RW Bro. John Kendall Clayton, PProvGM, PProvMEGSupt. Called to Peace and Rest by the Great Architect of the Universe
I could not possibly start without paying tribute to a great man and a great Freemason who has been called to higher service by the Great Architect of the Universe.
RW Bro. John had been suffering from severe progressive ill-health for several years and has now passed away peacefully. The annals of this Province will show the name of RW Bro. John Kendall Clayton as one of the finest Provincial Grand Masters and Most Excellent Grand Superintendents that we have ever had in this wonderful Province. He was the epitome of professionalism as a leading and highly respected Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and an exemplar of all our Masonic virtues:
“What you observe praiseworthy in others you should carefully imitate.”
The family have requested all to note that the funeral will be a celebration of RW Bro. John’s life and achievements. I regret deeply not being able to attend the funeral myself as I will be overseas with no available flights to bring me home earlier than scheduled.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sue, John’s widow and all of the family. Appropriate floral tributes will be sent by the Province.
Updates on Objectives:
The Membership Pathway - Let’s Make it Happen! “Now – if I could show you a way to increase Membership in your Lodge – Would you be interested?”
Membership Pathway - Enquire within, and all will be found!
I am delighted to learn that many Lodges have already appointed Membership Officers. This is a bold initiative; however, the work cannot be left to just one Brother - We are all “Membership Officers”.
My thanks to our Provincial Membership Team for providing support and encouragement to Lodges and Membership Officers
New Lodge at Garforth? I mentioned last month that there is a project looking at the potential of how to grow Freemasonry in developing areas of population. Garforth is in the East of Leeds, and a new Lodge would be a strategic initiative in a growing part of the Province. Watch out for more about this on the Provincial Website and in Monthly Mailings to Lodges.
Raising our Civic Profile - Making a Difference!
Civic Engagement I am always looking for ideas Brethren – not just profile in Town Halls and the like but anywhere where we can be seen to raise our profile and to raise awareness about Freemasonry in our Communities.
Provincial Grand Master’s Fund (PGM’s Fund) & West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd. (WRMCL) “Will This Grant Make A Difference?” This is a crucial question that the members of the PGM’s Fund Committee always have in their minds when considering any grant application.
Here is a “Making a Difference” Story:The PGM’s Fund has provided many defibrillators to Communities across the Province.Last year such a piece of life-saving equipment was used 15 times! Yes! 15 times!How do we know?The Ambulance Service keeps a log of the usage of defibrillators in public places.That certainly made a difference x 15, and the generosity of the Brethren donations has led to lives being saved.
Minor Grants - Is There Anybody There? Another plea!I am still at a loss to understand why some Lodges (and Chapters) rarely make or have never made an application to the PGM’s Fund for local worthy causes? The recipients tell us that they are so appreciative of the grants that are awarded – small or large. Defibrillators to Desktops - Kettles to Kitchens – Bikes to Boats – Catteries to Computers!An impressive and eclectic array of items that have been paid for by the grants awarded and all have made a vital difference in our Communities.
Major Grants - 2019 The closing date for the submission of applications is fast approaching.A grant of anything up to £30,000 makes an enormous difference to worthy causes with high impact in a local Community. The additional scrutiny applied to such applications is the reason why more supporting information is required.The PGM’s Fund is money is from Brethren and their families, so the stringent due diligence process is designed to ensure that grants go to the right places.
Enough is Enough! An online article in the Dewsbury Publication included a nasty and incorrect comment on Freemasonry.Apparently, the Reporter is well-known for his provocative style. My response was instantaneous including an invitation to meet me for an informative session on the reality of Freemasonry in the 21st Century.No reply has been received, so I am not holding my breath!
As Freemasons, we will not allow such articles to appear unchallenged.
I do encourage every Brother to be vigilant.We have good relationships with the local media generally.We must all be ever watchful should anything unfair or untrue appear.
Appropriate action will be taken to correct myths, challenge inaccuracies and to protect the reputation of Freemasonry and of Freemasons.
Enhancing Member Experiences
Installation of New Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Two wonderful Installation Meetings were held at Otley and at Castle Grove, Leeds. W Bro. Dr Andrew Wright and W Bro. Ian Lewis has now both been Installed as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters to lead their respective Areas in the Province. My thanks go to Chevin Lodge No: 6848 and Legiolium Lodge No: 1542 for playing their full part in the organisation of the respective historical events.
Investiture of W Bro. Anthony Llewellyn as Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master A Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master is entitled to wear a distinctive collarette and jewel. It has been my custom to ask recipients how they would like to receive their collarette and jewel.Some like the regalia handed to them, others prefer to be invested at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, and others ask for the presentation to be made in their own Lodge.
So it was that I attended the Installation Meeting of St. Michael’s Lodge No: 4353 at Castle Grove Masonic Hall in Headingley, Leeds where I presented the distinctive regalia to W Bro. Llewellyn with my thanks for a job well done.This was only one aspect of a tremendous and busy evening in the presence of a goodly number of Brethren.My thanks to the Lodge for allowing me to conduct the Provincial Business during their Meeting.
2018 Initiates’ Evenings Following the outstanding success of the 2017 Initiates’ Evenings then held to celebrate the admission of new Members during our Tercentenary Year, I have decided to repeat the events. We had nearly 200 Initiates in 2018 and Events are being arranged at many venues across the Province.I intend to attend all Events with other Rulers to meet and greet our new Members and their families and friends. Details of the Events with dates and venues are about to be published.I do encourage Lodge members to support their own Brethren by also attending the Events. SOLOMON - The Masonic Learning System The number of registered users is growing every day throughout our Masonic World. The usage data shows an interesting fact that as many, if not more, older Freemasons are looking to make a daily advancement in their Masonic Knowledge.I can only continue to sing the praises of this new Member benefit.The content is well presented, easy to use, easy to read, informative and stimulating. My own Life-long Learning Journey continues as I have indeed found out about aspects of Freemasonry that I had not even considered before.
I can only continue to encourage all to register and sample this truly excellent member benefit. The Provincial Learning & Development Team has now determined an approach to include SOLOMON as a resource within our own Province to complement our well respected existing Provincial Programme of “Masonic Light”.
Team Visit to Forest of Knaresborough Lodge No: 7452 An additional Team visit by the 2018/19 Acting Officers was enjoyed by all.We saw the Making of a Mason, and it was a delight to be present in such excellent company.I was so pleased that I was able to discharge the promise that I made to visit the Lodge and equally grateful to my Team for their ongoing enthusiastic support by accompanying me on yet another evening away from their homes.This was an outstanding experience and has shown a way to enable me to take the Team to our smaller Masonic Halls.
I have asked my Assistant Provincial Grand Masters to recommend where to visit with my Team of 2019/20 Acting Officers.
And Finally: My Plans for February
Area 4 Gala Dinner and Dance Really looking forward to attending this event where the Mayor of Barnsley will be in attendance.I will undoubtedly be taking the opportunity to Raise our Civic Profile! (I heard that somewhere?)
50th Jubilee Certificate Presentation – Welcome Lodge No: 3779, Sheffield VW Bro. Jack Pigott, PDepProvGM, PGSwdB, will be celebrating this significant milestone in Masonic service.I am really looking forward to presenting the Certificate myself. I am particularly pleased that ladies of the Lodge and other guests will be invited to witness such a special moment as the Lodge will be “Called off” for that purpose.
Closure Meeting, Temple Lodge No: 4963, Howarth Another “Sad/Happy” occasion however all things have a natural cycle of existence. When a Lodge does close for the last time, we must always celebrate the vital part that the Lodge and the Members have played in building the Masonic Edifice to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe.
And Finally, Finally:
Britannic Lodge of Madeira I shall be conducting a Passing Ceremony – Just in case you happen to be in Funchal!
My very best wishes to all my Brethren and to their loved ones for a truly splendid 2019.