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PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER’S INTRODUCTION
This is the 4th year of my term of Office as Provincial Grand Master. During that period we have introduced a number of initiatives with a prime objective which is incorporated in the following Mission Statement:
To establish a thriving Craft as part of the community in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
The initiatives include the appointment of lodge membership officers; the use of white table evenings where brethren invite friends and family to join them for dinner after a lodge meeting; masonic centre open days; dine-a-friend evenings when brethren invite their friends to an informal social evening to learn more about freemasonry; informal clubs involving non-masons; open use of social media communication with the Province and senior officers using Twitter and Facebook; extensive use of our Freemasonry in the Community trailer and gazebo which can be seen at venues across the county, including selected shows and events when brethren talk freely about freemasonry to members of the public, the Winchester Cathedral family service, which is now an annual event, involvement in community projects such as the Jubilee Sailing Trust Pumpkin Festival, Kings Court Award Scheme, and continued support for charities and hospices across the county.
We have been working hard to dispel the two main myths surrounding freemasonry which have tended
to set us apart from society, that we are a secret society; and that we are in some way anti-Christian. Freemasonry has never been a secret society but for very good reason there was a period in our history when men became secretive about their membership, which is fully explained in the article “The Legacy of the Holocaust on Freemasonry”, which appears in this issue of Insight.
As for religion, we respect all religions based on a Supreme Being. This has been misinterpreted in some quarters. Even some Christian clergy seem to think that if we accept all religions, we must in some way be anti. Many of their colleagues are active freemasons and see no conflict between their Christian beliefs and their involvement in freemasonry; they are in the best position to make a judgment. Freemasonry does not seek to replace a mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in a man’s relationship with his fellow man, not with his God.
In time our Mission Statement will become reality and freemasonry will once again be accepted by all of society as a force for good within its midst.
The Dedication of Purbrook Masonic Centre
The superbly converted Methodist Church on Stakes Road, Purbrook was dedicated for masonic use by the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Michael Wilks on Friday 31st May. He was assisted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Very Worshipful Brother Graham Williams and a team of Provincial Officers.
This was the first building dedication since 2006 and during the ceremony the Provincial Choir significantly added to the proceedings.
The building was acquired by Portsmouth Cornerstone Ltd, whose directors Richard Durrell (Chairman), Malcolm Brown (Company Secretary), David Chislett and David Gray, led a team of committed stalwarts converting the abandoned structure into
Michael J. Wilks - Provincial Grand Master Twitter @MichaelWilks2
a very well appointed Masonic centre, with lodge room and dining room each capable of seating well over 150 brethren.
At the end of the ceremony, the PGM made a ‘field’ promotion by investing Richard Durrell with the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, a fitting recognition of his leadership of the project, including earlier false-dawns.
At dinner, Richard paid tribute to all the brethren who had given so much of their time and skills to making the dream come true.
Photographs provided by Paul Jackson.
The Insight team : Peter Martin - Editor - insight@hiowmasons.org Roy Quin - Mailing List
Ken Day - Coordinator and Assistant Editor Dave Laurence - Advertising
Published by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, 85 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hants SO53 2GG
For all membership enquiries, contact the Provincial Office on 023 8026 1555.
Insight • Issue 6
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