David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master
March Already? Yes indeed! 2018 is moving at a pace. What a Month! What a Year! 2018
Our Best Year Ever! Enough is indeed enough! – The Grand Lodge response to recent unwarranted Media attacks: You will have seen how things are changing? We will not turn the other cheek however I am delighted to confirm that our relationship with of local media is very good. I would like every Brother to have the confidence to stand up for Freemasonry if we are being victimised. There is never any need to be aggressive – just sufficiently assertive with the correct facts. Please contact the Provincial Office if you need guidance.
New approach to managing the Province: This has been circulated so I’m not going to go into any great depth. Suffice it to say that the World is becoming ever more complicated and we are now doing, and plan to do, many more things in the Province than ever before. We need the revised flexible and robust structure to take this Province on to greater achievements for the enjoyment of every Brother. The new structure comes into being in May and I am most grateful to my Deputy and W Bro. John Boyington together with all of the other Assistant Provincial Grand Masters for working the strategic concept into reality.
Royal Arch Matters: The animated ”Talking Heads” presentation on Royal Arch Masonry held at Huddersfield was both enjoyable and educational. A really good time was had by all. Even long standing Royal Arch Masons heard new information about the Royal Arch. I am delighted to assist the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent with this initiative and recommend to all a visit to a “Talking Heads” presentation.
Tercentenary Initiates’ Evenings: The final events held at Tapton Hall and Doncaster have also been resounding successes. The overwhelming comment was “More Please! As a result of such positive feedback, I am pleased to announce that the events will be repeated in early 2019 for this year’s intake of new Members and their families and friends.
West Riding Masonic Charities Annual General Meeting held at Barnsley: My continued thanks to VW Bro. Jack Pigott, PGSwdB, PProvDepGM and his enthusiastic Team of Directors for their prudent custodianship and active management of our Charity. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. continues to be one of the most significant support programmes ever introduced in this Province providing speedy relief to our Brethren and dependents in urgent need of support.
Well Done Team! We are all very proud of your efforts!
Couldn’t attend the AGM? You missed a treat with an excellent presentation from our well beloved Yorkshire Air Ambulance. My suggestion? Make sure that your Lodge is well represented at the 2019 AGM.
Honours: The first Saturday in March is historically the scheduled date for the delivery of certain letters. My congratulations to all who are due to receive their first appointment or promotion in both Grand Lodge and also Provincial Grand Lodge. Let me also confirm that if such a letter did not arrive for you that you are still a beloved Brother and special to me.
Our Provincial Grand Secretary and his Team did a splendid job in fighting the snow to ensure that the letters were put into the postal system on time. Alas the Royal Mail was unable to deliver all of the letters on the following day to all parts of the Province due to the extreme wintery conditions.
Ripon revisited – A Groundhog Day Stone Laying Ceremony: You will remember our glorious event at Ripon Cathedral to celebrate the Tercentenary? It was so good that we had to do it all again! Why? I think the technical term is that there was a “technical malfunction” with the main camera. My thanks to all who have assisted in recreating the event for posterity however I must make special mention of the outstanding efforts of one of our Brethren: The original stone is now firmly laid in the floor of the Cathedral and cannot be moved so W Bro. Graham Shelton, PProvSGD of Chantry Lodge No: 4065, an operative stonemason, inscribed a substitute stone with the exact wording for the re-shoot. I know just how much work was involved and such willing support provided is much appreciated!
Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting – Tuesday, 8th May at the Royal Hall, Harrogate: I would be delighted to see all my Lodges represented and this is my special invitation to Master Masons – Do come and enjoy the glittering experience. I am told that there is a distinct possibility of me bursting into song! (If you are lucky!).
And finally: “Have some Madeira M’Dear?” – Consecration of the Britannic Lodge of Madeira I know that there are many Brethren, like myself, who enjoy visiting that Magic Island – “The Pearl of the Atlantic”. I attended the Consecration of the fourth Lodge on the Island. What a week-end! Although there is a rich and long history of Freemasonry in Madeira, there was a gap of nearly 80 years following the proscription of Freemasonry by the then communist regime in Portugal in 1935. The new Lodge, meeting under the Legal Grand Lodge of Portugal, will work in English and looks forward to welcoming visitors. Wives and families are fully involved in all social activities! For more details please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (direct contact should only be made when you are in Portugal or Madiera).
Fraternal Regards and Best Wishes to all.