Good morning brethren and welcome.
Well, what a difference a year makes, at this time last year we were all hunched around our computers, logged on to Zoom and happy that we could at least do that to see our friends and hear reports of each other’s progress under lockdowns. And how we were faring with the virus. Little did we know what was to await us…
But here we are, nearly 100 of us, meeting together and long may it last. I thank all of you for making the time and the effort to be here today. Our whole masonic structure and especially District or Provincial meetings rely on good numbers, they create a vibrant, happy, and memorable occasion – of course a drink helps and pretty soon we can add that to the equation. It just gets better…….
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. We have resumed our series of Official visits here in London, I have visited twice officially – one three days ago and I shall be out next Tuesday to Londinium, which will be another great night out.
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 Scott Cargill and the District Assistant Secretary – Richard Criddle, who have worked very hard to make today so successful. Scott, this was your first as District Secretary – good fun isn’t it……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 – John Baker, 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 our Tyler who has given this District much help and support during the year. thank you.
To Stephen Schofield who ably organises and manages our Official visits.
Finally, our secretaries, who keep our Councils enthused and running well and effectively, 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.
Whilst we have not been able to meet for much of the last 18 months or so, much work and effort was made to keep the district strong and in touch and it was you and others of course
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 we have seen that four are with us today –
Enjoy your allied Masonry with us in London.
And the happiness barometer is riding high on a mercury tsunami -
- We maintained our social events by holding talks and presentation via zoom
- We will continue with a hybrid from now on, Spring in person and by zoom in Autumn/winter.
- We will resume our dinner for Secretaries and Treasurers.
- Also, we shall reinstate our dinner for new members which I find very enjoyable and also instructive – it is interesting to hear why members join and what they expect go get out of it, it definitely influences how we chart the course of the district.
We already had a very energetic Communications team who were supported by an excellent website and a number of good and effective social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp and these have been used to great effect throughout.
And let me mention our Council of Improvement, it has run on Zoom since the first lockdown and has developed the most brilliant virtual temple and floor movements, Steve Roberts is the host and maestro, well done Steve and thank you. Full details are on the website.
We have had success at Grand Rank as well,
Boon Sin Tan and David Baruch appointed to PGIG
Vincent Fattorusso, Keith Florence and David White to PGStdB
Scott Cargill to PJGD
Alex Purves promoted and Gordon Setterfield to PGSD
and of course Roger Keys to Grand Steward.
Congratulations to them and all those across the Order who have been so honoured.
Finally, let me say a huge thank you to the members from London and our guests who have joined with me today, in such good numbers, to celebrate our wonderful Order and its strength and prosperity.
In a few weeks it will be December and the Christmas season will be upon us, I wish you and your families, most especially at this time, all good wishes, good health and much happiness.
May the Great disposer of all bless you all.