Brethren All, here I am writing what is now my 7th letter in Masonic Suspension. Previous letters have reviewed all the great things that you have been doing, and continue to do, to support your London Mark and the wider community. Today, as I gaze out on the brilliant Spring sunshine (but in the warmth of the house’s central heating!) I would like this letter to be one of eager anticipation of the eventual start up of our masonry in general and our Mark masonry in particular.
Looking forward and maintaining a positive outlook is an essential aspect of our well-being. So, please make a careful note of the ‘Dates for your Diaries’ section in the London Mallet. I make no apology for trying to reinforce and expand upon these as follows:
May 19th – another Mark Awareness online session when the Executive will showcase the merits of our Mark Degree. Several Lodges already have Candidates lined up for Advancement. If your Lodge does not, then this is the opportunity for you to encourage your Craft and Chapter colleagues to log on and find out about the Degree and the wonderful venue which most of us in London enjoy for our meetings at 86.
September 6th – Annual Royal Ark Mariner Assembly (within the London Installed Commanders’ meeting). This is the meeting when I will be pleased to confer Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank on a number of our Past Commanders. Hopefully we will be allowed to meet in sufficient numbers for you to come along to cheer on your colleagues.
September 7th – Grand Lodge at Great Queen Street. Plans are still to be finalised but I hope that the day will see the appointment of Active Officers, First Appointments and Promotions. Here is a list of all the London Brethren who are being honoured this year and I am sure everyone will join with me in offering them heartiest congratulations.
September 16th – London Mark Golf Day at Chobham. Let’s hope it is as sunny a day as it has been today – but about 20 degrees warmer!
September 30th – Annual Meeting. Venue is Great Queen Street and dining will be in the Connaught Rooms. Fingers crossed, this will be our first major function at the end of this bleak Covid period. Watch out for booking arrangements and come along to support YOUR Province and YOUR brethren receiving their Provincial Grand Ranks.
Looking further ahead, the Executive is going to be extremely busy next season with new R.A.M. Lodge Consecrations. Full details in due course but the first Consecration is for Ralph Reader Lodge (The Scouts) on Saturday 6th November. The Ceremony is open to all Brother Royal Ark Mariners so do please come along to support this event.
And finally… the Province was 30 years old in November 2020. The delayed Anniversary Dinner will take place on 8th November this year. It promises to be a memorable occasion and with only 140 places (at the RAF Club in Piccadilly) it will be essential for you to book your own place as soon as the invitation drops into your email box.
Brethren, like many of you last Easter Monday, I tuned in to the Prime Minister’s Coronavirus update broadcast. Whilst there are many positive aspects to our current status, it is quite obvious that we are not out of the woods yet and we need to continue to be patient and await the gradual confirmation that the next ‘Steps’ to freedom have been achieved. Linked to this waiting game is the expected announcement by Mark Grand Lodge, which will be due after 12th April and which will seek to clarify the recent announcement by UGLE, from a Mark and other Progressive Orders’ perspective regarding Meeting arrangements.
Most of you have been wearing a white shirt and your Provincial tie when attending our many Virtual Business Meetings, which also means that you have had visual as well as audio contact with other Brethren and members of your Lodges. So, whilst it’s not quite time yet to look out that morning suit to check that the trousers still fit and the jacket will button, it might be an idea to check where you have stored your Mark and R.A.M. regalia – they are going to be needed by the end of the year!
Stay safe Brethren, and Mark Well.