Monday 5th November 2018
Companions all, I bid you a hearty welcome to the Provincial Convocation, especially to the Principals of the Chapters, it is good to see you supporting the Province with your attendance. Also, to those that I have had the pleasure of appointing to and promoting in Provincial Grand Rank. Of course, it is my duty as always to make these awards in appreciation of your past services in the Royal Arch and to impress on your minds of the future endeavours that I trust you will bring to bear in due time.
Companions, you are aware of the initiatives that we have introduced in recent years, particularly the Mentoring, Visiting Officer and Royal Arch Representative schemes. You will have also observed that I have today made new appointments with “Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals” in the persons of E Comp’s: Peter Walters and Darren Bending. These Officers will be particularly tasked with taking these initiatives forward to both increase our numbers and our ultimate enjoyment of this wonderful Degree in Freemasonry. I urge you to contact them for any help or assistance that you may require.
I have mentioned before that we are endeavouring to assist with the establishment of the Royal Arch in Denmark and have very recently been successful in relocating the third and last Chapter which will meet in Odense and which will compliment those who already meet in Copenhagen and Esjberg respectively. Companions, as an indication of the determination of our Danish Companions with this venture, we have today in attendance some 16 of our Danish Companions with the support and attendance of the Grand Master of the Danish Craft, the Right Worshipful Brother John Harbo. Thank you John and a Provincial Grand Master in the person of Very Worshipful Brother Flemming Iverson. Thank you Flemming, together with the Past Senior Grand Warden, Borge Holm. Can I now ask our Danish Companions to stand and be recognised. Companions,
please make them welcome as they are now members of this Province of Happy Hertfordshire and I intend to make known of the meeting dates of these Chapters meeting in Denmark so that you can visit, as with any Hertfordshire Chapter, and show your support in the future.
I have today appointed and invested a new Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies in E Comp Bob Wale and we have new Provincial Grand Principals. This of course means that we have the retirement from those offices of Paul Blakemore and Robert Asser and I would like to place on record my grateful thanks to both of them for their professionalism in the discharge of
their duties over many years as well as to their counsel and advice. We wish them well in their retirement.
Companions, next year heralds the completion of the Appeal in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and your support of my ‘Call for Action’ in support of the 2019 Festival Appeal has been magnificent. By the end of this Festival, I expect that the Royal Arch Chapter contribution will be in excess of £160,000 to £170,000, my sincere thanks to you all. Whilst on the subject of the Festival Appeal, Companion Director of Ceremonies, would you please escort the Provincial Grand Master to me that I may present him with the last Provincial contribution.
Regarding our social activities, may I thank you for your support through the year. We have had our usual Provincial Officers, Scribe & Principals Sunday Lunch; the ‘High Tea’ at Mayflower Place in Hertfordingbury and our Golf Day and Dinner. This year we have added a weekend away in Bournemouth which takes place on the 16th to the 18th of this month and which we hope to repeat next year. Companions, I hope that you will avail yourselves of these functions as their success depends on your support and details of events can be found on the Provincial Website.
Moving forward Companions, the Executive have plans that are in the early stages of discussion and consideration. The most important in my opinion is that we are going to organise Prostate testing for Hertfordshire masons at one of our Masonic Centres. This will involve a blood sample being taken that will only take a few moments to complete. This initiative has already been conducted by other Provinces and has proved successful inasmuch that lives have been saved by the early detection of a problem. I urge you to attend for the test when this initiative is ‘rolled out’, for which due notice will be given and as I am expected to lead by example, I will volunteer to be first.
Among other ideas under consideration is the second start times for Convocations and ways of inviting Craft Masons to introduce them to the Royal Arch.
Companions, as we near the completion of another Provincial Convocation I am sure that you are aware of the many hours of hard work that go into producing today’s annual event and my grateful thanks go to:
My Deputy, E. Comp David Hampton for his continued support in which he has ensured that our initiatives have been moving along apace and his assistance to me has been invaluable. To the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, E. Comp John Linley and his team for their tireless work over the past year and the countless hours spent in putting this Convocation together. To the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E. Comp Bob Wale and his team for their efforts today and their escorting duties over the year. To the Provincial Grand Treasurer, E. Comp Tim Huckle for keeping a vigilant eye on our finances so well during the year.
Companions I look forward to your company at dinner and to the pleasure of your company next year. Please bring another Companion with you as they would be most welcome.
May the True and Living God Most High Bless you all.