District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting

Due to the suspension of Masonic activity the Annual Meeting of the District Grand Council of Surrey was held as a Virtual Business Meeting on Saturday 26th March 2021. Attending was the Grand Master, M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones, and the Assistant Grand Recorder, Ill.Comp. Dan Heath. There were 19 District Grand Masters, 7 Deputy District Grand Masters and 13 District Principal Conductors of the Work from 23 Districts among the 150 Delegates that attended the meeting.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting The District Grand Master, R.Ill.Comp. David J Blackburn, declared the meeting open and the Assistant District Grand Recorder, Ill.Comp. Chris Eley, read the permission to hold a Virtual Business Meeting.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting The District Grand Master welcomed everyone to the second Virtual Annual Meeting of our District and said his first duty, and great pleasure, was to extend a warm and cordial welcome to all our guests and visitors and, very specially and in particular, to our Grand Master. M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones thanked the District Grand Master and said how much he was looking forward to the meeting.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual MeetingThe District Grand Master said that the Virtual Meeting facility has been a marvellous link enabling Companions to stay in touch during these difficult times and we have more visitors than ever. He welcomed everyone and regretted that he could not do the usual introductions; but he would like to single out one or two for whom it is seven in the morning, as the zoom facility has allowed us to visit far off places and R.Ill. Comp. David’s wife is quite envious of his recent visit to the Caribbean. He was therefore pleased to welcome R.Ill.Comp. Llewellyn Gill, as they have sat together on more than one occasion at the Sussex meeting, and Ralph Craig, District Grand Principal Conductor of the Work.

Llewellyn Gill, as they have sat together on more than one occasion at the Sussex meeting, and Ralph Craig.

The next item was to honour the names of those Companions who have passed to the Grand Council Above since March 2020. Ill.Comp. Tim Ford read the names of those Companions, followed by a few moments of reflection to remember them. After the Minutes of the last Annual Meeting of District Grand Council held on 25th August 2020 had been approved the District Grand Treasurer, V.Ill Comp David Willmott presented the District Accounts for the year ending 31st August 2020.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting These were approved by the Companions with thanks to our Treasurer and the Auditors for their hard work. The District Grand Master announced that he had received only one Nomination for Treasurer for the ensuing year and was therefore pleased to declare V.Ill.Comp. David Willmott duly Elected Treasurer, with sincere thanks as he starts his eleventh year in that office.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting After the regular business of the District had been concluded the Assistant District Grand Recorder read the names of the Companions appointed to and promoted in District Grand Rank. These can be found on the District website here.

The District Grand Master confirmed the re-appointment of all active District Officers for a further year, something unprecedented in the annals of our District, with the hope that at some stage this year they will actually be able to participate in our Team visits. He also congratulated those to be re-appointed, appointed and promoted within Grand Council next month.

The District Grand Master then addressed District Grand Council. He said that it is hard to believe that it is now two years since we held a traditional real meeting at Croydon Halls. He invited us to encourage others to join in our enjoyment of Cryptic Masonry as we do not have a single Council in the District that would not benefit from a few new members. What better way to re-start our Cryptic Masonry in a few months than with a Candidate or two.

He spoke about communications in the District and the launch of our new monthly Newsletter, the Surrey Trowel, our publication to keep our members fully informed of activities in the District and beyond.

He thanked Ill.Comp. John Coleman for all he does caring for our Companions particularly with respect to recently deceased Companion Duncan Bell. John assisted Duncan over several years.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting R.Ill.Comp. David expressed particular thanks to the Provincial Grand Master for the Surrey Mark Province, R.W.Bro. Ian Clark, for allowing us to use their De-Luxe Mark Zoom account and to borrow his Provincial Grand Secretary and Zoom expert Ill.Comp. Tim Ford. He said that we are only too well aware that the Mark 2022 Festival looms and he is grateful to the Companions of Waverley Council and Pride of Surrey Council who have in the past couple of weeks donated nearly two thousand pounds to the Festival.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting He was very pleased to be able to repeat earlier donations from the District and virtually presented Companion Ian with a further Cheque in the sum of £1,000 for the Festival. Companion Ian thanked the District Grand Master and all the Companions of Surrey for their generous donation to the 2022 MBF Festival.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting The MW. Grand Master said how much he had enjoyed the meeting and how good it was listening to all the friendly conversation before the meeting. The Zoom facility certainly has enabled us to keep in touch and also visit Districts that would not normally be possible. He congratulated those Companions who will receive appointment or promotion in Grand Council and said how sorry he was that we could not meet up.

District Grand Council of Surrey Annual Meeting The District Grand Master then thanked everyone for their attendance and support; and declared the meeting closed.

Article by Chris Eley, Assistant District Grand Recorder


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Royal and Select Masters District of Surrey
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