Internet Lodge No 9659

W.Bro David Starbuck PPrGSwdB (Cheshire).

17th March 2012

Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Brother Wardens and Brethren All


I am honoured and delighted to be in this chair, as the new WM of Internet Lodge and I give a very big thank you to the Brethren for giving me this honour, as well as to all the Brethren who have taken part in this excellent Installation ceremony. In particular the three Brethren who presented the working tools from Sydney, Ohio and Lebanon!

I am also very pleased to welcome our new PGM to Internet Lodge and I hope this will be the first of many visits.

It is also a great delight to have W Bro Charles Lewis with us once again to mark his 50 years in Masonry. Congratulations Charles and welcome back.

I first heard of Internet Lodge just before the consecration in January 1998 and immediately applied to join and was elected in October '98. At that time I was just curious as to what this Lodge was about and how it would work, not ever dreaming that I would end up as WM. However my interest grew and the trip to Holland in 2002 with Ab Goedhals really inspired me.. I gradually got more involved and eventually became DC of the Lodge in 2007 and served the Lodge for three years, as previous DCs had done. Being DC in this lodge is like no other, as you have to contend with distinguished brethren from all provinces in UGLE, with all their little peculiarities , as well as with overseas members.

When it came to stepping down I thought what do I do next and eventually decided to enter a manifesto for WM and two years later here I am!

This Lodge is so different to "ordinary" craft lodges, by virtue of its universal membership of around 300, plus the daily email conversations via our email list, so no brother should feel left out.

Our meetings have been held all over England and Wales, within the jurisdiction of UGLE, from Cardiff to Canterbury and Winchester to Durham. This gives us opportunities to see other towns and cities, old and new masonic halls and meet many other brethren, who arrive as visitors and become friends. We have had 4 overseas Masters so far and have paid visits to USA: Florida, Atlanta and Minnesota, Holland, Canada, Portugal and Slovenia. This year we are going to Malta. Being able to meet so many Brethren and often their families as well, from around the world gives new insights into Masonry Universal and its benefits.

My aim this year is to have an interesting year masonically, enjoyable socially and especially to get more overseas Brethren involved in our activities and e'discussions!

We have made a great start today with the three Brethren presenting the tools. Two years ago we broadcast live the toast to "Absent Brethren" from Chester and had a live response from Sydney!

Now we are going to Malta in May for a week long visit, which I hope will encourage more of our Brethren from around the Mediterranean to come and join us. It was interesting while appointing Stewards and picking some Brethren "at random" , to get very positive responses and thanks for being asked. Those unable to travel were particularly pleased to have a chance to become involved in a small way.

Lastly I have to mention the programme for the year, which I hope all Brethren are already aware of.

This starts with a visit to the theatre tonight for those holidaying in Salford; then our trip to Malta in early May under the guidance of our resident hosts Larry and Jaqui Porter: in August we will meet in Knutsford for a talk by the Grand Orator, who has not yet disclosed the subject, followed by a visit to Gawsworth Hall and the open air theatre; in October we will meet in Kettering for a demonstration by the Northants and Hunts Team, followed by our Ladies Festival at the Hunting Lodge Hotel with a music hall entertainment. Visitors and partners are most welcome to join us at any of these events. Please ask your hosts or check our web site for details.

Brethren I have tried to keep this brief so to finish, I thank you all once again "for your fantastic support", as they say at the ETIHAD stadium just down the road.!

David Starbuck
Worshipful Master
Internet Lodge No. 9659