David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master
What incredible weather we have been enjoying – The sun has been shining, and the Spring flowers are already showing well in our garden. Light, warmth and lustre! It feels as if the sun has been shining on us all Brethren - February has been a wonderful Masonic Month!
Updates on Objectives:
The Membership Pathway - From Planning to Implementation!
The fundamental requirement Brethren is the quality of Candidates and not just the numbers. Our Order can only be enriched by the admission new Members of integrity and of the right calibre who will add value to our Lodges.
If there is any doubt about a potential Candidate? – Just say: “Thank-you but No!”
Need More Ideas?
Wonderful feedback has been received about a presentation delivered by our Provincial Information Officer, W Bro. David Simister, PProvSGW, on “Marketing your Lodge”.
This is a subject that fits brilliantly into any plan to increase Lodge Membership.
I am particularly looking forward to attending something new! - A Breakfast Meeting in Harrogate organised by W Bro. David for Brethren and also for potential candidates. This is just the sort of innovative activity to educate, entertain, enthuse and to attract!
New Lodge at Garforth? Proposing to Meet at Garforth Golf Club.
I was delighted to learn that there are now in excess of 40 Petitioners and this is very encouraging.
There are a number of organisational hurdles to get across; however personally; I see no reason why this Lodge should not be brought into existence.
No news yet about a Consecration date or venue however as it will indeed be a rare event in current times, a goodly number in attendance can be expected.
Well done to the Organising Committee! Things are really shaping up well!
As a general principle, I am always open to the suggestion for a new Lodge proving a strong business case supports the application. Areas in the Province where there are plans for new housing estates and growth would appear to be ripe for such new Lodges.
It has also been whispered to me that a potential new “Past Masters’ Lodge” is being discussed in the South of the Province. Again, I look forward with great anticipation to reading the business case to explain the rationale for such a new Lodge that demonstrates ongoing viability.
Raising our Civic Profile - Making a Difference!
My thanks to the Brethren who have let me have their thoughts on how to advance the achievement of this Objective. Please keep your ideas coming Brethren.
Provincial Grand Master’s Fund (PGM’s Fund) & West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd. (WRMCL)
Major Grants - 2019
I have the date in my diary for the meeting to consider applications and to select the recipients. It will be a pleasure to meet and greet the representatives of the successful groups at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Harrogate on the 7th May. My thanks to W Bro. Tony Brailsford, PSGD, PAsstProvGM, who has once again volunteered to act as our Compère for this part of the meeting when Provincial Grand Lodge is Called Off.
We will also be welcoming our WRMCL Care & Support Officers on stage to applaud their invaluable contribution to the ongoing well-being of our Province. Their tireless efforts are much appreciated by all.
Enough is Enough! No Longer Will We; “Turn the Other Cheek!”
Last month, I referred to an article written by a provocative local Journalist containing an unpleasant and inaccurate comment about Freemasonry. As expected, there has been no response to my invitation to him to meet with me to discuss the reality of Freemasonry in the 21st Century. I did chuckle when he referred to me as the “Grand Pooh-Bah” in his online response to my letter.
Area 4 Gala Dinner: The 2019 Dinner and Dance held at the Magna Centre at Rotherham was a memorable evening of pleasure in great company. The attendance of the Mayor of Barnsley accompanied by the Lady Mayoress added lustre to a splendid occasion. Once again, WRMCL made a generous donation of £2,500 to the Mayor’s Charities of his year for a local Hospice and a Dementia Charity. Really well done to the organisers!
Enhancing Member Experiences
2018 Initiates’ Evenings
All six events have been now arranged in March around the Province and bookings are being accepted. Idea! Why not support your new members by joining them and their families at the event to celebrate their admission into Freemasonry in 2018.
The event on Friday, 15th March at Castle Grove, Leeds will also include the investiture of a number of Past Provincial Grand Stewards.
SOLOMON – The Masonic Learning System Update: Please Sample the Delights!
The numbers of registered users are growing and include Brethren of all ages and from all parts of the Globe including other Constitutions. It is particularly interesting to note that a number of Ladies have also registered and this is further evidence of our approach to openness and of sharing knowledge.
I can only continue to encourage all to register and sample this truly excellent member benefit.
50th Jubilee Certificate Presentation - Welcome Lodge No: 3779, Sheffield
It was my pleasure to present our own VW Bro. Jack Pigott, PGSwdB, PDepProvGM, with his Jubilee Certificate at a very well attended meeting. A really good time was had by all!
Closure Meeting, Temple Lodge No: 4963, Howarth
This happened as scheduled when the existence of the Lodge and contribution to Freemasonry was celebrated. I am so pleased that virtually all of the members of the former Lodge are now happy in other Lodges and that the arrangements to provide continuing support to Lodge widows and dependants are well in place. As I said at the meeting, there is almost as much work to be done when a Lodge closes as for a Consecration. My thanks to all the Brethren who laboured so well to achieve an efficient and dignified Lodge closure.
2019/20 Area Visits by Acting Provincial Officers
I invite all the Brethren to assist in this matter. My Assistant Provincial Grand Masters will recommend to me where to visit with my Team of 2019/20 Acting Officers. If you would like your Lodge to be considered for a visit, please do make it known to your Liaison Officer.
An important point is that there are no costs involved for any Lodge selected for such a visit.
Centenaries on the Horizon!
Following the end of “The Great War” in 1918, a significant number of new Lodges were formed throughout the Constitution to accommodate a rapid increase of membership by returning Servicemen. Those Lodges are now planning to celebrate their Centenaries. A wonderful milestone and cause for much celebration! We have a goodly number of Lodges scheduled to celebrate their Centenaries in our Province over the next few years.
All the Rulers and other senior Provincial Officers are looking forward to participating in the celebrations to make the occasions very special.
Just in case you are passing ....
Off to Madeira for a Ladies Night and to conduct a Third Degree Ceremony! (Yes! This Provincial Grand Master can still execute the work!)
My love and very best wishes to you and yours as always.
“2018 Was Good - 2019 Will Be EVEN BETTER!”
RW Bro. David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master
RW Bro. John Kendall Clayton, PProvGM, PProvMEGSupt.