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 Dougie Black who has enhanced our meeting with music and to Mark Corcoran who has taken over from dear Aby Obadiah.– 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 enthused 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.
Let me at this point make mention of John Gilbert who has stood down this year as our our resident organist, he has held the position since before I was installed and he has supported us loyally and well. Thank you John and today I promote you within the District to Past Grand Senior Warden, you are already a Grand Officer and this is the highest rank I can bestow upon you. Well done and thank you.
We have, unfortunately, lost too many members this year, 6 have passed to the Grand Council above, all losses are a blow to us and it is to their memory and what they left to us that we continue to build, enjoy and develop our Allied Masonry.
We have however done well for new members and at least three are with us today –
Bro David Ashbolt – Council of the Four Kings No 7
Bro Hans Gudka – Perram Council No 45
Bro Michael Minkov – Metropolitan A
Enjoy your allied Masonry with us in London.
And the happiness barometer is high as well -
• We have held two social events, the last just last week ago with a visit to our favourite French restaurant where we enjoyed a lovely meal and a talk from the BBC Antique Road show militaria expert - Mark Smith who spoke to us on the Victoria Cross. It went for over an hour and was riveting, you could hear a pin drop.
• Earlier in the year we visited Tower Bridge for a fascinating tour around the engines, the walkway over the top and the workings in the bottom – absolutely brilliant. 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, the details of which are on the summons and the website.
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.
We have had other successes; members of the District have been Promoted in and Appointed to Grand Rank –
Stephen Beckett to PGIG, Peter Halls Dickerson, John Redpath and Keith Johnson to PG StdB, Jon Wallis to PGSwdB and Mike Winch to Active Sword Bearer and I saw him in action in East Anglia when Geoff Keer was Installed as DGP, well done Mike.
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.