This year’s Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge took place on Wednesday, 25 September at Freemasons’ Hall in London and saw over 900 Brethren fill the Grand Temple.
As well as the announcement from the Provincial Grand Master, covered here, the meeting saw several other key changes to the Provincial Executive; not least of which was the retirement of W Bro Jim Harrison as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. Shortly before presenting him with the collarette and jewel of a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, the Provincial Grand Master, Paul Gower gave a summary of the many contributions W Bro Harrison has made over his long career as an active Officer within the Province and thanked him for his service. He was then pleased to invest W Bro Adrian ‘Ollie’ Wells as his newest Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
In his address, the Provincial Grand Master took time to thank the Brethren of the Province for their incredible efforts in the 2019 Festival and, in particular, the members of the 2019 Festival Committee for their tireless work in making such a success possible. He also went on to recognise the fantastic work the Fleet House Light Blues Club were doing in the Province to engage and enthuse the more junior members of the organisation. Likewise, the Provincial Mentoring Team for their efforts in seeking to assist Brethren in making their ‘daily advancement’ and the Provincial Communications Team on their hard work on the new Provincial website (which is now live).
Given the news that concluded the Provincial Grand Master’s address, the Festive Board was especially full of good cheer and rounded-off a highly enjoyable, if somewhat emotional, Annual Meeting for the Brethren of ‘Happy Hertfordshire’.
W.Bro Jay Patel, APGM, and W.Bro Chris Noble, ProvGCS, recently visited North Weald Airfield where the two Essex and Herts Air Ambulance aircraft are stationed. This followed a recent MCF grant made to the Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) on behalf of Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Lodge.
They were shown around the station by Jane Gurney, CEO, and Natasha Robertson, fundraising manager, who explained about the work done by the staff and volunteers. "Understandably they are very proud of the new £6.5m state-of-the-art second aircraft which predominantly serves the Herts area," said Chris Noble. "They reminded us that the 27 Air Ambulance Trusts receive no Government funding and rely solely on public donations. They told us that without the support of Freemasons the service would suffer considerably."
The pilot showed them inside the helicopter and explained that the onboard computers could manage a perfect hover, in windy conditions, above an incident site, and advised that the four rotor blades alone cost £1.5m to replace. Unbelievably the Trust has had to recently invest in 'stab vets' at £400 each due to a rising incidence of verbal and physical abuse on the crews. Doctors and paramedics work on a three-year secondment from their hospital.
The EHAAT team has offered any interested Herts Lodge a brief presentation at a future Lodge meeting. Lodges should contact W.Bro Chris Noble via the Provincial Office for details.
W.Bro Russ Fenner, in the guise of Imperial Auto Services, has been thanked by Peace Hospice Care for his ongoing support as part of the Peace Business Partnership Scheme. Along with seven other local businesses, their annual membership covers 12 days of the Hospice Social Worker costs which ensures that patients go home with the right support in place for their ongoing needs and pays for eight syringe drivers to provide patients with continuous pain and symptom management relief.