DGP’s Address to District Grand Council
Distinguished guests, brethren all, I have already made so many ‘welcomes’ here but let me, once again welcome you all to our District Meeting. I do appreciate the support you have all given by making the effort to be here today, our numbers are up this year, yet again, and it certainly enhances any meeting to have good numbers.
It continues, for me, to be an enormous privilege to hold the office of District Grand Prefect for London and I am conscious of this every time that I visit a council or when I represent you in other Districts. Between Steven, myself and the Wardens of the year we have visited widely across the District and on every occasion we have been met with all we would expect from this Order – good Companionship, well worked ceremonies and an enthusiasm and commitment to the Allied Masonic Degrees.
Before I go too much further I must thank those who make such an effort to ensure that everything in our District goes smoothly and efficiently.
Today we see the stepping down of two stalwarts of the District, Philip Freedman as DC and Doug Hopton as Treasurer, I cannot thank them enough for their commitment, loyalty and dedication to this District and our Order, we welcome Mike Adkins and Gordon Trew to take over those roles, both are highly experience and very well respected Masons and we are fortunate that they are dedicating their efforts to us in such important positions.
My hardworking District Grand Secretary Peter Warner and the District Assistant Secretary – Scott Cargill, who have worked very hard to make today so successful. Only those who have organised these events know the challenges, I have and I do. Thank you.
To John Gilbert who enhances our meeting with music and to Aby Obadiah who has guarded our door and generally looked after me throughout the year – thank you. And let me mention those Officers of the year, and others, who have attended our Delegations, your company was much appreciated, we had good times and have good memories.
Finally, our Secretaries, who keep our Councils alive and running, thank you for your time and effort, again only those who have done it know the amount of work involved, again – I have and I do. Thank you.
We have, unfortunately, lost some members this year, 5 have passed to the Grand Council above, all losses are keenly felt by us and it is to their memory that we continue to build, enjoy and develop our Allied Masonry.
So, how have we done this year, well, I can report we have performed even better than last year and we grow in strength and harmony.
• Our social media – Facebook, Twitter and the website remain active and efficient.
• Our photographers pop up all over the place, like AMD paparazzi…
• Last year I reported that our recruitment strategy has resulted in 28 new members, this year we have increased by 1 new Council – Goose and Gridiron which was a fantastic day for us all, and by 48 memberships (some of those were of course Founders of 275 but we have had 5 new members since September 1st. We now have 340 memberships in London – up from 240 in 2014.
Today, we can welcome 8 of those new members here today - welcome to –
Terry Hall, Michael Odumosu, Liam Nammock, Paul Asante, Stephen Roberts, Clint Childs, Stephen Cox and Kevin McSoley.
Enjoy your allied Masonry.
• We have held two social events, the last just two weeks ago with a visit to the Bank to England museum followed by dinner for 50 at the City University Club. It was a brilliant event with a very happy, noisy and enjoyable dinner table. Thanks to Richard Criddle and Christos Bardas for organising this.
• We held our dinner for Secretaries and Treasurers.
• Also, a dinner for new members.
All were most successful and we shall develop a repeat programme for these events over the next year.
There is a move afoot to ascertain support for another new Council based on an interest in Trains, steam and all things locomotive, we already have 15 Petitioners. If all goes well, this could happen, pending proper authorities, in the New Year. (perhaps we will need an AMD anorak!!)
We have also begun a Council of Improvement in London, this is proving very popular and can only be a good thing to improve our ceremonies. Thanks to Vincent Fatterusso, Roger Keys and Christos Bardas for organising this.
But, the big news, which I can bring to you today, is the appeal, which I am making through you all over the next year to support the charity Shelter. At every meeting, in whatever Order we usually say a grace which reminds us of the many out there who are lonely, homeless, living rough and are outside of the norms of society. Many have or develop mental illness and need help. We see much of this in London but it is the same in many towns and cities across the UK. My thought was that we could be a little bit more practical to follow up on our laudable prayers.
Shelter, is a national charity that supports such people and works across the country.
In London we have had the idea of producing these mugs … produce mug, They will cost you £10 of which we can make a bit for the Charity and you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. To my District Grand Prefect colleagues, my request is that you go back to your Districts and see how many you can sell and I will get them to you without cost. I thank Scott Dunn for his help here.
We have 100 here today and we will be selling them at the Festive Board.
We shall organise, procure and despatch on behalf of the Order, and the money will be handed over on behalf of everyone in the AMD. We shall keep records and accounts and report back next year. We have the full support of the Grand Master and the Executive team.
If anyone has any good ideas and wants to raise some extra money by BBQ’s, fund raising events or party’s etc then let me know, or just do it and send us the cash. Indeed Scott Cargill is planning to spend a number of days sleeping rough (very rough I understand) in a local park, on a bench to highlight the problem and our appeal. Sponsorship forms will no doubt be distributed across London but also to our District colleagues.
I thank you all in advance for your support in this worthy cause.
We have had other successes; members of the District have been Promoted in and Appointed to Grand Rank –
Scott Cargill has been appointed Grand Steward – well deserved and reflects his hard work and commitment to the AMD, Tony Green, Chris Beck and Chris Dears have been appointed to PGIG and John Hicks and Ian Ness to PGStdB.
Jeff Lawson was promoted to PGJD, Bill Smith and John Hardy to PAGDC
To these brethren – well done, and I am sure you will join me in congratulating them.
To my Officers of the year whom I have had the pleasure to invest and promote today – congratulations. Your appointment has been based upon merit and service to the District. I hope that you enjoy your year in Office and that you can support the three Full Team visits which are planned for this year – dates will be announced very shortly and will be found on the website. Of course, you are all welcome to join with us at any of our visits and, as an enhancement, this year I can announce that we are sending an open invitation for any Past District Officer to also join us on Team visits. All are welcome.
My aim continues to be to serve you, the District and the Order by continuing to increase both membership and the happiness of our members. You can see from my report here that we are making good progress against that aspiration.
I make the point every year that I cannot do that alone, I need the support of my Officers for this year and all of you – only together, with shared enthusiasm, endeavour and commitment can we achieve that goal.
In a few weeks it will be December and the Christmas season will be upon us, I wish you and your families all good wishes, good health and much happiness at this time of year.
May the Great Disposer of all Bless and protect you all.