Provincial Grand Lodge
Annual Meeting Address and Reports
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 Address to Provincial Grand Lodge 2019  
Brethren I cordially welcome you all this afternoon especially those who have travelled a great distance and those who have brought their partners with them.
Oxfordshire would like to be known as a Province that welcomes its guests and their partners on the day of Provincial Grand Lodge, much effort has been put into this by my predecessor and I intend to uphold that tradition.
As a representative of this Province visiting other Provinces and Districts, I have always felt comfortable at other Provincial Grand Lodges across the country or in other countries; it is like old friends meeting once again, a band of brothers. I am delighted that our distinguished visitors can be here this afternoon to share this moment with me.
Today is a happy and sad occasion, the Province has made various changes under the stewardship of R.W. Bro. Ian Alexander, I feel that they are genuine improvements, and the province has moved forward.
I am not here to make sweeping changes although I do have a different style. All Provincial Grand Masters have differing styles, but they all want "what is best for their Province."
Our distinguished visitors and Right Worshipful brethren will understand that they are surpassed in importance today by our new advancees, of course the RW Brethren present are the figureheads of the order but the new advancees are the future of our order, and I am particularly proud to have them presented to me today, especially my son-in-law Tim.
And lastly of course we must acknowledge representation of our Royal Ark Mariner Lodges.
Sadly as always there are those who cannot be here with us today and have passed on, in particular our thoughts go to them. May they rest in peace in the Grand Lodge above.
Brethren I thank you all for attending and making this one of the proudest days of my life. I understand the responsibility of the office and accept that responsibility, after all I have had a great tutor in the person of R.W. Bro. Ian Alexander. Today is not about me accepting this role, but it is also about you, the Brethren of Oxfordshire accepting me into the office. This is a roll which I cannot do without your help, I am sure I will have many challenges and the odd failure, and I would humbly request your forgiveness.
Let us move forward together and be totally committed to this Great province of Oxfordshire.
To the brother officers who I have appointed today, you have been chosen because you support the Province and show potential. Provincial officers are there by merit not simply years of standing. My executive team try very hard to recognise this and identify commitment to the Province, but I also rely on you the Brethren of Oxfordshire to speak to me and keep me informed. Brother officers you have all received a great honour today, but the greatest honour is mine, to have you by my side. You are all exceptional in your own right. We have a small province and we have great province, but most of all we enjoy our Mark Masonry.
Some years ago I put forward a suggestion about Mark ambassadors in our Craft lodges, Mark Griffin my PrGJO has worked very hard behind the scenes in this capacity and I am delighted that the RW Provincial Grandmaster of the Craft Province of Oxfordshire has given permission for important Mark and other Orders announcements in the third rising. We are very lucky to have and exceptional working relationship with the Craft Province of Oxfordshire.
The Mark benevolent fund festival for Oxfordshire will take place in 2025. There will be an increasing need for your commitment in particular to charity, which you have all professed to admire. The MBF is an outstanding charity "he who gives promptly gives twice" is the famous statement of the Rev Cannon Portal. I am very proud and humbled to see the work that the MBF does, the mobile chemotherapy units, the blood bikes, the shelter boxes and the re-equipment of St John ambulance vehicles. This is the outcome of your charity and hard work. I would ask you to support the festival committee in their work so that we can have a successful festival.
During my office as DPGM, I have been responsible for the social events within the Province such as the boat trips the days at the races the Clay pigeon shoot our provincial summer dinner our golf days, garden parties, the deputies Christmas luncheon. My predecessor introduced the concept of "The Marquettes" which has gone from strength to strength. We need to step up a gear with these social activities and change them into more of a fund-raising function for the festival. I'm always looking for new ideas.
In the past I have joked about raising the awareness and the fitness of our Masons, we as an organisation are very good at looking after other people but we need to look after ourselves too. Perhaps we should be considering raising money through healthier events such as sponsored walks, cycle trips, running, weight loss, etc we need to make ourselves healthier so that we can better help others and be more appealing to new members.
Brethren we have all had a busy day and it is fitting that I thank the presiding officers and the installing team, our primus PGM and our past PGMs for their guidance that they have given in the wisdom that they have shown in their office. I accept and acknowledge all of their advice, their hearts are with us.
Of course none of this happens without the hard work of our Provincial Grand Secretary and Assistant Grand Secretary and all of the team. They have both shown great commitment and hard work in the preparation for today.
Brethren we all learn from our experiences and our predecessors. I have learnt an awful lot from R.W. Bro. Ian Alexander, a dear friend who is now begrudgingly in purdah. I have also learned one very important thing from R.W. Bro. George Bonham, don't make a speech too long.
But before I close, please understand that if you want to make your PGM happy ... simply enjoy your masonry.
Thank you, brethren, and may the great overseer of the universe bless you and keep you.