell others how wonderful it is.


May 2019

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