Companions, once again a very warm welcome to you all. It is wonderful to see so many of you here this morning. I am delighted that so many remembered we have moved and managed to find our new venue.
Once again an especial welcome to all our Distinguished visitors, you are all very busy Masons and we really appreciate you giving of your time to attend.
I am, as you can imagine, delighted to be with you again this morning. I do apologise for missing last year's meeting and perhaps now everyone will stop telling me how well my Deputy performed and that it was the best meeting for several years. I take consolation in knowing how well I have trained him!
I start by congratulating all the Companions who received promotion or appointment this morning. I trust by now that you know this is reward for future efforts as well as past endeavours.
We also congratulate those Companions honoured at SGC this past year:
- E Comp Bill Sherlock promoted to Past Assistant Grand Sojourner
- John Crowther and Alan Robertson appointed P.G.St.B.
- and Our new Third Provincial Grand Principle who will be appointed to P.G.St.B. in 12 days time.
I must thank all the Provincial officers who have supported the presiding Officer at the installation meetings throughout the Province. It is greatly appreciated by the Team as well as by the Chapters.
Companions, recruitment of new members is as ever an important activity in which we must all be involved. Last year we introduced the Talking Heads Presentation. I do hope that you have or will take the opportunity to see this presentation - Companions it works! Every event has lead to new recruits - at Remembrance Lodge last month 3 Exaltees signed up on the night. Companions finding new recruits is not something someone else does, we all want new members but we have to work to find them. I strongly urge you to take advantage of the opportunity which Talking Heads offers to strengthen our Chapters We are all responsible.
I thank you all for the tremendous support you have given the Provincial Charity Fund. You will see from the accounts that the Fund is growing well. Let me tell you where your moneys are going.
I am sure you will agree that all these causes deserve our support. Please carry on with your good work.
I do thank E Comp John Wright for all his efforts, guidance and support.
Today we saw the installation of a new Provincial Executive.
I must thank E Comp John Crowther for his efforts as 3rd Provincial Grand Principle. John has carried out his duties to the highest standard and has been a pleasure to work with.
We have also seen the installation of a new Deputy. I have been very fortunate to have had 2 superb Deputies. E Comp Michael Taylor has carried out his duties in an exemplary manner and I thank him most sincerely for his wise council and advice. But most of all his friendship.
Therefore we have 3 companions taking on new responsibilities. They are all skilled and experienced and I know that they will fulfil their new roles with proficiency.
Every Masonic unit has to have a Treasurer by law. I do not have just an "accountant" but a very valuable member of the Executive. Thank you Alan for all your valuable advice and guidance.
No Province can function without the support of a number of Companions and I would like to now thank those whose work can go unnoticed.
Today's meeting cannot have taken place without a huge amount of work by the Prov Grand Scribe E, the Prov Grand Registrar and all their assistants and volunteers. Any Provincial meeting requires an immense amount of organisation and moving to what is 2 new venues only increases the workload.
I am very fortunate to have an excellent GDC. I thank him for all his invaluable assistance throughout the year and together with his team particularly for today.
Another Companion who works tirelessly for us all is E Comp Ian Fothergill. He not only manages what goes on to our Website but of course is responsible for Second Rising, our Provincial newsletter. Communication in any organisation is of great importance and Masonry is no different.
We thank you Ian for all you do.
I cannot end without thanking E Comp Irving Horne, our Prov Grand Organist. He not only supports the Province on all occasions but acts as organist for so many Chapters. Following my brief sojourn into organ playing last year, I think we can agree your position is safe.
Companions I am constantly encouraging you to enjoy your Royal Arch Masonry. I am pleased that you are listening to my please. In fact Companions only last week I saw a Companion smiling during a Chapter meeting.
Companions let us never forget that we should have but one aim in view - to unite in the grand design of being happy ourselves and communicating happiness.
Thank you for listening.