November 24, 2021
RW Bro James H Newman, OBE, PJGW named as new Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding
RW Bro James H Newman, OBE, PJGW has been named as the new Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.
In addition, he has also become Grand Superintendent in and over the Royal Arch in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding
RW Bro James, a third generation Freemason who in 2017 was awarded an OBE for his services to business, the economy and charity in Yorkshire, will be installed at a ceremony to be held in the early part of 2022.
Of his new appointment, RW Bro James H Newman, OBE, PJGW Provincial Grand Master and Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Designate, said: “I am delighted and very honoured to have been appointed to the roles of Provincial Grand Master and ME Grand Superintendent for this wonderful Province.
“I would like to thank both my predecessors for their contributions to the Province
over the last eight years, and I hope to build on their successes over the term of my office.
“There is no doubt that there are a number of challenges ahead as Freemasonry starts to get back to normal following the pandemic, and the inevitable fall out of membership and general concerns of our members about the continuing issues surrounding the virus.
“However, I am personally very optimistic about the future and believe this Province is in a good place to capitalise on the strong organisation structure it already has and the undoubted enthusiasm and commitment of all its members.
“I look forward to visiting many Lodges and Chapters over the coming months and meeting as many of you as possible’’.
RW Bro James will assume full control of the Province from the date of his Installation next year, prior to which he will work closely with his two Deputies, VW Bro John Boyington and E Comp David Boyle who will remain “in charge”.
Born in Doncaster, RW Bro James was initiated into Hadassah Lodge No 4871 in Sheffield in 1974, following his father and grandfather into the Lodge. He was Master in 1992, appointed acting Provincial JGD in 1999 and eventually promoted to PPSGW in 2012.
He was appointed to Grand Lodge as acting AGStB in 2002. He gained promotions to PAGDC in 2007 and to acting SGD in 2011 before becoming President of the RMBI in 2013, following ten years of service to the charity as its Treasurer and Chairman.
In 2016, the RMBI merged with the other central masonic charities to create the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and RW James was appointed its first Deputy President and, more importantly, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
After six highly successful years leading the establishment of MCF as the Freemasons’ national charity, he retired from both his roles in April 2021, having been promoted to PJGW in 2020. He was a Grand Steward in 2016.
As a well-travelled Mason, he is a member of the Craft or Royal Arch in four other Provinces plus several Lodges and Chapters in London. He is also member of several other Masonic Orders, in most of which he holds Grand rank.
RW James was also Treasurer of the Friends of Connaught Court for five years and Chairman and a Director of Tapton Masonic Hall in Sheffield for ten years.
RW James has spent most of his executive career as Finance Director of a number of large public companies in the north before starting a non-executive portfolio, working in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
He acted as Chairman and a non-executive Director of a number of public companies, retiring from his last one in 2018.
During this period, he was the founding Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, Deputy Chairman of Sheffield Hallam University, Chairman of the South Yorkshire Community Foundation and was Master Cutler of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire in 2010.
He is currently the Chairman of Finance Yorkshire, a Director at Key Fund, the largest social enterprise investor in the north, and has recently taken on the role as Chairman of the newly formed Hull and East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, meaning he continues to play a major part in the business and economic life of Yorkshire and the north.
At national level he is a member of the Growth Programme Board managing the current European funding programmes.
In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University for services to enterprise, education and the business community.