PGSR’s Address July 2014
28th July 2014
Presentation to our Past PGSR
A couple of weeks ago we were finally able to present my predecessor, R. Wy. Bro. Peter Coles with his retirement gift.
Those of you who were present for that occasion will have shared our joy in saying thank you to him for his dedication and the careful, caring leadership he gave Norfolk over the previous 15 years.
He cannot be with us today as he is in Indonesia with our M. Wy Supreme Ruler continuing to give his time, energy and talent to the Order.
Appointments and Promotions in Provincial Rank
Brethren, It has been a great pleasure for me to appoint and promote a substantial number of you today and I wish you all great happiness from those new roles.
These appointments reflect the important contributions you have made to the Order and to the Province and I am sure you are aware that they also carry responsibilities and our expectations of you in the future - your future and the future of your Province.
Throughout this last year, Active Provincial Officers have made an important contribution to the Province.
I am grateful to all the active Officers of the last year for their help in a number of areas: they assisted with ritual on occasions; several Provincial “Team Visits” took place during the year, these were very enjoyable occasions and I am grateful to all those Provincial Officers who gave their support to them, giving us a splendid turnout for each and every one of them.
Appointments and Promotions in Grand Rank
I know you would also wish me to congratulate those who were promoted in, or appointed to Grand Rank in November last year. -
R Wy Bro. Peter Rollin continues as Grand Registrar, but was of course promoted to Past Grand Guide in 2012,
R. Wy. Bro. John Warne was promoted to Past Grand Guide and V. Wy Bro Chris Bowles to Past Grand Visitor.
Appointed to Past Grand Swd. B, were Wy Bros Ralph Masterson, Prov G Guide, and Gary Secker, Prov. G DC, and to Past Grand Bow Bearer were Wy Bros Keith Parks and Peter Worby, all well deserved.
The last 12 months
The year has been busy and I believe productive. We have put a number of projects into force, which together form the plan for increasing the number of active members in the Province.
I believe these actions will yield the results we are looking for in an acceptable time frame.
One area worth mentioning is the publication of a new booklet giving information on the Order in Norfolk and the general history of the Order.
This may turn out to be an important item for Craft Masons considering membership of OSM, and I must thank Bro Craig Atwell for his generous assistance in ensuring that it was professionally presented and printed.
We now have a sufficient supply for everyone to have copies and there will be enough to supply Conclaves and individuals and to include in our presentation packs for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to the generosity of all our Conclaves, our fund raising for the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund Charity has had a superb lift off and is now well on the way to producing a very worthwhile amount for their continuing work in Norfolk. Thanks go to all the Conclaves who have so far contributed, for their outstanding response.
I hope we shall have a representative present next year in order for us to make the presentation and also to hear something about the work they are doing to help the children and their families cope in extremely distressing times. The collection today will be added to that fund.
Arch of Steel
We have introduced an Arch of Steel and you have seen today what they are made of. I would like to congratulate the whole team for producing an impressive result, but especial thanks must go to Wy Bro Richard Hawes for the very important part he has played in the formation of the Arch, and to The Commander and Deputy, Wy Bros Richard George and Warren Favish for their enthusiasm and for a major contribution to the work we have seen today.
They will have a considerable amount of work to do in the course of each Masonic year and we are grateful to them all for what has been achieved and the standards they have committed themselves to maintain.
One of the areas I feel we would benefit from addressing in the coming year is the formation of an effective Website and whilst I am able to set up the site itself and probably deal with the initial population of the information it will contain, what I am unable to do, is to be the Web Manager and so, one of the tasks to be fulfilled this year will be to find and establish the Person and if necessary a team to take on that role.
Overall the Visiting Deacons in our Conclaves carry out their duties well as we have heard from the Provincial Grand Guide. However, I feel it is important to stress that the Order of the Secret Monitor has the Visiting Deacon as its central pillar and the ethos of the Order is in his hands.
The better the Visiting Deacon discharges his responsibilities the stronger the Order becomes and the more clearly we demonstrate the advantages of membership.
Many of you will be aware that it is necessary for the Orders other than Craft and the Royal Arch to consider the position with regard to the Norfolk Year Book.
It has become a very difficult and time consuming task for the existing Craft Provincial team to deal with and it is hoped that by reducing the information on the other Orders contained in the Norfolk Year Book, the book will be easier to administer and more accurate in its content.
As a consequence I have decided that we have sufficient content and the need, to produce a Year Book for the Norfolk OSM Province to be published at the usual time and issued to members through the Secretariat.
Meantime, we shall continue to be represented in the Norfolk Year Book. You should find that Provincial Information together with the details of each Conclave, Meeting Place and Meeting Times together with the details of our Secretaries, continues to be available, but without the Individual Conclave Pages.
These will appear in our separate book, and will allow us to include information we did not publish in the old format. Although we are somewhat in the hands of the printer, it is possible we may even be early as it is hoped that it might be with you in September to start the new season.
You may be pleased to know that the Province will subsidize the cost of the change for the time being, so that the Conclave expenditure will remain the same.
Our Distinguished Guests
Earlier I welcomed our distinguished Guests and I make no apology for repeating the fact that we are delighted to welcome you all to the Norfolk annual meeting.
We very much enjoy your company and we are grateful to you for travelling over to Great Yarmouth and joining us here today.
I am particularly pleased to be able to welcome such a strong representation from Grand Conclave, which includes the Grand Chancellor, R Wy Bro Noel Grout and the Grand Guide, R Wy Bro. Trevor Currans. I do hope you are all enjoying, and will continue to enjoy the day.
Unless you really enjoy swimming, it is hard to go any further than Great Yarmouth, and so we wish you a safe return home.
The Province is fortunate to have such solid support
My Deputy, R Wy Bro John Warne has been a terrific asset to the Province and a great help to me throughout the year and I am extremely grateful to him, for the work he has undertaken and delivered, his energy, availability and enthusiastic approach to the Deputy’s role, and for his friendship over the last 12 months.
I also thank the outgoing Provincial Grand Chancellor, Wy Bro. Steve Allen for remaining in that position with his very full diary as Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the Norfolk Craft Province. Thank you Steve for your very valuable input. R Wy Bro Peter Miles now replaces Wy Bro. Steve.
R Wy Bro. Peter and I have worked together in other places, I am acquainted with his very considerable abilities, and I welcome him to the post.
The Provincial Grand Guide, Wy. Bro. Ralph Masterson has undertaken some work in the past year, which he might not have expected when he took on the post and I am most grateful to him for his substantial contribution to the Province and for his Report today.
My thanks also go our Provincial Grand Recorder, Wy. Bro. Ian Macklin for his administrative work throughout the year and the support he has given me, and of course, for all the work he puts into ensuring that our annual meeting is a success, all of which is greatly appreciated.
Beside him of course is Wy. Bro. Richard Hawes, Assistant Prov. Recorder, in whose hands lie our dining arrangements and those who attended last year will know how expertly he delivers in this area. Thank you, Richard for a job very well done again today.
Wy Bro Gary Secker, our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, has been with me on a number of outings in the Province and especially where we have had “Team” attendances he has organized and presented the Province in an exemplary manner.
Today of course, is no exception – thank you Gary to you and your team, which includes the other Gary, Wy Bro Gary Allen, who we thank for everything he has done today and in previous years. Wy Bro Gary retires today as Deputy DC and we welcome Wy. Bro. Andrew Seaman to take his place.
We have also lost V. Wy Bro Roy Holland from the post of Provincial OSM Benevolent Fund Steward and I must say thank you to Wy Bro Roy for his work in that role. Wy. Bro. Roy was in attendance, it seemed, wherever one went in the Province and he has worked solidly over many years. He has ensured that the proper focus was maintained on the OSM Benevolent Fund and a substantial amount forwarded from the Province to the fund. Roy, you deserve a happy retirement and we hope that you and Beryl will be able to relax a little but we also trust that we shall not altogether lose your company in the Conclaves; you know you will always be welcome whenever you feel able to attend. Today I appointed Wy Bro. Richard Callaby to succeed V. Wy Bro Roy and we wish Wy Bro Richard, well in the post.
Also retiring is Bro Geoff Hadrell as our Provincial Organist. Bro Geoff has played the organ for us over a quite a long period and I was a little sad when he said to me that he felt that his age meant that he should retire and make way for someone younger. Of course, we know you deserve to relax and enjoy these meetings and I hope we shall continue to enjoy your company for many years to come.
Our newly appointed Organist is Dr. Robert Scott so we know we are in very good hands and the music which is so important in these meetings will continue to be enjoyable and appropriate.
And, very importantly, Brethren, thank you all for attending today, and for the great support you have all given to me and to your Province throughout the year, and in anticipation, I also thank you for your continued confidence and help in the further development of the Province of Norfolk.
Brethren, may you long continue to enjoy the Order of the Secret Monitor and the company of your friends within it.
Robin Habbitts, Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler, Norfolk