Good morning Companions and I wish you all well, here in Barry Memo; on this 17th National Armed Forces Day. The Joint Executive and I are so very grateful to you all for taking time in your busy diaries, to help the Province salute those Individuals who have been recommended for Appointment and Promotion at this Annual Convocation.
Several items this morning will be abridged, as I will use the opportunity of combining all the salient points in my Address to Provincial Grand Lodge, this afternoon.
Companions, as we continue to look forward and rebuild our numbers, we must be prepared to change our ways, adapt and live in the World on today’s terms and not necessarily continue with the established ways that we have all been used to. The Executive Team remain hugely impressed with all those Chapters whose members have carried out their work so enthusiastically. Well done to you all! Unlike some other Provinces, we have not lost one Chapter and that is down to each and every one of you in our special 69 Chapters.
Today marks a change in how we conduct this annual meeting and like many of our kindred Provinces, we have a host Chapter and a host Lodge. Our host Chapter this morning is Colonnade and host Lodge this afternoon is Lodge of Round Table. We are all grateful for your support and enthusiasm. If any Chapter or Lodge wishes to volunteer to host the 2024 Annual Meetings, please contact the ProvGSE or ProvGSec, and if you have one; your Banner will be on show next year.
The Joint Executive remains both committed and dedicated to ensuring that our wonderful Province remains productive, content and responsive. We thank you for the warmth of the welcome received in all our Chapters and we will continue to prioritise Membership, Charity and to improve Communication.
You will be aware from my address via Zoom at our recent PGL Committee meeting, that the new Chief Information Officer has been tasked with reviewing our IT strategy, Project Hermes and its parent, ADelphi. I take this opportunity to thank you for the professional way you have embraced Hermes. I know the considerable work you have all had to put in to ensure success and we are grateful to our ProvGReg, ProvGSE and all our office and administrative officers and Volunteers for their dedication and sheer hard work, working with our magnificent Scribes E. You have shown that by mobilising human resources, we can achieve great things.
Today, you will no doubt once again generously contribute to charity via use of the pre-prepared Gift Aid envelopes and other enhanced methods. I would once again urge you to please go back to your Chapters and consider using Gift Aid envelopes at all your Convocations. I emphasise the benefit of gift aid and the need to tick the gift aid box on the envelope, if you are a Taxpayer. We continue to see an increase in charitable giving by using these envelopes throughout the Province.
The Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, EComp Simon Daniel continues to focus strongly on increasing the conversion rate of Craft Masons becoming members of the Royal Arch and to Lead the Membership Team, we have appointed a Royal Arch Provincial Membership Officer and Mentor. From forthwith, I ask you to please appoint a Membership Officer in each Chapter, even if that post is also held by the Mentor. These important roles will develop at pace and you will all want clear and direct lines of communication.
It is truly a great honour and privilege for me to be the one investing all those appointed and promoted today and on behalf of the Province, I offer my personal thanks and gratitude to you all. You all richly deserve these accolades.
I am most grateful to those who have made today such an enjoyable success. Past ProvGH Dr Akram Baig who once again has led on taking over this building and setting up and ensuring that food is good value with both food and drink being plentiful and tasty. Likewise, the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, Provincial Assistant Grand Scribe Ezra, ProvGTreas, ProvGReg, ProvDGReg, ProvGAlmoner and ProvGChStwd, all of whom have worked hard to ensure operational effectiveness.
I also thank and congratulate the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, who continues his punishing Masonic schedule and my personal gratitude to all of our Provincial Officers, whilst representing me and the Executive on duty; our impressive Office Team of Volunteers, and the Management & Staff of Barry MEMO, for hosting us today.
In closing Companions, I could not carry out this role without the constant support of the DGSupt, and the Provincial Grand Principals, both present and past. On behalf of South Wales, we thank our Companions of our kindred Provinces for the generosity and warmth of the welcome they continue to show to us, when representing you; from North Wales to Cornwall and all Provinces in between.
Companions, we all wish you and your loved ones a very happy Summer. Enjoy Lunch and the remainder of today and we look forward to seeing you all, safe and sound, in the season ahead!