The District Grand Master’s Address to District Grand Council

R.Ill.Comp. David J Blackburn First of all, can I say how wonderful it is to see so many Cryptic Masons at Croydon today. Last year I expressed the hope that normality was just over the horizon. So I thank you all, Surrey members and visitors alike for attending today after our two year enforced break, I hope that you enjoy today’s meeting and the Lunch afterwards.

My congratulations to the District Grand Officers, appointed or re-appointed today. I hope that you enjoy your rank during the year ahead.

I also hope that you will join me, our Deputy or PCW when we make visits to our Councils the dates will be circulated.

I also thank the outgoing District Officers who have served two years because of the Pandemic but perhaps missed out on the usual number of visiting opportunities.

So, I encourage any member who would like to visit also to come along to our meetings; visiting we know is an important part of our enjoyment. We will reduce the number of team visits now that we have seen that we are all back up and running. I must of course sound a note of caution,;Covid is still going to be with us. Only last month I and my wife experienced the virus, so we must understand that some of our members may continue to be reticent about mixing in large numbers. Then of course we have Vlad Pootin to worry about so I think we should all just get along with enjoying ourselves.

You cannot fail to have noticed how busy our Assistant District Grand Recorder, Ill.Comp. Chris Eley has been in keeping our website up to date and in producing the monthly e circular, The Surrey Trowel, not to mention the other publications for the other progressive orders. A great way to communicate during the lockdown and continues to inform our members about what is taking place in the District.

Just a day after the release from restrictions last July at Weald of Surrey Council an unprecedented number of eleven candidates, two years’ worth, received their Silver Trowels. Our District Grand Chaplain, Ill Comp. Leslie Grout, took the part of King David, doing a brilliant job.

We have been able to support the Mark Festival and to date we have donated a total of £4,000. Added to that, I know that some of our Councils have made contributions direct of more than half as much again. I wish we could add more but we have drained the piggy bank. Our best wishes for a successful climax to the Festival in July.

Congratulations also to recipients of Grand Rank and those promoted in Grand Rank to be conferred at Grand Council next month. Ill.Comp. Stephen Hall, promoted to Past Grand Captain of the Guard; Ill.Comp. David Thompson, promoted to Past Grand Conductor of the Council; and Ill.Comp. Chris Eley, on his first appointment to Past Grand Sword Bearer Next year, Cryptic Masonry celebrates 150 years since its introduction into this Country. I know that Grand Council are intending a special celebration and I am sure details will be circulated very soon. In Surrey, Alan Boniface will take on the job of entertainments officer, a bit like Geoffrey Fairbrother in Hi De Hi, and replan the Cryptic Italian Night at Sutton that was defeated by Covid as soon as it was thought of.

At the end of last year at Weyside Council, the Deputy and I gave a presentation about our Order with a view to offering it as an event for Royal Arch Chapters or Mark Lodges to hear about Cryptic Masonry and what they are missing. So, if you would like to host such a presentation do let us know.

Most of all, enjoy your Cryptic Masonry and very importantly, encourage others to think about joining in that enjoyment. I think it’s nearly time to cease labour and go to refreshment. I thank you all for supporting today’s meeting in such good numbers and may the Supreme Master of the Universe bless and aid you all.

R.Ill.Comp. David J Blackburn
District Grand Master

26th March 2022

Click here to download the District Grand Master's Address

Article and photos by Chris Eley

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Royal and Select Masters District of Surrey
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