David S. Pratt
Provincial Grand Master
Eclectic and Diverse Notes from a very busy and very happy Provincial Grand Master
Time’s Winged Chariot! Yet Another Month Has Flown By!
At the start of the month, my elder daughter and grand-children came-over from Los Angeles and we all went on holiday. Our trips included going fossil hunting and Harry Potter’ing in Oxford in Dorset among many, many other things. It is just amazing how many Freemasons from all over the World that you bump into during such visits. Brothers and Friends that we did not know existed!
Presentation of a PAsstProvGM’s collarette and jewel
It was a delight to attend Concord Lodge No: 4126 at Lindley Masonic Hall, Huddersfield. Following a tremendous Initiation Ceremony I had the pleasure of acknowledging the services of a Past Ruler by presenting WBro. John Gledhill, PSGD with his Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master’s collarette and jewel. Well done WBro. Gledhill - Richly deserved!
Bitten by a Goose! (An Industrial Injury I wonder as I was on duty?)
A true story – I was on Masonic Business in York and walked past a goose not knowing that I was walking nearer to another goose! It clearly did not like me and gave me a real nip on the arm. No damage as I was saved by my sturdy black jacket and raincoat! Team of 2017/18 Acting Officers – Team Visit to Aurora Lodge No: 4047 An absolutely splendid Initiation Ceremony and the final Area visit of the year for the current Team of Acting Provincial Officers. My thanks to all of the Team for their tremendous support during a wonderful Tercentenary/Bicentenary year. Attendances at the visits to Lodges in each Area during the current year have been supported nearly all the Acting Officers on each occasion.
The 2nd Northern Masonic Variety Show
We were treated to an evening of superb professional entertainment at The Bradford Grammar School. A really good time was had by all in the presence of High Rulers who attended from London. The profits will be applied to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund 2023 Festival. Well done to all the Acts, the Organisers and the Stewards. A delighted and enthusiastic audience were most appreciative by applauding with vigour! How was I “arrested” and dragged on to the stage? I felt well “Run in” by those Bold Gendarmes! Here’s to the next time when the event will be held in support the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund
St. George’s Day! Royal Society of St. George - Celebration at Morley
Once again, I was treated really well as part of the official and civic delegation to observe a magnificent parade of local organisations and youth movements. How lovely that we as Freemasons were invited to this Civic occasion. 2018 will see an ever increasing participation in appropriate Civic activities.
London - Annual Investiture
Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter. Meetings and Dinner with the High Rulers, Provincial and District Grand Masters. The Annual Banquet – This time at the Guildhall. Many congratulations to recipients of Grand Rank honoured by the MWGM/1stGP.
Masonic Meeting Place Seminar 2
Led by the Provincial Consultation Team, this was the second gathering of Directors and Trustees of Masonic Halls held at Greenhead Masonic Hall, Huddersfield. It was such a shame that a number of Masonic Halls were surprisingly not represented as important information on Fire safety and energy and insurance potential cost saving opportunities. The words of the Speakers were all well received. The presentation on Fire safety was particularly informative inspiring those in attendance to take immediate appropriate action.
Installation Meeting of West Riding Acting Officers Lodge No: 9645
It has been the custom for a Ruler to attend the Installation Meeting of the Lodge and this year I am delighted to be able to continue tradition with a personal visit. Looking Ahead – The Barometer says: “Even Busier”!
And finally for this month:
The Provincial Quiz Final - 30th May - Castle Grove, Leeds
Feedback from the Area Heats confirms that competition has been fierce with the winning Team being decided in the Final Round! I have no doubt that the “Grand Final” will be equally competitive. I do encourage Brethren to support their Area Finalists so we can all have a wonderful evening The cup has been polished. Whose name will be engraved on the cup as “2018 Champions”? From concept to reality! My thanks to the Organising Team who have done a great job in bringing this now Annual Provincial Quiz into being?
My Very Best Wishes to all my Beloved Brethren, Families and Friends
Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master
March Already? Yes indeed! 2018 is moving at a pace. What a Month! What a Year! 2018
Our Best Year Ever! Enough is indeed enough! – The Grand Lodge response to recent unwarranted Media attacks: You will have seen how things are changing? We will not turn the other cheek however I am delighted to confirm that our relationship with of local media is very good. I would like every Brother to have the confidence to stand up for Freemasonry if we are being victimised. There is never any need to be aggressive – just sufficiently assertive with the correct facts. Please contact the Provincial Office if you need guidance.
New approach to managing the Province: This has been circulated so I’m not going to go into any great depth. Suffice it to say that the World is becoming ever more complicated and we are now doing, and plan to do, many more things in the Province than ever before. We need the revised flexible and robust structure to take this Province on to greater achievements for the enjoyment of every Brother. The new structure comes into being in May and I am most grateful to my Deputy and W Bro. John Boyington together with all of the other Assistant Provincial Grand Masters for working the strategic concept into reality.
Royal Arch Matters: The animated ”Talking Heads” presentation on Royal Arch Masonry held at Huddersfield was both enjoyable and educational. A really good time was had by all. Even long standing Royal Arch Masons heard new information about the Royal Arch. I am delighted to assist the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent with this initiative and recommend to all a visit to a “Talking Heads” presentation.
Tercentenary Initiates’ Evenings: The final events held at Tapton Hall and Doncaster have also been resounding successes. The overwhelming comment was “More Please! As a result of such positive feedback, I am pleased to announce that the events will be repeated in early 2019 for this year’s intake of new Members and their families and friends.
West Riding Masonic Charities Annual General Meeting held at Barnsley: My continued thanks to VW Bro. Jack Pigott, PGSwdB, PProvDepGM and his enthusiastic Team of Directors for their prudent custodianship and active management of our Charity. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. continues to be one of the most significant support programmes ever introduced in this Province providing speedy relief to our Brethren and dependents in urgent need of support.
Well Done Team! We are all very proud of your efforts!
Couldn’t attend the AGM? You missed a treat with an excellent presentation from our well beloved Yorkshire Air Ambulance. My suggestion? Make sure that your Lodge is well represented at the 2019 AGM.
Honours: The first Saturday in March is historically the scheduled date for the delivery of certain letters. My congratulations to all who are due to receive their first appointment or promotion in both Grand Lodge and also Provincial Grand Lodge. Let me also confirm that if such a letter did not arrive for you that you are still a beloved Brother and special to me.
Our Provincial Grand Secretary and his Team did a splendid job in fighting the snow to ensure that the letters were put into the postal system on time. Alas the Royal Mail was unable to deliver all of the letters on the following day to all parts of the Province due to the extreme wintery conditions.
Ripon revisited – A Groundhog Day Stone Laying Ceremony: You will remember our glorious event at Ripon Cathedral to celebrate the Tercentenary? It was so good that we had to do it all again! Why? I think the technical term is that there was a “technical malfunction” with the main camera. My thanks to all who have assisted in recreating the event for posterity however I must make special mention of the outstanding efforts of one of our Brethren: The original stone is now firmly laid in the floor of the Cathedral and cannot be moved so W Bro. Graham Shelton, PProvSGD of Chantry Lodge No: 4065, an operative stonemason, inscribed a substitute stone with the exact wording for the re-shoot. I know just how much work was involved and such willing support provided is much appreciated!
Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting – Tuesday, 8th May at the Royal Hall, Harrogate: I would be delighted to see all my Lodges represented and this is my special invitation to Master Masons – Do come and enjoy the glittering experience. I am told that there is a distinct possibility of me bursting into song! (If you are lucky!).
And finally: “Have some Madeira M’Dear?” – Consecration of the Britannic Lodge of Madeira I know that there are many Brethren, like myself, who enjoy visiting that Magic Island – “The Pearl of the Atlantic”. I attended the Consecration of the fourth Lodge on the Island. What a week-end! Although there is a rich and long history of Freemasonry in Madeira, there was a gap of nearly 80 years following the proscription of Freemasonry by the then communist regime in Portugal in 1935. The new Lodge, meeting under the Legal Grand Lodge of Portugal, will work in English and looks forward to welcoming visitors. Wives and families are fully involved in all social activities! For more details please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (direct contact should only be made when you are in Portugal or Madiera).
Fraternal Regards and Best Wishes to all.
My Beloved Brethren,
“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom”.
Le Morte D’Arthur - Thomas Malory c: 1469
“The sun’s up above, it’s a glorious day to inspire my Brothers and to celebrate May”.
Personal Musings – ProvGM 2017
Provincial Grand Lodge –Harrogate 2nd May
Indeed! A Grand Day Out in magnificent surroundings at Harrogate with perfect weather.It was so pleasing to see the smiling faces and so many Brethren in attendance.
The presence of Masters and Master Masons who shared the experience was a delight for us all as these Brethren are the future of Freemasonry!
Congratulations to all who received rank preferment in Provincial Grand Lodge.
My thanks to the 2016/17 Team of Acting Officers and a big “Hello” to the 2017/18 Team.
As I presented the cheques to the worthy recipients of the major grants from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund I was struck by the gratitude expressed by the recipients. Let there be no misunderstanding Brethren we make a huge difference in local communities. The lusty singing of “Jerusalem” made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!
Provincial Grand Master’s Fund
Be it a small or major grant – They all make such a difference! This year there is £300,000 available so I would ask every Lodge (and Chapter) to pro-actively seek out local needs.
No absolute guarantees regarding support can be given, however we will always do our very best to respond positively to a qualifying request.
True Story from a recent visit to a Lodge:
PM to ProvGM: “We get nothing from the PGM’s Fund!”
ProvGM to PM: “Really? What have your recommended?”
PM to ProvGM: “We’ve never applied”
And the moral of this? I’ll leave this to you Brethren.
Support for Victims of the Manchester Bombing and their relatives
West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd has generously donated £10,000 to the Emergency Fund
set up by the Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire. Thank-you Brethren – This is where we have acted quickly in response to a request from our nearby Brethren.
You will also remember that the Masonic Charitable Foundation has provided an additional
£3 million this year for local causes to celebrate the Tercentenary. Please look at this link
and make sure that your vote counts: https://mcf.org.uk/community-awards-vote/
May Diary Notes:
10th - A 60th Certificate presentation at Lightcliffe Lodge No: 3332. It is always such a
delight to celebrate long and faithful service. 60 Glorious Years worthy of great celebration!
20th - The Lodge of Charity No: 4105, Bradford hosted the Annual meeting of Lodges with
“Charity” in their names. A splendid occasion enriched by the attendance of Brethren from
all over England and also a deputation from a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
Right Worshipful Brother David
March – Spring appears to be “Springing” in this part of our glorious County.I felt exhausted last Sunday having beaten down the jungle that hid a lawn beneath!
West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd – Annual General Meeting at BarnsleyIt was a privilege to be in the company of such caring and generous Brethren. I do thank the Chairman, VWBro. Jack Pigott and his stalwart Team of Directors for their prudent and generous management of the Charity. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is proving to be one of the most significant support programmes ever introduced in this Province providing speedy relief to our Brethren and dependents in urgent need of support. Well Done Team! We are all very proud of your efforts!
If you have not been able to attend an AGM – A visit to the 2018 AGM will confirm the enormous beneficial impact that our own Charity makes in our local communities.
Grand Lodge Tercentenary/Provincial Bicentenary CelebrationsActivities are starting to happen everywhere and I am most grateful to my Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro. Paul Clark, who has the responsibility of co-ordinating our Provincial response.
We have distributed nearly all of our Provincial allocation of tickets for the Royal Albert Hall event and there now is a waiting list for places at the celebration dinner in Battersea.
I would like to encourage the management of all Masonic Halls to open their doors to the general public on the 24th of June being the very date of the Tercentenary. We should be proud to show who we are and what we do. My thanks to the Masonic Halls who already have this matter in hand.
I note so much going on and my thanks to all organisers with my best wishes for memorable events.
RMBI 2017 Festival – Almost There!
The February figure has been released. I have asked not to be told anything more until the final
figure is actually revealed on the evening of the Festival Banquet at the Armouries, Leeds. I am sure that our Great Province of Yorkshire, West Riding will not be found wanting. My continued thanks to all the Brethren and their families for such tremendous support.
The first Saturday in March is the scheduled date for the delivery of certain letters.
My congratulations to all who are due to receive their first appointment or promotion. Let me also say that if such a letter did not arrive for you that you are still a beloved Brother and special to me.
The transparent and robust system of assessment in this Province is scrupulously fair and consistent.
I am always inclined to apply the human touch of generosity wherever possible. On this matter, I
thought that it would be useful to have an article published in White Rose again providing a candid explanation of how the system works and it does work!
Finally, I am looking forward to the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Harrogate.
Watch out for some changes in my address! With so much news so readily available, I intend to
dispense with matters already in circulation and concentrate on the celebratory nature of the event. I might even burst into song? Who knows? Trust me - It will be a splendid occasion!
It would be a delight to see Masters, Wardens and Master Masons in the body of the Hall.
My love and very best wishes to you and yours as always.
RWBro. David S. Pratt - Provincial Grand Master