Page 7 - Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Newsletters
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period our Lodges have continued to support these local charitable causes. We have 6 Areas within the Province each of which hosts one or more Charity Cheque Presentation evenings on an annual basis. These are great occasions, supported by the local civic dignitaries, when representatives of the charities attend to receive donations, and to speak about their particular charity – often a very humbling experience for those present. Some of these charities were born of a tragedy, started by those suffering immense grief with a view to minimising the suffering of others similarly affected. Typically we have been disbursing £20,000 at each of these evenings – a total of over £200,000 annually to well deserving local charities.
6. I have to say that I am enormously proud of our brethren who have delivered such an astounding result for the Festival Appeal; and yet have continued to support local charities to such a level throughout the six year period.
7. During 2017 we will theme these presentations events to the Tercentenary of Grand Lodge and our brethren will concentrate their giving to local charities across the Province.
8. AGM, we are so pleased that you have joined us this evening and to show our appreciation, and as a memento of the occasion, I have a small gift for you. It is perhaps a little unusual – it’s a book! The book is not about our Province, though the Province features. We are proud of our association with the armed forces and have a number of service Lodges – the Royal Navy including the Royal Marines, the Army, the Royal Air Force. I ought to make it clear for the benefit of our service brethren, that I have named these services in no particular order! The book is entitled The Great War 1914 -1918 – Victoria Cross Freemasons. It tells the story of the part played by Freemasons in the Great War, the great sacrifices made, the heroism which lead to the awarding of the Victoria Cross to 1,367 men, 107 of whom were Freemasons. Twelve of these brethren were members of this Province, greater in number than any other Province. Their details are faithfully recorded in the book which is a permanent reminder of the part played by members of the Craft and this Province in the service of our country.
9. I also have a baton, the Festival baton, which I will shortly pass on to VWBro Allan Powell who has joined us from North Wales and who is Deputy President of the 2017 Festival for the RMTGB. The baton comes with with our very best wishes for the success of next year’s Festival.
10. May I thank all those who have worked so hard to make this evening a memorable occasion. The team lead by David Hannan, whose names are recorded for posterity in the Menu booklet. The entertainers Jasmine Elcock, the Royal Marine Association Concert Band and Drummers, the Southern Union Chorus, the Bossard Quartet, and Max Disco. Christopher Milnes for the audio visual and Cheryl Garner and her team at the Bournemouth International Centre.
11. When the AGM, Mike Woodcock and I leave the stage to rapturous applause (!) we will be further entertained by the RMACB who will play celebratory music which we can sing along to – some words are in the Menu booklet and the AGM and guests on my table will then retire. We will be back! I understand that some of you have to catch coaches and some have ferries but I hope that most of you will be able to remain and enjoy the party. I know that the AGM is keen to meet as many of you as possible – don’t be shy! I do hope that you have all had a memorable evening and I look forward to seeing you at the party.

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