Message From The Pro Provincial Grand Master And Grand Superintendent

R.W. Bro Peter R. A. Baker <br>Pro Provincial Grand Master

Brethren and Companions,

As you are now well aware, my 5-Year Patents of Appointment and tenure of office as your Pro Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent expire tomorrow, Sunday 1 October 2023, and my successor in both offices, Worshipful Brother David Allan PSGD PAProvGM, will be installed the following day in ceremonies to be conducted by the Pro Grand Master and Most Excellent Pro First Grand Principal, MW Brother and ME Companion Jonathan Spence, in the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall, London, which I know that many of you will be attending and supporting.

I have enjoyed the past 5 years despite the significant challenges that the Global Community and Freemasonry in general and the Province of Middlesex in particular has faced during this period. Who could have predicted that during this time our World would be challenged and affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, which is still with us today; the war in Eastern Europe; and the subsequent global economic crisis?

These crises have led to many disappointments. First, the cancellation in March 2020 of the gala dinner at Plaisterers’ Hall to celebrate the culmination of the 2020 Festival for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, which resulted in an outstanding total of £4m raised for this very worthy Charity. The gala dinner would have been attended by our Provincial Grand Master, RW Brother HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, but was postponed three times before it was eventually necessary to cancel it in 2021. Second, the suspension of all Masonic activities for several weeks and months, deriving us of the companionship and enjoyment of our Lodge and Chapter meetings and convocations; and third, the global economic and cost-of-living/inflationary crisis, which has adversely affected several of our members.

Throughout these most difficult times, I have been inspired by the resilience, generosity, care and compassion shown by you, our loyal members, to those disadvantaged, elderly, needy and most vulnerable members of our local communities, and also our NHS Key Workers. In my opinion the most notable example of this was the magnificent Meals Initiative during lockdown, which saw a very significant number of chilled meals being prepared, frozen and distributed from the kitchens at our Harrow and Uxbridge Centres by teams of volunteers, who gave selflessly of their time and talents.

Further, 2023 saw the delivery of the 30,000th Middlesex Teddy Bear for children awaiting urgent treatment in the Paediatric Accident & Emergency Units of hospitals within the Province since it joined the Teddies for Loving Care Scheme in 2005. There have been very many other initiatives and acts of kindness, too numerous for me to mention here, but all of which have made me immensely proud to be a Middlesex Freemason. I have no doubt such selfless deeds will continue in the future. We also managed to celebrate the 150th Anniversaries of the formation of the Craft and Royal Arch Provinces of Middlesex during 2021 and 2022, albeit in scaled down ceremonies and at later dates than had originally been planned.

However, the time has now arrived for me “to hand over the baton”, although before I do so I must thank all my colleagues on both the Craft and Royal Arch Executives together with you, the Members of the Province of Middlesex, for your tremendous friendship and loyal support during my tenure of office, which has been a most humbling experience and is sincerely appreciated. I am sure you will continue to show such support for my successor, particularly in tackling the significant Membership Challenge that the Province has been set earlier this year by Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter as part of the Strategy for Freemasonry: 2022 and Beyond, so that Middlesex Freemasonry will continue to thrive for very many years into the future.

Finally, as is customary, I will observe a period of purdah to allow my successor time to establish himself in office but, in the meantime, may the Great Architect of the Universe and the True and Living God Most High, bless you, your families and loved ones and keep you all safe and well.

With kindest fraternal regards

R W Bro / E Comp Peter R A Baker
Pro Provincial Grand Master for and Grand Superintendent in and over Middlesex
30th September 2023

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