Address to Provincial Grand Conclave – 13th April 2012
Brethren, at this first meeting of Dorset and Wiltshire Provincial Grand Conclave, I welcome each and every one of you in the true spirit of the Order. An especial warm welcome to our distinguished guests and friends from other Provinces, whom sadly, due to time constraints I have not been able to introduce individually, nevertheless, I welcome you all and thank you for attending.
Brethren of Dorset and Wiltshire, today we have all experienced a landmark in our Masonic careers, being the original members of a new Province. A number of us have experienced it before but, dare I say, we most probably will not do it again.
In the Province of Dorset, we have, in the past year, held our own with respect to membership with all Conclaves having new candidates. In May we had a Visit from V.Wy.Bro. Roger Guest, Grand Visitor, to Forum Conclave and I congratulate all those Brethren who took part in that ceremony which prompted V.Wy.Bro. Roger to submit a glowing report.
During the past year, my Deputy V.Wy.Bro. Denis Cutler and I have made a number of visits to other Provinces at which we have been well received and it is a pleasure to be able to return that favour, in some small measure, to a number of them today.
Our Annual gathering today albeit somewhat protracted; the prime purpose of which is the appointment, promotion and investiture of Provincial Grand Officers, which next year will undoubtedly show a greater mix of deserving Brethren across all the Conclaves, and it has been a great pleasure for me to carry out that duty. I congratulate and thank all those who have been so honoured today in the certain knowledge of how deserving they are, and I trust they will enjoy their term of Office and look forward to their continuing service to our Order and to this new Province. To those relinquishing Office today, I thank you for your much valued contribution and support.
Brethren, in addition to today’s appointments, at Grand Conclave last November the Grand Supreme Ruler was pleased to honour two of our Brethren with first appointments; Wy.Bro. Paul Phipps, appointed to Active Grand Steward and Wy.Bro. Brian Parkes to Past Grand Sword Bearer. I’m sure you join with me in congratulating them on this well deserved recognition of their efforts for the benefit of the Order in general and Dorset Province in particular.
The year ahead for all of us will be one of getting to know our new Brethren and I hope that as much visiting to one another’s Conclaves will be foremost in your minds. We have today, dedicated a new Provincial Sword and Banner and I trust this will unite us all in moving this new Province of Dorset and Wiltshire forward. We are a team, it is not about individuals, but about a team of which I am proud to be asked to represent as PGSR. This Order is based on Friendship and today’s events has presented us all with the chance to extend our family of Friends within this new Province, so let us grasp this opportunity to spread the word of this friendly Order across the two counties.
Brethren, I together with the Executive, are ever looking at ways of moving our OSM Province forward into the future, to this end, later in the year we are Consecrating a new Conclave in the west of Dorset and I would ask any Brother who is interested to contact my chief recruitment Officer Wy.Bro. Ian Sullivan.
In the meantime however it is my intention to continue more involvement at Official Visits of our Provincial Counsellor and Guide, likewise to give senior Grand Officers of Conclaves the opportunity of carrying out a commissioning of a Supreme Ruler within the Order, more detail of this will be sent out shortly by the Provincial Recorder.
I would again ask consideration to be given to the possibility of introducing a Provincial social event, and so if any Brother has any ideas on this please contact either the Provincial Recorder or myself.
Brethren, new members are the lifeblood of our Order and I ask you to continue to search out suitable Masons to join us. There is a pamphlet available, to give to prospective candidates, which can be obtained from your Lodge Secretaries or the Provincial Recorder. Also we have our own website for which Wy.Bro. Matthew Burt is the Webmaster, there is a ‘News and Events’ page which I urge you to make use of.
Time is getting on so I’ll not keep you any longer but will conclude by saying I am proud to have the privilege of being your Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler, I wish you all a safe journey home, thank you for your support today and your courtesy in listening to me.