W.Bro Alan M Breward
17th March 2018
Worshipful Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Officers of Grand Lodge, Provincial Officers, Past Masters, Brother Wardens and Brethren ALL.
BUT especially you brethren of the 9659, the Internet Lodge.
Thank you all for making my day here today!
Being installed into the Chair of King Solomon and the Master of OUR Lodge.
Way back in 1979 on a cold January the third; a Wednesday night with snow laying on the ground in Stechford, Birmingham I took my obligation as an initiate into this wonderful family of Brothers.
Not knowing anything about the future or the “secrets” of the fraternity, all my proposer and father in law told me “at some time this evening you “may” be embarrassed! But don’t worry remember that all of us have gone through the same initiation “and survived!”. Since then I have been made welcome as a brother by all in this wonderful family. Having taken my obligation on my own VSL on that evening I have since taken all obligations from being passed and then raised on another cold Wednesday in February 1981 when the my VSL was presented to me by the then PGM of Worcestershire RW Bro. Edward F Hanson who along with the PPGM RW Bro Fredrick Hicton Griffith along with other brethren had signed the VSL on my initiation. This VSL has been used to take all my obligations on in both the craft and other orders including my Obligation today as Master of this Lodge, and I thank the Past Masters of the Lodge in allowing me this request granted.
Having taken my solemn obligation as a Master Elect in September 1987 and then installing my successor in September 1988 I have only had a few occasions to be allowed back into the wonderful chair so when my manifesto was approved and accepted by the Brethren I have been so looking forward to today and being installed again this time by your Immediate Past Master WBro Carl Feeland assisted by WBro John Dutchman-Smith, what a wonderful feeling to be back here, I recommend all brethren “thinking” to submit their manifestos for consideration to this wonderful chair and join with our Past Masters of 9659 the Internet Lodge.
Along with my Installation today we shall always remember that had situations been different WBro Peter Clark would have been installed. However, the Great Architect chose to take Peter to join others in the Grand Lodge above and we should all reflect and remember the passage in the third degree that reminds us all that our time here is governed by the Great Architect and he alone knows when our time is due.
As we journey into the 21st year and attain or own key of the door I am truly grateful to our Past masters in building our wonderful lodge to such a great membership, and with the help of our Internet WEB pages we have managed to extend to the four corners of the globe, but let us remember that we are a Masonic Lodge firstly with a link to the rest of the world through our wonderful Web site, thankyou indeed to our knowledgeable brethren in IT especially Chris White, Larry Porter, Henk Troost and others in the team for their fantastic work in taking us on to our next phase. This has only been achieved by taking so much of their time away from their leisure activities. I thank ALL the brethren of the Lodge who spend their time away from their families and friends bashing away on those key boards banging out minutes, summons, accounts along with their nose stuck into books on IT from Joomla to Slack along with time waiting for the “Pizza” pie to stop turning as it uploads photos on to Smugmug and beyond! Without these and support brethren; 9659 would just be a “normal” private Lodge BUT we are different and along with your partners and ladies our weekend meeting are something for us all to look forward to and ENJOY.
Onwards to our activities this year and meetings have “I hope” been well planned, with our next sojourn to Northern Ireland, Belfast and Bangor taking in both masonic and non-masonic adventures. From the Giant Causeway and Strangford Lough to Belfast and the Titanic! Currently that list stands with 34 booked, who I know will all have a fantastic and memorable excursion to the Emerald Isle.
August will see the Lodge being opened in Tamworth Staffordshire, the meeting will be short but will include the appointment and installation of the Junior Warden, having lost WBro David Slack to the Grand Lodge Above in January. There will be a presentation of the “National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) & the Masonic Garden of Remembrance” within the Tamworth Masonic Halls after the meeting with ladies invited to the festive board and presentation. The Friday night welcome will be in the Aspen rooms at the Tamworth Snow dome which will be a lot warmer that the winter Olympic games venue. Sunday and planned is a day excursion to the NMA and the Masonic garden following on from the Saturday PM presentation, it is planned that there will be a short service of remembrance and wreath laying at the Masonic Garden but most of the day will be yours returning in the late afternoon to Tamworth by the coach. Within the NMA is a chapel (multi-faith) and at 11 am the act of remembrance is performed, this is the only daily act of remembrance within the UK. Here ALL are remembered military and non-military. A land train is available to tour 2/3 of the NMA with commentary BUT there is 150+ acres to explore mobility scooters and chairs are available at the reception for those wanting them. The preferred hotel in Tamworth is the Holiday Inn Express adjacent to the Snow dome.
October and Harrogate for the Ladies Festival. Harrogate was chosen to respect WBro Peter Clark’s choice from his original manifesto for 2018. The preferred Hotel is the Cedar Court which is within walking distance of the Masonic Hall where the “Lodge of Sorrows” will be performed this performance will be open to Ladies, partners and non-masonic guest after the Lodge meeting. A Ladies Festival will be held in the Masonic Hall on the Saturday evening.
My or Our chosen Charities for 2018 are “Fisher House” community as the main and the 1st Bangor Scout group. Fisher House is a charity born or originated in USA. It was established to enable the families of casualties from conflict to be close to their loved ones when they were in recovery in hospitals and suitable hotels or lodgings were either not available or out of the budget of the families. It has now spread world-wide to include accommodation for veteran’s families close to the Queen Elisabeth (QE) Hospital in Birmingham. The second and smaller charity being the 1st Bangor Scout group. This small group serves to educate the local community in Bangor into the ways of the Scout movement worldwide, they have also been a great help to me and the Lodge in assisting in our overseas excursion to NI and Belfast. They (as are most Scout & Guide groups) in need of equipment replenishment and our assistance will be greatly appreciated.
The Charities chosen are both close to mine and Vicky’s heart as we are both Veteran’s from the Royal Navy, and have (and still are) both volunteers with the Scout association. We have also been volunteers from the very early days at the National Memorial Arboretum, being guides, tree and ground staff maintainers along with outreach presenters.
Brethren may I conclude in thanking you ALL for being here in Manchester today making my Installation a truly memorable ceremony, thank brethren who have given up their valuable time in working on the ceremony and their families for allowing them, for bringing your friends and family to the weekend to enjoy all of our friendship. May I now look forward in seeing you and others at our meetings over the next 12 months. Remember we are only a few key strokes away from each other so whatever the problems are to you and yours share them GOOD or BAD we are here to help if only with an ear (or an eye to read).