Brethren all, there is no shortage of material for me to draw on for this edition of The London Mallet. The life and work of our Mark Province of London has continued unabated since the turn of the year. There have been 12 Full Team Visits for me to lead to Lodges, and 20 Official Visits by the other ‘Chains’. We have Consecrated 2 R.A.M. Lodges (Khalsa and Locomotion) with another one to come on 30 April (Metropolitan Lodge of R.A.M.). At all of these official visits the Chains and I have enjoyed terrific attendance levels from the Provincial Officers so I would like to go on record again by thanking you all for such unstinting support!
January, of course, saw the start of Burns Supper season. I say ‘the start’ as my Addresses to the Haggis’ went on until March, and I’m afraid I have lost count of the numbers I have slaughtered at Lodge Festive Boards this quarter. Our Annual Provincial Burns Weekend at Bournemouth was revived after our enforced Covid postponement in 2021, and here again I would like to thank all those who supported this special occasion and also thank my Deputy, Tim MacAndrews, for all his splendid work in ensuring that the weekend’s festivities certainly lived up to the same standard as previous year’s functions.
London’s numbers have been boosted through the inclusion of the Freemasons Without Borders Lodge and Grafton Lodge within our Province; but there also continues to be a steady stream of candidates for Advancement and Elevation, for which I must compliment you all on your recruitment abilities and for introducing so many Master Masons to the magic of our Mark Degree.
Invitations for Active, Promoted and First Appointments to Provincial Grand Rank have recently been issued, which of course leads me to a reminder about our Annual Meeting on 14 July – the highlight of London Mark’s year. I hope you have the date firmly in your diaries for our usual splendid afternoon of excellent ceremonial. Those of you who missed the Pipe Band last year can be assured it will be in attendance this time round as well. So please find the booking link elsewhere in the newsletter and come along to support the Province and your colleagues, who will be receiving appointments. Amongst these will be the investiture of a new APGM, W. Bro. Chris Damp, who will be taking over from V.W. Bro. Dave Lucas who has now completed his 4 year term of office.
During the year there was the appointment of a new Provincial Charity Steward. W. Bro. Mark Nixon has had to stand down for compelling business reasons and having been offered the services of W. Bro. Tim Spriggs, it was my great pleasure to appoint and invest him at our Installed Masters’ Meeting in February. Tim’s main focus will be on regular givings to the 50-50 Club, so watch out for appeals on your charity from that source.
London Brethren have, in their customary generous fashion, significantly risen to the Ukrainian relief appeal and I will be reporting further on this at our Annual Meeting. Lodges’ and individuals’ MBF status will benefit from donations to this appeal – details of which are available within The London Mallet magazine.
Your Executive remains busy on a number of administrative matters and our regular virtual Committee Meetings (yes, Zoom is still a big part of lives) have been dealing with a multitude of agenda items, including the production of the next Year Book which will be a 2022/23 edition, and which will include some of the important carry forward information missed from a 2021/22 edition (another casualty of Covid, I’m afraid). Also under review is a revamp of our website, which is being considered in the wake of the membership survey feedback received last year. I am indebted to the Exec Committee and everyone involved in the administrative and ceremonial aspects of this large and busy Province for their continued loyalty and support. Your voluntary contributions of time and energy mean that we have a successful and vibrant Province – one we can all be proud of and one which affords the highest levels of enjoyment of Mark Masonry to current and future members.
The website in its current form and our Facebook page contain photos and news about past events and information on what is planned for the future. Do look at it on a regular basis, Brethren, to keep yourselves up to date and try to join in wherever possible. That way you will derive maximum pleasure and satisfaction from membership in our very special Order of Freemasonry in general and this wonderful Mark Province of London in particular.
I look forward to seeing you all in your Lodges and on the circuit throughout the remainder of this busy season.
Mark Well, Brethren.