I have the honour to address you for the first time as Provincial Grand Master. I am extremely privileged to have been elected to the office, and I thank you all for the trust you have placed in me for the next 5 years.
I am sure you would join with me in congratulating Brother Jim Ellis on completing his term as Provincial Grand Master. The regard in which he is held has always been evident and although the last 2 years have not gone as he would have planned, he has still managed to lead the Province in an exemplary manner. It has been a privilege to serve in his Commission.
The transition to the new Commission has seen a couple of changes and I would like to thank Brother Jack Frickleton and Brother Allan Baker for their service and the contribution they have made to this Province. We owe both of these Brethren a huge debt of gratitude.
We are at the moment in difficult and uncertain times. The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has been worse than the onset. We do need to stay the course and keep moving forward as best we can in light of what we are currently experiencing. Now the vaccine programme is progressing, it will take some time to be accessed by the population. The positive effects of the vaccine will not be known immediately ... we need to continue to take precautions until it is deemed safe for us to meet together again.
All is not "gloom and doom" however. Many of our lodges have organised Zoom meetings to help stay in touch, our charitable giving in the community has been an inspiration and our Provincial Grand Almoner, Brother Kenneth McMaster, and his team of Almoners and Assistant Almoners, are actively encouraging Brethren experiencing any difficulty to reach out for their support.
The future aims of our Province still remain ... support for the Daughter Lodges, encouraging charitable giving within our communities and an 'open door' policy. Provincial Grand Lodge is accountable to the Brethren of our Province. We are here to support you in any way we can.
In conclusion Brethren, I would like to thank the Past Provincial Grand Masters for all the assistance and support they have given me since I joined Provincial Grand Lodge. They have always been there when I needed any advice and I know that will continue to be the case.
Until we can meet together again, I wish you all the very best and hope you all stay safe.
Provincial Grand Master