It’s a little more than two years since we took the decision to give over the September Communication to those Brethren being honoured with a promotion in Grand Rank.

The fact that so many of you have supported this meeting in the last two years, and in such large numbers, testifies to it being the right decision and I hope that, in more normal circumstances, you will feel able to continue that support in the future.

We stand on the brink of a new masonic year at a time when Freemasonry faces perhaps its greatest trial. The lifting of the General Suspension of Masonic Activity just six weeks ago, signalled the start of a process aimed at creating an environment in which Lodges could resume their activities properly and safely.

Where this cannot happen, we have made it possible for administrative business to be conducted remotely, keeping things ticking over until face to face meetings can take place.

Communication has never been more important if we are to minimise the impact the pandemic will have on our numbers. Keeping in touch with one another; maintaining our interest in our craft; and demonstrating that Freemasonry is still relevant even in these unprecedented times, must be at the forefront of our actions.

 Amid the difficulties we are all facing right now, we must look for hope and opportunities to celebrate Mark Masonry. Today, that hope exists in the achievements of those whom the Most Worshipful Grand Master has been pleased to promote in Grand Rank. Their preferment recognises their past contribution and is a reward for future efforts.

To you all, I send my warmest good wishes and to those for whom today is a special occasion, I offer you hearty congratulations on your preferment.

In his goodwill message last June, the Most Worshipful Grand Master charged each of us not to let the past dictate what we are, but to let it shape what we will become – perhaps a leaner organisation than before but one that is fitter and stronger.

In the spirit of that message, let us continue to look forward together to brighter days when we can resume our masonry safely and confidently.

 rjs sig

Raymond John Smith

Pro Grand Master