Executive Reports

Provincial Grand Master’s Address June 27th 2020

Brethren, what strange and uncertain times we live in. Today would have been our annual celebration and the culmination of another successful masonic year. It would also have been our first day of celebrations to include both Craft and Royal Arch annual meetings. But sadly they were not to be. Let us take a moment at the start of this, my address to all South Wales brethren, to pause and think about those that have lost their lives, family members who are – or have been – ill, and those who are worried about what their future holds, particularly those with concerns about their health or livelihoods.

Today we are particularly missing our friends and visitors who always support us. We hope that you are all well brethren and we look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future.

I want to thank my Executive team and all officers of Provincial Grand Lodge who have been of such great support throughout the year. To those who are stepping down from their roles, I say an especial thanks; this Province could not have run as smoothly as it has without you. In particular, I want to pay tribute to my Wardens and to W Bros Roger Richmond and John Child. W Bro Roger has been a stalwart of this Province for over 20 years and his contribution has been immense. W Bro John has been our trusty Treasurer for 9 years and, as you will have heard at our Provincial Grand Committee meeting last week, he hands over our finances in excellent shape.

And to brethren being appointed and promoted today, my hearty congratulations. From today your new offices and ranks take effect and I take this opportunity to remind you that your preferment is partly a recognition of all that you have done in the past; and partly a further encouragement for all that you will do in the future. Your lodge brethren will now look to you even more for leadership, advice and wise counsel.

We also missed out on our annual trip to London for the Grand Investiture in April. I am sure you will all join me in congratulating R W Bro Sir Paul Williams on his prestigious appointment as Junior Grand Warden, together with promotions for W Bros Kelvin Jones, Ryland James, Ryan Williams and Peter Jones; and first appointments for W Bros Ben Gait, Simon Francis, Gordon Shumack and Granville Thomas. To all of these brethren, we wish you well in your new senior ranks and we look forward to seeing you in that new regalia before too long.

Looking back over the last 12 months, we have had some major successes. The year finally saw our successful move of the Provincial office from 128 Newport Road back to Cardiff Masonic Hall which, I believe, has been a return to its proper and natural home. Far better, I think, for any rental expenditure to be ploughed back into facilities for masonic use, rather than being lost to private concerns. My thanks go to the Provincial Grand Secretary and all those who so willingly gave of their time and expertise to make that the success it has been.

We have also seen the culmination of around 40 years determined effort to allow our ceremonies to be conducted in Welsh. This was no mean feat brethren; we now have the only lodge in the World which is authorized to conduct its ceremonies in the Welsh language and I had the great privilege of attending the initiation of Brother Dr Wayne Robinson in October, a ceremony conducted entirely in Welsh by the Worshipful Master, W Bro Stephen Bassett, and his officers. What a joyous occasion that was brethren; we must all thank the members of Cyfrinfa Dewi Sant – and particularly W Bro Elfan Jones PPrSGW – for all their hard work to get us to this very happy situation. May the lodge now go from strength to strength; in order for it to do so, I encourage all Welsh speakers and learners to join, or at least support it by attending as a visitor. You won’t be disappointed.

The 2021 Festival continues to be one of our main points of focus. In the past year, we have seen much progress towards our £5 million target and today I would have had the enormous pleasure of presenting gold awards to the following 14 lodges: Indefatigable; Fforest; Loyal Commercial; Henry Pendrill Charles; Amethyst; North Glamorgan; Penllegaer; Beehive; St Cenydd; Industria Y Bont Faen; Mor Hafren; Glanogwr; Princes; and Lodge of Round Table. I hope to find a suitable occasion to complete that happy task as soon as possible. Many congratulations to these lodges and my continued thanks to their Charity Stewards and all Charity Stewards around the Province for their hard work on behalf of the RMBI. R W Bro Sir Paul Williams and his committee are doing a wonderful job in leading our efforts and I urge all lodges to support them: encourage new members to sign up to the Festival as soon as they join; and urge those with covenants which are running out to renew them now. We still have 18 months to go before the end of the Festival. We’re not there yet brethren but, with your help, we can reach our target and do all we can to help the RMBI in the first rate work they do. In these trying times, they need more help than ever.

Please put in your diaries now the 13th of November 2021. That will be the night when we celebrate the end of our Festival and it promises to be a great occasion at our iconic Wales Millenium Centre. Don’t miss out brethren. Tickets are on sale already and I know that W Bro Dr Akram Baig and his event committee will welcome early bookings.

I said last year that we would continue our progress towards the objective of fully integrating the Craft and Royal Arch in South Wales. This year we have met as a joint Executive Committee on every occasion with senior members of both orders fully involved in our decision taking. Today sees the appointment of W Bro Brian Scott as Treasurer of both Craft and Royal Arch which completes the aim of creating joint posts for the majority of senior roles. And of course, we would have been in Barry today to celebrate both Craft and Royal Arch annual meetings for the first time ever. These changes can only be good for both orders brethren and I, for one, look forward to this time next year when, God willing, we will proceed with our plan to have a joint celebratory day. The Grand Superintendent and I remain firmly committed to that idea.

Brethren, the last few months have been unprecedented times. Not in living memory has Freemasonry been suspended; even in the second world war, many lodges were able to continue in shortened form. I have been hugely impressed and proud to see so many acts of kindness and hard work on behalf of those in need during these difficult times. Freemasonry at its best brethren. And hasn’t it been good to be able to keep in touch with our friends and brethren via electronic means. My grateful thanks go to all those involved in our efforts, too many to mention individually but I assure you brethren I know who you are and you have my – and the Province’s – eternal gratitude.

On the point about electronic contact, many of you joined me recently to welcome this year’s Prestonian lecturer, W Bro Professor George Boys-Stones, who delivered the Prestonian lecture via Zoom; the first ever remote delivery of this prestigious lecture. It really was a splendid occasion; I shall never forget the sight of so many brethren dressed for the first time in many months in jacket and
Provincial tie, they went so well with the Bermuda shorts and flip-flops which were so expertly hidden from sight !

I know that all of you will be wondering about the future. When can we meet again? What about restrictions? Will we be able to undertake ceremonies? What about festive boards? And many more questions I’m sure. Well, I don’t have the answers brethren. We are all reliant upon government advice in response to the levels of contagion and infection in our communities. What I will say is this: I refuse to be gloomy about our future; I am not prepared to countenance or talk about that dreadful phrase “the new normal” or to make dire predictions about long periods away from the Craft that we all hold so dear. No brethren, we do not want a ‘new normal’; we want our old normal back again. Yes, we may have to put up with some temporary restrictions and changes to our practices in the short term; yes, some of our members may feel that they do not wish to attend for a little longer until they feel safe and comfortable to do so. And yes, we may find that we have to work even harder to retain the interest and enthusiasm of some members. But brethren, we are up for those challenges, so that our return to the way things were can be as smooth and speedy as we all hope can be achieved.

Brethren of South Wales: I’m missing you all very much and I send you and your loved ones my very best wishes. I trust you will all stay healthy until we can meet again. You can be assured that Province is doing all it can to keep our freemasonry alive and well and fit and ready for our return when we are able. If we can help in any way, please feel able to contact the Provincial office; the staff and volunteers are available in normal working hours and will be only too pleased to discuss with you any support we can give. I will bring any news I have as soon as it is available and I look forward with eager anticipation to seeing you all again in our meetings, our social occasions and in the Craft we all love so much.

Brethren, God bless you all.

Provincial Grand Lodge 2020 Reports

Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report

Annual Accounts for year ending 31st March 2020

Download a pdf of the Audited Annual Accounts for year ending 31st March 2020

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

Provincial Grand Charity Steward’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Grand Charity Steward’s Report

Joint Report from Provincial Grand Almoner and Provincial Grand Charity Steward

Download a pdf of the Joint Report from Provincial Grand Almoner and Provincial Grand Charity Steward

Provincial Membership Officer’s Report

Download a pdf of the Provincial Membership Officer’s Report

Provincial Grand Master’s Address April 29th 2020

Brethren, today would have been our annual sojourn to Grand Lodge to support those friends and brethren honoured by the Most Worshipful Grand Master with appointments and promotions.  I am sure you will all join me in congratulating:

V W Bro Sir Paul Williams on his appointment to the prestigious rank and office of Junior Grand Warden;
W Bro Ryan Williams on his appointment as Junior Grand Deacon;
W Bro Ryland James on his promotion to Past Senior Grand Deacon;
W Bro Kelvin Jones on his promotion to Past Senior Grand Deacon; and
W Bro Peter Jones on his promotion to Past Junior Grand Deacon.

As well as the following first appointments:

W Bro Simon Francis as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies;
W Bro Ben Gait as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies;
W Bro Gordon Shumack as Past Grand Standard Bearer; and
W Bro Granville Thomas as Past Grand Standard Bearer.

We all trust and pray that it will not be too long before we all have the opportunity of seeing these brethren proudly wearing their new regalia.

Brethren, these are difficult times for us all and, for some, they bring tragedy and sadness.  Freemasonry can and must continue to make its contribution to our wellbeing and to the lives and livelihoods of our brethren, their families and our wider communities.  I have been hugely impressed by the level of help and support I have seen being provided by our members right across South Wales.  To all of you, I say well done and please do keep up the excellent work you are doing. It really is making a difference.

Today is also traditionally the day when I announce my Wardens for next year.  Please join me in congratulating:

W Bro John Child as Provincial Senior Grand Warden; and
W Bro Julian Rees as Provincial Junior Grand Warden

Both appointments will take effect from 27 June and, while we will not be able to enjoy our planned first ever joint celebration with our Royal Arch Companions, I hope to be able to arrange some sort of meeting and celebration later in the year.

W Bro John’s appointment as Provincial Senior Grand Warden leaves big shoes to fill as our Treasurer.  I am delighted that W Bro Brian Scott has agreed to take on that role in addition to his similar one in the Royal Arch.  We thank John for his many years of service and keeping our finances in good order; his new role is fitting tribute to all those efforts and we wish him and W Bro Julian well in their new senior positions.

Brethren, I can do no better than to repeat those wise and inspiring words of Her Majesty the Queen; we will meet again.  May the Great Architect of the Universe bless you all.

Provincial Grand Master’s address to Provincial Grand Lodge – 24th June 2019

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 Deputies – V W Bros Roy and William – Assistants, and all my Provincial Officers of last year for their sterling work in representing me and supporting the Executive team at installations and in running our administration.

Today’s meeting is one of celebration, especially for those receiving appointments and promotions. You should all now take on an extra responsibility to contribute more to the success and sustainability of your lodges, the Province and the Craft more widely.

Provincial Grand Masters address to Provincial Grand Committee, May 2019

Good evening brethren and welcome to our annual PGL Committee meeting. I must start by thanking you and your brethren for the warmth of the welcome and hospitality shown to my executive team and me during our visits this year. And in turn by thanking my Executive, present and past, for their wonderful support to this great Province of ours. We have made significant changes to the administration of the Province this year, not least in the appointment of W Bro Ben Gait as Provincial Grand Secretary and Scribe E. He has made great strides already and I would remind you all brethren that he is always on the lookout for volunteers to help with in the Provincial Office. So if you have the necessary time and skills – or you know of anyone interested – please do contact Ben and contribute to this busy and interesting work.

Provincial Grand Master’s address to Provincial Grand Lodge – 25th June 2018

It is now my great pleasure to address you for the fifth time as your Provincial Grand Master; incredible how time flies brethren !

First and foremost, my congratulations go to all I have been fortunate enough to appoint or promote in Provincial Grand Lodge today. Your new ranks are not given lightly; rather they are a reward for previous services and, perhaps more importantly, an earnest to future exertions. The Craft continues to face challenges to its reputation and to its future; and I hope you will all feel that your new status will encourage you to play a significant role in meeting those challenges for the good of all our brethren.

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.