Welcome and I hope you enjoy and benefit from your visit to the official website of the Masonic Province of Devonshire.
This website was set up for a number of reasons. Firstly to act as a resource for members of the Craft within Devonshire, allowing them to use and contribute to the information contained within its pages.
Secondly, to allow Devonshire Masons, spread all over the world to maintain links with the Province, by keeping up to date with the news and events that takes place within its borders and thirdly to allow non-members to learn and understand a little about Masonry. In fact, the websites very existence disproves the most widely held misconception that Masonry has something to hide. Far from it, Masonry actually encourages publicity of its charitable donations and involvement in its local communities.
For members of the Craft, I hope a visit to this site helps you to make your daily advancement in Masonic knowledge and for non members, I hope it may whet your appetite and encourage you to find out a little more.
Rt. W. Bro. Ian Kingsbury - Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Devonshire.
Provincial Grand Master's Address to Provincial Grand Lodge - 10th April 2016
The purpose of gathering together for our Provincial Grand Lodge Meetings is not just to confer well-earned appointments and promotions upon our Brethren but to welcome and host our distinguished guests. We thank you so much for your good company and support at these meetings, especially this year at the beginning of our Tercentenary Celebrations. What an honour today to have with us WBro Les Hutchinson, Chief Operations Officer of the Masonic Charities Foundation.
As you are well aware these occasions would not happen if it were not for the hard work of our Secretariat headed up by our Provincial Grand Secretary W.Bro Richard Ebrey, ably assisted by W.Bro. Chris Yard APGM and a great team of helpers led by W.Bro.Andy Dewis our Pr.G.Tyler.
I particularly want to thank my Deputy PGM, Very W.Bro.Nick Ball for the loyal support and sound advice that he gives me throughout the year. I include in my thanks all of the Executive who are so supportive.
The appreciation of myself and Executive is extended to the acting provincial officers who have been so dedicated this year and taken full advantage of supporting us at Lodge Installations.Conscientiously led by our two Wardens W.Bros Roger Smith and Walker Lapthorne.I know that it has been a great Masonic experience for you and you have gained so much and made many new friends. I also thank our Wardens for the splendid amount raised for charity £1,500 this was done by guessing the weight of Walker Lapthorne at the beginning and end of the year, as well as the production of embroidered Tercentenary napkins and the coloured pocket squares.
Likewise our best wishes go to all those appointed today especially our active officers who will enjoy the experience of accompanying the Executive around the Province in this most important year of our Tercentenary. Once again headed up by two excellent Wardens W.Bros Alan Mark and Barry Page.
As we are all well aware this year celebrates 300 years of Freemasonry and I want you all to enjoy the occasion. There are many events throughout the Province, that you have notice of and are listed in the Devonshire Mason. They have been so well planned and organised by our 300 Committee, to whom we are all indebted:W.Bros Andy Vodden Chairman Adrian Rogers, Phil Ratcliff and Bob Woods and all their helpers. Please support these functions as well as organising your own local Lodge celebration. The committee could not have done more, with all their initiatives, to put our order into the community spotlight. Brethren an effective way of gaining public awareness will be the exchange of this banner, from PGM to PGM, in full regalia through the Provinces, of the Group 9 PGMs. Starting its journey from Jersey, where it is being flown back to today with Rt.WBro.Ken Rondell and finally ending up with Rt.WBro.Steve Pearn on the Isles of Scilly.When the banner is exchanged we hope to attract Television, Radio and Press coverage as well as public spectators. If it is your intention to attend the Exeter Cathedral Service on the 24 June please book early with W.Bro. Gerald Sclater. As well as attending in regalia, Lodge banners will be displayed to make this a very colourful occasion.
Brethren we have a fully supportive strategy in place, for our Province, that supports and cares for the needs of a prospective candidate, from Initiate through to Past Master. There are many hard working Brethren who carry out this vital work in a team spirit, I cannot thank you enough, you are what makes our order so strong and sustainable. Our Province could not be better served by our Mentoring and Recruitment Teams. W.Bro. Charles Yelland APGM heads up our Mentoring team and along with W.Bro. Chris Thomas our Provincial Mentor is doing a superb job. I want to thank W.Bro. Colin Gale for the excellent work that he puts in with our Recruitment and Membership Team, combining this work with his expert advice on our IT systems and supplying our endless requests for accurate statistics. There are now more resources available to us from the Improvement Delivery Group. The IDG now replaces the Masonic Focus Group and will now coordinate and distribute all initiatives, such as The Members Pathway and Guidance on Masonic Education, that make for good practice and improvement of the order. I must encourage all of you to keep up to date on these matters on our website, which has links to Twitter and Facebook. You will notice the website that I encourage you to use has been brought up to date with links to Twitter and Facebook and is more smart-phone friendly. I want to thank all involved, especially W.Bro. Peter Keaty, APGM and Information Officer, and W.Bro. Martin Heskins Website Manager, WBro David Goode who produced the new website and Paul O'Connell who continues to oversee our Social Media. We must not forget the very successful work that W.Bro. Clive Eden has done as our Press Secretary. I hope it will enable us all to seek out new members for our order. It would be some achievement if we could increase our membership during this particular year by 300, that figure would of course include Joining members. Let us never forget that if we approach someone, or if they approach us and that could be via website, the internet, the Provincial Office or Grand Lodge they still have to pass the rigorous tests of suitability. You are all aware of the correct procedures of dealing with prospective candidates, as I am confident that all assistance has been given via our Recruitment and Mentoring Teams, that has filtered back to your Lodges through the respective officers. I thank you for your attention to this matter it cannot be more important to us all.
When we stop celebrating and the curtain comes down on 2017 this Province will start its new charity Festival and that will be for the Masonic Charity Foundation. It will be launched in January of 2018 and will end in 2023. We have been working on this for some 18 months and I have formed a small Festival Committee the Chairman of the Festival will be W.Bro. Chris Yard. I notify you of this today which will enable you as individual Lodges to save up and prepare to donate something on Launch day in January 2018, if you so desire. The donations that you may care to make into the gift aid envelopes on your chairs today will be going to the 2018 festival, thank you. You will recall that I requested data to be collected by W.Bro. Barry Page just over a year ago on the amount of donations made by lodges, to local charities and organisations in their area. This figure is over and above what you donate to the main charities in our order. I was looking for a total figure, for the purpose of pointing out to you all of what a powerful force for good you are and what you have done collectively to promote the good of our order in the Province of Devonshire. That figure comes to approx £250,000 and I congratulate you all. Therefore I know for sure that the Brethren of this Province will enter into the spirit of this Festival whole heartedly and make us all very proud of helping those in need.
I want to thank W.Bro. Barry White for his contribution as Provincial Grand Charity Steward. His knowledge of our charity rules and investments has been invaluable. I have particularly enjoyed working with Barry on our WAKE charity distribution evenings—Thank you Barry. I am sure we all wish W.Bro. Reuben Ayres much success in taking over from Barry. Many of us have experienced and enjoyed the excellent work Rueben has done as Provincial Orator.
After many devoted years of service W.Bro. Raymond Bray, to whom I had the honour of presenting a 60 year Certificate of service to Freemasonry this year, retires as Provincial Grand Chaplain. — I cannot thank you enough for all you have contributed to this Province -Thank you Raymond
You will all wish to join with me in congratulating our newly appointed Grand Officers who will be invested this April at Grand Lodge:
First Appointments go to W.Bro.Eric Collings PAGDC, W.Bro.Peter Durrant PAGDC, W.Bro.Robert Charles Munro PAGDC, W.Bro. The Rev.John Westacott PAGChaplain and promotions to W.Bro. William Grahamslaw PAGDC & W.Bro. Ron Preston PAGDC. We wish them a very happy and memorable day in London.
Freemasonry is a wonderful order with so much to give and unite men from all walks of life and beliefs. Let us feel proud and privileged to stand shoulder to shoulder as Brother Masons, ready to spread goodness in this world we live in. Brethren I hope you have enjoyed today which marks the beginning, in Devonshire, of our Tercentenary celebrations and will continue to enjoy this year and many more to follow.
May God be with you all and get you safely to your destinations.
Rt. W. Bro. Ian Kingsbury - Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Devonshire