The summer is now upon us and, despite the rain, I think everyone is looking forward to some form of summer break. It has been a very busy few months and the response to calls to Lodges and Charity Stewards to support and assist Provincial initiatives has been greatly appreciated by everyone. Thank you.
Our Provincial Grand Master’s Presidency of the Friends of the RMBI ended on Saturday June 9th at a Gala Ball in London. It was attended by many members of the Province who found out on the night how successful his tenancy has been.
The Family Fun Day at Fawley Hill in May, a joint venture with Berkshire and Oxfordshire Masons, was another initiative for which we asked for your support. The event was a huge success with 3000 people attending on the day and thankfully no rain. W Bro John Clark, the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, was a key driver for this event and his efforts were a major factor in the event being a success. I look forward to hearing how much has been raised for the Chiltern Disabled Centre but, again, as with the Friends of the RMBI I am very optimistic. Many Bucks Masons gave up their day to assist at Fawley Hill and to all of those brethren thank you. It is a great reminder that Charity is not just about money.
The Cheque Presentation on May 13th at Aylesbury was a great success with over 20 charities attending and being presented with £22,000 from 15 Lodges. These events continue to be incredibly enjoyable and, at times, very emotional. The stories and short talks from the representatives from the Charities continue to spur us on to try to do more. The evening was attended by our new two new Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Robert Wharton and Peter Moody, with Peter actually presenting on behalf of Burke Lodge. The next presentation will take place in November at Beaconsfield.
Grand Lodge has now sent out the Charity Steward handbooks and they are currently taking pride of place of the Provincial Office. To launch these properly I will be holding two Charity Steward Workshops in September and will be inviting all Charity Stewards, Secretaries and Worshipful Masters to attend. The first will be held at Beaconsfield on Tuesday 18th September, the second in Bletchley on a date to be confirmed. Invitations will be coming out during the latter part of June. Please support these events as they will help in the Charitable work you and your Lodges carry out and create, I am sure some, interesting discussions.
Well I have nearly finished my first year and, on the basis that I have not messed up yet, I have been offered reappointment by our Provincial Executive which I was delighted to accept. The role of Charity Steward, whether it is for the Province or a Private Lodge, is a huge honour and touches many parts of Masonry and the outside community. I have been privileged to attend a number of Charity events this year representing the Province. My one overwhelming memory is that wherever I go I am greeted by the words “thank you for all the work and the support the Freemasons of Buckinghamshire give”
Brethren, please keep it up and continue to support those who are not as fortunate as we are. Freemasonry in the Community is a wonderful way for individuals and Lodges to do just that. Make sure your Lodge is involved and get behind this initiative. This is one way we can show the world what we do and who we are.
Have a great summer.
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
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