The R.W Provincial Grand Masters 2021 Provincial Grand Lodge Address


Brethren

You will understand, I’m sure, that in these unprecedented times, your Executive considered carefully what form this Annual Meeting should take, especially given the very understandable caution that still exists in many minds.


However, we took the view that we should attempt to revert to normality as soon and as much as possible. So we return to the Great Hall, the traditional home of our meetings, with the portrait of Sir Oliver Lodge, yes, an ancestor of the Past Grand Director of Ceremonies, looking down on us.


I don’t intend to reflect for too long on the enormous challenges of the past 19 months – other than to say that the effects on our personal lives, and our Masonic lives will, I suspect, be longer lasting than we realise. At our Cathedral Memorial Service in September, we remembered the many friends that we have lost over the last months. The Grand Chaplain, Simon Thorn, paid fitting tribute to them all and they will be very sadly missed.


What has shone through is the tremendous way that you came together in mutual support, increasingly using previous unknown technology and how our Communications Team, led initially by Jonathan Swift and carried on now by Brody Swain, has produced a constant stream of such valuable material and information. I must include Andy Philpott and his team in my thanks, as Editor of the 65 weekly editions of Square News, then with the return of Worcestershire Source. The content has ranged far and wide and has been of immense value to the Province during the last 19 months.


At the centre of the storm was and is our amazing Provincial Grand Secretary, but more about him later.


As far as the future is concerned, it lies largely in our own hands. We now have available to us the UGLE National Digital Marketing Campaign; the task for us all is to sustain the interest and curiosity of every membership enquiry that we receive and do our utmost to turn those enquiries into satisfied long term members. We have some 125 candidates for initiation waiting patiently in the wings. We should move quickly to welcome them as new members and as our future.

We have a vastly experienced Mentor in Chris Overall, and our Almoner, Charles Gwynn, and they are both always ready to advise and help, alongside our Membership Officer, Nick Thomas, of course.


We will soon have the re-launched Members’ Pathway, to assist and support; and particularly the new Grand Lodge website. As important for us here today, our own brand new Provincial website which will go live in a few weeks’ time.