© 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
Province of Wessex Worshipful Master may I first pass comments on the ceremony of Instruction which you have just undertaken. An excellent ceremony was conducted by you, your Officers and Brethren of the Court to the absolute enjoyment and pleasure of the Candidate and all here today. It was a privailege
to be present and bear witness to a ceremony which has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on Brother Michael Prince and everyone else. I also thank you for allowing me the opportunity of explaining to all present today -  and through you to those Brethren of the Province of Wessex who are not able to be with us -  my current role in the Province, the future of the Province and a timetable leading to the installation of a Provincial Grand Master. Whilst I am not a member of a Court in Wessex I thank all of you for the friendship that you have extended to me since my appointment; and also the help and assistance that you have all readily given me. You have made me feel so very much part of the ‘Wessex Team’. Earlier on this year your Provincial Grand Master stood down for the most noblest of reasons. This left W Bro Peter Hughes as Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge of the Province. Brethren it is to the great credit of Bro Peter that he immediately indicated that he did not wish to undertake the duties of Provincial Grand Master, if so asked, but would assist in any other way that he could; albeit on a temporary basis. In this respect Bro Peter gave his all too each and every one of you, to the Province and to our Order over very many weeks and months. Last month the Grand Master asked me to discharge the duties of Provincial Grand Master for this Province pending the announcement of a successor to R W Bro Ian. Upon my appointment W Bro Peter informed me that in order to facilitate the orderly transition of the Province back to one led by a Provincial Grand Master he would stand down with immediate effect as Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge. This I accepted with a heavy heart. Let there be no misunderstanding that Bro Peter discharged his duties with dignity, decorum and great ability. These qualities have been fully recognised by our Grand Master and at Grand Court in October he will be promoted to the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer. This rank gives him the honorific of ‘Very Worshipful Brother’. I hope that the Province will be present in good numbers to support Peter on his promotion in recognition of the manner in which he so ably discharged his duties. He is still an important part of the Wessex Team. In order to assist in the task allocated to me I sought the consent of the Grand Master for a Brother to assist me. This consent was readily given with two caveats (a) That the Brother so chosen must not hold an acting Provincial Grand Rank in any other Province and (b) If the Brother was not a member of the Province of Wessex I should seek the blessing of his Provincial Grand Master. I must immediately thank R W Bro Roger Freeman, Provincial Grand Master for Dumnonia, for allowing me to approach his Deputy, V W Bro Keith Waters. I also thank V W Bro Keith for accepting the role, for which there is no ‘Official Title’, nor one for which he could assume any offer would be forthcoming. By accepting the task of assisting me in Wessex Keith stood down as Deputy in Dumnonia He is well known to all in this Province having been your Deputy Provincial Grand Master prior to the Boundary Changes which resulted in him becoming a member of the Province of Dumnonia and also their Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Brethren since August Bro Keith and I have carried out our own assessment of the Province. It is so very clear to us that the future of the Province looks to be in a very good state. I can inform you that: There are candidates awaiting Instruction into courts of the Province Under the direction of Bro Keith a programme will shortly be instigated whereby former members of the Province, and of course the Order, will be contacted with a view to once again gaining full membership of the Order. Tentative approaches have already produced highly encouraging responses. There have been genuine approaches from duly qualified Brethren to become Founders of Courts to meet within the geographical boundaries of the Province. I have sought, and have received the express authority of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for the Craft Province of Berkshire (which is within the geographical boundaries of Wessex) for Athelstan Freemasonry to be worked within his Province. This authority was readily given. Brethren a Court will be consecrated in Berkshire, under the leadership of your future Provincial Grand Master in less than 10 months time. I am most grateful to Bro Keith for his work in this venture; and of course the help, assistance and support of the Craft Provincial Grand Master. The work for this new Court has already started. Bro Keith will lead the initiative and I ask that anyone who is interested to contact him directly – there will be a role for anyone that wants to take part. No one will be turned down. Brethren I am pleased to inform you that there is every possibility that further Courts will also be consecrated. The work that we all are undertaking to bring about consecrations will be supplemented with candidates for Instruction into our current Courts, retention of membership and as equally important bringing back into our fold those members who are currently unattached. I hope that every member of the Province will play a part in all these various initiatives as well, of course, as discharging the duties and responsibilities they owe to their own Courts. Every Brother of the Province has an important part to play; we are all part of the Wessex Team and there is no I in Team. Brethren of Malmesbury Court yours is a very special Court within our Order and the role of this Court will be enhanced. Brethren we are looking at some specific roles that Malmesbury Court can undertake as follows: Malmesbury Court, under the leadership of Bro Keith, will become lead co-ordinators in the Statue of Athelstan the Glorious which will be commissioned and sited in Birdcage Walk. Tomorrow Bro Keith and I will meet with Barbara Pollard (Who is the ‘Lead in the Community’) to discuss the future role of our Order in this exciting project. That at the Installation meeting each year all Masters of other Courts in the Province attend, together with those Brethren who have been instructed into the Order within the preceding 12 months, and prior to the meeting show them around Malmesbury Abbey and the local Museum. Thus broadening masonic knowledge as to Athelstan, his role in the community and why historians are now acknowledging that whilst Simon De-Montfort was the Founder of our Parliament he would not have been able to achieve this without the foundations laid down by Athelstan.  Afterwards I hope that you would agree that they will enhance the subsequent after proceedings; ensure new friendships and re- establish old friendships; and encourage inter court visits. There is a further highly exciting initiative that the Court will lead on behalf of the Order. Our Grand Master will elaborate on this when he next attends the Province. Brethren may I now turn to other matters that I know that some have concerns over, namely ritual. Because a Brother is not able to learn pages of ritual it should not preclude him from attaining the Chair or in deed any Office. Brethren I must immediately say that after the manner in which you all undertook the ceremony of Instruction my comments would not apply directly to you but it is right and proper that I nevertheless make them. I am sure that you will inform members of the Province not present here today and where appropriate minds can be put at ease.  We, as Freemasons, should not be afraid of asking others to undertake sections of the Ritual. The most important Brother at the ceremony of Instruction is the Candidate and he will not know who should have done what. All I ask is that a Brother gives of his best; it is not necessary to ask if a Brother has given his best for he will know in his heart. Remember there is nothing worse in Freemasonry than that of a Brother struggling to deliver ritual, especially when there are others present who are able and would dearly love to assist. I offer no criticism when I say poor ritual can lead to candidates becoming disillusioned. When these Candidates are questioned about Athelstan in other Masonic Units they dismiss us as either poor ritualists or an Order where everything is read. We run the risk of not only loosing them but also there friends (who are potential candidates) as well. As members we should also enjoy our Freemasonry and I pose the question if a Brother is apprehensive about giving ritual where is his enjoyment? All of this we can, together, prevent. If we all rally round, should the occasion arise, and assist a Brother who requires some assistance, we can ensure that everyone looks forward to attending our meetings. Brethren of the Province if you have an idea or thoughts that would enhance your Court, your Province or your Order please do not hesitate to let Keith know. Your ideas may, or may not be actioned; they could also be amalgamated with other ideas to the greater good of all; all will most certainly be listened to. Where ideas are acted upon the Brother, or Brethren, concerned will take the credit. This is your Province so please do not hesitate to contribute to its success. I am so pleased to note that R W Bro Ian Crowe has Re-Joined the Order by joining Malmesbury Court and is present here today. Ian I am delighted that the current regime of medication has vastly improved the quality of life for your very dear wife. You are both very much in our prayers and thoughts. May I also thank you on behalf of our Grand Master for all that you achieved during your tenure as Provincial Grand Master. I know how much you care for the Order and this Province in particular and that you will always be available to assist. Brethren may I take this opportunity of thanking the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro George Paskins, for his unstinting help and assistance since I was appointed as Deputy Grand Master in charge of Wessex; and for all the work that he will undertake over the coming months. He will receive as much help and assistance he may require from both Keith and myself.  I am also highly appreciative of the support of the Provincial Grand Officers of the year and each Court Secretary; in particular Bro Geoffrey Hobbs your Secretary who has greatly assisted both Keith and I and has facilitated our presence here today. The choice of Provincial Grand Master is crucial to the running and success of a Province; and of course to the happiness and enjoyment of the Brethren. The selection is not one that can be rushed into. But we are now in the second week of September and preparations for the Installation of the next Provincial Grand Master must be addressed. M W Bro Paul W Johnston, Grand Master, has invited V W Bro Keith R D Waters to undertake the office of Provincial Grand Master for Wessex. V W Bro Keith has accepted the invitation. I know that Keith will dedicate himself to the Province and the Order. It is the intention of our Grand Master to install Bro Keith as Provincial Grand Master for Wessex on Tuesday14th January 2020. This may seem a long time away, but do not forget that we have Christmas and the New Year to take into account. The planning therefore starts today. Keith congratulations on your forthcoming appointment which you so richly deserve. You have, in another Order of Freemasonry, successfully discharged the duties of Head of Order. On your watch the Province of Wessex will shortly open a new chapter in its history. A chapter that will be dominated by your leadership, a chapter in which the membership of Courts will grow, a chapter where there will be consecrations of new Courts; and a chapter in which happiness and joy will be recorded. We are all at the dawn of the start of an exciting period for the Province of Wessex. Keith we know that you will find inspiration from those that have gone before you and your friends and colleagues. Do not forget that you can also take inspiration from the Supreme Being and Creator of all things. I paraphrase the 90th Psalm with the words of Isaac Watts’ Hymn ‘Our God, our Help in Ages Past’ The Lord our God is good His mercy is forever sure His truth at all times firmly stood And shall from age to age endure Keith all within this Court, this Province and the Order wishes you every good success, happiness and good health to enjoy your Appointment. Brethren much has to be done between now and 14th January but together we can achieve everything and anything. Roy Leavers Grand Chancellor, GCAG Deputy Grand Master Tuesday 10th September 2019
Photo’s
                   © 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
Province of Wessex Worshipful Master may I first pass comments on the ceremony of Instruction which you have just undertaken. An excellent ceremony was conducted by you, your Officers and Brethren of the Court to the absolute enjoyment and pleasure of the Candidate and all here today. It was a privailege
to be present and bear witness to a ceremony which has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on Brother Michael Prince and everyone else. I also thank you for allowing me the opportunity of explaining to all present today -  and through you to those Brethren of the Province of Wessex who are not able to be with us -  my current role in the Province, the future of the Province and a timetable leading to the installation of a Provincial Grand Master. Whilst I am not a member of a Court in Wessex I thank all of you for the friendship that you have extended to me since my appointment; and also the help and assistance that you have all readily given me. You have made me feel so very much part of the ‘Wessex Team’. Earlier on this year your Provincial Grand Master stood down for the most noblest of reasons. This left W Bro Peter Hughes as Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge of the Province. Brethren it is to the great credit of Bro Peter that he immediately indicated that he did not wish to undertake the duties of Provincial Grand Master, if so asked, but would assist in any other way that he could; albeit on a temporary basis. In this respect Bro Peter gave his all too each and every one of you, to the Province and to our Order over very many weeks and months. Last month the Grand Master asked me to discharge the duties of Provincial Grand Master for this Province pending the announcement of a successor to R W Bro Ian. Upon my appointment W Bro Peter informed me that in order to facilitate the orderly transition of the Province back to one led by a Provincial Grand Master he would stand down with immediate effect as Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge. This I accepted with a heavy heart. Let there be no misunderstanding that Bro Peter discharged his duties with dignity, decorum and great ability. These qualities have been fully recognised by our Grand Master and at Grand Court in October he will be promoted to the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer. This rank gives him the honorific of ‘Very Worshipful Brother’. I hope that the Province will be present in good numbers to support Peter on his promotion in recognition of the manner in which he so ably discharged his duties. He is still an important part of the Wessex Team. In order to assist in the task allocated to me I sought the consent of the Grand Master for a Brother to assist me. This consent was readily given with two caveats (a) That the Brother so chosen must not hold an acting Provincial Grand Rank in any other Province and (b) If the Brother was not a member of the Province of Wessex I should seek the blessing of his Provincial Grand Master. I must immediately thank R W Bro Roger Freeman, Provincial Grand Master for Dumnonia, for allowing me to approach his Deputy, V W Bro Keith Waters. I also thank V W Bro Keith for accepting the role, for which there is no ‘Official Title’, nor one for which he could assume any offer would be forthcoming. By accepting the task of assisting me in Wessex Keith stood down as Deputy in Dumnonia He is well known to all in this Province having been your Deputy Provincial Grand Master prior to the Boundary Changes which resulted in him becoming a member of the Province of Dumnonia and also their Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Brethren since August Bro Keith and I have carried out our own assessment of the Province. It is so very clear to us that the future of the Province looks to be in a very good state. I can inform you that: There are candidates awaiting Instruction into courts of the Province Under the direction of Bro Keith a programme will shortly be instigated whereby former members of the Province, and of course the Order, will be contacted with a view to once again gaining full membership of the Order. Tentative approaches have already produced highly encouraging responses. There have been genuine approaches from duly qualified Brethren to become Founders of Courts to meet within the geographical boundaries of the Province. I have sought, and have received the express authority of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for the Craft Province of Berkshire (which is within the geographical boundaries of Wessex) for Athelstan Freemasonry to be worked within his Province. This authority was readily given. Brethren a Court will be consecrated in Berkshire, under the leadership of your future Provincial Grand Master in less than 10 months time. I am most grateful to Bro Keith for his work in this venture; and of course the help, assistance and support of the Craft Provincial Grand Master. The work for this new Court has already started. Bro Keith will lead the initiative and I ask that anyone who is interested to contact him directly – there will be a role for anyone that wants to take part. No one will be turned down. Brethren I am pleased to inform you that there is every possibility that further Courts will also be consecrated. The work that we all are undertaking to bring about consecrations will be supplemented with candidates for Instruction into our current Courts, retention of membership and as equally important bringing back into our fold those members who are currently unattached. I hope that every member of the Province will play a part in all these various initiatives as well, of course, as discharging the duties and responsibilities they owe to their own Courts. Every Brother of the Province has an important part to play; we are all part of the Wessex Team and there is no I in Team. Brethren of Malmesbury Court yours is a very special Court within our Order and the role of this Court will be enhanced. Brethren we are looking at some specific roles that Malmesbury Court can undertake as follows: Malmesbury Court, under the leadership of Bro Keith, will become lead co-ordinators in the Statue of Athelstan the Glorious which will be commissioned and sited in Birdcage Walk. Tomorrow Bro Keith and I will meet with Barbara Pollard (Who is the ‘Lead in the Community’) to discuss the future role of our Order in this exciting project. That at the Installation meeting each year all Masters of other Courts in the Province attend, together with those Brethren who have been instructed into the Order within the preceding 12 months, and prior to the meeting show them around Malmesbury Abbey and the local Museum. Thus broadening masonic knowledge as to Athelstan, his role in the community and why historians are now acknowledging that whilst Simon De-Montfort was the Founder of our Parliament he would not have been able to achieve this without the foundations laid down by Athelstan.  Afterwards I hope that you would agree that they will enhance the subsequent after proceedings; ensure new friendships and re-establish old friendships; and encourage inter court visits. There is a further highly exciting initiative that the Court will lead on behalf of the Order. Our Grand Master will elaborate on this when he next attends the Province. Brethren may I now turn to other matters that I know that some have concerns over, namely ritual. Because a Brother is not able to learn pages of ritual it should not preclude him from attaining the Chair or in deed any Office. Brethren I must immediately say that after the manner in which you all undertook the ceremony of Instruction my comments would not apply directly to you but it is right and proper that I nevertheless make them. I am sure that you will inform members of the Province not present here today and where appropriate minds can be put at ease.  We, as Freemasons, should not be afraid of asking others to undertake sections of the Ritual. The most important Brother at the ceremony of Instruction is the Candidate and he will not know who should have done what. All I ask is that a Brother gives of his best; it is not necessary to ask if a Brother has given his best for he will know in his heart. Remember there is nothing worse in Freemasonry than that of a Brother struggling to deliver ritual, especially when there are others present who are able and would dearly love to assist. I offer no criticism when I say poor ritual can lead to candidates becoming disillusioned. When these Candidates are questioned about Athelstan in other Masonic Units they dismiss us as either poor ritualists or an Order where everything is read. We run the risk of not only loosing them but also there friends (who are potential candidates) as well. As members we should also enjoy our Freemasonry and I pose the question if a Brother is apprehensive about giving ritual where is his enjoyment? All of this we can, together, prevent. If we all rally round, should the occasion arise, and assist a Brother who requires some assistance, we can ensure that everyone looks forward to attending our meetings. Brethren of the Province if you have an idea or thoughts that would enhance your Court, your Province or your Order please do not hesitate to let Keith know. Your ideas may, or may not be actioned; they could also be amalgamated with other ideas to the greater good of all; all will most certainly be listened to. Where ideas are acted upon the Brother, or Brethren, concerned will take the credit. This is your Province so please do not hesitate to contribute to its success. I am so pleased to note that R W Bro Ian Crowe has Re-Joined the Order by joining Malmesbury Court and is present here today. Ian I am delighted that the current regime of medication has vastly improved the quality of life for your very dear wife. You are both very much in our prayers and thoughts. May I also thank you on behalf of our Grand Master for all that you achieved during your tenure as Provincial Grand Master. I know how much you care for the Order and this Province in particular and that you will always be available to assist. Brethren may I take this opportunity of thanking the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro George Paskins, for his unstinting help and assistance since I was appointed as Deputy Grand Master in charge of Wessex; and for all the work that he will undertake over the coming months. He will receive as much help and assistance he may require from both Keith and myself.  I am also highly appreciative of the support of the Provincial Grand Officers of the year and each Court Secretary; in particular Bro Geoffrey Hobbs your Secretary who has greatly assisted both Keith and I and has facilitated our presence here today. The choice of Provincial Grand Master is crucial to the running and success of a Province; and of course to the happiness and enjoyment of the Brethren. The selection is not one that can be rushed into. But we are now in the second week of September and preparations for the Installation of the next Provincial Grand Master must be addressed. M W Bro Paul W Johnston, Grand Master, has invited V W Bro Keith R D Waters to undertake the office of Provincial Grand Master for Wessex. V W Bro Keith has accepted the invitation. I know that Keith will dedicate himself to the Province and the Order. It is the intention of our Grand Master to install Bro Keith as Provincial Grand Master for Wessex on Tuesday14th January 2020. This may seem a long time away, but do not forget that we have Christmas and the New Year to take into account. The planning therefore starts today. Keith congratulations on your forthcoming appointment which you so richly deserve. You have, in another Order of Freemasonry, successfully discharged the duties of Head of Order. On your watch the Province of Wessex will shortly open a new chapter in its history. A chapter that will be dominated by your leadership, a chapter in which the membership of Courts will grow, a chapter where there will be consecrations of new Courts; and a chapter in which happiness and joy will be recorded. We are all at the dawn of the start of an exciting period for the Province of Wessex. Keith we know that you will find inspiration from those that have gone before you and your friends and colleagues. Do not forget that you can also take inspiration from the Supreme Being and Creator of all things. I paraphrase the 90th Psalm with the words of Isaac Watts’ Hymn ‘Our God, our Help in Ages Past’ The Lord our God is good His mercy is forever sure His truth at all times firmly stood And shall from age to age endure Keith all within this Court, this Province and the Order wishes you every good success, happiness and good health to enjoy your Appointment. Brethren much has to be done between now and 14th January but together we can achieve everything and anything. Roy Leavers Grand Chancellor, GCAG Deputy Grand Master Tuesday 10th September 2019
Photo’s