DGP’s Address – 17th November 2018
Distinguished guests, brethren all, I have already made so many ‘welcomes’ here but let me, once again welcome you all to our District Meeting. I do appreciate the support you have all given by making the effort to be here today, it certainly ‘makes the day’ to have good numbers.
It continues, for me, to be an enormous privilege to hold the office of District Grand Prefect for London and I am conscious of this every time that I visit a council or when I represent you in other Districts. Between Steven, myself and the Wardens of the year we have visited widely across the District and on every occasion we have been met with all we would expect from this Order – good Companionship, well worked ceremonies and an enthusiasm and commitment to the Allied Masonic Degrees.
Before I go too much further I must thank those who make such an effort to ensure that everything in our District goes smoothly and efficiently.
My hardworking District Grand Secretary Peter Warner and the District Assistant Secretary – Scott Cargill, who have worked very hard to make today so successful. Events like today are a major challenge and can only be left to a few people otherwise life gets very confusing. Thank you.
Mike Adkins our District DC and our District Treasurer – Gordon Trew, thank you both for your hard work and support through the year.
To John Gilbert who enhances our meeting with music and to Aby Obadiah who has guarded our door and generally looked after me throughout the year – thank you. And I must not forget those Officers of the year, and others, who have attended our Delegations, your company was much appreciated, it was always enjoyable and fun.
Finally, our Secretaries, who keep our Councils alive and running, thank you for your time and effort, only those who have carried out that work know the amount of effort involved, – I have and I do. Thank you.
We have, unfortunately, lost some members this year, 2 have passed to the Grand Council above, all losses are a blow to us and it is to their memory that we continue to build, enjoy and develop our Allied Masonry.
So, how have we done this year, well, I can report that we continue to grow and develop.
The basic numbers tell me that we are healthy -
• Our social media – Facebook, Twitter and the website remain active and efficient.
• Our recruitment strategy continues to pay dividends and has resulted in 22 new members, We now have 355 memberships in London – up from 240 in 2014.
Today, we can welcome 1 of those new members here today - welcome to – Bro Emmanuel OROH.
Enjoy your allied Masonry.
And the happiness barometer is high as well -
• We have held two social events, the last just two weeks ago with a visit to Charterhouse which was very, very interesting followed by dinner at our favourite French restaurant. Earlier in the year we visited the HQ and museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, an exceptional day our followed by , yes the French Restaurant. Thanks to Richard Criddle and Christos Bardas for organising these.
• We held our dinner for Secretaries and Treasurers.
• Also, a dinner for new members.
All were most successful and we shall have a repeat programme for these events over the next year. All these events are now on fixed dates in the year.
Our Council of Improvement in London continues to meet, this is proving very popular and can only be a good thing to improve our ceremonies. Thanks to Vincent Fattorusso, Roger Keys and Christos Bardas for organising this.
However, the big event for us this year was the sale of our AMD mugs for Shelter. You have now heard from the Charity themselves and heard just what they do and of course in London and elsewhere we see the problem for ourselves, but we only ever see the tip of an enormous, heart-breaking problem – the lack of accommodation, the mental illness, the danger of living on the streets are not always so obvious. We spread the collection and sale of mugs across our Districts because shelter is a National Charity and so we all witness the problem and any help we can give will be of benefit across the country.
The cheque we gave for £12,000.00 reflects a tremendous effort and I have to thank a number of people. Other Districts gave donations and many individuals bought the mugs – there are still some available today but then they will pass into the world of rare, classic and sought after Grand originals. I am surprised not to have seen any on ‘Flog it’!! To those who have already purchased them – thank you and to those of you have given personal donations – thank you all. And let’s not forget Scott Cargill – who slept out – all night, on a very cold March night to raise a fantastic £6615. He slept in a park to put his cold feet where his mouth was (just to keep them warm) and was in hearing distance of his own house where listened to his wife and mother throwing out the empty wine bottles from their own party – so cruel Scott!!! But funny!!
We have had other successes; members of the District have been Promoted in and Appointed to Grand Rank –
Aby Obadiah has been promoted to PGJW – well deserved and reflects his hard work and commitment to the AMD, Elias Dangoor to PGReg – a Very, Ben Dykes, David Morris and Wes Hollands were promoted to PGJD,
John Baker has been appointed to PGIG and Peter Hill and Terwyn Williams to PGStdB.
To these brethren – well done, and I am sure you will join me in congratulating them.
To my Officers of the year whom I have had the pleasure to invest and promote today – congratulations to you. Your appointment has been based upon merit and service to the District. I hope that you enjoy your year in Office and that you can support the Full Team visits which are planned for this year – dates will be announced very shortly and will be found on the website. Of course, you are all welcome to join with us at any of our visits. All are welcome.
My aim continues to be to serve you, the District and the Order by continuing to increase both membership and the happiness of our members. You can see that we are well on the way to achieving that objective but we must always be forward looking and do just hat bit more.
I make the point every year that I cannot do that alone, I need the support of my Officers for this year and all of you – only together, with shared enthusiasm, endeavour and commitment can we achieve that goal.
In a few weeks it will be December and the Christmas season will be upon us, I wish you and your families all good wishes, good health and much happiness at this time of year.
May the Great Disposer of All Bless and protect you all.