East Kent Provincial 2013 News

Provincial Officers' Mess (October)


On Thursday 17th October 2013, 292 Grand and Provincial Grand Officers from the Province of East Kent attended the Winter Gardens, Margate, for the Provincial Grand Officers’ Mess. It was a fine, sunny day, and this gave heart to all those attending.

Following pre-lunch drinks, the Brethren and Companions took their places at the tables to enjoy the three-course meal with wine, following which the President, RW Bro Geoffrey Dearing, PGM and GSupt, addressed everyone in order to conduct the business of the Mess.

Some familiar faces in the Bar

Toasts were given to HM The Queen, followed by The MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.

Apologies were recorded.

The Mess Accounts were accepted as a true record and the President thanked WBro John Cooper, Mess Treasurer, for his excellent work in this respect.

Election of Mess Treasurer and Mess Secretary. WBro John Cooper was re-elected as Mess Treasurer, and WBro Peter Hagger as Mess Secretary.

Some more familiar faces in the Bar

Provincial update. The President of the Mess stated that it had been a busy seven months since the previous meeting in March. The service in Canterbury Cathedral to mark the Holy Royal Arch bicentenary was a fabulous day, well-attended with over half those present from the Province of East Kent, together with representatives from London and other Provinces. Appreciation was given to all who helped make this event a success, with special thanks being given to VW Bro Roger Odd and EComp David Kershaw.

Members waiting for their lunch

The President stated that, on the previous day, a bicentenary celebration for the Holy Royal Arch took place in London; a great day well supported by companions from the Province of East Kent. In his address the First Grand Principal announced that £2,000,000 had been raised in the appeal for the Royal College of Surgeons.

2014 Festival. The President thanked everyone for their support thus far; seven months remain before the end of the Festival, and he was confident that the target will be reached.

Local Charities. The President spoke of his fondness for the TLC charity (Teddies for Loving Care). Approximately 12,000 Teddy Bears are delivered each year across the Province and, during the next twelve months, TLC expect to deliver their 100,000th Teddy Bear. It is a completely voluntary effort by freemasons, their wives and families and we should be particularly proud of all that they do!

WBro Brian Powell, APGM. The President thanked WBro Brian Powell, APGM, who has responsibility for the Charity Stewards in both Craft and Chapter and who has been unwell of late. With his support and enthusiasm he has been “a tower of strength”, and the President wished him well while he recovers from his illness.

The President addresses the members

Executive changes. The President gave notice of forthcoming changes in the Provincial Executive. Next year WBro Nick Waller, APGM, will stand down in April and will be replaced by WBro Peter John Rodd. WBro Brian Powell, APGM, will continue until June 2014, when he will stand down to be replaced by WBro Peter Hagger. The new Provincial Grand Secretary and Scribe E will be WBro David Alexander. The Provincial Grand DC, WBro Lyndon Jones, will be taking up an important role with the new Provincial Charity and will be succeeded in April by WBro Neil Johnstone. The Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Trevor Climpson, will relinquish his position next May when he will be replaced by EComp David Kershaw. The 2nd Principal will be EComp Neil Johnstone, with EComp Roger Croucher becoming 3rd Principal. The President paid tribute to all those that will be stepping down next year and thanked them all for their endeavours.

More members awaiting their lunch

Questions from the members. A request was submitted asking that a list of the Provincial Appointments and Promotions could be provided on the Provincial website? The President replied that this was already in progress.

Raffle for the Gold Chapter Jewel. The President stated that the raffle for the Gold Chapter Jewel (which is worth £2,000!) had raised more than £4,000 with proceeds going the 2014 Festival. He then drew the winning ticket purchased by WBro Joe Ellis, Secretary of the Millennium Lodge of Charity and currently Worshipful Master of The Sharpers Hall Lodge No 9196.

The President meets members in the Bar

There being no further business, the President closed the Mess and this was immediately followed by a warmly applauded Vote of Thanks to the President by the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, WBro Richard Carney.

The next Mess will be held at lunchtime on 20th March 2014.