I welcome you back to your Masonic pursuits after the recess and wish you great enjoyment and satisfaction during the second half of our masonic season. As you will be aware by now, towards the end of the recess Brother David Rintoul resigned his commission as Depute Provincial Grand Master. Brother Rintoul must be sincerely thanked for the commitment which he displayed over two previous commissions - as Provincial Grand Secretary and as Substitute Provincial Grand Master. This has necessitated an adjustment in the team of Commissioned Office-bearers and I can now share with you that Brother Ronnie Gemmill has accepted the office of Depute Provincial Grand Master and Brother Allan Baker, PM, Lodge Kirkton Hall, No. 1614, has accepted the office of Substitute Provincial Grand Master. I am sure that you will want to extend best wishes to both these highly experienced Brethren on their commissions. As before the recess, I would encourage us all to support each other in our masonic activities. We most certainly rely on this mutual support to help our Lodges flourish and the strength of our Lodges is in our hands. As the months go on, we will be involved in whole Province activities and your support is most important for these. I would draw to your attention the October Communication which will be held within the premises of Lodge St. John, Midcalder, No. 272, on Friday 7th. October, commencing 7.00pm. At this meeting, Brothers Gemmill and Baker will be installed and be presented with their commissions. In addition, Brother Thomas C. Smith, Grand Almoner, will address the Brethren on Masonic Benevolence - possible ways forward. This promises to be a thought provoking subject and one which should be close to our hearts. The Almoners' Concert will be held within the premises of Lodge Polkemmet, No. 927, on Wednesday 19th. October. I would encourage all Lodges to ensure that they take advantage of this evening of entertainment and harmony. I am sure that, with a little effort, each Lodge will be able to identify those who would enjoy such an evening and ensure that the Lodge is represented. More details will be circulated by PG Almoner and PG Secretary in due course. Also on that evening will be the annual prize giving for the Province's bowlers, being held within the premises of Lodge Torphichen-Kilwinning, No.13. I have worked with Brother Andrew Fleming, PM, in attempting to identify an alternative date for the presentations but this proved impossible - either Lodge meetings or Installations would be hit. It was encouraging though, that this exercise was undertaken, as it clearly highlighted the importance of avoiding clashes of events within the Province if at all possible - I would encourage checking with PG Secretary to see if he has notification of an event already planned should you be considering planning one for your Lodge. Again, this would be an example of us supporting each other and allow us to enjoy each other's company ( at possibly both events ). The Almoners' Halloween Party will be held within the premises of Lodge Lord Bruce, No. 1601, on Saturday 29th. October. The attendance of our young people at this party has increased greatly over the past few years and the activities are clearly highly enjoyed by all. Again, details will circulated to Lodges nearer the time. On Monday, 31st. October, we will witness the Masters of the Province conferring a First Degree in the premises of Lodge Torphichen-Kilwinning, No. 13, the meeting commencing at 7.00pm. This is always an extremely enjoyable meeting and I would strongly encourage your support of your Master that evening. This would be a wonderful opportunity to ensure that those candidates which you have had in the past year or so are taken along to witness this spectacle in our Province's calendar. Let's try to ensure that this is a memorable evening, Brethren. Another fun evening for all the Province will be the Almoner's Race Night which will be held within the premises of Lodge St. John, Midcalder, No. 272, on Saturday, 12th. November. There will be a wide variety of races - Masters, PGL Office-bearers, Commissioned (past and present), Almoners etc. These will be "live" races with the "jockeys" winding in their wooden horses which will be attached to a long piece of string. A certainty of fun and laughs galore. Again, brethren, details will follow.