With the sun shining down on the Clive Emson Conference Centre at the Detling Showground, our Annual Provincial Meeting took place on Saturday 30th September 2023.
The Brethren were called to order by W.Bro. Christopher Metherell at 10.45 sharp, where the Heads of other Orders, Right Worshipful Brethren, Past Executive Members and the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master’s Procession entered Provincial Grand Lodge.
Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due form by the Provincial Grand Master – R.W.Bro. Peter Williams. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Martyn Summers paid tribute to Brethren who had passed to the Grand Lodge above, and Provincial Grand Lodge stood to order to pay respect to departed merit.
The Provincial Grand Master welcomed the Heads of Other Orders, together with Representatives of other Provinces. On this occasion, Provincial Grand Lodge had two Past Provincial Grand Masters in attendance; R.W.Bro. Roland Wade, and R.W.Bro. Archie Torrance, who the Provincial Grand Master congratulated on being appointed as President of the Mark Benevolent Fund.
The Provincial Grand Master was then pleased to re-appoint W.Bro. Martyn Summers as Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and W.Bros. Trevor Sharpe and Stephen Hyland as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters. He then Appointed and Invested the Provincial Grand Lodge Officers for the year.
R.W.Bro Peter Williams addressed Provincial Grand Lodge where he pointed out that the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting serves not only to congratulate Brethren on their Appointments and Promotions, but also as an encouragement to embrace the role and further their efforts in supporting the Province and the Degree in general.
The cost of living crisis and welfare of the members of our Province should be at the forefront of our minds. There are many members who may need assistance in getting to their Lodges, and it may be the case that they feel uncomfortable asking for assistance, but should they receive an offer, they would be delighted to receive it. It should be remembered that we are all Almoners, and as the Friendly Degree, offering assistance to those in need will always be appreciated.
There are excellent toolkits available on the Mark Province of Kent’s Website for Almoners, and indeed for other offices. With Membership being the key role for any Almoner, it should be noted that Recruitment, Reinvigoration and Retention are the guiding principles.
The Kent Mark Benevolent Fund has given around £3,000 to local charities, and there is still a further £1,000 to be awarded, for which applications are most welcome. The Provincial Grand Master’s full report can be read here.
R.W.Bro. Peter then presented W.Bro. David Stiff with a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master’s collarette and jewel thanking him for all he has done for the Province over many years. Provincial Grand Lodge was called to order, where The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master – R.W.Bro. Peter Williams closed Provincial Grand Lodge in due form.
The Brethren then retired to the Festive Board, where the happiness and friendliness of the Mark Degree was communicated in true Kent fashion. There were approaching 200 diners at the Festive Board, and close to 100 others booked in for the Meeting, giving an impressive attendance of nearly 300 Brethren.
W.Bro. Karl Bowman
V.W.Bro. Chris Eley