Grand Superintendent Alexander R. Brown

Grand Superintendent Report 2017/18

Companions, it is with pleasure that I submit my second yearly report as Grand Superintendent of Lanarkshire middle ward.

It has again been a very busy year for myself and the Commission with the various installations and events within and outwith the Province.

Over the last year I have again along with the Commission had the pleasure of representing the Province at the Convocations of our Sister Provincial Grand Chapters. Part of my duties as Grand Superintendent is to promote and maintain good relations with our Sister Province’s. I’m glad to report that the bond of friendship with our Sister Province’s remains strong.

 April 22nd was the annual Grand Superintendent and Scribes meeting at Supreme Grand Chapter. This meeting is an ideal opportunity for the Province to submit any questions or queries which it may have. If any Companions have any issues or questions that they would like to put to Supreme, please contact Provincial Scribe E. and I will put your questions to Supreme. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the last meeting due to attendance at a family wedding, but I was ably represented by The Depute Grand Superintendent MEC Robert Clarkson. I would at this time think Bobby for his attendance at the meeting.

Sunday April 30th along with the Commission I had the pleasure of attending The District Grand Priory of Strathclyde Annual Divine Service held within St Mary’s Parish Church Kirkintilloch. I would thank The District Grand Prior, Robert S. M. Stewart for his kind invitation and hospitality.

In August 25th, we once again commenced our Annual Grand Superintendents dinner after taking a break last year to  concentrate on the Council Centenaries .  The dinner was well attended and a great success with our guest speaker Mr  Stuart Smith amusing us with his stories of growing up in Lanarkshire and playing Junior Football. I was delighted to have the heads of the various Masonic Orders within Lanarkshire in attendance as well as The Depute First Grand Principal of Supreme Grand Chapter, MEC Douglas Philand. We also had five Grand Superintendents in attendance as well as a number of Companions from outwith the province. I would thank the Companions of this Province for their continued support of the Grand Superintendents dinner as without you the evening would not have been the success that it was.

Sunday 3rd September, I again had the pleasure of attending the annual dinner of Glasgow No. 50 Cryptic Council. Once again I was treated to a splendid day of hospitality by the Companions of No. 50, although I did fail to win any prizes in the raffle this year after winning 5 last year! I would once again thank Glasgow Cryptic Council for their kind recognition of our Provincial Grand Chapter and wish them future success.

September 2017 saw Supreme Grand Chapter celebrate its Bicentenary. I had the great pleasure along with my wife of attending the meet and greet dinner for our Overseas guests on Friday the 8th within Grand Lodge. This invitation was extended to me as Grand Superintendent and I was delighted to represent the Province. The Bicentenary ceremony on the Saturday was a splendid day and it was very pleasing to see that our Province was well represented on the day. It would be remiss of me not to mention the splendid contribution made by our very own Ian Duncan, Past Depute Grand Superintendent in his role as Supreme Grand Chapter Assistant Director of Ceremonies . Ian carried out his duties on the day in a very impressive dignified manner. As Grand Superintendent I was very proud to see one of our own having such a big part to play on the day.

October was again a very busy period for the Province with it being Installation season. I am pleased to report that the ritual work carried out at the Installations has once again been to a very high standard of which I have stated in my report to Supreme. I would congratulate you all for your hard work in keeping the standard of the installation work within this Province at such a high level. On Tuesday 17th October, we were honoured to receive into the Province a large deputation from Supreme Grand Chapter headed by the Depute First Grand Principal MEC Douglas Philand who came along to witness the Installation ceremony at Hamilton 172. On that occasion MEC George Kelly, Past Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Middle Ward & Past Substitute Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Scotland was installed as First Principal.

The annual book inspection in November was again well attended. I would extend my sincere thanks to each of you for giving up an hour or so on a Sunday to come along to have the books inspected. I do appreciate that Sundays can be busy with family and church so we do aim to make your stay with us as short as possible. I would however remind the Companions that if unable to attend it is your responsibility to ensure that you have a representative to attend in your place.

On the evening of Sunday 10th December I had the pleasure of attending the annual Lanarkshire Freemasons Xmas Carol service. This year’s service was held within Newarthill & Carfin Parish Church. The service was conducted by the Rev. Elaine McKinnon assisted by the Rev. Shaw Patterson. I had the pleasure of once again doing one of the reading along with the  Heads of the other Masonic Orders within Lanarkshire. As this is a family event, I was accompanied by my wife and granddaughter. A fantastic night of Carol singing and worship was had by all. Afterwards we retired to the church hall to partake in a splendid buffet provided by Lodge Robert King Stewart 919. The collection on the evening and donations from the various Orders was donated to Rev. McKinnon’s chosen charity, St Andrews Hospice. I would thank the Companions who came along to support this special Xmas gathering.

The reports from the annual Provincial visits to the Chapters and Councils have also been very favorable. I’m very pleased to see and hear that the Companions of this Province continue to keep up the high standards of degree work which this province is known. At two particular Provincial visits to Hamilton Cryptic Council on the 18th April 2017 , and Chryston RAC on the 23rd  March 2018 i was honoured by the council and Chapter with Honorary Membership.  I would like to thank the Companions of Hamilton and Chryston for this honour bestowed upon me.

At two particular Provincial visitations I had the honour of presenting Honorary Grand Rank and 50yr diplomas to three Companions. On the 14th February at the Provincial visit to Motherwell 264, I had the pleasure of presenting Honorary Grand Rank (Grand Chancellor) to MEC William Brown PZ. William has been a tremendous servant to his chapter and Royal Arch Masonry over the last 50yrs having served two terms as Treasurer totalling 29yrs. On that same evening I had the pleasure of presenting William and John Lang PZ with their 50yr diplomas. John has also served his chapter faithfully over the past 50yrs having served as Scribe for over 30 years. John is also a holder of Honorary Grand Rank.

On the 21st February along with MEC James Turnbull, Second Grand Principal, (Past Grand Superintendent) I attended the rescheduled Provincial visit to Rhinsdale 690.On that occasion I had the pleasure of presenting MEC Kenny Watt with Honorary Grand Rank (Grand 1st Soj) and MEC James Turnbull presented Ken with his 50yr diploma. Ken has been one of the stalwarts within Rhinsdale for most of his 50yrs in the Chapter and it was an added delight for me to present him with his Honorary Grand Rank as Ken was one of my mentors in my early days as a young Royal Arch Mason.

We at Provincial extent our sincere congratulations to William, Ken & John and wish them many years of health and happiness to come amongst us.

On the 16th March, I attended the Installation of Supreme Grand Chapter held within Grand Lodge. On that occasion we saw the Installation of our New First Grand Principal MEC The Rev.Canon Joseph Morrow CBE, Past Grand Master Mason & Lord Lyon King of Arms. I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing our New First Grand Principal a happy and successful term in office. Also installed that day was a number of our own Companions. MEC James Turnbull was reinstalled as Second Grand Principal. MEC Ian Duncan, Assistant Director of Ceremonies. MEC Pringle Johnston, First Grand Standard Bearer & J. Stewart Wood as Grand Scribe N. On behalf of the Province I would congratulate these four Companions and wish them well in their respective offices.

I also had the pleasure along with my wife of attending the Vernal Equinox Dinner immediately after the installation where we enjoyed a lovely meal and good company.

This year within the Province has been one of mixed emotions. Unfortunately we lost Motherwell Royal Arch Chapter 264 and the attached Cryptic and Lodge & Council from the roll. Despite the valiant efforts of the Companions of Motherwell over the last few difficult years the decision was made to amalgamate with Cam’nethan 324. The amalgamation ceremony and altering of the charters was carried out by myself and Provincial Grand Chapter on behalf of Supreme Grand Chapter on the 21st March 2018. Also on the night I was honoured by the Companions of Cam’nethan with Honorary Membership of the newly amalgamated Chapter. I sincerely thank the Companions for this honour bestowed upon me. I would at this time thank the Companions of Motherwell for their efforts over the years and wish the now amalgamated Chapter  a happy future together.

As I previously stated, it has been a year of mixed emotions. On a happier note the Province saw the Reponment of New Monkland Cryptic Council No 201. The Council has been Dormant since 2012 but I am delighted that there has been a renewed interest in Cryptic Masonry within the Airdrie area. The Reponment ceremony took place on the 27th February and was carried out by The Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland headed by The Depute First Grand Principal MEC Douglas Philand. As Grand Superintendent, I had the pleasure of installing the office bearers of the newly reponed Council. I would wish the Companions of New Monkland Cryptic Council a happy and successful future.

Companions, in my last report I made an appeal for support for our provisional competitions. I must thank each of you for your response. The Bowling competitions saw the biggest turn out for years. An example of which was the triples. There were so many teams entered that the final had to be cut short as we were losing light. The Pairs, Rinks and Triples were all won by Robert Burns 143. Robert Burns also came close to making it a clean sweep but unfortunately lost narrowly in the Inter Provincial Final.

The fishing competition continues to be a success. This year’s winner was Andy Edwards of Hamilton 172. Since the Fishing competition was introduced there has been a different winner /chapter each year.

The only downside is the golf competition. Unfortunately it is now 3 years since we last had the competition. We are looking to give it one more go before dropping it altogether.

I would extend my thanks to our Competition conveners Eddie Feeney, Jim Turnbull & David McMorris for their hard work in organising the various competitions.

Companions, before closing my second annual report, I would make an appeal to the Companions to Support the Provincial Convocations in April and November. We only have two per year and it would be great to see all the Chapters in the Province represented.

Companions, in closing, I would take this opportunity of thanking  Provincial Grand Scribe E. E.C. Allan Duffy and Provincial Grand Treasurer E.C. John Hulme for the manner in which they continue to run the day to day business of the Province and to our webmaster Ian Duncan for his continued management of the Provincial Website and to you Companions for your continued support of Provincial Grand Chapter.

 

Alex. R. Brown

Grand Superintendent.

 

 

Lanarkshire Middle Ward – Grand Superintendents Report 2016/17

Companions,  it is with pleasure that I submit my first report as Grand Superintendent of Lanarkshire Middle Ward.

A lot has happened over the last 12 months since my installation at the hands of The First Grand Principal back in April. The Installation was indeed a very special day for myself and the Commission. I was particularly pleased with the support received from the Sister Provinces, The Heads of the Other Masonic Orders, and of course the support received from the Companions of this Province. Your support on the day was very much appreciated and on behalf of myself and the Commission i thank you. I would also extend my sincere thanks to the First Grand Principal MEC. John A. Fraser and his Team for a splendid Installation Ceremony. It was a day that myself and the Commission will not forget.

There was a number of New Grand Superintendent appointments this year of which i had the great pleasure of attending the respective Installations on behalf of the Province. Part of my duties as Grand Superintendent is to maintain close links with our Sister Provinces and i must confess that i have been overwhelmed by the hospitality shown to myself and the Commission when attending the Sister Province Convocations.

The bond of Companionship amongst the Grand Superintendents and the Sister Provinces is at this time a very strong one.

One of my first duties as Grand Superintendent was to attend the Grand Superintendent & Scribes meeting at Supreme Grand Chapter back in April. On that occasion various topics were discussed. One topic in particular was the use of ritual books during the degree`s. I had great pleasure informing the First Grand Principal that no books were being used during the ritual within Lanarkshire Middle Ward.

Back in May I had the pleasure along with the Commission of representing the Province at The District of Strathclyde Devine Service at East Kilbride Old Parish Church. I would extend my thanks to The District Grand Prior, Robert S M Stewart for his invite and the hospitality extended to provincial Grand Chapter.

August 20th was indeed a very special time for Fifteen of our Councils who were celebrating their respective Centenaries. The Joint Ceremony of Rededication took place within Bellshill Masonic Temple.  This was the first time that myself and the Provincial team had carried out a ceremony of this type. It is always very special to be involved in such an occasion, but to rededicate Fifteen Councils in one day is an experience i personally will not forget. Great praise has been deservedly heaped upon the Team for the manner in which they carried out their duties and I would add my congratulations to all who took part, but special thanks must go to Past Grand Superintendent, M.E.C. James Turnbull, (3rd Grand Principal) for his instruction and guidance. 

I was very pleased that the Councils decided to celebrate this very special occasion together.  I was also pleased with the attendance and support on the day from the companions of the Province. We were also graced with many visitors from Supreme Grand Chapter, headed by The Depute First Grand Principal M.E.C.Bill McEwan, and The Sister Provinces which included six Reigning Grand Superintendents. I would offer my thanks to The Depute First Grand Principal M.E.C Bill McEwen & Past Depute First Grand Principal M.E.C George Alexander for their contribution to the toast list at the Centenary Rededication dinner. I would also thank The Provincial Grand Master Of Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Bro. William Perry for his attendance on the day.

It would be very remiss of me not to thank Immediate Past Grand Superintendent M.E.C. David W.Mcmorris and Immediate Past Depute Grand Superintendent M.E.C. Ian H Duncan for their assistance and their hard work in the background to make this special day the success that it was.

 

I would extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes to the following Councils on reaching their respective Centenaries,

Lodge & Councils.                                             Cryptic Councils.

Robert Burns 143                                                 Robert Burns 143                                               

Bothwell 170                                                       Bothwell  170

Hamilton 172.                                                        Hamilton 172

New Monkland 201.                                               Motherwell 264

Clark Forrest 236.                                                  Cambuslang 282

Motherwell 264.                                                     Larkhall 288

Larkhall 288.                                                         Cam'nethan 321

Cam'nethan 321

 

On Sunday September 4th I had the pleasure of attending by invite, the Annual dinner of Glasgow No.50 Cryptic Council which comes under the auspices of The Provincial Grand Chapter of Glasgow. The Council now meet within the Masonic Temple Baillieston which as you may be aware is within The Middle Ward. I would thank Glasgow No.50 for their kind recognition of our Provincial Grand Chapter.

On the 10th September i was greatly Honored to represent The Province at the Installation of The Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Middle Ward Bro. William Perry. It was very pleasing to receive recognition on the day from both the outgoing Provincial Grand Master as well as his successor. It reinforces the bond of friendship between our respective orders.          

 I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to The Provincial Grand Lodge of Lanarkshire Middle Ward for the hospitality shown to me on the day.

October was a very busy month for the Commission with 14 Installations to cover. It has been a very good year for new first time Principals. The number of Installation Boards carried out this year is slightly up on previous years which I believe augurs well for the future. The standard of the Installation ceremonial work has generally been to a high standard. Well done to you all, keep up the good work.

The annual book inspection in November was again well attended with the majority of the Chapters and Councils being present. I would remind the companions that if unable to attend it is your responsibility to send a representative in your place. I do appreciate that most companions like to spend time with family on a Sunday and your support on the day is very much appreciated by myself and the Commission.

The Annual Lanarkshire Freemasons joint Christmas Carol Service was held on the 11th December within Hamilton Old Parish Church . This annual event is now is now in its sixth year. It brings together the various Masonic Orders from within Lanarkshire and allows family and friends to participate within our fraternity with the Heads of the various orders giving a traditional festive reading. This unique gathering of Masonic Orders has been very successful over the last six years and has raised thousands of pounds for various non Masonic charities. I would urge the companions of the Province to give this event the due support that it deserves.

 Supreme Grand Chapter Half Yearly Convocation on December 16th was indeed a very proud day for me as Grand Superintendent. I had the great pleasure of presenting a cheque for 930 on behalf of the Councils of the Province to Supreme Grand Chapters designated charity, the Iris Murdoch dementia Appeal . This was the money raised from our successful Joint Centenary Rededication ceremony held at Bellshill back in August. The First Grand Principal MEC John A. Fraser would like to extend his sincere thanks to The Companions of the Province for their generosity and I would also add my thanks to you all.

As you are aware, January is traditionally the start of the Provincial visitations to the daughter Chapters/Councils. The reports so far from the Commission have been very favourable regarding the practice of the ritual work. I would urge each of you to keep up the good work in maintaining the high standards which you have set.

One particular Provincial visitation on the 7th February 2017 to Robert Burns Royal Arch Chapter No.143 was a very special event indeed.  As Grand Superintendent I had the great pleasure of presenting Honorary Grand Rank (Grand Chancellor) to M.E.C George Warren PZ. George has been a tremendous servant to Royal Arch Masonry over the last 40 years having previously held Provincial Commission as Provincial Grand J. On behalf of the companions of the Province I congratulate George on this well deserved honour.

The Provincial competitions have unfortunately been a bit of a let down this term with falling numbers and cancellations. Due to lack of numbers the bowling pairs and golf competitions had to be cancelled. The Triples and Rinks competitions went ahead with a joint team from Robert Burns & Larkhall winning the Rinks and New Monkland 201 winning the Triples. The fishing competition again was a success with this year’s winner being Craig Monk from East Kilbride Chapter. Companions, these competitions are a fun day out for all members. As a non bowler myself I have been taking part (not to successfully) and have enjoyed every minute. I also plan to take part in the golf competition, a game which I have not played in over 25yrs. It is only with your support companions that we can keep these competitions alive. Once they’re gone it will be difficult to reintroduce. I would take this opportunity to thank our competition conveners, Eddie Feeney, Jim Turnbull & David Mcmorris for their hard work in organizing the respective competitions.

Companions, in closing my first report as Grand Superintendent I would take this opportunity to thank Provincial Grand Scribe E. E.C. Allan Duffy & Provincial Grand Treasurer E.C. John Hume for the excellent work they do behind the scenes in the day to day running of Provincial Grand Chapter.

I would also thank our webmaster Ian Duncan for his splendid work in looking after the Provincial website.

It has indeed been a very busy and enjoyable first year for myself and the Commission which has been made all the easier by the support of you the companions of this Province and I look forward to working alongside each of you over the coming year.

 

Alex.R.Brown

Grand Superintendent.

 

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