Annual Address by the M.E. Grand Superintendent E.Comp. Simon Rowe 10th November 2018
Companions, I welcome you all here today and thank you for your support on this wonderful occasion. I have already welcomed all our distinguished guests who are each very special friends. On behalf of all the Companions of Devonshire, I truly mean it when I say, your Companionship is much treasured. We thank you all for travelling so many miles to be with us. You are all very important to us. Thankyou for your friendships.
To those who have just been appointed and promoted to their Provincial Ranks, it has been a pleasure to invest you with your new offices. All the Companions in your Chapters, and beyond will be looking to you to set high standards in all you do. I am one of those companions, so no pressure. Many Congratulations to you all.
A massive thank you has to go to all those active officers who have just completed their term of office. I congratulate them on the happy and wonderful manner in which they have performed their duties. Like all active officers over the years, they have been everywhere around the Province. I know that they have gained much from their term of office, and have made many new friendships. Companions please don’t let it stop here.
This year, at the April convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter, it was a delight for me to see E.Companions Alan Gill, Paul Hughes and Peter Roberts, all being appointed to PGStdB in Supreme Grand Chapter, and also E.Comp David Lee being promoted to Past Assistant Grand Sojourner. Our sincere congratulations to them all. To all Grand Officers, as senior companions, I look forward to seeing you in support of the Province on a regular basis please, otherwise we will all miss your Companionship. You are after Grand Officers.
I congratulate my new Sanhedrin, our new Deputy Grand Superintendent, E.Comp John Sevieri, our new Second Provincial Grand Principal, Paul Hughes, and our new Third Provincial Grand Principal, Steve Joint. I am looking to work with them in the next 12 months, and thank them for their loyal support, hard work, dedication, friendship, and Companionship.
My grateful thanks go to my Scribe E, E.Comp Tony Parker for all his hard work conducted during the year, and for his organisation of today. His enthusiasm knows no bounds. I am a hard task master, and today has been another superb day. Tony, my sincere thanks to you and your Assistant Richard Spencer, and all your team of helpers. You can sleep well tonight. I won’t phone you.
Also thanks goes to my new Director of Ceremonies E.Comp Simon Wills, and his team for all their hard work to ensure the ceremonial has run well today. My thanks also to my Janitor, E.Comp Roger Smith and his band of helpers for all their hard work, to my Treasurer, E.Comp Conrad Donaldson, who again has worked so hard again this year, and to all the Stewards who will be breaking down the Chapter with the Janitor. Please.
Companions. Lately speculation has been banded around to the effect that I may be standing down. Many of you believe the Role of a Provincial Ruler is a walk in the park. I think all my companion Grand Superintendents will agree with me when I say, don’t I wish. But it is not, and thoughts of retiring do arise. However, whether it is for good or bad, I am NOT retiring yet.
However, I was so sad to be advised by Chris Roach, that after so many years being together, he had made that decision, and that he has now retired as my Deputy Grand Superintendent.
Also, my good friend and Companion Kevin Hurley has now stepped down as Provincial Grand Joshua.
“Roachy” has been, and always will be, a very close friend. We have been through so much together. He has been a tower of strength to me personally, someone who I trust with my feelings, thoughts, concerns, even on family matters, and just totally a very close and personal friend. I will miss him terribly being my right hand man, one who covers my back, but he will still be one of my main advisers, and will continue to be active within the Province. He is a wonderful man and a very dear friend. I am sure you would wish to show him your grateful thanks.
Kevin is exactly the same. He is also a wonderful man and Companion, who has done so much for his Chapter and the Province, and in being so supportive, thoroughly deserved the opportunity of being the Provincial Grand Joshua, to reward such loyalty and friendship. He too will continue to be involved and active within the Province, and my deepest thanks to Kevin for his support and friendship. I am also sure you would wish to thanks Kevin as well.
The last 12 months have been busy, with the re-launch of the Chapter Representative initiative, with those representatives now being called Liaison officers, with the full support of our Provincial Grand Master. Under the management of E.Comp Jeff Bailey, this re-launch needs all Lodges to reply. I ask, that if your Lodge has not yet appointed such an officer, as per recent communication from no less a person as the Provincial Grand Secretary, then I ask that Companions please put themselves forward for this most important position in Pure Ancient Masonry.
The demonstration teams for “Talking Heads “are being well received with the demonstration being conducted in Craft Lodges. Use them Companions within your Lodges. Contact either John Sevieri or Gerald Watson please.
“In Camera” demonstrations, talks to be delivered in Chapters, are on the verge of being launched. These demonstrations will provide further education and knowledge of the HRA. These demonstrations will help to answer the question why all Brethren should be Companions when ready, as their next step in Pure Ancient Masonry as set down by our predecessors in 1813. If any of you wish to become part of the teams, please advise John or Gerald. You will be warmly welcomed. And you will meet so many Companions.
We are literally about to launch our new website. Details will be advised, and of course the close link with the Craft website will be strongly maintained. We are also live on Facebook, and Twitter as a Province, so please become part of the communication process. Let us drive forward.
Companions. UGLE/SGC have launched the Membership Pathway. I suggest that this should be read, and could be adapted as guidance in our Chapters as well. It would help to focus on the future. I am asking my Scribe E to forward a copy of the summary document to all Chapters with my blessing. I will also ask for it to be on the website for reference.
Within Pathway, UGLE/SGC make it quite clear to every Brother that when ready to make next move, this should be into the HRA, as the next step in Pure Ancient Masonry, as laid down by our predecessors in 1813 in the BOC.
I have always endeavoured to convey the need for true Companionship in every sense of the word. We are a family, and we must care for one another, be kind and support each other at all times. All freemasons are Brothers, but not all Brothers are Companions. To be a Companion is something special, a special feeling we have when we are together. Our teachings are thought provoking, and no matter what our faith, we love our God. The first question asked of us even before we become Masons, is Do you believe in a Supreme Being. Another early question is “In all cases of difficulty and danger in whom do you put your trust”
To me it is logical that all Brethren should be Companions, then afterwards, further consideration can be undertaken as to what expansion of knowledge a Freemason feels he needs within his compass of attainment. HRA is the next step in Pure Ancient Masonry. Our predecessors in 1813 were sure. UGLE/SGC are sure. I am sure.
Every one of you is very special to me. I am proud to have you as my Companions. Companionship is a great thing. As your Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, I ask for your help in making this message clear to all.
Finally John F Kennedy once said: “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.
I ask, “what can you do for the Holy Royal Arch?”
May peace be with you all.