With all the happy memories of our Annual Meeting still reverberating around the Province, I thought I’d take this further opportunity again to thank the 800 or so Brethren and guests who came to Grand Temple to support the Meeting plus the record 575 who booked to dine; and also to extend my congratulations all over again to those who I had the great honour and pleasure to confer Appointments and Promotions on our special day. Brethren, the Annual Meeting serves a twofold purpose. It is the culmination and celebration of our Mark Masonry at the end of what is always a busy, successful and exciting 12 months for the London Brethren; but also a rekindling of interest and rejuvenation for the new season we are about to embark upon. If you need a recap on the huge successes we have achieved since September 2016 then please read the PGM’s Address as published on the website PGM’s Address
So far as 2016 to 2017 is concerned there is already so much going on, I hardly know where to begin!
Charity, as always, sits at the heart of our Mark Masonry and our new season coincides with the start of a new Mark Benevolent Fund Festival. Whilst this is ostensibly under the banner of Lincolnshire, all the English Provinces support the Province in Festival through donations from their own Benevolent Funds and, most visibly to you our Members, through the sale of lapel badges. Yes Brethren, it’s that time of year again when the Official Visitor to your Lodge Meetings will be telling you about all the good work which the MBF does and seeking your support through the sale of these little badges at £10 each. The combined impact of your individual donations realised £13,000 last season and I am hopeful that this year will see your generosity matched to an equivalent and perhaps even higher level. The Mark Benevolent Fund has just joined in partnership with St John’s Ambulance and pledged £3,023,700 to enable a two year programme providing up to 52 replacement state of the art ambulances and support vehicles. Brethren, your purchase of the lapel badges will go a long way to fulfilling that pledge and I appeal to you now to be as generous as your pocket money will allow, when your Official Visitor approaches you with his fistful of badges!!
Brethren, we have had some recent publicity over our donations to Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers, Surrey & South London. That’s the three Blood Bikes bought and paid for with your donations. Have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzdqb4HIk2I and tell your friends that the Bikes on display in this TV clip are carrying your Province of MMM of London logos!
Also on the Charity front I am delighted to announce that the 500 Club has again this year been able to renew its donations to the 4 London Charities we supported last year (Lifelites, Camden Shed, Hackney City Farm and St John’s Community Development Project). There are also 5 lucky winners amongst our Members – receiving £500, £400, £300, £200 and £100 respectively. Their names will be announced soon and I hope to be able to present them with their cheques at the Installed Masters’ Lodge Meeting on 11th September. The new Provincial Charity Stewards are currently working up their strategies for the coming year – so watch this space!
Another area where you will definitely have to watch this space is with regard to the new Provincial website. At the Annual Meeting I announced that our new website for the Mark Province of London will be going live on 21 July. The address of the new site will still be www.markprovinceoflondon.com. The new site has a cleaner and clearer feel to it and, in this day of smartphones and tablets, is mobile-friendly as well. If you have any questions, or experience any technical issues with the new website, please contact our Website Administrator Richard Criddle (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I know how popular our schedule of Official Visits is amongst our London Brethren so here is my reminder to all you stalwarts of our Province and newly Appointed Provincial Officers too – get out your diaries over the next couple of ‘quiet’ months and work out which Delegations you are able to and would like to support. Places on Delegations are not restricted as the numbers attending are always welcome.
A large Delegation adds to the overall ambience and ‘feel good’ factor at our Mark Meetings – especially Advancement Ceremonies – not to mention the support that individual Delegates can lend to filling Offices and supporting the ceremonial aspects of the evening. Lodge Secretaries and Scribes should always bear in mind that the Province has a wealth of resources to call on through the Provincial Stewards’ Lodge and the Grand Master’s Lodge of Instruction, to help overcome any difficulties, temporary or otherwise, when arranging the content of Meetings. Contact myself or my Deputy as soon as you are aware that help is needed.
To finish with let me remind you of a couple of dates for your diaries:
October 12th. Provincial Officers Mess lunch at the Imperial Hotel. 12 for 12.30. Tickets £36 which will include the normal fantastic buffet lunch. The speaker is yet to be confirmed but I am assured this will be an interesting (perhaps even controversial) session. Leaflet and Booking form following soon.
December 1st. End of Year Party. Again a social function not to be missed and definitely one to bring along your partner and any potential Candidates for Advancement into our wonderful Order. Here’s the link http:
Brethren, I hope you will all enjoy a good summer. I look forward to seeing and welcoming you back in the autumn when our Meetings start again.