Below you will find the text of the address to the Brethren given by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. John S. Evans, at the Virtual Provincial Grand Lodge held via Zoom on the 28th of November 2020. The meeting was attended by a large number of Brethren from across the Province. Also in attendance was R.W.Bro. Ryan Williams, Grand Secretary.
What a great delight it is for me to see so many of you here today, it really is a fantastic sight, and I do thank you all for your support. A fantastic turnout. Croeso ir Hwyl.
A very special welcome once again to our Grand Secretary R.W.Bro. Ryan Williams.
Also I’m delighted to see the Past P.G.M.s, R.W. Bro. John Farrall joining us from his new home and his first ever Virtual meeting together with R.W. Bro. T. Gareth Williams, Past Dep. P.G.Ms V.W. Bro. Bill Strain, V. W. Bro. Peter Watkin and V.W. Bro. David Wright.
I’m sure that R.W. Bro. Peter Talbot who is still on his sabbatical is also thinking of us today. I wish to record my deepest thanks to him in particular for the support, guidance and confidence he has placed in me, to assume the helm of a Province, which is in such a healthy state, in part due to his past leadership.
Normally we would have travelled to London for the Annual Investiture Meeting, in June. I know that we have a good number of keen members who travel down every year, plus new members who wish to experience this special occasion.
Two members of this Province received Grand Rank on that day, as well as two promotions:
W. Bro. Paul Sefton, first appointment to P.A.G.D.C.
W. Bro. Steve Tilston, first appointment to P.A.G.D.C.
W. Bro. Ian Perkin, a promotion to P.G.J.D
And W. Bro. J E Terrence Williams, also a promotion to P.G.J.D.
All well-deserved appointments for work that they have done for the Mark Degree and I know that they will continue to support our order in the future. I wish you all good health to enjoy your new Ranks.
I firstly congratulate my Deputy for his many years of service to the order and to this new, well deserved role. W. Bro. Phillip Edwards has been a dedicated member of Mark Masonry for over 23 years, including over 10 years as a member of the Provincial team lastly as the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The Provincial Team and I were of course looking forward to the Provincial meeting, and the Team visits planned this year.
To W. Bro. Gareth Davies the new Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, welcome and I am sure you will carry out your duties to the same high standard and there are plenty of us ex DC’s to call on for advice.
I congratulate the Wardens W.Bro. Gwyn Edwards and W.Bro. Charles W Turner on their promotions and of course the rest of the Provincial team.
And to all the other officers in the Provincial Team, I thank them for accepting the roles.
The office of Provincial Grand Steward had been discussed at length. It was decided to try and give the rank a new image. The Names of Master’s considered worthy of special mention and, with a high standard of work throughout the Province with the final choice resting with the PGM.
One of the difficulties about appointment to the office of Provincial Steward in the past has been the additional expense to those appointed in alteration to the badge of rank after a noticeably short space of time. We as a Province will now supply for the first year of active appointment, the Provincial Stewards regalia.
I am sorry that no one has had the opportunity of attending any Lodges with their new ranks. All of course had to be postponed due to COVID.
Under these circumstances the Executive of the Province, have decided to re appoint all existing Acting Officers for another year. I am sure you will attend all visits with vigour and enthusiasm when circumstances allow.
Again I thank the outgoing Team of 2019, although a long time ago now.
Our RAM Assembly in Wrexham was also postponed this year due to the pandemic.
I congratulate the 8 Brethren who were appointed to ProvRAMGR on the day in absentia.
Next year we will hold the Assembly in Maes Gwyn Hall, Wrexham on the first Saturday in April.
Whilst on the subject of the RAM, two members of this Province will receive RAM Grand Rank in December, again in absentia:
W. Bro. Colin Lemin
W. Bro. Hywel John Lloyd
Membership is standing up well Brethren, but we must not be complacent. Remember to look to get new Craft members, which is the source from which we get our Mark members and ultimately our RAM members. Our Mark membership stands at the highest it has been since 2007, only slight increases each year Brethren but still increases.
Support the Craft, and the Royal Arch. We need them to thrive as they are our future membership. Let us work and support each other so that we are all pulling in the same direction.
We as a Province will continue with Virtual Meetings on platforms like Zoom as much as we can until circumstances change. We thank our Provincial Secretary for his training in What’s App, Zoom and all his hard work since lock
We are also thankful to the Deputy Grand Secretary Faris Raouf and the new members of the media team in setting up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Also the new email accounts that are being set up for the Province.
Please make sure you send any news stories to us.
New email addresses are being set up for the Provincial executive, together with online storage of documents in Google Drive for the future.
A Thank you to V.W. Bro. David Alexander Wright who has volunteered to take on the new role of Recruitment & Retention Officer for the Province.
Sadly we have also lost members to the Grand Lodge above, I’m sure we remember those known to us with affection, for the good times we spent together.
Before I close Brethren, the third Saturday in June is the date for our Provincial meeting, which will be on Saturday 19th June 2021, please make a note of that date.
Brethren, Remember Cherish the past, adorn the present, construct for the future, particularly in these
Brethren, May you continue to derive pleasure from your Mark and RAM Masonry, I thank you for your
continued support and May the Great Overseer and Supreme Commander of the Universe continue to guide
and protect you all.