For quite a few years Wes Hollands and John Ellis have been devoting a great deal of time and commitment to furthering the continued expansion of this wonderful Province of ours, and it seems very fitting that they should both have been honoured with their appointment to Assistant Provincial Grand Masters.
Those of you who know them will understand that they have steadily worked both behind the scenes as well as “front and centre” and bring with them a vast amount of information. Some of it even relative!!
They both took time out to complete a remote interview and for that, I thank them both very much.
Chair, Communications Committee
Chris James (CJ), John Ellis (JE), Wes Hollands (WH)
CJ: When the PGM approached you to become one of the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters of this Province, what went through your mind ?
JE: Pure shock at first and why me ???? and then excitement as to what they must think of me as to even consider asking
WH: I thought he was pulling my leg; I was looking for another year as ProvGDC but what an honour to support such a great team. So much time and effort has gone into London Mark and to be asked to be part of that is a real treat.
CJ: How do you see your role as an APGM contributing to the consolidation and expansion of the Mark Degree in London?
JE: I like to think (probably wrongly) that with my knowledge of the membership through being Inspector of Works for six years, and my very approachable manner, I can assist in moving the Province forward through recruitment and encouraging inter-visiting.
WH: A lot of effort, time and to be able enjoy the company of so many friends plus to encourage the members to have fun and enjoy promoting our London Mark.
CJ: What for you are the greatest challenges ahead of you over the next 12 months?
JE: Getting to know all the Lodges in my Aegis on a more personal level and (being responsible for the Province’s Almoners) getting them all singing from the same hymn sheet as they say, and of course the 4 flights a month I shall be taking from now on.
WH: The biggest challenge will be to encourage and guide the brethren to show others, not in Mark, what they are missing, and also to be a friend and to help where I can.
CJ: Mark is known as the Friendly Degree. Are we doing enough to ensure that perception is correct and how can we further that view?
JE: I really think we are doing enough to highlight that point as every potential candidate I come into contact with always says “I hear it’s good fun”. Of course, we can always try harder.
WH: We certainly are, just look at the numbers, plus the new Mark Lodges and RAM units. What more can be done – that’s the challenge.
CJ: What attributes will you be able to bring to the table?
JE: Being an engineer I’m always looking at ways of improving things whatever the challenge. I also like to think that being quite approachable I could be a good problem-solver. You know what a lot of gossips Freemasons can be and the fuss that can cause (a lot of fuss over nothing as they say), so I’m really looking forward to getting out there and visiting and have some great ideas when it comes charitable donations.
WH: To be someone who can offer the right advice, calmly and using common sense. To be constructive and support the whole team, to be a positive player.
CJ: Thank you very much for answering these questions and giving up your time to do so. Just one more: will you buy me a drink at the next meeting?
JE: Of course, dear boy.
WH: Now you are pushing your luck….. but it would be a pleasure…..I think !!!!!!