© 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge of Wessex,    ADDRESS When   I   first      read   on   the   Agenda   for   this   meeting   that   Item   13   was,      “The   Provincial   Grand   Master   will   address Provincial   Grand   Court”   I   briefly   thought   that   as   Deputy   PGM      I   could   get   away   with   not   having   to   carry   out   that particular item but the Provincial Secretary soon disabused me of that belief.  I   then   asked   him   what   he   thought   I   should   say   and   was   rather   taken   aback   when   he   replied,   “Just   give   them   your usual   flannel”.      I   wasn’t   at   all   certain   what   he   meant   by   that   so   I   looked   up   “flannel”   in   the   dictionary   and   found   it was defined as “coarse material”. I   didn’t   think   that   was   appropriate   so   eventually   I   decided   to   follow   the   advice   of   the   late   R   W   Brother   J   R   Ewing   of Dallas fame who once said, “If you don’t strike oil in the first five minutes, stop boring!” I   have   already   welcomed   our   distinguished   guests   from   Grand   Court   and   other   Provinces   in   the   Order   so   I   would now   like   to   take   this   opportunity   of   welcoming   Brethren   from   the   Province   of   Wessex   who   are   present   and supporting me here today. Be assured your attendance is greatly appreciated. I   should   also   like   to   congratulate   those   Brethren   I   have   appointed   or   re-appointed   to   Provincial   rank.      Perhaps   at this   point   I   should   explain   that   before   he   resigned   at   the   beginning   of   the   year   R   W   Bro   Ian   Crowe   had   fixed   this meeting   for   the   18th   May.      Unfortunately,   I   did   not   discover   this   until   the   date   had   been   decided   and   I   already have   two   important   meetings   in   Berkshire   on   that   day   (in   one   of   which   I   am   in   the   chair   for   part   of   the   work)   so   to be   absent   would   have   caused   great   difficulty.      Consequently   when   Ian   resigned   and   I   was   appointed   PGM   in Charge   I   took   the   opportunity   of   moving   it   to   today.      Quite   naturally   the   change   of   date   meant   some   Officers already   had   other   commitments   so   are   unable   to   be   present.      However,   I   did   decide   to   retain   this   venue   with   this lovely temple which I think admirably suits our needs in all respects Whether   present   or   absent,   I   should   like   to   thank   the   Provincial   Officers   of   the   year   for   their   help   and   support given not only to R W Bro Ian and, latterly, myself but also to meetings of the Courts in the Province. As   we   all   know   Provincial   meetings   do   not   just   happen   and   I   should   especially   like   to   thank   W   Bro   George   Paskins, the   Provincial   Secretary,   W   Bro   Tony   Pinnell,   the   Provincial   Treasurer   and   W   Bro   Colin   Lowther,   the   Provincial Marshall for their hard work over several weeks in preparing for today. Unfortunately,   we   are   not   a   large   enough   Province   to   merit   a   Provincial   Organist   so   I   should   especially   like   to thank   one   of   our   guests,      Bro   Andrew   Murphy   for   enhancing   our   proceedings   today   with   his   beautiful   music.     Thank you Andrew. At Grand Court last year three of our members received Grand Rank: W Bro George Brown was appointed Past Grand Junior Deacon W Bro George Paskins was appointed Past Grand Banner Bearer W Bro Roger Hall-Jones was appointed Past Grand Captain of the Guard Unfortunately,   because   of   the   greatly   reduced   size   of   the   Province   this   year,   I   understand   we   are   not   qualified   for further   Grand   Rank   appointments   until   the   Province   substantially   increases   in   size   although,   of   course,   I   am always happy to be corrected on this matter! At   the   meeting   of   the   Order   of   the   Scarlet   Mantle   at   Leicester   last   Tuesday   the   name   of   that   Order   was   changed to   “The   Ancient   Masonic   Order   of   Alfred   the   Great.”   At   that   meeting   I   was   to   receive   a   first   appointment   to   “Knight of   The   Ancient   Masonic   Order   of   Alfred   the   Great”or   KAG.   Unfortunately,   yet   again   I   had   a   clash   as   I   was   at   a meeting   of   another   Order   in   Birmingham   where   I   had   proposed   five   of   the   six   candidates   and   was   carrying   out part   of   the   ceremony   but   I   am   hopeful   of   receiving   the   honour   in   October.   I   am   delighted   to   inform   you   that   at that   meeting   W   Bro   Mervyn   Western   received   a   promotion   to   “Knight   Grand   Cross   of   the   Ancient   Masonic   Order of Alfred the Great” or GCAG which is, as I am sure you will all agree, a very well deserved honour. I   mentioned   earlier   the   greatly   reduced   size   of   the   Province;   this   reduction   is   in   terms   of   the   number   of   Courts not   in   terms   of   geographical   area.      The   Province   of   Wessex,   as   presently   constituted,   consists   of   the   City   and County   of   Bristol   (formerly   Avon)   and   the   Craft   provinces   of   Herefordshire,   Gloucestershire,   Wiltshire,   Oxfordshire and   Berkshire.      Presently   there   are   two   Courts   in   the   Bristol   area,   one   in   Gloucestershire   and   one   in   Wiltshire.     Three   of   these   Provinces   (Gloucestershire,   Oxfordshire   and   Berkshire)   previously   formed   part   of   the   Province   of Hwicce which was disbanded in 2016. There   is   obviously   considerable   potential   for   expansion   but   there   are   also   undoubted   difficulties.      Currently Herefordshire   has   no   Court   but   it   is   a   county   which   always   reminds   me   of   New   Zealand   –   it   has   a   huge   population but   99%   of   them   are   sheep!      In   terms   of   people   it   is   not   heavily   populated   and   has   no   really   large   towns   so   the Masonic   population   is   also   relatively   small.      In   fact,   apart   from   the   Craft   where   Herefordshire   does   have   its   own PGM all other Masonic Orders link Herefordshire with Gloucestershire. Herefordshire   is   also,   in   my   experience,   a   good   example   of   another   characteristic   of   rural   Provinces   –   brethren are   often   unwilling   to   travel   to   other   Masonic   centres,   even   within   the   same   Province.      As   an   example,   about three   years   ago   I   was   a   Founder   of   an   Operatives   Assemblage   in   Leominster.      Prior   to   our   first   meeting   three members   of   the   Management   Committee   arrived   to   make   sure   we   were   happily   settled   in.      They   said   they   would have   joined   us   until   they   found   out   you   had   to   be   a   member   of   the   Mark   Degree;   there   was   no   Mark   Lodge   in Leominster and they were not prepared to travel to either Kington or Hereford to join a Mark Lodge there. It   is   not   appropriate   for   me   to   mention   past   events   which   led   to   the   disbanding   of   the   Province   of   Hwicce;   suffice it to say that establishing a new Court, especially in Berkshire would, at the present time, be very difficult. I   have,   sometimes,   been   accused   of   being   a   pessimist.      Despite   what   I   have   just   said   about   the   difficulty   of establishing   new   Courts,   I   do   not   believe   that   is   true.      On   the   other   hand   neither   am   I   an   eternal   optimist;   if anything,   I   consider   myself   a   realist   who   judges   situations   as   I   believe   them   actually   to   be   and   not   as   others   might wish they would be. Having   said   that,   I   do   not   believe   that   there   is   no   scope   for   future   development   in   the   Province   and   I   put   before you a few glimmers of hope: A   few   years   ago   the   Masonic   Centre   in   Oxford   closed   and   Masonic   Orders   which   met   there   had   to   find   new homes.      About   a   year   ago   a   new   Centre   opened   at   Cardinal   House   in   Newnham   Courtenay   between   Oxford   and Henley.      It   was   found   that   not   all   the   units   which   had   previously   met   in   Oxford   wanted   to   move   to   the   new   Centre and   I   know   the   Craft   PGM   of   Oxfordshire   is   keen   that   there   should   be   an   increase   in   the   number   of   Masonic Orders   meeting   at   Cardinal   House.      In   fact,   I   am   to   be   a   founder   of   a   new   Pilgrim   Preceptors   Tabernacle   which   is to meet there. So, even if not immediately, there is potential for a Court at that location. One   of   the   senior   Provincial   officers   believes   that   there   is   the   potential   for   a   new   Court   in   the   Stow   on   the   Wold area drawing on Brethren from both Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. I   believe   sincerely   that   there   is   a   realistic   chance   for   further   development   and   expansion   but   I   think   this   is   unlikely in   the   near   future   and   I   am   not   the   person   to   lead   it.      This   is   partly   because   I   am   half   way   through   my   eighth decade   and   partly   because   I   am   not   widely   known   in   this   part   of   the   Province.      To   influence   Brethren   into becoming   founders   of   a   unit   in   a   Masonic   Order   of   which   they   are   not   even   members   and   may   well   have   not   even heard   is,   to   say   the   least,   challenging.      Obviously,   it   can   be   done   and   has   been   done   but   I   believe   it   needs someone   who   is   much   better   known   within   the   larger   Masonic   community   and   who   has   much   more   influence   in this area than I have. Having   said   that,   I   can   assure   you   all   that   I   will   continue   to   do   my   best   to   lead   the   Province   and   to   support   the Courts and Brethren within it until such time as a new Provincial Grand Master is appointed and installed. Thank you for your attendance today.  God bless you all. TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE
VIP’s In Atendance R.W.Bro. Roy Leavers, GCh, GCAG, DEPUTY GRAND MASTER R.W.Bro. Ralph M. Apperly, KCAG, Provincial Grand Master (Kent) W.Bro. Ian W. Sewell, Deputy Provincial Grand Master ( Magonsaetan) W.Bro. Wayne Dyer ,KCAG, PGBanB, Prov’ Grand Secretary (Magonsaeton W.Bro. Graham Scott Johnston  Dep’ Provincial Grand Master (Mercia) V.W.Bro. Keith Waters, KAG, PGSwdB, Dep’ Provincial Grand Master (Dumnonia) W.Bro. Michael Ellis, KAG, PSGD,  Deputy Provincial Grand Master (Sussex) W.Bro. Ron E S Bentley, Provincial Grand Secretary (Sussex) W.Bro Andrew Murphy, Provincial Grand Organist (Magonsaetan)
PHOTO’S PHOTO’S Treasurer & Secretary’s REPORT
                   © 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
VIP’s In Atendance R.W.Bro. Roy Leavers, GCh, GCAG, DEPUTY GRAND MASTER R.W.Bro. Ralph M. Apperly, KCAG, Provincial Grand Master (Kent) W.Bro. Ian W. Sewell, Deputy Provincial Grand Master ( Magonsaetan) W.Bro. Wayne Dyer ,KCAG, PGBanB, Prov’ Grand Secretary (Magonsaeton W.Bro. Graham Scott Johnston  Dep’ Provincial Grand Master (Mercia) V.W.Bro. Keith Waters, KAG, PGSwdB, Dep’ Provincial Grand Master (Dumnonia) W.Bro. Michael Ellis, KAG, PSGD,  Deputy Provincial Grand Master (Sussex) W.Bro. Ron E S Bentley, Provincial Grand Secretary (Sussex) W.Bro Andrew Murphy, Provincial Grand Organist (Magonsaetan)
PHOTO’S PHOTO’S
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge of Wessex,    ADDRESS When   I   first      read   on   the   Agenda   for   this   meeting   that   Item   13   was,      “The   Provincial   Grand Master   will   address   Provincial   Grand   Court”   I   briefly   thought   that   as   Deputy   PGM      I   could get   away   with   not   having   to   carry   out   that   particular   item   but   the   Provincial   Secretary soon disabused me of that belief.  I   then   asked   him   what   he   thought   I   should   say   and   was   rather   taken   aback   when   he replied,   “Just   give   them   your   usual   flannel”.      I   wasn’t   at   all   certain   what   he   meant   by   that   so I looked up “flannel” in the dictionary and found it was defined as “coarse material”. I   didn’t   think   that   was   appropriate   so   eventually   I   decided   to   follow   the   advice   of   the   late   R W   Brother   J   R   Ewing   of   Dallas   fame   who   once   said,   “If   you   don’t   strike   oil   in   the   first   five minutes, stop boring!” I   have   already   welcomed   our   distinguished   guests   from   Grand   Court   and   other   Provinces in   the   Order   so   I   would   now   like   to   take   this   opportunity   of   welcoming   Brethren   from   the Province   of   Wessex   who   are   present   and   supporting   me   here   today.   Be   assured   your attendance is greatly appreciated. I   should   also   like   to   congratulate   those   Brethren   I   have   appointed   or   re-appointed   to Provincial   rank.      Perhaps   at   this   point   I   should   explain   that   before   he   resigned   at   the beginning    of    the    year    R    W    Bro    Ian    Crowe    had    fixed    this    meeting    for    the    18th    May.      Unfortunately,   I   did   not   discover   this   until   the   date   had   been   decided   and   I   already   have two   important   meetings   in   Berkshire   on   that   day   (in   one   of   which   I   am   in   the   chair   for   part of   the   work)   so   to   be   absent   would   have   caused   great   difficulty.      Consequently   when   Ian resigned   and   I   was   appointed   PGM   in   Charge   I   took   the   opportunity   of   moving   it   to   today.     Quite   naturally   the   change   of   date   meant   some   Officers   already   had   other   commitments so   are   unable   to   be   present.      However,   I   did   decide   to   retain   this   venue   with   this   lovely temple which I think admirably suits our needs in all respects Whether   present   or   absent,   I   should   like   to   thank   the   Provincial   Officers   of   the   year   for their   help   and   support   given   not   only   to   R   W   Bro   Ian   and,   latterly,   myself   but   also   to meetings of the Courts in the Province. As   we   all   know   Provincial   meetings   do   not   just   happen   and   I   should   especially   like   to   thank W    Bro    George    Paskins,    the    Provincial    Secretary,    W    Bro    Tony    Pinnell,    the    Provincial Treasurer   and   W   Bro   Colin   Lowther,   the   Provincial   Marshall   for   their   hard   work   over several weeks in preparing for today. Unfortunately,   we   are   not   a   large   enough   Province   to   merit   a   Provincial   Organist   so   I should   especially   like   to   thank   one   of   our   guests,      Bro   Andrew   Murphy   for   enhancing   our proceedings today with his beautiful music.  Thank you Andrew. At Grand Court last year three of our members received Grand Rank: W Bro George Brown was appointed Past Grand Junior Deacon W Bro George Paskins was appointed Past Grand Banner Bearer W Bro Roger Hall-Jones was appointed Past Grand Captain of the Guard Unfortunately,   because   of   the   greatly   reduced   size   of   the   Province   this   year,   I   understand we   are   not   qualified   for   further   Grand   Rank   appointments   until   the   Province   substantially increases in size although, of course, I am always happy to be corrected on this matter! At   the   meeting   of   the   Order   of   the   Scarlet   Mantle   at   Leicester   last   Tuesday   the   name   of that   Order   was   changed   to   “The   Ancient   Masonic   Order   of   Alfred   the   Great.”   At   that meeting   I   was   to   receive   a   first   appointment   to   “Knight   of   The   Ancient   Masonic   Order   of Alfred   the   Great”or   KAG.   Unfortunately,   yet   again   I   had   a   clash   as   I   was   at   a   meeting   of another   Order   in   Birmingham   where   I   had   proposed   five   of   the   six   candidates   and   was carrying   out   part   of   the   ceremony   but   I   am   hopeful   of   receiving   the   honour   in   October.   I am    delighted    to    inform    you    that    at    that    meeting    W    Bro    Mervyn    Western    received    a promotion   to   “Knight   Grand   Cross   of   the   Ancient   Masonic   Order   of   Alfred   the   Great”   or GCAG which is, as I am sure you will all agree, a very well deserved honour. I   mentioned   earlier   the   greatly   reduced   size   of   the   Province;   this   reduction   is   in   terms   of the   number   of   Courts   not   in   terms   of   geographical   area.      The   Province   of   Wessex,   as presently   constituted,   consists   of   the   City   and   County   of   Bristol   (formerly   Avon)   and   the Craft   provinces   of   Herefordshire,   Gloucestershire,   Wiltshire,   Oxfordshire   and   Berkshire.     Presently   there   are   two   Courts   in   the   Bristol   area,   one   in   Gloucestershire   and   one   in Wiltshire.          Three     of     these     Provinces     (Gloucestershire,     Oxfordshire     and     Berkshire) previously formed part of the Province of Hwicce which was disbanded in 2016. There   is   obviously   considerable   potential   for   expansion   but   there   are   also   undoubted difficulties.      Currently   Herefordshire   has   no   Court   but   it   is   a   county   which   always   reminds me   of   New   Zealand   –   it   has   a   huge   population   but   99%   of   them   are   sheep!      In   terms   of people   it   is   not   heavily   populated   and   has   no   really   large   towns   so   the   Masonic   population is   also   relatively   small.      In   fact,   apart   from   the   Craft   where   Herefordshire   does   have   its own PGM all other Masonic Orders link Herefordshire with Gloucestershire. Herefordshire   is   also,   in   my   experience,   a   good   example   of   another   characteristic   of   rural Provinces   –   brethren   are   often   unwilling   to   travel   to   other   Masonic   centres,   even   within the    same    Province.        As    an    example,    about    three    years    ago    I    was    a    Founder    of    an Operatives   Assemblage   in   Leominster.      Prior   to   our   first   meeting   three   members   of   the Management   Committee   arrived   to   make   sure   we   were   happily   settled   in.      They   said   they would   have   joined   us   until   they   found   out   you   had   to   be   a   member   of   the   Mark   Degree; there   was   no   Mark   Lodge   in   Leominster   and   they   were   not   prepared   to   travel   to   either Kington or Hereford to join a Mark Lodge there. It   is   not   appropriate   for   me   to   mention   past   events   which   led   to   the   disbanding   of   the Province   of   Hwicce;   suffice   it   to   say   that   establishing   a   new   Court,   especially   in   Berkshire would, at the present time, be very difficult. I   have,   sometimes,   been   accused   of   being   a   pessimist.      Despite   what   I   have   just   said   about the   difficulty   of   establishing   new   Courts,   I   do   not   believe   that   is   true.      On   the   other   hand neither    am    I    an    eternal    optimist;    if    anything,    I    consider    myself    a    realist    who    judges situations as I believe them actually to be and not as others might wish they would be. Having   said   that,   I   do   not   believe   that   there   is   no   scope   for   future   development   in   the Province and I put before you a few glimmers of hope: A   few   years   ago   the   Masonic   Centre   in   Oxford   closed    and   Masonic   Orders   which   met there   had   to   find   new   homes.      About   a   year   ago   a   new   Centre   opened   at   Cardinal   House in   Newnham   Courtenay   between   Oxford   and   Henley.      It   was   found   that   not   all   the   units which   had   previously   met   in   Oxford   wanted   to   move   to   the   new   Centre   and   I   know   the Craft   PGM   of   Oxfordshire   is   keen   that   there   should   be   an   increase   in   the   number   of Masonic   Orders   meeting   at   Cardinal   House.      In   fact,   I   am   to   be   a   founder   of   a   new   Pilgrim Preceptors    Tabernacle    which    is    to    meet    there.    So,    even    if    not    immediately,    there    is potential for a Court at that location. One   of   the   senior   Provincial   officers   believes   that   there   is   the   potential   for   a   new   Court   in the    Stow    on    the    Wold    area    drawing    on    Brethren    from    both    Gloucestershire    and Oxfordshire. I   believe   sincerely   that   there   is   a   realistic   chance   for   further   development   and   expansion but   I   think   this   is   unlikely   in   the   near   future   and   I   am   not   the   person   to   lead   it.      This   is partly   because   I   am   half   way   through   my   eighth   decade   and   partly   because   I   am   not widely   known   in   this   part   of   the   Province.      To   influence   Brethren   into   becoming   founders of   a   unit   in   a   Masonic   Order   of   which   they   are   not   even   members   and   may   well   have   not even   heard   is,   to   say   the   least,   challenging.      Obviously,   it   can   be   done   and   has   been   done but   I   believe   it   needs   someone   who   is   much   better   known   within   the   larger   Masonic community and who has much more influence in this area than I have. Having   said   that,   I   can   assure   you   all   that   I   will   continue   to   do   my   best   to   lead   the   Province and   to   support   the   Courts   and   Brethren   within   it   until   such   time   as   a   new   Provincial   Grand Master is appointed and installed. Thank you for your attendance today.  God bless you all. TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE
Treasurer & Secretary’s REPORT