Newsletter from the Pharos Secretary
Greetings Brethren, I hope you are still keeping safe and well.
Well that’s January gone and what a change in our lives! The year started with the dark shadow of the new Covid variant which would make our days even blacker. Now, just weeks later we have several vaccines, some already being rolled out and others awaiting approval. It will not be an overnight fix, but we are heading in the right direction. For us masons it means a return to our lodges and ceremonies is getting closer, all be it some months away. Whilst we have not been able to hold meetings or L of I’s, the machinery that makes the lodge work has continued. Last week members of the General Purposes Committee held a zoom meeting to discuss our next moves. Despite the Masonic Activity Suspension, the paperwork involved for our Installation meeting in March still has to be completed, including the list of officers for the forthcoming year. Although the majority of officers will remain in situ as per last years cancelled Installation (we can hardly move up the ladder having had no meetings), there will be a couple of changes. Brother John Cockram will be taking on the role of Treasurer, subject to the usual vote in open lodge. Also, WBro Roger Gabriel will be taking over from me as Membership Officer, working with WBro Garry Steed, our lodge Mentor.
According to the Provincial Office there are about 200 enquiries from prospective candidates, so hopefully some may be pointed in our direction. That does not mean that the responsibility for recruitment is rested from our hands. I am sure many members may know someone who shows signs of being a prospective candidate. Please remember, as Freemasons we are no longer an organisation that ‘hides its light under a bushel’ but are open and proud to let the world at large know who we are and what we stand for! (This is obviously a matter for the individual to decide when it comes to his own membership).
At this stage I would like to ask all of our members to let me know how they see themselves within the lodge in years to come. Since being founded in 1950, it is the ‘new blood’ of today that will inherit the responsibility for tomorrow. After initiation, the surroundings and prospective work looks daunting, with most convinced that they would never be able to learn what is necessary to progress. Thankfully the majority, after hard work and support, find their fears unfounded, reassured hopefully by the recognition that we were all once entered apprentices. It normally takes about 7 years to attain the chair of King Solomon, but what happens after? For any lodge to operate successfully there is the need for willing members to take on the various offices that form the management team. The Almoner, Charity Steward and Mentor all have important roles to play, looking after the well being of not just our members, but a wider range of tasks. On the management side there is the Secretary and Treasurer, again responsible jobs that have to be fulfilled. The continuity of our lodge mainly, as I have said, needs those members that are progressing to consider how they will be able to contribute in the years to come. Progression is the usual route to these jobs, but it is not uncommon for some jobs to be undertaken by a member who has not been ‘Through the Chair’. As mentioned earlier, a good example of this is when WBro. Mike Nice is steps down as Treasurer, Bro. John Cockram will be taking over. So, back to my original question; how do you see your future in the lodge? As this is the online version please reply to our email address.
Moving on, I am now going to reproduce the various reports given to the recent GPC, I hope you find them interesting;
The Mentors Report
WBro Garry Steed PM. PPrJGD
Well Brethren, What can I say? It has been a long year. I was pleased to be able to attend the only meeting we were able to hold since the original Suspension. I am sure that those who attended were pleased to see each other and return to some sort of normality. Sadly those present were not inclined to allow me to deliver the backlog of “Nuggets” that had been accrued from the beginning of the suspension. That said, I am sure you are all looking forward to the suspension being lifted and the numerous “Nuggets” that I am looking forward to presenting at the earliest opportunity.
As Mentor it has been a strange time. I have attended as many of the Zoom meetings as possible and I have been pleased, not only with contact with other human beings, but the upbeat mood of all that attended.
I am sure that in these times of confinement that the emails from the Province containing links and information have allowed us all to make a “Daily advancement in our Masonic Knowledge”. As I have said before, there is a wealth of information on the YOUR PROVINCE portal. https://yourprovince.org In the “Learning & Development” section there is something for everybody regardless of your rank.
I am in regular contact with our Entered Apprentice who is very keen to move on in his Masonic journey.
The Membership Officer and I work together when we have a new member in the pipeline and hopefully we will have a candidate ready to go when we are given the “all clear” to resume.
Prior to the suspension I had been working with the Master Elect to perfect his Ritual for the Installation meeting. He had been making good progress and while not “word perfect” he was in a position where we would have had a superb Installation Meeting. I look forward to resuming our LOI’s at his place of work prior to his Installation. (Although by now I am sure he is word perfect).
One of my roles as Mentor is Progression Planning. For a small Lodge like ours this is becoming important. This not only assists the lodge by helping to plan logically the officers for the future it also has a benefit for the individual member in that aspirations, or not, can be recorded and developed as part of the Mentoring process. When we return, I in conjunction with the Membership Officer, will try to make this part of normal Lodge practice.
Finally, I have attended a couple of Group 7 Zoom meetings to try and stay in touch with my fellow Mentors. I have found these fairly comforting as it reinforced that we are all in the same boat in these strange times.
Charity Stewards Report;
WBro Steve Davies
I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas, well best as possible…… Even though Masonry is in lockdown, Charity doesn’t stop. I have been informed by the Provincial Office that so far Pharos Lodge has raised just over £5,000 towards our 2025 Festival Target – which is excellent.
How, when we’ve been closed for a year, I hear you ask?
Well most of that has been raised through Brethren making regular payments to the MCF by direct debit.
This can be as little as £5/month (a pint & half of beer or a glass of wine) and if you haven’t set up a payment plan can I ask that you seriously consider the idea. It’s very easy.
Click on this link: https://donate.mcf.org. and fill in your details – job done.
You can chose the amount (£10, £20, £30 etc) & frequency (monthly, quarterly or annual)
Thank you for your support and I wish you all the best for 2021.
WBro Dai Bennett
I have had no reports of any members being ill or needing anything. Now we have nine widows in the lodge. So I have nothing to report. Could you please thank all the members who sent lovely cards for my Josie.
Hope everything is well and all are keeping safe.
WBro Mike Nice
Whist the lodge finances are looking relatively healthy, there are a large amount of subs for the year 2020/21 still outstanding. Although we have been inactive for almost a year we still have our commitments to Province and UGLE to fulfil.
Our By-Law 6 states; The annual subscription (except for country membership as provided for in By- Law No. 7) due and payable in advance on 1st September shall be such amount as the Lodge shall from time to time decide by resolution after notice on the summons at the previous regular meeting. Any member whose subscription is unpaid for seven months shall be liable to be excluded from the Lodge, after due notice, in accordance with Rule 181 Book of Constitutions.
So we still have a little bit of wiggle room, but if those of you that have not paid yet could do so before our Installation date in March it will make our new Treasurers task a little easier. If you wish to pay online details are included on all summons.
Further News for the Secretary;
WBro Arthur Hornby
On the 22nd November 2019, we requested that a Dispensation be granted for an Emergency Meeting on Saturday the 13th of February, 2021, under rule 140, Book of Constitutions. This was to celebrate our connection to the Dover Grammar School for Boys before the building was demolished. Obviously this is yet another meeting that will not take place, but when things return to ‘normal’, we will once again seek to hold this commemorative event.
In other news I have received the following;
Message from Dover Castle Lodge
WBro Ed Adkins
Lodge Secretary 7202
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our Brother – WBro George Arthur Hornsey, PPGSwdB. George passed to the Grand Lodge above at midday Thursday 21st January 2021 aged 87yrs having been admitted to the QEQM on Thursday 14th January suffering with a number of health issues.
George was initiated into Dover Castle Lodge on the 8th December 1967 – installed as Master in 1976 and again in 2002. He received his first Provincial appointment in 1984 (PPJGD) / promoted in 1991 (PPDepGReg) and again in 2010 (PPGSwdB). On the 8th December 2017, George was presented with his 50 year certificate in Masonry.
I have just been informed of the following…. the funeral for WBro George Hornsey, PPGSwdB will be held at 10am on Monday 8th March
I will ensure that you are informed should there be any change with regards to Covid19 restrictions.
Yours sincerely and fraternally.
Lodge Secretary 7202
Message from Province
WBro Duncan Rouse
Provincial Grand Almoner.
Many of you may have received a message from the NHS inviting you to book a place for a “regular Covid 19 symptom-free” test at one of the 24 testing sites in Kent. Details of this have also been posted on our Provincial Facebook page.
In order to ensure that as many as possible of our members are aware of the availability of the test, I give below a link which will take you to the relevant page on the KCC website. This page also provides some background information on the tests and will also enable an individual to book a test at a facility close to home.
With my very best wishes
Yours sincerely and fraternally
Provincial Grand Almoner.
Well that’s about all for now. I will be holding a Zoom meetings, details of which I will send out shortly.
Stay safe, stay well,
WBro Arthur Hornby,
Secretary of the Pharos Lodge 6967