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re-engagement and retrieval. Key to these last 3Rs is the masonic experience created within our individual lodges. Freemasonry is to be enjoyed and all brethren should work to ensure that those joining our organisation are welcomed, and valued, and enjoy the experience on a continuing basis.
Working closely with this committee
will be our newly appointed Provincial Grand Mentor who will himself ensure training of our lodge mentors by organising appropriate workshops through his team in each area. At the very heart of this are our Visiting Officers (VO) who have been appointed solely to support the lodges which they serve. There is no room in
the modern world or in freemasonry for a “them and us” approach. Each and every one of us constitutes the Province, working together for the benefit of our
organisation. Don’t allow any member of the organisation to gainsay what is an incontrovertible fact.
You will all be aware of the Membership Focus Group and the various committees under its auspices established by
Grand Lodge. Many of you are already contributing to its success by taking
part in the regular surveys. One of the committees has drafted a strategy for freemasonry which will entail a number of changes to the Book of Constitutions, but which is intended to take the craft forward positively in an ever changing world. Much of this strategy has already been introduced in this province and I am delighted to say has been embraced by many of our lodges who recognise the value of what we are doing. Changes to the regulations will ensure that other lodges fall into line and benefit. I do hope
that they will follow the lead of the more successful lodges and not wait for a change in the regulations.
Since our last annual meeting I have been pleased to consecrate two new lodges, Rugby Bastion which is taking us into the rugby fraternity; and Lodge of Brevity which will demonstrate that our lodges can adapt to the needs of the modern man without losing anything in the process. Later this year I will consecrate a new motorsports lodge and early next year I will consecrate
a new bikers lodge and probably an association football lodge. Special interest lodges provide an environment in which brethren with common interests can meet to share those interests whilst promoting freemasonry to those outside the craft with a similar special interest.
Social media continues to play an important role in the progress which we are making and I thank all those involved in its development and management at provincial, area, and lodge level. Very often, involvement in social media gives a new brother an early opportunity to shine and show his value and I am delighted that senior brethren on the whole are happy to allow this to happen. I am sure that the growth of our “Light Blues” clubs across the areas have encouraged
this and I thank all those brethren some
very junior, who are providing a lead in this important growth area.
Over the next year you will hear much about the Grand Lodge Tercentenary
in 2017. This anniversary, which is remarkable in the life of any organisation, is a great opportunity for us to reach out into the community and the team which I have appointed will be working hard over the next year to ensure that we do so successfully and capitalise on our history whilst embracing the future. We also have our own provincial celebrations; 250th anniversary of the Province of Hampshire, and the 150th anniversary of the combined Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight. Great milestones, which we will celebrate in appropriate fashion whilst registering our commitment to the future.
It is a great privilege to lead this Province and a heavy responsibility. 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 which we serve and this will continue in the coming years. I wish you all every joy and happiness in your freemasonry in the ensuing year; and all the years beyond.
Michael J Wilks

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