Address by The Most Worthy Grand Supreme Ruler
Andrew Christopher Sweeney
to the Annual Convocation of Grand Conclave
Thursday 14 November 2019
Very dear Brethren all, may I extend a very warm welcome to you all and hope that you are having a very enjoyable day. The primary purpose of this meeting, as you know, is to confer honours on those brethren that have worked diligently and hard in the furtherance of the Secret Monitor both at home and abroad.
To those brethren who have been appointed for the first time I congratulate them on their progression and the hard work in their Conclaves and Provinces to date and hope that today serves as a catalyst for further advancement and development. For those that have been promoted it is a greater recognition of what they have achieved not forgetting that their contributions, particularly to developing and guiding the more junior brethren and in retaining members in our order, are of paramount importance. In both cases it is a reward that I am sure is much deserved and appreciated by their Masonic friends in their respective Conclaves and Provinces and by Grand Conclave.
I enjoin the active officers of the year to fulfil their duties with zeal and enthusiasm by embracing the opportunity with which they have been presented and will, as a result, look back on the year with satisfaction and fond affection as have, I am sure, the active officers who have retired today.
Everyone in Masonry, I am sure, looks back on certain milestones in their Masonic life and the receipt of Grand Rank is surely one of the most pleasurable memories, we all have. There are, of course, many others but one of the most significant is that of serving 50 years in an Order. Today we have such an occasion.
[R.Wy.Bro. Barry Norman Collinson was the presented with his 50 Year Certificate and Jewel and given a Promotion to P.G.Coun.]
Brethren, once again I am grateful for the support, advice and assistance received from the Heads of other Orders who I shall now introduce to you along with those brethren who are attending from overseas, and hope that you will give them applause at the end of the introductions.
We are pleased to welcome:
R.Wy.Bro. Ray Smith: Pro Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
M.Wy.Bro. Paul Clement; Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master of the Knights Templar – and our Immediate Past Grand Supreme Ruler.
R.Wy.Bro. Graham Flight; Grand Sovereign of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine.
R.Wy.Bro. Kessick Jones; Grand Master of the Order of Royal and Select Masters.
R.Wy.Bro. Tom Jackson; Grand Master of the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees.
R.Wy.Bro. Ian Currans; Grand Summus of the Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord.
Wy.Bro. Nigel Willows: First Grand Master Mason of the Operatives.
R.Wy.Bro. Christopher Maiden; Grand High Priest of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests and Order of Holy Wisdom.
R.Wy.Bro. Michael Herbert; Most Eminent and Reverend Grand Master of the Grand Priory of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City of the Rectified Scottish Rite of England and Wales and a P.D.G.S.R. – and thank you for acting as Assist.G.S.R. today.
And Wy.Bro. Tony Llewellyn; Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.A.
Overseas Brethren from our own Constitution, from:
Far East - R.Wy.Bro. Martin Thomas, Dist.G.S.R.
South Africa Northern – Wy.Bro. Levi Jan Marx, P.G.Gdr. – Recipient.
Southern Caribbean – R.Wy.Bro. Gasper Llewellyn Gill A.G.S.R., accompanied by Wy.Bro. Trelford Alexander Earl Douglas, P.A.G.D.C., Wy.Bro. Charles Keith Scotland, P.G.Std.B. and Wy.Bro. Albert Henry Daniels, P.G.Swd.B.
Spain – R.Wy.Bro. Jose Luis Menoyo-Garcia, Dist.G.S.R., and Wy.Bro. Luis Alcaina Guzman P.G.B.B. – Recipient.
Olisipo Fidelis Conclave No.464, Portugal, Wy.Bro. Amadeu Fereira De Paiva, P.G.Swd.B., Wy.Bro. Manual Martins Da Costa, Bro. Eduardo Aires Monteiro Cortez das Neves and Bro. Carlos A.D. Ganhao all of whom were also here last year.
We also have a number of brethren from Grand Conclaves overseas.
From the Grand Conclave of Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea we welcome M.Wy.Bro. Raymond John Saunders, M.Wy. G.S.R.
From the Grand Conclave of India, M.Wy.Bro. Madhaven Chellappa, M.Wy.G.S.R. and also a P.A.G.S.R. in our constitution.
Brethren M.Wy.Bro. Chellappa retires as G.S.R. next month and we all wish him well for the future, and although he may have retired, we still hope to have his company for many years to come.
From the Grand Conclave of South East Asia – M.Wy.Bro. Khoo Boo Khean, M.Wy.P.S.R. and W.Bro. Boon Sin Tan, P.G.V.
From the Grand Conclave of France; M.Wy.Bro. Jean Noel Natalelli, M.Wy.G.S.R., and V.Wy.Bro. Bernard Vigneau, G.Chap.
We also extend a warm welcome to M.Wy.Bro. Michael William Guest, P.G.S.R. and to R.Wy.Bros. Brian Wareham and John Brackley P.Dep.G.S.Rs.
Brethren our distinguished guests.
Brethren I am again pleased to report that over last year the number of members has increased and that some of the initiatives that have been developed in the Mark with respect to recruitment and retention are now starting to be shared across the other orders with positive effects. There has steadily been an increase in communication from Mark Masons’ Hall via Facebook, Twitter, and through the website and also an emailed newsletter, Freemasonry@86News has been sent out at a Provincial level with positive feedback and will shortly have increased direct to member circulation.
The active Grand Officers have been busy during the last year with the installation of 6 new Provincial Grand Supreme Rulers who I congratulate and invite to stand when their name is mentioned.
R.Wy.Bro. Uri Patel – East Midlands 21/02
R.Wy.Bro. Keith Ferguson – South Wales & Mon 4/5
R.Wy.Bro. Colin Beerling – Surrey 25/05
R.Wy.Bro. Colin Hume – Northumberland 01/06
R.Wy.Bro. Joe Marzouk – Worcestershire 20/07
R.Wy.Bro. Denzil Bartlett – West Wales 27/07
I extend my grateful thanks to the Provincial Grand Supreme Rulers, who have retired, for the hard work during their respective tenures of office. As always I have had great support from all of the Provincial and District Grand Supreme Rulers and thank them for the tremendous amount of time and effort they exercise in promoting the order in their respective areas.
During the year I made four very happy and well attended visits to Conclaves, the last one for the centenary celebration of The Verney Clayton Conclave No.45 in Cheshire and North Wales, the first centenary since 2010.
We also had the pleasure of consecrating two Conclaves, one in Zante and the second in Malta, where we also undertook the Induction and Princes ceremonies.
R.Wy.Bro. Charles Aspinell, P.Dep.G.S.R. has retired from that office today after 4 years of very dedicated service to the Order. He was installed as Dep.G.S.R. by my predecessor in 2015 and on my appointment, having received loyal service from him in the Scarlet Cord was more than happy to reappoint him. I now thank him on behalf of Grand Conclave, and also personally, for all the support, advice and friendship he has shown whilst fulfilling his duties.
Also retiring from office after 10 years of loyal service as President of the Executive Committee is R.Wy.Bro. Malcolm Slater.
I thank the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for all the work they have done, both during the year and for this meeting, and on behalf of all the brethren I thank the Grand Secretary and all his staff for the very dedicated work they do in the administration of the Order and in continually trying to improve both the administration and communication for the Provinces and Conclaves.
The Arch of Steel have again given excellent support during the year and I record my grateful thanks to R.Wy.Bro. Roger Gray who retires as Commander of the Arch of Steel having served on it for nearly 10 years.
Before we part for lunch, however, I have one further pleasurable duty to perform.
Brethren, as you know, one of the most pleasant duties of the office of Grand Supreme Ruler is confer high honours on worthy and deserving brethren. There are a number of Brethren who have given wonderful service to this order over long periods and I am pleased to announce that this year I have appointed to the Honour and Dignity of Grand Chancellor: R.Wy.Bro. Merrill Martin Elliott.
Very dear Brethren, the vast majority of you have travelled long distances to be with us today and I thank you all for giving up your time to contribute to the success of this meeting by supporting the recipients of honours today.
I wish you all a safe return home and trust that you and your families will soon enjoy a happy and peaceful festive Christmas season and that 2020 will bless you with good health, happiness, and success as we take this order forward into the next decade.