Brethren, here we are again for the second year running unable to enjoy our traditional luncheon and celebration before the annual Grand Lodge Investiture in London. As we head towards what we hope will be more normal times, let us all keep our fingers crossed that this will be the last occasion when I will have to address you via this format. And the last time we will have to miss that most enjoyable of events where we support our brethren who have been honoured by the Most Worshipful Grand Master with appointments and promotions in Grand Rank.
We have all experienced a frustrating year and, of course, some of us have had to endure much worse as the pandemic has affected our families, friends, livelihoods and everyday lives. But it has been heartwarming to see that, even when we have not been able to meet, our Freemasonry has continued, most especially in the way we have helped our brethren and our communities to cope with the worst effects of the pandemic and the resulting restrictions placed upon our lives. We now look forward to better times ahead and I’m sure you will have all seen the communications coming out of the Provincial Office recently, designed to help you and your lodges prepare and get going again as soon as we are able. We simply cannot stand still for ever brethren; I hope all lodges will do what they can to restart the natural rhythm of lodge meetings and, of course, do quite a bit of catching up on ceremonies we have missed over the last year.
My Executive team and I stand ready to help and support you when and wherever necessary.
Today is the day when our new Grand Officers receive their ranks and I’m sure you will all wish to join with me in congratulating W Bros Simon Daniel, Brian Scott, David Weston, Phil Bevan and Rob Payne on their first appointments to these most prestigious of ranks in Grand Lodge. I look forward to seeing them resplendent in their new regalia in the very near future.
We also congratulate R W Bro Sir Paul Williams on his appointment as Deputy President of the Masonic Charitable Foundation as well as W Bros Ryan Williams, David Mason, Keith Ferguson and Hugh Thomas on their promotions. All these appointments and promotions are well deserved and show just how much South Wales is at the forefront of Freemasonry in England and Wales.
Brethren, today is the day when I traditionally announce my Wardens for the coming year and I am pleased to continue that practice today. My Senior Warden for 2021-22 will be W Bro Phillip Aubrey, who needs no introduction from me as he is so well known and respected throughout the Province. As Junior Warden I will appoint W Bro Martyn Wake, again a well known and regarded mason within and beyond South Wales. I hope and trust they will be able to undertake significant numbers of duties in the coming year and I daresay that they will also give a number of opportunities to W Bros John Child and Julian Rees who have had such a quiet year in their offices, through no fault of their own.
I have one final announcement to make. W Bro Alan Gardener has been an absolutely first rate Assistant Provincial Grand Master for 6 years. In particular, he has stepped up and undertaken a great deal of work during the pandemic while still continuing his responsibilities for the Universities Scheme and our Estate. Alan will be standing down as an APGM in June, though I am delighted to say he has readily agreed to continue his roles with regard to the Universities Scheme and Masonic Halls for the foreseeable future. He will also continue to stand in when required to represent me at Installations.
As Alan’s successor as an APGM, I am delighted to announce today that I shall be re-appointing W Bro Rev Canon Huw Mosford. Huw and I were first appointed as Assistants in June 2007. As we know his calling then took him to London for a number of years before returning to South Wales and resuming his interests in lodges here. He will bring a wealth of experience and an abundance of quality to the Executive team and I look forward to his wise counsel and undoubted presence in our meetings across the Province.
Brethren, all of these appointments will take place from 26 June when we hope to be able to hold our annual Provincial meeting in Barry. If restrictions still do not allow the June meeting to go ahead, we have a contingency date booked for 2 October, when I will invest those appointed as from 26 June.
Brethren, I do hope to see you all very soon. Stay positive and keep your enthusiasm going. We have a lot of catching up to do and I for one am looking forward to it immensely.