David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master
Very Warm Fraternal Greetings from the Provincial Grand Master!
August - Indeed a Month for Relaxation and Planning
(But Mostly Planning!)
Temperature in the 30s! The sun is shining - however, there’s still much work to be done (in addition to the garden!)
Although a number of Lodges meet during this traditional holiday month, the vast majority of Freemasonry has experienced a quiet phase of the year apart from Provincial Grand Masters and their Teams!
Many things are happening, however, and everything needs careful planning. Travelling to London to attend essential Project meetings at Grand Lodge during the heatwave has been “interesting!” I am not a lover of great heat – that’s one of the reasons why Madeira is a favourite haunt with its cooling sea breezes.
Connie Greenwood, one of our valuable support staff members in the Provincial Office, will be going on maternity leave. Many congratulations on your second baby Connie!
Connie’s duties will be covered by a temporary staff member ensuring that we have a full complement in Provincial Office.
Increasing Membership - Survive to Thrive!
The Members’ Pathway - Growth Continuing!
A really good first half of the year! Now let’s continue with growth for the rest of this year and beyond. I was delighted to read the reports from the Grand Officer Forums held in each Area confirming the general positive view that: “There are plenty of the “right” potential candidates out there and we need to go and find them!
New Lodge at Garforth
We await the formal approval from Grand Lodge – Fingers still crossed with optimism!
Planning – Consecration on Monday, 10th of February 2020 at Castle Grove, Leeds.
Lodges Returning Warrants
It might seem strange to include this in the “Increasing Membership” section?
A number of Lodges have indeed come to the end of their natural existence but it is so pleasing to see that the vast majority of the members of those Lodges become Joining members elsewhere. The effect is that we do not see our membership decrease and the receiving Lodges become stronger with the introduction of both new members and also added experience. New members and experience! What a wonderful combination!
Raising our Civic Profile - “Be There - Be Seen!”
Charity Matters Provincial Grand Master’s Fund (PGM’s Fund) & West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd. (WRMCL)
I am delighted to hear that the new Vice Chancellor of Bradford University will be dining with the Lodge of Hope No: 302, Bradford - One of the four University Scheme Lodges in our Province. There is an established tradition of Freemasonry supporting research at the University and long may that continue!
I have in my diary the next meeting of the PGM’s Fund Committee on the 10th September when the Committee will consider a great number of requests for local support.
Small or larger grants – they all make such a difference in our Communities.
My usual plea - Please look in your own Communities to find such worthy causes and apply to the PGM’s Fund for support. There can be no guarantees of success; however, if the application matches the criteria then that’s the start!
This is a reminder. I have authorised the wearing of the special tie, introduced in 2018, during the month of November to acknowledge those gallant Freemasons, men and women who have died or have been injured during times of conflict.
There is a letter in circulation describing how to obtain your tie or simply click this link
The Victoria Cross - the highest and most prestigious award of the British Honours system.
Awarded for valour “in the presence of the enemy”. It is known that least 178 Freemasons have been awarded this highest award for gallantry.
Raising our Civic Profile - What Else Can We Do?
Over to you Brethren – I am always looking for ideas!
Remember - aim to succeed! If, however, it does not work then learn from the experience!
Enhancing Member Experiences
Meeting of Installation Panel Members
I am most grateful to the senior members of the Province who willingly represent me at Installation Meetings.
In preparation for the new Masonic Season, the annual meeting of the Installation Panel has been held at Batley. There was a time when the response to the Toast to Province was a rare opportunity to inform the Brethren of events and Provincial activities. How things have changed! With Monthly Briefings to Lodges, Liaison Officers, Websites and Social Media - there are now many more outlets for communication and more to come.
My Representatives will continue to inform and engage by providing key information in their Response.
I do thank all of our Lodges for the welcome extended to me, the other Rulers and my Representatives who attend Installation meetings. It is indeed a wonderful opportunity to talk with every Brother and an opportunity for every Lodge to demonstrate the highest standards.
International Tripling with the Inspectorates of Portugal and of Malta
The planning is almost complete with a really excellent proposal from the Company of Stewards now being considered by the respective Rulers of the three Masonic areas.
Conference for New and Young Masons’ Clubs
Date Saturday, 28th September 2019 – Leicester
Conference for University Scheme Lodges
Date: Saturday, 16th November 2019 – Chester
For both of these Conferences, I was delighted to see the names put forward by my Assistants. To illustrate the importance of “being there” and my commitment to our Members - the Conference Fees for nominated Delegates will be paid for by the Province.
2019 Initiates’ Evenings to be held in February and March 2020
Only two Area dates remain to be confirmed. I encourage all Brethren to support their new Members and their families at these important annual events. A much enjoyed part of the evening is the delivery of the “Ancient Charge”. I am keen for our newer Brethren to deliver this and if you are interested – please make it known to your Liaison Officer.
Historically, one Brother has delivered all of the Charge – I am, however, open to offers for Teams of Brethren to deliver the Charge in parts. I’m keen to try this! Over to you Brethren!
2020 Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Harrogate
Plans for our Meeting to be a “Great Member Experience” are now approaching the final iteration stage. There will be plenty to read about soon!
Learning & Development (L&D)
My thanks and also a request! Firstly how very pleased I was to see “To Deliver a Nugget” appearing as an agenda item on Summonses. Now my request to other Lodges - Please would you try this? The content of the Nuggets provide a wonderful platform to stimulate discussion over dinner. Some Lodges are also using Nuggets at Lodges of Instruction or with Brethren by their Mentors.
Did you know? There are some 50 new items about to be loaded on “Solomon” AND professional “Voice-Overs” for some of the key Modules is coming soon!
Locally, our Provincial “Masonic Light” Programme continues to deliver quality Lectures and I do encourage participation by everyone. I record my appreciation to our own “Masonic light” Team. When it comes to Masonic L&D all the evidence confirms that Members of all ages and experience are hungry for knowledge.
And Finally: Plans for a “Super September”
September is traditionally the start of the Masonic Season and there is much happening!
5th – Provincial Team Visit (Full Team) – Fidelity Lodge No: 289, Leeds
9th – Provincial Team Visit (Full Team) – Alfred Lodge No: 306, Otley
11th – Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, Freemasons’ Hall, London
12th – Centenary Meeting of Victory Lodge No: 3922, Hipperholme
19th - Prestonian Lecture - Leeds and District Lodge of Installed Masters No: 7918, Leeds
24th – Installation – Harewood Lodge No: 5667, Otley
25th – L&D Project Team – Freemasons’ Hall, London
27th – Centenary Meeting of Salarden Lodge No: 3971, Milnsbridge
28th – New and Young Masons’ Conference – Leicester
29th – Lunch for Liaison Officers and families – Coniston Hotel, Skipton
A Thought to Finish: "Here’s to the Brother who stands plumb to his principles, yet is level to his Brethren!” - Old Masonic Toast
My Fraternal best wishes to you and yours as always.
RW Bro. David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master