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Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Surrey
Provincial Grand Master’s Address to Provincial Grand Lodge - March 2015

Brethren, it is now my pleasure to address Provincial Grand Lodge for the second time. How the first year has flown by, well it isn’t quite a full year as my Installation as Provincial GrandMaster was in this room on 19th May 2014. It has been a busy but also most enjoyable and at times exiting year in the Province. I havehad the pleasure of visiting the Annual Meetings of many Provinces throughout the country and I take the opportunity to thank them for their kind hospitality, to again extend a warm welcome to them and hope that they enjoy their visit to Surrey.

Indeed Brethren I thank you all for your attendance here today. I am delighted to see so many here, knowing that the date was changed, which caused a clash with other Lodge meetings and events elsewhere. I sincerely hope that you will all enjoy the meeting and the after proceedings.

To the Provincial Officers who have been appointed today I offer you all my sincere congratulations and I trust that you will enjoy and be successful in that appointment, andthat that you will enjoy the year ahead. To those who have received active Office I trustthat you will use it as an opportunity. You have been invited to accompany me as I continue my visits to Lodges in the Province. There is no compulsion or requirement to do so, it is an opportunity to visit other Lodges and to provide support to them and increase the enjoyment for us all. Please consider it your responsibility to promote our Order and inparticular to encourage the younger Brethren.

To the Provincial Officers who are standing down from office, I thank you for your support for the Province, in many different ways. I have had overwhelming support from the teamduring the year. Since my Installation I have made official visits to 19 of our Lodges, inaddition to those Lodges that don’t receive official visits. I thank each of the Lodges that I have visited for the welcome that I and the accompanying officers have received. I am still on target to visit every Lodge in the Province within my first two years. On these visits Ihave had the pleasure of being accompanied by many active Officers of the year, and havehad the support of as many as 20 officers on a visit.

There have been several highlights during these visits, the Banner Dedication at CollingwoodLodge which was carried out after the Lodge was called off, and Ladies and non Masonswere invited into the Lodge Room and joined us at the after proceedings. This was very successful and an enjoyable afternoon for all present.

Croydon Lodge was on the brink of closing. It has been saved and there is a good article in the current edition of the Overseer, written by W. Bro. Tim Ford. The Lodge will particularly cater for Mark Master Masons who are still in full timeemployment by meeting later, being more efficient with time and the circulation of reports prior to the meeting, and holding a Festive Board before the meeting. This will be ofparticular interest to those Brethren who have difficulty getting to meetings early. At theirlast meeting they Advanced two Brethren in a most successful ceremony. If this may be of interest to you please speak to W. Bro. Tim Ford.

Unfortunately we were unable to save one of our newer Lodges and Knightsbridge Lodge has had its warrant placed in abeyance. If there is sufficient interest there is the possibilityof reviving Knightsbridge with a Lodge similar to Croydon in the southwest of the Province.W. Bro Richard Baker would be pleased to hear from anyone interested. I have had the pleasure to present a 50 year certificate, to see many Brethren Advanced intoour Order, and many Installations of new Masters and Commanders.

Please give the Recruiting of new Brethren your utmost attention, tell Brethren in your Craft Lodges how much you enjoy your Mark Masonry and make sure they know that they aremissing out on knowledge and a great deal of enjoyment. You are all expected to support your Craft Lodges and your Chapters but do remember that they are also our Recruiting grounds. We have held and will continue to hold “Mark meets the Craft “ evenings in ourMark Lodges. We have a presentation delivered by members of the Provincial Executive and the next one will be held at Nutfield Masonic Centre by Lingfield and Warlingham Mark Lodges on Friday 17th April. Full details are available on the website. If you have any Craft friends who may be interested invite them to come along.

I also thank the official representatives who visit Lodges throughout the Province, and whose work is essential to the well running of the Province. I have made some changes to the system of visiting Lodges which should provide Lodges with a better opportunity to get to know the Visiting Officer, as opposed to having a different visitor each year.

I have listened to what you have had to say and made some changes as a result. I was concerned about the year on year rises in Annual dues and the Provincial Treasurer announced that the increase in Annual dues paid to the Province approved last year will not be implemented. This together with a reduction in the cost of the Year Books from £70 perLodge to £25 should benefit all Lodges and assist with their finances.

The Inter Province Cricket Match will be hosted by Middlesex this year at Old Hamptonians Cricket Club, Hampton, Middlesex on Sunday 28th June. Please give it your support and bring the family there will be a lot to do as well as watch the cricket. I do thank W Bro Bill Caughie and his Committee for all the work that they have and continue to put into this fun day. Last year we were narrowly defeated by Sussex, the hosts, and donated our share of the profits to the MBF Festival to be hosted by Sussex in 2019.

The Annual Charity Dinner Dance was held at the Preston Cross Hotel for the last time, as the hotel has closed and is to become a Nursing Home. The next time that any of us will visit will be for a different reason. That said, it was an event enjoyed by all those who attended. I have decided to move the date of the Cha Di Da to the Spring, so that we don’t hold the two major social events so close together. In future, the Mess Open Evening will be held in the Autumn, this year on Saturday 12th September 2015, and the Dinner Dance in the Spring.

A most successful Provincial Officers Mess Open Evening was held at Nutfield Masonic Centre where members of the Mess, their family and friends gathered for an enjoyable dinner. At this event I presented the retiring RW Provincial Grand Master with a wrist watch and vouchers from the members. For the first time that I can remember, RW Bro RayHussey was speechless. He had no idea that this was planned and having recoveredthanked the members for this gift which he will treasure.

W.Bro John French the Secretary of the Mess has arranged the Annual meeting which willbe held at Guildford on Friday 15th May and I hope that it will be well attended. We are fortunate to have the Director of the Museum of Freemasonry, Diane Clement, speaking after the meeting on “Freemasonry during and after the First World War.” This together with a nice meal and good company should make for a special evening, which I hope you will support.

As you will be aware we will host the MBF Festival in 2022. I have asked W. Bro. David Elseto Chair the Committee and the first meeting will be held in two weeks time. I hope that we will launch the Festival fully in September, which will give us just under seven years. The Mark Benevolent Fund will be celebrating its sesqui centenary in 2018 and have pledged their support to Hope for Tomorrow. This is a Charity Launched in 2003 by Mrs Christine Mills who lost her husband to cancer having experienced and suffered the stress of travelling a considerable distance for regular treatment. The charity raises money for mobile chemotherapy units which will take the treatment into local communities, closer to the patient. The units are funded by the charity and manned by the NHS. Information about the charity has been sent to every Lodge in the province.

As I said earlier, I have been conscious that we held our own very successful mini Festival in 2014, and that last year the Craft launched a Festival for the RMBI in 2019. I know thatwhen we do launch the Festival you will want to get behind it and support the eventsorganised to raise funds.

In December the MW Grand Master appointed six Brethren to Grand Rank in the Ancientand Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners. They were:

William Barr Warlingham RAM 1321
Stewart Butcher Sutton Surrey RAM 450
Steven Cann Hiram RAM 13
Terence Carpenter, JP Kintore RAM 333
Paul Fitzgerald Redhill RAM 1285
Adrian Kidney Collingwood RAM 1669 and Esher RAM 1050

At the June Investiture of Mark Grand Lodge, to be held on Tuesday 9th June 2015 we willhave several members of the Province receiving Grand Rank. They are:

Active First appointments
W Bro Andrew Sales   Grand Standard Bearer
W Bro John French   Grand Steward

Receiving promotions
W Bro Richard Baker   Past Grand Junior Overseer
W Bro David Else   Past Grand Senior Deacon
W Bro Richard Knox   Past Grand Senior Deacon

First appointments to Past rank
W Bro Jack Love   Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
W Bro Trevor Sadler   Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
W Bro David Shelton   Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
W Bro Barrie Freeman   Past Assistant Grand Standard Bearer

I encourage you to attend and support those receiving Grand Rank. It is an enjoyable afternoon. The re-vamped Provincial Website is proving successful and I thank our Web Master, W BroBob Tuthill, and his assistant for all the work that goes in keeping it up to date. I also thank W Bro Chris Eley for capturing our happy occasions on his camera for the Website. Please take photographs of your own happy occasions for inclusion on the web site, so that my photograph doesn’t adorn every page. It is your web site, please use it and the information contained on it.

Events such as an Annual meeting don’t just happen and this year three key players are newto their respective roles. They are the Provincial Secretary, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and the W Bro Barr on behalf of the Stewards Lodge. To the Provincial Grand Secretary and the rest of the Provincial Secretariat I thank you for all the hard work you have put into making today run so smoothly. I know that behind the scenes there have been stresses, but not withstanding that you have worked closely with the Provincial GrandDirector of Ceremonies, and I am grateful to him and his team for ensuring that the day is asuccess.

I would also like to thank the members of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge for their tremendous support today and throughout the year. I am most grateful to you all.

Finally I am indebted to my Deputy and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters who have given outstanding service to the Province and support to me personally during my first year.I thank you for the kind attention that you have given to my address and may the Great Overseer of the Universe Bless and Keep you.

Ian N Clark
Provincial Grand Master
30th March 2015