Provincial Grand Lodge

Saturday 6th April 2024

Brethren, I am delighted to once again address you at Provincial Grand Lodge this afternoon and I hope that you have all enjoyed our new venue this year after many years at Newquay.

It is now some 21 months since my appointment as your Provincial Grand Master and it is difficult to understand where those months have gone.

Freemasonry, both nationally and within this Province continues to face challenging times but equally I do believe they are also exciting times and I thank you all for your hard work, support and commitment to both this Province and to your own lodges.

I have already introduced to you, individually, our distinguished guests, many of whom have travelled considerable distances to be with us today.

I am very grateful to all of them for the support they have given to our Province and once again I thank them all most sincerely. Your attendance and support are very much appreciated.

I would like to extend my congratulations to all those I have had the pleasure of investing this afternoon, either as a first appointment or as a promotion.

It is a well-deserved reward for what you have achieved in your Masonic career within the Province of Cornwall, but it is also, importantly, an expectation of the further achievements that we expect from you in the forthcoming years.

To those brethren that I have appointed to an active rank this afternoon I say this, it is a wonderful year and will pass all too quickly. Please do make the most of your time as an active Provincial Officer, you will have a very special year and make some wonderful friendships but all too quickly you will find the year has passed and you are back here, handing your collars on.

I also extend my particular congratulations to the four brethren who have today received my Certificate of Service to Freemasonry. Your achievements over many years are such that the honour received today is just reward for everything you have done.

Brethren, several members of the Executive and the semi-permanent officers have stood down today having served the Province tirelessly over many years.

W.Bro Robin Webb has retired as Provincial GDC after 9 years in that office. During that time, in addition to his already onerous workload, Robin has had to deal with the Tercentenary celebrations, Covid, and not to mention a new PGM.

I would personally like to thank Robin for his hard work, help and guidance and we as a Province are also indebted to him for everything, he has done for us.

W.Bro Michael Murton has today stood down as the Provincial Learning and Development Officer after serving in that role since 2013. Indeed when Michael was invested he was the Provincial Orator, the role title subsequently having been updated. Michael has during that period been heavily involved in the development of Solomon and has indeed written many of the texts. He has also overseen training and development within our Province and again we should all be very grateful to Michael for all his hard work on our behalf.

W.Bro Eugene Clemence retires as our Provincial Grand Mentor this afternoon after serving since 2017.

Eugene has been heavily involved with the role out of The Members Pathway within the Province together with the formation of our university scheme lodge and has worked tirelessly for us all. He has also facilitated the use of Redruth School for today’s meeting and for other training sessions. Once again, our very grateful thanks to Eugene.

Our thanks should also go to W Bro Steven Franklin for his work and advice as Provincial Grand Treasurer since 2020 and to W Bro Seb Oakley for his work as our Provincial Grand Communications Officer.

I must also once again express my thanks and appreciation to my DPGM and my APGM’s whom I have been delighted to reappoint today. Their support, advice and guidance are invaluable to me and their hard work and commitment to our Province is an example to us all.

Brethren, I offer my congratulations to the following brethren who are due to receive an appointment to or a promotion in Grand Lodge later this month.

In Grand Lodge the first appointments are.

W Bro Simon Taylor, my newly appointed ProvGDC to active AGDC

and W Bro Simon Copas my Prov Grand Secretary to PAGDC

The promotions are.

W Bro Michael Murton of Cornish Ashlar Lodge 9446 to PAGDC

In Supreme Grand Chapter first appointments are.

E Comp Paul Gale of St Ia Chapter 1272 to PGStB

E Comp Charles Yelland of Granville Chapter 3405 to PGStB

I am sure that we all also join in congratulating RW Bro Warren Duke on his appointment as Metropolitan Grand Master designate. RW Bro Warren being a member of Tregenna Lodge 1272 in St Ives.

At the last count there are over 40 brethren travelling to Grand Lodge to support me and these brethren receiving honours and I’m confident that we will once again all enjoy a very special few days in London.

Brethren, our very best wishes and congratulations to you all.

Brethren, as you are only too well aware, the end of our Festival is looming with only some 8 months now remaining. The MCF, our charity, does such an amazing job looking after Freemasons and the wider community, and it relies solely on our support to continue and expand this fantastic work.

We still have a great deal of work to be done and I would again urge all of you that haven’t yet, even at this late stage, to consider setting up a payment plan in support of our Festival.

Our Festival finale will take place at Truro Cathedral on Friday 8th November and we very much hope that as many of you as possible will join us for what promises to be a wonderful celebration.

We have been fortunate to secure Rick Wakeman to entertain us after the formalities and to round off our Festival on a high note.

We have also been able to agree an increase in the normal capacity of the Cathedral and we will now be able to accommodate 320 for the banquet and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at these celebrations.

The retiring collection today will again be in support of our Festival, and I would ask you all to please complete and fill in the envelope on your chairs and hand them to the Stewards on the doors when retiring.

I am delighted that within our Province, we are now working closer than ever with the Royal Arch, to build on that great and indissoluble link between the Craft and the Royal Arch. Remember, together we are stronger.

In June this year, we will sadly see the retirement of our MEGS, VW Bro David Pascoe. David has led the RA in Cornwall since 2014 and in that time, he has worked tirelessly to build the RA membership and to increase the popularity of the degree.

David has also been a great support to the Craft, to our Festival and to me personally.

David, thank you for your hard work, commitment and, importantly to me, your friendship.

Brethren, our new Grand Superintendent, is to be installed on Saturday 5th October at a meeting, here in Redruth and again I hope that you will give our new Grand Superintendent your full support.

Our Province was honoured earlier this year to be awarded one of the four Prestonian Lectures for 2024 and this will be held at Falmouth on the 22nd May under the banner of The Cornish Masters Lodge 3324. The lecturer is W. Bro Dr Richard Berman and the lecture will be entitled;

“The Second Grand Lodge: The Grand Lodge of Ireland, the London Irish and Antients Freemasonry”

Details of the meeting should have now been received by all Lodges and I expect that all my Lodges will be represented at this very special event.

Your Lodges will also have received information from the Province within the last 2 weeks regarding PSA testing within the Province. Whilst you might happily ignore most of the emails that you receive from us, do not ignore this one as it could just save your life!

My Provincial Almoner W Bro Tim Cockings has arranged with The Chestnut Appeal to offer PSA testing to all our brethren at 3 sites in September.

Brethren, remember – Prostate cancer will affect 1 in 8 men – that’s over 30 of us here in this room today and remember 1 man dies from Prostate cancer every 45 minutes!

Please make sure that you all register and spread the word amongst your fellow brethren. It could be the best decision you ever make.

Brethren, over the last 12 months we have made good progress with our Membership Challenge and have greatly reduced the losses within our Province.

By fully adopting the Members Pathway some of our Lodges are now seeing the obvious benefits through increased initiations and reduced resignations and I would urge all those Lodges who are yet to become involved to do so as soon as possible. My Membership team, together with the Provincial Mentor and Almoner are always available to assist but it has to be driven from the Lodges themselves.

We all have a major role to play in securing the future growth and stability of our Order, our mission being to make sure that we are a thriving organization, one that people are willing to be part of and one in which those who join are willing to participate.

You will have heard me on many occasions, enjoin you to enjoy your Freemasonry and I still believe that this is one of the most important messages that we can pass on to our members and prospective candidates.

It is important that we retain our core values, our rituals and our traditions but in doing so we must have fun and be ready and willing to tell everybody of the fun and enjoyment we all experience.

Brethren, we have exciting times to look forward to, but we also have much hard work to do.

Brethren, my thanks today must go to W Bro Eugene Clemence and the staff of Redruth School for the use of these premises. To W Bro Jim Byrne and his team for their hard work in setting up and taking down PGL and to the members of our light blue club The Trelawny light blues and The Robert Eliot Lodge for all their help this weekend.

I would also like to thank my Prov GSec and my ProvGDC and their teams for all their hard work in preparing for and running today’s meeting and once again to the Penventon Hotel for looking after us at lunch.

Brethren I thank you once again for your support and wish you all a very safe journey home.