By E.COMP. ALASTAIR MASON GSupt
18th JUNE 2014
As I am sure you will all remember, I had the pleasure of addressing you all at some length – some may say at not inconsiderable length – at the meetings of Provincial Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Chapter a few weeks ago.
I have no doubt, Companions, that what I said to you on those occasions will now be indelibly imprinted in your minds – but for those of you who are unable to remember – or for those of you have been desperately trying to forget – a full text of my address appears on the Provincial website so that you can read – and re-read – it during those long summer evenings when sleep eludes you.
So – Companions – this afternoon I will be brief (er).
Before I go further Companions I want to pay tribute formally to my predecessor as Grand Superintendent – Excellent Companion Roger Croome – our “jewel in the crown” of Middlesex Masonry for the past 5 years. I know that you all share my belief that it is as a direct result of Roger’s hard work, friendship and good humour that Middlesex is the happy and successful Province it is today.
Companions – I am very conscious that I have a hard act to follows – but if I can do nothing more then I promise to do my level best to keep you smiling. We all owe Roger so much for making sure that Middlesex is such a great place to be a Freemason.
Companions – I have already had the pleasure of welcoming our official guests, but I would also like to take this opportunity of thanking them not only for supporting the Province of Middlesex by being here today but also for the kind hospitality that we have enjoyed when visiting their Provinces during the course of the past year.
Companions – it is a delight to have you all with us today.
Today we say goodbye to Jack Flint as Deputy Grand Superintendent.
Jack – I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for our Province in recent years – you have been a fantastic Deputy and the Province owes you an enormous debt of gratitude. You now have your work cut out for you as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Province of Middlesex, and I know that you will commit yourself to that task with the same hard work and enthusiasm you have always shown in the Holy Royal Arch.
As Jack moves on I am delighted – and relieved – that I have someone of the caliber of Martyn Farrell to take over as Deputy Grand Superintendent. I cannot imagine a safer pair of hands, and I am so grateful to you, Martyn, for agreeing to take on that office for me.
With John Culling and Paul Huggins as 2nd & 3rd Provincial Grand Principals I know that I have an enthusiastic, effective and united team to ensure that the Royal Arch Province of Middlesex moves from strength to strength.
It has also been my great pleasure today to appoint Paul Lane as an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals. I have known Paul for many years in this and several other Orders and I have no doubt at all that he is going to prove himself to be a terrific addition to the Middlesex team.
This year Chris Nixon is standing down after 5 years as a Visiting Officer. Everyone in Middlesex knows Chris, and everyone knows what a fantastic job he has done as a Visiting Officer – and I offer him my sincere thanks for everything he has done to maintain that vital link between the Executive and their Chapters. I am truly sorry that Chris did not feel able to continue in that role following my appointment as Grand Superintendent.
Chris, and Paul Lane, are to be replaced by Peter Elliston and Rob King, and I am sure that you will give them a warm welcome when they come to visit your Chapters.
I would like, also, to take this opportunity of thanking all of the Stewards and Active Officers of the year for volunteering to escort the “Chains” on their official visits. I know that the Chapters all appreciated your attendance and I hope that you, too, enjoyed the experience.
In April the following Companions received first appointments in Supreme Grand Chapter.
They are: Andrew Elliott as AGDC
Andrew Mannasseh as PAGSoj
Douglas Miller as PGStdB
Lewis Read as PGStdB and
Michael Karn as PAGDC
E. Companion David Williamson was also re-appointed as 3rd Grand Principal.
Companions, I am sure you would all wish to join with me in congratulating these Companions.
I also want to take this opportunity to once again congratulate all those Companions whom I had the pleasure of appointing and promoting today. I do hope that you have all enjoyed the day for it is a memorable step in your Masonic careers. These honours have been bestowed on you to acknowledge the efforts you have already made, and to encourage you to progress even further.
You, Companions, are the future of Royal Arch Masonry in Middlesex for it is you who will be taking it forward in the years that lie ahead.
Companions – I must also take this opportunity of thanking all those Companions who have worked so hard to make today’s meeting happen. Our thanks go to Tony Jones and his team at the Provincial Office; to Nigel Codron and his Deputies for organizing and running the whole event from start to finish; and to our Janitor, Gus Fielding, and the Provincial Grand Stewards for fetching all of the equipment, setting it all up, dismantling it and then returning it to Cole Court at the end of the day.
Thank you so much Companions.
Finally Companions – my wife Katy and I went to Adams Park football ground in Buckinghamshire last Saturday to welcome back the Rockriders who had cycled 1500 miles from Gibraltar in aid of various charities. In particular, of course, we went to welcome and congratulate our very own Companion Peter Lawrence of Harefield Chapter No 7417.
I have tried very hard to find the words to adequately describe Peter’s achievement – fantastic – phenomenal – superb – take your pick Companions. Peter has, to date, raised in excess of £100,000 for the RMTGB and other charities. Just totally incredible – and I know that you will all take the opportunity of congratulating Peter in person when next you see him.
Companions – it has been a great pleasure to see you all here at this Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter. I look forward to having the opportunity of speaking to you all personally during the course of the coming year – and in the meantime I wish you all well.
Thank you Companions.