It seemed that the last year had gone by very quickly and once again it was time to attend to the business of the AGM. Tuesday 9th May proved a busy meeting with some important changes in the leadership of the Province. Brethren attending were given a booklet highlighting the Year in Review 2022/23 which contained some of the best moments in the Province and included news from Lodges published online on the Provincial website during the preceding year.
Firstly, however, there was the opening ceremony with the banners of Lodges within the Province carried by new Master Masons to great applause before the main processions and the entrance of the Pro Provincial Grand Master RW Peter Baker.
As ever the AGM also had its moment of remorse tinged with the sadness at the passing of those Brethren of the Province who had made their final masonic journey to the Grand Lodge above. The list of 146 Brethren amplified the severity of the loss.
The Pro Provincial Grand Master then welcomed Senior members from neighbouring Craft Provinces as well as the Rulers of other Orders in the Province of Middlesex representing The Order of the Secret Monitor, The Scarlet Cord, Knights Templar, Knights Templar Priests, Allied Masonic Degrees, Royal and Select Masters, The Mark and The Operatives.
THE BUSINESS OF THE DAY
The business of the day saw the regular AGM Items which included Minutes of the AGM 2022, the Provincial accounts for 2022 followed by the Election of the Provincial Grand Treasurer for the ensuing year W. Bro Kanti Mistry PAGDC ProvGTreas. There followed the reports from the Provincial Grand Secretary, the Provincial Grand Almoner and the Provincial Communications Officer which were contained within the AGM booklet for Brethren to read at their leisure. VW Bro Barry Cramer was invested with the Collar and Jewel of Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master. It was the turn of W. Bro James Mitchell PSGD to be Obligated, Invested and Installed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. W. Bro John Taylor was then invested with the collarette and jewel of a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master and was commended by the Pro Prov Grand Master for the work he had attended to in the Province especially in the organisation of the Remembrance Sunday events and also the Middlesex Light Blues Club. The re-appointment of W. Bros Robert Rough PSGD and John Leggett PSGD was then attended to followed by the Obligation, Investiture and Installation of W. Bros Paul Sully PAGSwdB and Ian Ferguson as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters
APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS
For many the most important aspect of the day would have been a first appointment to Provincial Grand Rank or a promotion. These Brethren are to be congratulated on their preferment. The names of those who had received honours are to be found under Agenda item 20 in the AGM Booklet.
The Pro Provincial Grand Master the gave his address to the Brethren. These were the salient points. Greetings and best wishes were received from the Provincial Grand Master RW HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO. Then RW Bro Peter Baker congratulated those who had received honours and stated that it was not just a reward for past efforts, but carried with it an expectation that the recipients would continue the good work performed to date for freemasonry in general and the Province in particular.
RW Bro Peter Baker also mentioned the difficulties faced by English Freemasonry in general and also within the Province of Middlesex However, these would be addressed by Grand and Grand Chapter’s 7-year strategy for Freemasonry; 2022 and Beyond. The Province he said had already shown an upturn in membership with 72 members being initiated during the first four months. To this end the Discovery Freemasonry seminars had proved successful in attracting new members to the Craft. A similar initiative was being undertaken for the Royal Arch as a means to attracting Brethren to take the fourth regular step and complete the journey in pure Ancient Masonry. The latter was an important part of the Strategy for Freemasonry. The Province had also produced a new pamphlet to support this initiative and there were also moves afoot to link Lodges and Chapters which are otherwise unattached or unconnected.
The Pro Prov Grand Master thanked the Provincial team who had help organise the AGM Meeting which included W. Bro Andy Wright Provincial Grand Secretary, the Assistant Provincial Grand Secretary W. Bro Rick Tyson, W. Bro Mark Millard the newly appointed Provincial GDC and the Provincial Deputy Grand DCs, the Provincial Grand Stewards of Prince Michael of Kent Lodge and last but not least the Provincial Grand Tyler. W. Bro Tom James.
AWARD OF MERIT
Before concluding his Address, RW Bro Peter Baker was pleased to announce the name of the recipient of the Award of Merit 2023 which was presented to W. Bro David North a member of Royal Hanover Lodge No 1777. The Pro Prov Grand Master had this to say, “Our Provincial Grand Master, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, occasionally bestows his personal Award of Merit on a brother whom he believes is truly worthy to receive it and it is not given lightly nor regularly. Indeed, there are only ten Brethren (one of whom was awarded it posthumously), on whom he has bestowed this Award since his installation as our Provincial Grand Master some 40+ years ago in 1982, which shows just how special it is and, as Pro Provincial Grand Master, I am very fortunate today to have the privilege and pleasure in announcing the name of the recipient, on whom the RW Provincial Grand Master has been pleased to bestow his Award of Merit this year. He has been extremely active since his Initiation in 2012 and is the Province’s IT Guru, using his considerable professional and creative IT skills to very good effect, and is currently Co-Chair, with Bro Ian Ferguson, of the Province’s HERMES Project, overseeing the technical implementation and roll-out of this Project throughout the Province.”
For the full report please use this link:
At this point the Pro Provincial Grand Master advised the Brethren that in view of the impending expiry of his 5-Year Patent of Appointment as Pro Provincial Grand Master for, and Grand Superintendent in and over, the Province of Middlesex he would be retiring from office later in the summer. To ensure a seamless and orderly handover to his successor-in-office, whose name is yet to be announced, on behalf of the Most Worshipful The Grand Master and the Most Excellent First Grand Principal, RW Bro Peter Baker would remain in office until midnight on a date in September 2023 yet to be decided. This would be the day immediately preceding the installation of his successor at a ‘double-header’ installation ceremony at Freemasons’ Hall, London, details of which would be advised in due course. In the meantime, he said as Grand Superintendent he would still preside at the Annual Convocation of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Middlesex at The Twickenham Stoop (Harlequins FC) Stadium on Thursday 13th July 2023. He pledged to be fully supportive of his successor in Office.
The full text of the AGM Address can be found here
The text of the Important Announcement was sent to all Brethren of the Province by e mail on the 10th May.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE DAY
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