David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master
It is now deep into September and how the year moves on apace.
Weather conditions from roasting sunshine to torrential rain in the same month.
We even had the central heating on yesterday and frost on the car!
How things change!
September has been a really interesting month with plenty of things happening.
As a trial, my Monthly Message will be appearing on the Website only. This is to limit the volume of information attached to the Monthly Mailings to Lodges. It would, however, be wrong to ignore the ever-growing hunger for information shown by our newer Members.
As a passionate communicator myself, it is interesting to remember that once there was the challenge from some Brethren that “We don’t know what is going on!”
How different things were in the past! Over the years, our Website, Monthly Mailings, White Rose Magazine, Social Media, Liaison Officers have all been introduced and developed to provide information and to enhance communication with every Brother.
Yes indeed - Things do change!
Many thanks to all that have contacted me thanking me for the clarity of the three specific Provincial Objectives dovetailing into the UGLE Strategy so, as requested, here is a brief update:
The Membership Pathway - The Schedule of presentations is about to be published. Attendance by any Lodge or Individual Brother is invited however participation is by choice. As I said in my previous Monthly message – If your own Lodge is failing or you would like to attract additional members then: “Membership Pathway? It works”.
Open Days - The Open Day in Sheffield City Centre was a tremendous success.
My thanks go to the Sheffield Brethren for trialling a new approach. I do encourage every Brother to seize any appropriate opportunity to raise the profile of Freemasonry, increase awareness and to shatter false myths often associated with our wonderful Order.
The series of Open Days at Castleford have been equally well received by the Community, and at least two potential candidates have been the result.
As promised, I am pleased to report that further Provincial financial support has been approved to Centres and Lodges to optimise the impact Open Days.
Raising our Civic Profile
Provincial Grand Master’s Fund/WRMCL– There are some lovely examples of Freemasonry in the Community “In action” in the recent grant allocations.
Here is my special request - Surprisingly, very few Lodges make applications for grants.
I do find this strange and would ask every Brother to look hard within their local communities.
The Provincial Website gives details of what would be considered for support.
The critical question to remember: “Will it make a difference?”
Remembrance Day - Plans for our participation at the Leeds Parade are progressing. Please watch out for further information. I would like a strong turnout should any Brother wish to join me. How pleasing it was to learn that the sale of the optional ties has now exceeded 600. Thank-you Brethren.
Bradford University - A major ProvGM’s Fund grant of over £30,000 was awarded to purchase cancer research equipment to examine individual cells. A Provincial deputation was greeted warmly at the University when the new equipment was demonstrated with passion. This equipment will make a significant contribution in the fight to beat cancer.
Enhancing Member Experiences
I would like to start with a really important point. Participation in any Provincial activity is a matter of personal choice. I am aware of some Brethren who wish only to attend their Lodge meetings and then to enjoy a hearty meal in good company and that’s all.
Other Brethren seek for more. All Brethren are important to me.
Attendance of the Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication
I would like to express my thanks to all who accompanied me to support the meeting of our Grand Lodge. It is important that our Province is well-represented in London.
This is always a special day, and I do encourage qualified Brethren to attend Grand Lodge to enjoy the experience. Master Masons are very welcome to attend by prior arrangement.
Second Team Outing for the 2018/2018 Acting Officers - The Lodge of Eccleshill, Faith and Fraternity No: 1034 welcomed the Team in a packed Lodge Room at Hoyle Court, Baildon. Another splendid occasion enjoyed by all. At the meeting, I promoted W Bro. James Steel to the rank of PPSGW. Such a promotion on the floor of a Lodge is always a special moment at any meeting and is always richly deserved by the recipient.
Our New Provincial Website - Launched with acclamation! Well done Team!
Please do submit articles Brethren as a Website can only remain vibrant with News.
Charity Matters: WRMCL/C.H.O.I.C.E.S. - I was delighted to hear that C.H.O.I.C.E.S. continues to be really appreciated by our Brethren in need and their dependents. Feedback on the services provided indicates a very high satisfaction level regarding the quality of the work undertaken. We are all very proud of WRMCL and a note to newer Brethren.
Please ask your Charity Steward for the form to become a member of WRMCL.
Want to know more about WRMCL/C.H.O.I.C.E.S.? Our Provincial Website will reveal all!
Provincial Honours 2019 - The new electronic system is working brilliantly with a 100% return rate from Lodges. This is a much-appreciated improvement. In the past, delays using a paper-based system resulted in some forms being submitted well after the due dates and delaying the process. Thank-you Brother Secretaries.
Just a reminder from me - If you think that you are due for consideration for either first appointment or promotion in this Provincial Grand Lodge, would you please check with your Lodge Secretary and Liaison Officer? This is particularly important for Brethren who have joined Lodges in this Province from elsewhere.
My objective is never to overlook any Brother who is qualified for consideration.
Some Personal Musings to close September
My visit with other Rulers to Carlisle to witness the Installation of the new Provincial Grand Master of Cumberland & Westmorland was a delight. The Deputy Grand Master performed the ceremony with great style and much appreciated by all in attendance.
Supported by a deputation from the current Team of Acting Officers, I had the pleasure of attending the national meeting of the Kindred Lodges Association (KLA) held under the Banner of Pathfinder Lodge No: 8236 at Sheffield. What a very happy occasion! The KLA is formed by Lodges with links to Youth Organisations such as Scouting and the Boys Brigade.
On the horizon, I will be attending a Meeting of Universities Lodge, Sheffield No: 3911 to meet and greet a Past Grand Master of the Netherlands Constitution. I also have a number of Lodge Installation Meetings in my diary and also a variety of Charity presentations ranging from Yorkshire Air Ambulance to the RHS Garden at Harlow Carr.
When I am out and about, please do feel free to come and talk with me to share your successes and even your sorrows. I do try to meet everyone at meetings, and one thing that is noticeable is that younger members seem to be uninhibited about talking with me.
Not all, but some of our more mature and experienced Brethren seem to be a little reluctant to approach me? Perhaps it is a legacy from a bygone era when Provincial Grand Masters were kept apart from the Brethren?
As I say to nervous Masters and Brethren when they meet me for the first time:
“I greet you first as a Brother and now as Provincial Grand Master.”
What greater honour can there be than being a Free and Accepted Mason and a Brother?
2018 - Best Year Ever!
As ever, my Fraternal Regards and My Very Best Wishes to All,
Right Worshipful Brother David S. Pratt - Provincial Grand Master
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David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire West Riding