Executive Reports

Provincial Grand Lodge of South Wales Accounts 2018

Dear Brethren,

I greet you well and attach the Income & Expenditure, Balance Sheet, Fixed Assets and Y Dalaith Accounts for the Year Ending 31st March 2018. Download here.

Fraternal regards,

W.Bro. John Child, DL, PAGDC
Provincial Grand Treasurer

Provincial Grand Masters Address to Provincial Grand Committee, May 2018

Brethren, thank you for your attendance here this afternoon. As usual, this meeting is an excellent opportunity for us to consider and discuss administrative and procedural issues which would not be appropriate and for which we would not have time at our Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in June.

May I start by thanking my Deputy and Assistants, the Provincial team and all South Wales lodges for another successful and enjoyable year. We have celebrated our tercentenary in fine style; made excellent progress on our membership drive; launched our Provincial learning and development tool, PROGRESS; and of course successfully managed significant changes to both the Royal Arch and Craft Provinces.

The 2021 Committee continues to work hard on what I know will be a successful Festival and I am grateful to them, lodge Charity Stewards and all brethren for the first class progress we are making towards our testing target of £5 million. More on that at Provincial Grand Lodge in a few weeks time.

Can I remind all lodges that we have 2 events coming up in the near future. The annual church service will be held at Margam Abbey on Saturday, 19 May and I would like to see as many Grand and Provincial officers as possible there, together with a representative from every lodge in the Province. This is a lovely opportunity for us to worship together as a Province with our wives, partners, families and friends and I have to say that I am disappointed that, so far, over 100 lodges have not even had the courtesy to respond to the very clear letter they have received asking who their representative will be. We have 2 weeks left brethren, so I hope that we will hear from them before then and that W Bro Rev Edward’s church will be full on this once in a year occasion.

Secondly, our Provincial Grand Lodge meeting will be in Barry Memorial Hall on Monday, 25 June. Let’s make a real effort this year to fill the hall and celebrate together all those being honoured with appointments or promotions. I have been concerned for some years that there are some lodges which seem reluctant to support it.

On to a few procedural issues brethren, which I should be grateful if you would take back to your lodges for consideration and implementation as appropriate.
For several years now I have been asking lodges to start their installation meetings later so that working men can attend and so that I can continue to appoint younger Provincial officers without their feeling they have to take time off work or, worse, refuse appointments because of the unreasonable time commitment involved. I see no reason why installation meetings need to start before 5.30 pm, provided lodges adhere to the guidance they have received on efficient ceremonies, undertake good quality ritual and cut down on unnecessary intervals between the ceremony and festive board. Unfortunately my exhortations seem to have fallen on some stony ground so, in order to ensure that Provincial teams attending installations do not feel unduly pressured into early starts, I am instructing them to plan to arrive at Installation meetings no earlier than 5.30. If lodges insist on starting earlier than that, they should be aware that those invited to represent me at the meeting will not be arriving until then.

This is not an excuse to allow proceedings drag on at the end of the evening. Provided things are pushed along at a reasonable pace without unnecessary periods of inactivity, a 9.30 or 10 pm conclusion should be easily achievable.

I have long thought it rather odd that we ask new brethren, Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices, to re-enter the lodge after an installed board at the front of the relevant procession. These inexperienced brethren are then expected to perambulate in the proper way, giving the appropriate sign, with no-one to follow or emulate. I should be grateful if lodges would, in future, place Entered Apprentices or Fellow Crafts in second or third place in incoming processions. That should make for a more comfortable experience for them and add to the dignity of the processions.

Thirdly brethren, I have been encouraged by the increases in membership we have seen in the Holy Royal Arch. It is very noticeable that Provinces across England and Wales are more successful where a good quality Royal Arch representative system is in place. We introduced a more robust Royal Arch reps system in South Wales last year, with lapel pins presented to the representatives at installations. I have to say that there are still too many lodges where that does not happen; neither is the Royal Arch rep being given the opportunity to speak for a few minutes at a couple of lodge meetings every year. Brethren, if the Royal Arch rep is not well known to the brethren, is not given the chance to speak and doesn’t have his details outlined on every summons, our brethren will not be properly encouraged to take the fourth important step in Pure and Ancient Freemasonry. This system is an absolutely crucial follow-up to our introducing a candidate to the Royal Arch before he joins the Craft and, most certainly, as he progresses through his interview before joining.

As I have made clear before, I see the Royal Arch as a necessary step for all brethren. I will continue to take committed membership of the Royal Arch into account when considering Provincial appointments and promotions in the Craft.

You will all know I hope of the great strides we are making towards the digitisation of our Yearbook. Like us, many Provinces are making progress towards producing online (and therefore more accurate and up to date) versions of Yearbooks and we are fully committed to doing so here in South Wales. An online version of the yearbook, currently trialled on our website to a limited number of Brethren, is perhaps resulting in fewer brethren wishing to receive the traditional booklet; most certainly we are seeing too many piles of unwanted Yearbooks in some of our Masonic centres. Indeed, many Brethren question why we still produce the hard copy in this digital age.

As a result, and to help in a small way to saving the environment, W Bro Roger Richmond will be contacting all Lodge secretaries this year to ascertain how many physical books are required for 2018-19. We still have to produce both online and physical versions so the cost will remain at the equivalent of £2.50 per member for the time being. Full access to the online book will be made available to all before publication of the hard copy this year. Please take the time to view or download it. I hope that nearly six thousand proof readers will result in as near perfect a hard copy as is possible!

In light of experience this year, I hope we will be able to make still further reductions in numbers of physical books next year. If we find that take up is relatively small, I also hope to be able to announce cost reductions from next year on. And if it makes sense for us to do so, we will also consider integrating the Yearbook cost into annual Provincial dues from 2019 onwards.

I hope you can see brethren that this will result in many benefits: fewer wasted paper booklets; a better and more accessible online version which is bang up to date; and eventually overall reduced cost for all members.

Finally brethren, 2 very important issues coming your way where failure to keep up with legal requirements could result in substantial, occasionally unlimited, fines, as well as significant reputational damage for the lodge, Province and the Craft. These relate to Transgender and Data Protection issues. You will be receiving guidance soon, but my clear message to you is that, if you face either of these issues in your lodge, take immediate advice from the Provincial office and our Provincial Grand Registrar. There is great scope here for us to get things badly wrong brethren so support will be provided to any lodge which finds itself grappling with these difficult subjects.

Brethren, that’s all from me today. I look forward to seeing you all at our Provincial events and lodge meetings over the next few months. Continue to enjoy your Masonry and together let us continue to take our wonderful fraternity forward for many years to come.

Provincial Grand Master’s Address to Provincial Grand Lodge – 26th June 2017

Brethren, thank you for your attendance here this afternoon and may I reiterate my grateful thanks to all our distinguished guests for their continued support and friendship and for coming in such large numbers to help us celebrate our annual meeting. Some have travelled long distances and we very much appreciate their presence here today.

May I also take this opportunity of thanking my Deputy, Assistants and all my Provincial Officers of last year for their sterling work in representing me and supporting the Executive members with sound administration, solid finances and attendances at installations and many domestic and special occasions. The lodges’ warm welcome and unstinting hospitality has been constant throughout the year and I have been greatly heartened by what I have seen and the reports I have received. (more…)

Provincial Grand Lodge 2017 Reports

Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report

Provincial Grand Registrar’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Registrar’s Report

Provincial Grand Almoner’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Almoner’s Report

(more…)

Provincial Grand Masters Address to Grand Committee, May 2017

Brethren, first of all may I thank all of you for attending here this evening. This is an important meeting in our Provincial calendar as it gives us the opportunity to present the progress we are making as a Province, outline some of the challenges we face, and discuss – and I use that word advisedly brethren – a few issues of concern which we might address in the coming year. Every lodge should be represented here today and I trust you will take back to your brethren all of the matters we talk about today, though I have to say that has not always been the case in the past. I have often raised an issue with a Worshipful Master during the year – getting away from early starts for Installations is a good case in point – only to find that he has had no knowledge of what I have said at a Provincial committee meeting and that it has not been brought to the attention of the lodge or its committee, even though the address appears online and is printed in full in the Provincial yearbook. Please make sure your lodge members have an opportunity to discuss and debate issues that are covered today.

Brethren, a huge thank you must go to my Executive and the Provincial team for all their support and contributions this year. And I want to express my and my Executive’s grateful thanks for the warm welcome and hospitality we have enjoyed on all of our visits to your lodges. As well as Installations, we have attended domestic meetings and a number of special celebratory occasions since we last met and the Provincial teams have always come away from those meetings with happy hearts and a warm feeling about the fraternal bond which makes our Craft so important to us all. (more…)

Provincial Grand Master’s Address – 27th June 2016

Presented at Provincial Grand Lodge on 27th June 2016

Brethren, the main purpose of our meeting today is to celebrate the end of our masonic year by honouring those whose contributions now – and in the future – have merited appointments or promotions in Provincial Grand Lodge. To all of you so honoured today, my warm congratulations; and as we always say on these occasions, your new rank is meant not only to recognise past achievements, but also to act as an earnest to efforts to come in leading your lodges to a successful future. Brethren, we have much work to do to ensure the future of our Craft and I hope that your preferments today will encourage you to take leading roles in driving forward Grand Lodge’s and this Province’s plans. (more…)

Provincial Grand Lodge 2016 Reports

Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report

Provincial Grand Registrar’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Registrar’s Report

Provincial Grand Almoner’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Almoner’s Report

Report of the Provincial General Purposes Committee

The Provincial General Purposes Committee, consequent to the Report of the Provincial Grand Treasurer, recommended that the annual dues payable to Provincial Grand Lodge be increased by 50 pence to £13.00 (plus VAT) per Subscribing Member and that there be no change in any of the other charges made to Lodge.

The Committee further recommended that the charge for the Provincial Year Book remain at £5.00 per copy and that they continue to be distributed on the basis of one copy for every Two subscribing Lodge Members. The Committee also recommended that charges made to other Orders and Degrees remain at £18.00 (plus VAT) per page.

The Report of the Provincial General Purposes Committee was duly received and adopted.

Provincial Membership Officer’s Report

The Provincial Membership Officer W.Bro. Neil Evans, gave a comprehensive verbal report on the new role of the Lodge Membership Officer and the introduction of the Members Pathway.

He focussed on the eleven point document highlighting in particular points one to six which encompassed the profiling of both the lodge and it’s ideal candidates through to the interviewing of suitable applicants and the composition and duties of the recommended interview panel.

He emphasised the need to embrace change and suggested that all lodges implement the pathway process as best practice, it’s mechanism was a vital component in our future and was critical in addressing falling numbers and promoting future growth.

He stated that it was his intention to visit lodges throughout the Province and encouraged recruitment events and pro active recruitment.

Provincial Grand Masters Address

Download a pdf of the PGM’s Address to Provincial Grand Lodge Committee: May 2016