LATEST NEWS UPDATE for 2019
The end of another year is fast approaching and the nights are getting very cold. Traditions across many cultures include festivities to feast and to look forward to the New Year with lighter and warmer days to generate growth. So it will be for Freemasonry and our Province in 2020 through energy and focus to celebrate and to grow our wonderful Order.
A New Arrival - Our colleague in the Provincial Office, Connie Greenwood, has given birth to a baby boy, Jack, 9lb 8oz. and we are told that both are doing well. A hearty welcome to the new arrival and very best wishes to Connie, Jack and family.
Ruler Change - As advised to all Lodges, W Bro. Alan Elstone, PJGD, has resigned from the Office of Assistant Provincial Grand Master. W Bro. Elstone has certainly not enjoyed the best of health recently and circumstances have led to me accepting his resignation. My thanks to W Bro. Elstone for all his efforts and the valuable contribution made to our
I have been pleased to appoint W Bro. Robert Cole, PAGReg, PPSGW to succeed as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. The Installation ceremony, as advised, will take place on Wednesday the 19th of February 2020 at a meeting of Mexborough Lodge No: 6117 at the Masonic Hall, Willow Royd, West Vale, Halifax.
INCREASING MEMBERSHIP - It really is all about: Attraction, Retention and Retrieval
Members’ Pathway - It works! We must consider ourselves very fortunate in that when we became Freemasons, we joined a Lodge that has been established and grown with love and care by previous generations. Our temporary custodianship of a Lodge means that we all have a responsibility regarding the future. It is such a pleasure to see some Lodges thrive and for new Lodges to be Consecrated. Equally, there is no shame when members decide
that their Lodge has served its useful purpose and the time has come to return the Warrant.
Ultimately, it is all a matter of choice and then action.
The Provincial Membership Team stands ready to support any Lodge who wishes to grow by attracting, retaining and retrieving members. Reconfirming my absolute requirement –
Candidates must be of the appropriate calibre to add lustre and dignity to our ancient Institution comprising men of integrity and who live their lives by the noble principles of Freemasonry.
“by refraining from recommending anyone to a participation of our secrets unless you have strong grounds to believe that by a similar fidelity he will ultimately reflect honour on your choice”.
RAISING OUR CIVIC PROFILE - Looking to Make a Difference!
Remembrance Day Events - Our Gratitude to those who fell on the field of battle .–
A sacrifice never to be forgotten and a “tie” of respect and gratitude that binds us all together: In my travels I have seen our special tie being worn with a quiet, discreet and dignified distinction. My thanks to all who have purchased a tie. The sale of ties has again resulted in a donation to the Royal British Legion. It will be the same again please in 2020.
Ties will be made available for sale mid-way in the year.
Sikh War Memorial, Greenhead Park, Huddersfield
Sikh War Memorial - A Tribute to the Fallen: I was pleased and proud that our Masonic family was suitably represented at the unveiling of a stunning £65,000 bronze statue of a Sikh soldier to commemorate the thousands of Sikhs who fought and died in two World Wars. The ceremony, conducted by Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson in Huddersfield’s Greenhead Park, celebrated almost a decade of planning and fund-raising by Sikh organisations, the Army, Royal British Legion, Kirklees Council and public support.
The Provincial Grand Master’s Fund made a donation and one of the day’s organisers was Bro. Jaswant Singh Chata, of Mexborough Lodge No: 6117. W Bro. Manjit Singh, of Salarden Lodge No: 3971 took part in a wreath-laying ceremony. Mirfield Mayor; Cllr. W Bro. Martyn Bolt, W Bro. John Gledhill, PSGD, PAsstProvGM and his wife Sylvia and W Bro. Ken Davy of Concord Lodge No: 4126, were among invited guests who braved the bitterly cold weather for a hugely heart-warming ceremony watched by several hundred people.
Those Floods! My thanks to all who have contributed both money and also man-power to assist our Brethren and other fellow creatures in distress in South Yorkshire. We have made a difference and have shown that if we can help - we will!
West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd/Provincial Grand Master’s Fund - The final 2019 list of small grants makes for splendid reading! The generosity of Freemasons is a powerful example of our principles in action in our Communities.
Harrogate Mayor’s Visit to Spa Lodge - This looks like becoming a well-established event. Well Done!
I do encourage all Lodges to think about inviting local Civic Leaders to visit Masonic Halls and Lodges. It is a great opportunity to entertain, educate and to demonstrate support for our communities. I will add that the same applies for any other significant groups in communities such as Religious Leaders, Youth Organisations, Historical Societies, Social Clubs, Professional Organisations, etc., etc., etc.
ENHANCING MEMBER EXPERIENCES - A Treasure Chest of Gifts!
Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication - Another splendid day in London in a packed Grand Temple with many overseas visitors from our own and other Constitutions. A very colourful occasion seeing different, in some cases very different, regalia from all parts of the Globe! Do please see the UGLE Website to read the words of our Pro Grand Master:
Not visited Freemasons’ Hall in London? My recommendation is to go and take your family.
The organised tours are a delight and a visit to the Grand Lodge Museum makes for a memorable and great experience.
Education for Freemasons - If the activities of the Festive Season become overwhelming Why not dip into “Solomon” for some relaxation? The “Nuggets” are there to be enjoyed and the list keeps on growing!
2020 looks like being really busy with Centenary Celebrations, a Bicentenary Celebration,
Initiates’ Evenings, the Consecration of a new Lodge etc. These are significant or new activities. However, the most important thing is to not only enjoy ourselves but to keep practising the principles and traditions of Freemasonry in our own Lodges. Lodges and members are the power houses and engines of Freemasonry. Think about the future, respect the past and keep evolving to ensure that we grow to hand over to future generations! We are only limited by our own imaginations and sometimes shackled by non-existent chains.
A New Year Resolution? Strive to improve anything that we touch in our lives!
A Thought to Close the Year for New Year’s Eve (2020 is a Leap Year!):
“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 366 page book. Write a good one”.
My Fraternal and Festive Greetings and Regards to you and all your loved ones!
May the Great Architect of the Universe bless and protect us.
RW Bro. David S. Pratt - Provincial Grand Master
“2019 Was Great. 2020 Will Be Even Better!
David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire West Riding