I greet you well, in what would normally have been my response at our Luncheon in London; following the Annual Investiture of Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter for 2020 – 2021. I know that I join with all Companions of the Province in offering warm fraternal congratulations to those Brethren appointed and promoted in UGLE, yesterday and to the worthy Companions appointed and promoted in Supreme Grand Chapter today; Thursday 30th April 2020.
It is now over 6 weeks since the 4 month suspension of all Lodge and Chapter meetings, authorised by the MWGM, on St. Patrick’s Day and I wanted to write to each of you to thank you for your understanding, support and cooperation, during these trying and difficult times.
Thank you to those caring for loved ones or simply self-isolating for the greater good. Thank you to those imaginative souls who have set up Zoom gatherings, WhatsApp groups, or utilising other forms of social media, not only to stay in touch with each other but especially to keep a watchful eye on our more vulnerable members and those perhaps alone without the comfort of little company to share. Thank you to those formulating quizzes (Masonic or otherwise) that entertain and amuse others in these dark days.
These are without question unprecedented times and it is clearly not going to come to an end quickly or abruptly. Patience and understanding will be paramount throughout this lockdown period and no doubt well beyond, especially given the uncertainty of no specific end-date to currently look forward to.
ME Comp Gareth Jones, OBE, upon his reappointment as Most Excellent Third Grand Principal, EComp Gwilym H. Jones, CStJ, promoted to PAGSoj and EComp Jeffrey T. Coles, EComp Christopher Eveleigh and EComp Martyn P. Wake, on their appointment to PGStB.
Sadly, as our scheduled Joint celebration with the Craft will not be able to be held in June this year; we look ahead to an especial meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter, to be held under the auspices of Hendre Chapter No.3250, at Cardiff Masonic Hall, on Monday 24th August 2020; this event of course being subject to a relaxation in the current Lock-Down measures.
Following a very happy and successful term as Second Provincial Grand Principal, prior to which, serving South Wales for many years as ProvDGSE, ProvGSE and as Third Provincial Grand Principal, E.Comp. Phillip A. Aubrey will retire and I will have more to say about him and his tremendous contribution to our Province, when we meet at Hendre.
In succession, I have invited E.Comp. Peter Jones to serve as Second Provincial Grand Principal and E.Comp. Michael Coombes, to serve as Third Provincial Grand Principal.
E.Comp. Lance McPhail will also retire from Office, following 2 very successful years as an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals and following many years of loyal service to South Wales in both the Craft and Royal Arch. This will in turn, open up 2 spaces on the Joint Executive and I have invited E.Comp’s Kevin Hearne and Lyndon Howells to serve as Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals.
The Office of ProvGSN is an extremely important Provincial role. This year I have been pleased to invite E.Comp. John L. Murdoch, PPrDGSwdB, a Past 1st Principal of Venables Llewelyn Chapter No.3756, to serve Province in this post and I have no hesitation in confirming this appointment to you here today together with our grateful thanks to the retiring ProvGSN, E Comp Paul Davies, for his 1st Class contribution during the past year, in this senior appointment.
Companions, thank you for the respect and the warmth of welcome you have shown to me, the Executive and the Active Provincial Officers on our visits to your Chapters, which is hugely appreciated.
I take this opportunity to thank the ProvGSE and the ProvDGSE for their good office in continuing their most important roles, more especially during these trying times where a virtual office presence has been maintained and indeed to all of the Provincial Officers who put so much work into their all-important roles. The Executive also thank the ProvGDC and all the Officers of the past year, for the high standard achieved and excellence of their work.
Until we meet again, I wish you, your family and friends, the very best – please remember that this virus does not discriminate. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, follow the guidance, stay safe, stay well, and I look forward to a resumption of Masonic meetings just as soon as it is safe to do so.