8 June 2011
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes
It is very good to see such a good attendance here today and I particularly want to welcome those Master Masons who are attending Quarterly Communication for the first time and I hope this experiment may turn into normal practice. I trust it will be a memorable occasion for you.
The past year has been a busy time for the Craft. I have selected one or two examples to give you a flavour of what I mean. On the ceremonial side, the Rulers have installed five new Provincial Grand Masters and a Grand Inspector. In addition there have been six Installations of Grand Superintendents in the Royal Arch. I had the pleasure of presenting two medals for the Grand Master’s Order of Service to Freemasonry to both Brothers Sir John Welch and Simon Waley. And with the Grand Lodge team, of consecrating the new Grand Lodge of Monaco. The consecration was a marvellous success and was extremely good for international relations.
On the business side, I met all the Provincial Grand Masters at my Regional Business meetings and attended the eighth regional conference of District Grand Masters of the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. Additionally, we successfully ran, for the second year running, a business meeting specifically for District Grand Masters and Grand Inspectors before the Annual Investitures.
Regarding communication, I spoke about this at the September Quarterly Communication explaining how the strategic communication plans supported our open approach. I took the opportunity to encourage members to talk about their Masonry as appropriate and I have recently set up a working party to look closely at how best to mentor at Lodge level. You will have also recently received the newly designed issue of Freemasonry Today. The magazine will continue to evolve and the key reason for this is to encourage you and your families to enjoy it and to talk more about Freemasonry. You have heard from the President about the timing for the publication of future issues.
On the charitable side, we had a very timely talk from the head of the Disaster Management at the British Red Cross at the March Quarterly Communication. Timely because of, for example, the plight of our Brethren in Christchurch New Zealand with the earthquakes and in Rio de Janeiro, with the devastation after the mud slides. We gave generously through the Red Cross.
Brethren, I am sure that Father Jonathan Baker’s resignation from his Lodges and Chapters was read with great sadness by all masons and many non-masons. This was as a result of tremendous outside pressures brought on him after his appointment as Bishop of Ebbsfleet. For the time being I shall just say that our feelings on this subject have been made.
Brethren, with the exception of the last item that I have mentioned, we have had a good year and the Craft is in good heart. It only remains for me to wish you all a most enjoyable summer.
8 September 2010
Order of Service to Masonry citation for RW Bro Simon Francis Norman Waley, Past Provincial Grand Master for West Kent, Past District Grand Master for Cyprus
Bro Simon Waley was made a Mason in November, 1957, at the age of 23, in Surrey Lodge, No. 416, at Redhill in Surrey and became its Master in 1967. In 1970 he joined the Lodge of Peace and Harmony, No. 60 (London) becoming its Master in 1973 and serving, on its nomination, as Grand Steward the following year. He has been a joining member or a Founder of nine other Lodges, and has served as Master of most of them, including The Grand Stewards’ Lodge. He was exalted into the Royal Arch in Castle Chapter of Harmony, No. 26 in 1975.
Bro Waley was appointed a Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in Craft and Royal Arch in 1978 and served in those offices for three years. In 1987, when the office of Provincial Grand Master for West Kent fell suddenly vacant along with that of Grand Superintendent, he was appointed to fill the vacancy and ruled the Province with distinction for the next nine years. In the meantime, as one of the Grand Master’s advisers, he served on two committees looking into charitable matters and in particular the uneasy relationship between the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Royal Masonic Hospital under the umbrella of the Masonic Foundation for the Aged and the Sick. In 1993 he became President of the latter, continuing in that role when it ceased to be a formal Grand Office down to the present time. A few months after he relinquished the Province of West Kent he was appointed District Grand Master for Cyprus and Grand Inspector of the Group of Royal Arch Chapters there, becoming Grand Superintendent the following year when the Royal Arch Group became a District in its own right. Although he relinquished both offices in 2001 he has continued to interest himself in Freemasonry in Cyprus and more recently became the first Sovereign Grand Commander of a new Supreme Council in that jurisdiction.
It would be difficult to find a Brother – other than among those who have been Rulers of the Craft – who has a record of Masonic service covering so wide a spectrum of activity; Bro Waley has been a notable influence in English Freemasonry both openly and behind the scenes for so many years. It is to be hoped that the benefit of his experience will continue to be available to the Grand Master and the other Rulers of the Craft for many more years.
9 June 2010
Order of Service to Masonry citation for RW Bro Sir John Welch, Bt, PSGW
Bro John Welch was made a Mason in January 1955, at the age of 21, in Apollo University Lodge, No. 357, Oxford. In 1962 he joined Westminster and Keystone Lodge, No. 10 (London) and became its Master in 1968. He is or has been a member of four other Lodges, including Jubilee Masters’ Lodge, No. 2712 (London), and has served as Master of each of them. He was exalted into the Royal Arch in Westminster and Keystone Chapter, No. 10 in 1964, serving as its First Principal in 1971.
Bro Welch was elected and served as Grand Treasurer in 1979, in which capacity he was also ex officio a member of the Board of General Purposes. In 1982 he joined the Council of the Grand Charity as one of the members appointed by the MW The Grand Master and in 1985 succeeded the late Bro Sir John Stebbings as President of the Grand Charity, continuing in that office until 1995, when he was appointed Junior Grand Warden (having held that past rank since 1992). He later served two years as Senior Grand Warden, in 1998 and 1999. In the Royal Arch having been Grand Treasurer concurrently with the Craft in 1979, he held the office of Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 1989.
Sir John is the second in his family to have played a significant part in the charitable activities of the Craft, for his father, RW Bro Sir Cullum Welch was President of the Board of Benevolence (the predecessor of the Grand Charity) for 19 years from 1954 to 1973. Sir John has not, however, confined himself to the field of Masonic charity. He again became an ex officio member of the Board of General Purposes when he was appointed President of the Grand Charity and took an active interest in the affairs of the Board, making a very considerable contribution to its various Committees. In particular he was Chairman of its External Relations Committee from 1997. When the Board was reorganised in 1999 he remained a member and continued to give the Board and the Craft as a whole the benefit of his wise counsel and extensive Masonic experience until 2005. It is gratifying to know that he is active enough to continue to be able to give us the benefit of that counsel and experience for many years to come.
The Order of Service to Masonry is the highest honour the Grand Master can confer on any member of the Craft. Instituted in 1945, it is in the personal gift of the Grand Master, and is an acknowledgment of exceptional services to the Craft.
The Order is limited to 12 holders, confers no precedence on them, but entitles them to place the letters OSM after their names, preceding the initials of any other Masonic rank they may hold.
The Order is a neck decoration in the form of a Garter blue ribbon from which hangs the jewel of the Order.
At the Annual Investiture the Grand Master conferred the Order on W Bro Francis McCormick, PSGD. Resident in Rio de Janeiro, Bro McCormick was initiated in Royal Edward Lodge No. 5566 in 1952.
His exceptional service to the Craft has been principally in the field of external relations, particularly in maintaining good relations with the Grand Orient of Brazil and other Grand Lodges in South America.
At the Quarterly Communication on 12 June, the Pro Grand Master, on behalf of the Grand Master, invested two further recipients of the Order. RW Bro James V.L. Phillips began his Masonic career in 1952 in Travellers Lodge No. 6758, Accra and served the District of Ghana as District Grand Master and Grand Superintendent from 1988 to 1998.
When he took up those offices, Freemasonry in Ghana had been under attack, and the government had seized its properties.
Bro Phillips convinced the authorities of Freemasonry's loyalty to society and obedience to the laws of the state, secured the return of the properties, restored the good name of Freemasonry and increased his District by 11 Lodges and eight Chapters.
W Bro Major General Rudolph G.E. Green, CD, ADC, PDepGSwdB, became a Freemason in Moore Keys Lodge No. 251 9, Kingston, Jamaica, in 1959. He served as Deputy District Grand Master for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands from 1978 to 1988, since when he has been President of the District Board of General Purposes.
In addition to the Craft and Royal Arch, he holds high office in many other Masonic Orders.
A loyal, discreet and dependable adviser, blessed with an exhaustive knowledge of Freemasonry, backed by many years of experience, he has given service unstintingly not only within his own District, but is regarded as a valuable adviser in neighbouring Districts.