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I nI ns si gi gh ht t Your window into Hampshire
10
& Isle of Wight Freemasonry
‘‘ ’’
Annual General Meeting 1st July 2015
www.hampshirefreemasonry.com
Extracts from Provincial Grand Master’s Address
Over the past five years all our efforts
have been directed to taking the
Province forward for the benefit of
all our brethren and the community
Brethren, this meeting marks the end of one masonic year and the start of a fresh one. Last year commenced with the formation of the new masonic structure within the province; six areas each with an APGM responsible for the lodges, and the brethren within his area.
This was driven by the size of the province presentations, once the sole preserve
ave now had an equal opportunity for recognition been replicated in all areas throughout
and my desire to ensure that all brethren of the Bournemouth
of what they had done, but more the province, and give charities receiving appropriately what they were capable of donations the opportunity to attend and doing, in support of and for the benefit of explain the nature of their work. Great
the province.
Each area has a full masonic structure
which has created opportunities for brethren to contribute; the primary objective being to enhance the masonic experience of brethren within their area. This work
is ongoing. We have area committees covering all aspects of our work and each lodge has a dedicated visiting officer
to support and ensure that lodges and brethren understand what is happening in their area and are able to take advantage and benefit. Each area is effectively working as a mini-province and I thank my APGMs for their dedication and commitment to the task. They have been working tirelessly to ensure the success of their area, and the Cabinet now meets on a monthly basis to decide on strategy and share experiences with a view to establishing best practice across the province.
As a direct result, our exposure in the community has increased significantly. We have been welcomed warmly at
many events across the province, which range from our joining a parade through Bournemouth in full regalia, to our brethren from the Solent area marshalling the “Walk the Wight” charitable event. Our annual Winchester Cathedral service has been acknowledged by some civic leaders as the highlight of their civic year and likewise our area charitable presentations are well supported by them. These
occasions for all concerned and we have received very positive publicity as a result. I have given a number of press interviews including one on internet radio, which have received widespread exposure and been very successful.
With a view to developing this still further, and building on the success
of our Freemasonry in the Community (FITC) initiative, I have appointed a new Provincial Grand Orator whose primary task is to promote and manage our delivery of speeches and addresses
to non-masonic organisations so that
they have a better understanding of freemasonry. Authorised orations will
still be available for delivery in lodges
in the usual way but I want to reach
out to non-masonic organisations, and arranging “after dinner” style speeches
by authorised orators will assist this.
We have already addressed one branch
of the University of the Third Age and I
am keen that we should progress this
with other branches of the U3A, service clubs, the Women’s Institute and similar organisations. This is the next stage of
our “openness” agenda and this will
be supported by our provincial and
area communication teams, who have been working hard to promote public awareness of freemasonry and which have been strengthened by the appointment of an experienced Press Officer.
Masonic Centres are central to our future and it seems to me a basic concept that those involved in managing our centres should have a mechanism to establish and share best practice. The Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works, now a five year appointment subject to annual review, will arrange a review of all our masonic centres and will chair a committee comprising
the area superintendents of works. The objective is to ensure that all our masonic centres are well run and well managed for the benefit of the brethren and lodges which they serve.
The new Provincial Membership Committee will be running a number of workshops in the coming months with a view to ensuring that all our lodges benefit from the membership initiatives introduced into each area. These encompass not only recruitment but more particularly retention,
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