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 2021 – 2022.
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.
ME Comp Gareth Jones, OBE, upon his re-appointment as Most Excellent Third Grand Principal, EComp. Andrew Gretton and E.Comp. Ryan Williams, both promoted to PAGSoj. EComp Simon Daniel, EComp Paul Davies, EComp Philip Stock and EComp Anthony Wardle; on their appointments to PGStB.
Companions, I have always said that age is not a restriction to reward. Indeed, the ages of the 4 new Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter range from one in his 50’s, one in his 60’s, one in his 70’s and the other in his 80’s.
The Past year has been so very difficult for us all and yet we have seen wonderful acts of inspiration and generosity of spirit, not least of all, from Freemasons and their Families. Thank you to those caring for loved ones or who have simply self-isolated; for the greater good. Thank you to those imaginative souls who have set up and managed Zoom gatherings, WhatsApp groups, or utilised 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.
Patience and understanding will be paramount as we steer a path out of these social restrictions, but Companions; we will meet again!
We all very much hope that our scheduled Joint celebration with the Craft will go ahead in Barry, on Saturday 26th June this year, subject to a relaxation in the current Lock-Down measures.
Due to an inability to carry out our duties as we would all have wished, due to Coronavirus, I have invited E.Comp. Peter Jones to serve for a further year as Second Provincial Grand Principal and E.Comp. Michael Coombes, to serve for a further year as Third Provincial Grand Principal.
E.Comp’s Kevin Hearne and Lyndon Howells will also serve a further year 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. Robert Payne, the ProvGChStwd, a Past 1st Principal of Emerald Chapter No.5907, to serve Province in this post and I have no hesitation in confirming this appointment to you here today.
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 throughout the last year and indeed to all of the Provincial Officers who put so much work into their all-important roles. I must particularly thank the DGSupt for his personal unwavering support, loyalty and sage counsel.
This is an especial year for the Craft, culminating with a Festival celebration and I thank you Companions, for the tremendously generous donations you have made, not only individually but on this occasion via your Chapters. I will announce our truly magnificent total, at Provincial Grand Chapter.
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.