13 JUNE 2007
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master the Most Hon the Marquess of Northampton, DL
Brethren, today it is exactly 40 years since HRH the Duke of Kent KG was elected as our Grand Master. On behalf of all our members I have written to congratulate him on such a remarkable achievement and expressed our wish that he will enjoy good health to enable him to continue as our Grand Master for many years to come.
More good news … I have just announced the remarkable sums raised by four Provinces for our Masonic charities. That makes a total of £14.6 million. I attended the festival in Nottingham on Sunday when a new record was set of over £1,000 per member in the Province. These are very large sums of money indeed and our thanks go to all those who have been responsible for such outstanding generosity.
Brethren, I am looking closely at our marketing and public relations. I believe that this is a very important area when it comes to attracting and retaining quality candidates. However, it needs a new dynamic approach. There are many initiatives taking place around the country, including open days and stands at county shows, all of which play a useful part in spreading our message to a wider audience.
At the Centre we are particularly looking at improving our website and MQ magazine. This will all help to underpin our open approach on communication.
Open communication is important to the way we are perceived and therefore crucial to the future health of the Craft.
I have said it before, but it is worth repeating, that this is best achieved by Masons talking openly about the Masonry they enjoy to their families, friends and anyone who shows an interest in knowing more about us.
I have started my regional conferences with Provincial Grand Masters, accompanied by the Grand Secretary.
The first of these was held at Sindlesham at the end of May, with three more to be held in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham.
I am also visiting our brethren overseas, beginning with a trip to our Districts in India in November accompanied by the Grand Secretary.
In July, the Assistant Grand Master is visiting the District Grand Lodge of Sri Lanka for their centenary and the installation of their new District Grand Master and Grand Superintendent.
In early November we are hosting a special meeting of European Grand Masters to discuss the issue of regularity. The Masonic world has expanded with the creation of new Grand Lodges in Europe, and as the mother Grand Lodge it is time to restate our fundamental beliefs when it comes to regular Freemasonry.
Finally, brethren, I wish you all a very pleasant summer and look forward to our next meeting in September when we shall hopefully all have benefited from some rest and relaxation.