David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master
“At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon.”
Edgar Allan Poe
An Interesting Month! The Rain Raineth and the Longest Day!
Did anyone see the sunrise at Stonehenge?
The Life of a Provincial Grand Master!
When I do write my memoirs, the Chapter on “Being a Provincial Grand Master” will make interesting reading! Much of the work is not wearing regalia or even attending Events and takes place well away from Lodge Meetings. As with all well-managed organisations, the vast amount of “behind the scenes” activity makes for a great member experience.
The current issue of “Freemasonry Today” and all of the Leadership messages coming out of Grand Lodge indicates that Freemasonry needs to evolve rapidly to survive and then to thrive. There are always “Facts” and “Feelings” involved with any change, and the “Facts” show us that things do need to change. I am deeply conscious that such matters must be considered, owned and implemented by the members of Private Lodges.
At the recent Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge in London, I did feel pangs of sadness to see the names of Lodges in our Province listed as having returned their Warrants. Lodges will come and go, and it does make interesting reading to note the histories of many of our older Lodges, which indicate the number of times when the end was seen as inevitable. Then something happened! A lesson from History Brethren? Either the Members chose to do something about the situation, and the Lodge continued or did nothing, and the Lodge surrendered its Warrant and closed.
A trip to Lisbon in the company of about 90 Freemasons from many other Regular Constitutions in Europe was a delight! Even with many languages being used, it is clear that we all face similar challenges, and it was a delight to share our own experiences.
The guided tour of sites of Masonic interest was much appreciated. Very much a case of “seek and ye shall find” with many Masonic emblems and symbols in clear sight.
Lunch with Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters
A lovely tradition in our Province is that a lunch is arranged to celebrate the end of a Ruler era. The reign of two, now Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, was the cause for thanks and celebration. WBros. Paul Clarke, PSGD and Tony Llewellyn, PSGD hosted a most enjoyable occasion and a good time was had by all.
As I always say - There may well be the rank of a Past Provincial Grand Officer; however, there is no such thing as a Past Mason. We all just move on to different roles and responsibilities and take our experience with us.
Updates on Objectives:
Increasing Membership - Survive to Thrive!
The Members’ Pathway - If an Activity does not work - Try something different!
The news of some growing Lodges keeps coming in. The constant message is that Lodges are using the recommendations contained within the Members’ Pathway, so success is not a secret. Alas! There is still a number who have not had a Candidate for a considerable time.
The consultative meetings with Grand Officers hosted by Assistant Provincial Grand Masters are now taking place. We all await with great anticipation the output and Action Plans to increase local membership. These will be shared with everyone.
I do urge every Lodge to draw on the vast experience of Grand Officers to assist in increasing our numbers.
New Lodge at Garforth
The Petition is now being considered at Grand Lodge.
It has been most pleasing to see the consultative and collaborative approach being used during this pre-Consecration phase. It is clear to me that every Founder is fully engaged with the decision making process.
Raising our Civic Profile - “Be There!”
Details of the Yorkshire Day celebrations on the 1st of August at Whitby are awaited and will be circulated.
I do encourage every Member and Lodge to look locally for any opportunity to engage with and to support our Civic Leaders and Events.
Provincial Grand Master’s Fund (PGM’s Fund) & West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd. (WRMCL)
Minor Grants – What a splendid and eclectic list of worthy causes supported this time.
It was really pleasing to approve applications from Royal Arch Chapters as well as Lodges.
If your Lodge/Chapter is successful in obtaining a grant, please would you celebrate the occasion by visiting the recipients to see them at their work in the Community?
I am particularly grateful to the Committee and especially W Bro. Ian Wright, PAGDC, who is the PGM’s Fund Administrator for all their ongoing hard work.
My usual plea - Please look out in your own Communities to find such worthy causes and apply to the PGM’s Fund for support.
Enhancing Member Experiences
International Twinning (or is it Tripling?)
Progress! A meeting has been arranged to be held in Leeds with representatives of the Inspectorates of both Malta and of Portugal. Please “Watch this Space!”
Provincial Quiz - 2019
I note that the dates and forms are out! Who will challenge the 2018 Champions?
My thanks to the Company of Past Provincial Stewards for making this happen.
Conference for New and Young Masons’ Clubs
We shall be represented by Lodge Members at Leicester in September
Conference for Universities Scheme Lodges
We shall be represented by Lodge Members at Chester in November
Promotion of W Bro. Brian Priestley, PJGD, PProvGTreas
It was a pleasure to promote W Bro. Brian in his own Lodge to the rank of PPSGW.
The Moorland Lodge meeting was really well attended and supported by a number of Past Rulers.
2019 Initiates’ Evenings
I was delighted to put into my diary the first booked event to be held in 2020.
Please support your own new members at these events – they appreciate such support – and so do I.
And Finally: Plans for July
Although a quiet month for Lodge Meetings, the pulse of Freemasonry continues!
I will be attending a number of events: A Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) award celebration in Leeds to the charity “Special Needs and Parent Support” (SNAPS), the Annual “Heads of Other Orders” Meeting where the “Family of Freemasonry” in the Province comes together to discuss matters of mutual interest. A meeting at Grand Lodge concerning Learning & Development across the UGLE Constitution and I look forward as always to working on our own, our very own, “The Yorkshire Freemasons’ Stand” at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.
A Thought to Finish:
“If there was ever a time to dare, to make a difference, to embark on something worth doing, IT IS NOW”.
My Fraternal best wishes to you and yours as always.
RW Bro. David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master