NEWS FROM THE PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER
In a brief respite from all the rain, I ventured forth in the sunshine yesterday to cut the grass! It had to be done and could not be left any longer. Cutting wet and heavy grass is no fun but certainly helped me to burn off some calories.
I can report that my planned weight loss continues and I do thank the Brethren who have suggested that this could be sponsored for Charity. I am still looking for that 73kgs man inside me! (According to my GP, that’s what it says in “The Book”!).
Masonic October? A strange for month for me with far more “behind the scenes” activities than events in regalia and meetings. Still if you fail to plan then........ (You know the rest Brethren!)
Let me start by thanking WBro. Ronald Crabtree, PAGDC, who has tendered his resignation from the Office of Provincial Grand Almoner. My thanks to you WBro. Ronald for your hard work and efforts. Now it’s time for you to enjoy life with your extended family.
I attended the Provincial and District Grand Masters’ Rulers’ Forum at Freemasons’ Hall in London. The items on the agenda on the future of Freemasonry were stimulating and provoked vigorous and impassioned debate. The wind of change continues to blow through Grand Lodge and we can expect even more direction and support from London to ensure that Freemasonry continues to survive and thrive. Key message: the past was interesting but we cannot live there.
My thanks to the Past Provincial Rulers who joined me at a meeting at Castle Grove Masonic Hall to be briefed on the successes of Province during 2019 and plans for 2020.
New Temporary Staff Member. A big welcome to Charlotte Waythe who has joined the Team in the Provincial Office to provide Maternity Cover.
My thanks to the Lodge of Harmony No: 275, Huddersfield for inviting me and my wife to attend their Ladies Luncheon. We were graced with the presence of the Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Mumtaz Hussain and the Lady Mayoress.
INCREASING MEMBERSHP – Attraction, Retention and Retrieval
More great news from Lodges who are adopting the Members’ Pathway.
Attraction? I was very pleased to hear that Ripon Lodges have four Candidates and this is happening all over the Province. Do please remember Brethren, it is quality as well as quantity that matters. Our hard-working Membership Team stand ready to assist any Lodge.
Following a number of requests, I have asked our Provincial Grand Secretary to publish some suggested questions for use during Candidate Interviews to supplement those shown
in the Members’ Pathway. Please note - these will be recommendations and Lodges may well have a bank of their own questions to assess the suitability of Candidates.
A personal request to Interviewers from me please. We have all heard the words from the Preliminary Declaration in the Book of Constitutions concerning the indissoluble link with Royal Arch Masonry. Please would you make reference to the Royal Arch as part of the selection process? I do believe that an explanation of the complete journey in Freemasonry should be included at the earliest stage.
On the theme of “Quality as well as Quantity” - I would also like to take this opportunity to confirm that Candidates who have come via the Internet are not on any “fast track”. Proposers and Seconders must be fully satisfied regarding the suitability of the prospective Candidate. I do expect that all Candidates receive a home visit so that the views of the spouse/partner can also be assessed.
Retention? We are still losing Brethren after a short period of membership. This is puzzling. I am curious to know why this happens. There is some evidence that Candidates who have been fully prepared are more likely to retain membership. This leads me on to Retrieval. . .
Retrieval? We appear to have a few hundred “Unattached” Brethren on the books of the Province. These are Brothers who have resigned and no longer belong to a Lodge. I have asked our Provincial Grand Secretary to research this and to establish that most delicate matter of whether the Brother is still alive. When we have the details, we shall be asking Lodges to make contact with our Brethren who are currently “lost” but must not be forgotten.
We also have a number of Brethren who pay subscriptions but do not attend their Lodges. Again, I do ask Lodges, especially our already hard-working Almoner, to make contact to show that we do care. All the evidence shows that if a Brother starts not to attend and no- one makes contact then they just fade away and resign. I often use the phrase – We are a Fraternal Organisation! We do need to care about our absent Brethren and must do everything possible to bring them back into the fold.
RAISING OUR CIVIC PROFILE - Be There and Be Involved!
Charity matters - My continued thanks to my Brethren and families for such generosity. I am deeply conscious that it is “family money”.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance Award! We received a special recognition award at the Annual YAA Dinner held at the Oulton Hall Hotel. The Certificate is now in the Provincial Office.
Once again. My thanks to West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd who provided me with a cheque for £4000 to present to the Mayor of Kirklees in support of his Charities of the year – The Samaritans and Diabetes UK.
Really Big News to be Announced Soon! We have been working with the Lord Lieutenant and his Team in South Yorkshire on a Community initiative. Watch this space!
Remembrance Ties – The additional ties bought for sale this year have nearly all gone! That is magnificent Brethren! You have my permission to wear the tie during the month of
November as a fitting and discreet tribute to Freemasons and others who have fallen during times of conflict serving King/Queen and Country. “For our tomorrow they gave their today”.
Remembrance Day - I do encourage Brethren to support their local events. I am aware of Brethren who prefer to participate privately in silent memory and tribute. There is my standing Dispensation for regalia to be worn in public and the weather on the day and local traditions should determine what, if any should be worn - Full regalia, collars and jewels only or even none at all if raining.
ENHANCING MEMBER EXPERIENCES
LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT MATTERS!
Yes it really does matter Brethren. Potential Candidates want to know more before committing to membership and Members of all ages are curious to know more.
I encourage all to make use of our Provincial “Masonic Light” Programme and also the Solomon Learning Platform. The new Modules on Solomon are terrific and the “Professional Voice Over” versions of some of the key Modules are about to be released.
2019 Initiates’ Evenings - All have now been booked for February and March 2020. I do encourage Lodge members and their families to attend to support their new Brethren.
NOVEMBER – The end of 2019 is in sight! A great month ahead!
"Those who resist being part of the solution could be part of the problem” “Who wants to be anything other than part of the solution?” - After Eldridge Cleaver
My continued very best wishes to you and yours
Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master
David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire West Riding