Provincial Grand Lodge Annual Meeting

W.Bro. David Pearson
ProvGSec
W.Bro. David Pearson
ProvGSec

PROVINCIAL GRAND SECRETARY’S REPORT
For the year 2016-2017

RW Pro Provincial Grand Master

I have pleasure in submitting my report on the activities within the Province for the past year.

Every Lodge in the Province has benefited from a visit, either from the Pro Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master or, in most cases, from  a Visiting Officer representing yourself. Special occasions such as Anniversaries and Banner Dedications have received the benefit of a visit by the Pro Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master or an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, in turn accompanied by members of the Executive and Active Provincial Officers.

The Province has been represented by members of the Executive at the Annual Meetings of eleven other Provinces and the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London.

At 31 March 2017 Middlesex had 204 Lodges, 4,563 members and 5,797 memberships.

Several Lodges have celebrated special milestone anniversaries as follows:

50 Years –

Barra Hall Lodge No 8096
Little Britain Lodge No 8101
Gauntlet Lodge No 8140

75 years  –

Harmony Lodge No 5835
Middlesex Home Service Lodge No 5836
Middlesex Century Lodge No 5837

Regrettably, a number of Lodges have during the past year come to the end of their practical lives, suffering from falling memberships as the result of members being unable to attend regularly for a variety of reasons and the Lodges therefore becoming unviable. It must be remembered that all such Lodges during their lives have brought much enjoyment to their members. While we regret their loss, we should also celebrate their past successes.

However, we celebrate the founding of one new Lodge, the Middlesex Armed Forces Lodge No 9940, which was consecrated on 16 December 2016, and plans are being considered for the formation of other special interest Lodges.

The Provincial Grand Orator W Bro Mike Kearsley manages the Oration and Lectures scheme through which Orations and Lectures have been presented in Lodges by members of his team of speakers. Such Orations and Lectures have been greatly appreciated by the Lodges and have contributed significant funds to various charities. Middlesex can rightly be proud of the continuing success of its Orations scheme.

W Bro Andrew Elliot, the Provincial Grand Mentor has continued to pursue the principles of Mentoring throughout the Province and has held a Mentoring Seminar.

The Provincial Communication Officer, W Bro Stewart Graham has continued his hard work to co-ordinate events and Charity Cheques presentations within the Province. W Bro Paul Steventon has succeeded W Bro Mark Jackson as the editor for The Mercury magazine and produced two excellent issues in the Autumn and Spring. The Province is grateful to W Bro Jackson for his contribution to the development of the magazine.

The Provincial website has undergone continual improvements during the year and the Province thanks the Webmaster W Bro Nick Reay for his commitment. The Provincial Website can be accessed at www.pglm.org.uk. The Province has a presence on Twitter and Facebook.

The Province has continued its policy of development and training with various Seminars and Conferences aimed at improving performance in important Lodge Offices, providing further information about Freemasonry to Brethren and their wives/partners and sharing knowledge about the Province of Middlesex. The programme has covered Masters and Wardens, Directors of Ceremonies and Preceptors, Mentoring, Almoners’ Awareness, Treasurers and Auditors, Charity Stewards, New and Potential Members. We extend our thanks to all the hard working organisers of these events.

The Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) Scheme, under the control of W Bro Noubar Manoukian continues to operate in the following hospitals and venues within the Province, ie, Barnet General (Barnet), Chase Farm (Enfield), Hillingdon (Uxbridge), North Middlesex (Edmonton), Northwick Park (Harrow) and West Middlesex (Isleworth). The scheme is now in its twelfth year; during the last year we distributed some 1,080 Teddies and to date have given approximately 22,500 Teddies to children visiting the Accident and Emergency units at the above hospitals. Larger “Fund Raising” Teddies have now been added to the scheme and are proving very popular with Lodges to purchase as raffle prizes.

The Province continues to demonstrate its commitment to give greater publicity to Freemasonry in the community and the Exhibition Trailer has again been used to good effect. In 2016 it was present at various local fetes, shows and venues and the number of new venues and events is steadily increasing the overall visits and representation. Many thanks go to the enthusiastic Team of Ambassadors led by Richard Alliston.

On 24 June 2016 the sponsored ‘Masters’ Ride’ Cycle Ride to Brighton, organised by W Bro Peter Lawrence and many dedicated helpers, attracted many riders and sponsors and raised some £15,000 for the 2020 Festival. As part of the Tercentenary Year celebrations, Middlesex will be joining with four other Provinces (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire) for the Ride on Saturday 24 June, starting again at Clapham Common.

W Bro Peter Hyde and his team of dedicated committee members again organised the 2016 Middlesex Grand Family Fête which was held once more at The Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth and was hugely enjoyed by all who attended. The MGFF team is congratulated on the enormous effort that goes into making the event such a success and on the significant boost it gives to the benefitting charities. In this Tercentenary year Middlesex will join with the Provincial Province of Hertfordshire in presenting a Family Fun Day to be held, also at the Royal Masonic School for Girls, on Saturday 22 July.

The Middlesex Grand Officers & Provincial Grand Officers Club continues to flourish with Andrew Elliott as Secretary and Warren Gell as Treasurer. The Autumn 2016 meeting was the last to be held at the Imperial College, Heston, with which the Club had been associated for some 12 years. The Spring 2017 meeting was held at Brunel University. The Club continues to serve as a vital link through which you are able to disseminate important news and information to the senior members of the Province for onward transmission to other Lodge members.

The Middlesex Light Blues Club continues to provide an effective social focus for its members. All subscribing members of Middlesex Lodges or Chapters, who have not been appointed to Grand, Provincial, District or Metropolitan Grand Rank, are eligible for free membership of the Club, which is led by W Bro Mark Sweeney as Chairman and W Bro Leon Hubbard as Secretary.

Members of the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association continue to have fun whilst promoting Freemasonry through a growing range of sporting activities enjoyed by brethren, friends and families. The MMSA is very grateful for the financial support donated by Lodges and individual brethren and encourages more active participation in all the sections.

The Provincial Service of Thanksgiving was held on Sunday 6 November 2016 at St Albans Cathedral. Some 800 members of the Province, families and friends attended this multi-faith service. It was as always a wonderful mixture of prayer, celebration, music and pageantry, organised by W Bro Michael Karn and, as usual, many others were involved on the day, including the Provincial Grand Organist, the Choir and Brass Ensemble, as well as solo singers, a visiting preacher and others who read lessons. Thanks also go to the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, his Deputies and the Stewards who took part, as well as many others who were involved in the organisation. The 2017 Service will be held on Sunday 5 November at Guildford Cathedral.

On Remembrance Sunday your Executive and senior members of Province, wearing their Chains of Office or Grand or Provincial Collars but no other regalia, again honoured the men and women who lost their lives for their country by attending Services to lay wreaths on behalf of the Freemasons of Middlesex, at ceremonies held at Chipping Barnet, Eastcote, Enfield, Harefield, Harrow, Pinner, Northwood, Richmond, Ruislip, Shepperton, Southgate, Staines, Twickenham, Uxbridge and Wembley. This is now a regular feature each year and it is pleasing to note that the representatives of the Province attending these ceremonies are welcomed and acknowledged by the civic dignitaries.

I am pleased to report that in April 2017 the MW The Grand Master was pleased to make the following appointments to and promotions in Grand Rank.

Appointments To
Graham Edwin Paul Pattenden  AGSwdB
Howard Walters  PAGDC
John Ronald Briggs  PAGSuptWks
Stephen Edward Heynes  PGStB
Leonard Edward Sullivan  PGStB
Promotions From To
Jonathan James Hillman  PAGDC PSGD
Paul Jesse Huggins  PAGSuptWks PSGD
Michael William Dean  PAGDC PJGD

Sadly, I have to report that during the past year (I May 2016 – 30April 2017) the Province has suffered the deaths of seventy members including W Bros Graham Herbert, Norman Todd, Michael Parkes, Norman Trimbee, Laurence Reynolds, Stewart Mackay and Jim McKean. May all our departed Brethren rest in peace and we add our sincere condolences to the families and Lodges of those Brethren.

The members of your Craft Executive continue to pledge their loyalty and support to you and the Province. Their contribution to the running of your Province is outstanding and is facilitated by the sterling support given by the Provincial Office’s staff and volunteers, without whose help and support my job would be impossible and to whom I express my personal gratitude.

David J Pearson
Provincial Grand Secretary