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Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Surrey
Annual Report of the Provincial Grand Charity Steward

At the September 2015 meeting of the Installed Mark Masters Lodge No 1219 the Provincial Grand Master made an announcement about the Festival, and invited W. Bro. Darren Coleman from the MBF to give a presentation, supported by W Bro Chris Eley.

This an exciting time in the history of the Surrey Mark province, as the opportunity to host a Festival only comes around every 35 years, the last one being in 1987 under the Chairmanship of the RW Bro. Rev. Neville Barker Cryer. It is therefore the Provincial Grand Master's wish that we focus our attention on raising funds for the Festival which will be formally launched on 5th May 2016 at Nutfield.

A Festival Committee has been established under the chairmanship of W Bro David Else, other members include W Bro Chris Eley with responsibility for Communications and Marketing, W Bro Bill Barr as Committee Secretary, W Bro David Barden as Festival Treasurer, W Bro Stewart Butcher, the Provincial Grand Treasurer, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward and the Provincial Grand Secretary. There is an incredible amount of planning and preparation required in the early stages to enable future developments to be managed and controlled efficiently and that work is well under way.

The Group Charity Stewards will continue to be the first point of contact for Lodge Charity Stewards and will continue to visit their various lodges throughout the coming year. I would therefore encourage all members to complete the Grand Charity Direct Debit form for continuous giving, in support of the Mark Festival in the Relief Chest MMM 2111. This form is readily available and can be downloaded from the Provincial website. This will be the initial thrust of our fund raising campaign, in what the Provincial Grand Master has described as the “ drip drip “ approach to giving.

The newly designed and popular lapel pins are now on sale and should adorn everyone's jacket. Finally please remember to Gift Aid your lodge donations, envelopes are available from the Festival Treasurer and the Group Charity Stewards. I take this opportunity to thank those Lodges who have already made donations to the Festival.

The next charity dinner and dance will be held on Friday 8th April 2016 at the Burford Bridge Hotel, Box Hill, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6BX. The cost is £55 and cheques are to be made payable to: Provincial Grand Lodge of MMMs of Surrey. The contact for this event is W Bro Dr Miguel Godfrey, telephone 01483 852206 or email migod@ntlworld.com. The price includes a three-course meal and a bucks fizz reception at 7.00 pm. Carriages at midnight.

For those wishing to stay overnight at the hotel the Bed and Breakfast rate is £109 inc VAT. The check in is from 2.00 pm up to 11.55 pm. Bookings can be made directly by telephoning the Hotel on 01306 884561 and quoting Prov08042016. I strongly recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.
Whilst it may have been rather a quieter year with regard to donations to other charities, this is to be expected as the Craft 2019 Festival is in full swing.

However as shown in the Provincial Benevolent Fund accounts, donations have been made to the Worcestershire Festival for the Mark Fund of Benevolence, the Surrey Craft 2019 Festival for the RMBI, Hounds for Heroes and just before Christmas and after the end of the last financial year to the Cumberland and Westmoreland Mark Benevolent Fund for the relief of those affected by the floods in that area.

Finally, I would like to thank the Group Charity Stewards and those who have supported me during my agreed two years in office. I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I wish the incoming Charity Steward every success with the challenges which lie ahead.

Jack Love
Provincial Grand Charity Steward