9 June 2010
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes
I am delighted to see so many of you here today. Having had the great pleasure to present Sir John Welch with the Grand Master’s Order of Service to Freemasonry and having called off for the Annual General Meeting of the Grand Charity, I will be brief.
Since the last Quarterly Communication I travelled to South Africa, accompanied by the Grand Secretary. The reason was to install the new District Grand Master for South Africa North and I first took the opportunity to visit the District of KwaZulu Natal in Durban. We met many of the Brethren as well as their wives and partners before flying to Johannesburg for the Installation. This was well attended by the District Grand Masters of Southern Africa and the Grand Secretary ran a business meeting for them all. I am delighted that they were all in good heart.
With the volcanic ash clouds cancelling all flights back to Europe, I am also glad that the Grand Secretary and I managed to return to England – flying via Luanda in Angola, then on to Lisbon where we travelled by car to Bilbao, finally flying by twin engine propeller plane landing on a grass airstrip in Essex – with only a two day delay. Such was our determination to return in time for the Annual Investitures!
Brethren, I hope you will agree with me that the faith last year’s Board of Grand Stewards placed in the ability of the Grand Connaught Rooms was well founded. The Grand Secretary put his head on the block during last year by stating his confidence in the new management and I believe that the quality of both the food and the service at the Grand Investiture means that he can keep his head. I repeat what I said last year, which was to encourage as many of you as possible to join us for lunch after the Quarterly Communication meetings.
I shall shortly be starting my regional business meetings when I will see all the Provincial Grand Masters. I am in regular contact with the Provincial Grand Masters and we recently held my business meeting when they were all together before the Annual Investitures. However, the regional meetings allow time for detailed discussions specific to each Province whilst still further improving communications with the Centre.
Brethren, since 1924 Port of Hercules Lodge No. 4626 has been meeting in Monte Carlo. In recent years three Lodges under the United Grand Lodges of Germany have been meeting in Monaco and a number of Monegasque citizens have become Freemasons in Lodges under the National Grand Lodge of France. In April of this year we were approached by the brethren in Monaco and the United Grand Lodges of Germany to assist in the formation and consecration of a Sovereign Grand Lodge of Monaco. As the members of Port of Hercules Lodge have agreed to be one of the founding Lodges of the new Grand Lodge we have agreed to assist in the project.
It only remains for me to wish you all an enjoyable summer.