On Saturday 26th September 2020 the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Mark Lodge of Northumberland was held at 11 a.m.. It was an unprecedented Virtual Zoom Meeting which was quite well attended.
This Virtual Meeting was in lieu of the Annual Meeting to be held on this date at Corbridge Road Masonic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne but it was cancelled due to the continued concerns relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The meeting was opened by the outgoing Provincial Grand Master (PGM), R W Bro. Gordon Craigs who gave a brief introduction of the new PGM, R W Bro. Raymond Arthur Walton before handing the meeting over to him.
The Provincial Secretary, W Bro. Chris Allan then read the letter of permission to hold this Virtual Meeting from the Grand Secretary, R W Bro. Ryan Williams. Having gone through a number of agenda items including obituaries, confirmation and approval of minutes, reports, elections, appointments and promotions, R W Bro. Raymond Walton then gave a short address.
In his address, the PGM made tribute to R W Bro. Gordon Craigs who worked tirelessly for our Province and has gained the respect of the Brethren in the Province and wished him well in the future especially as the new Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Craft. He was sad to say that all our Masonic activities were suspended since 16th March which was the situation that no one had predicted. Since then the Provincial Executives ordered to suspend all our Mark and Mariner meetings due to local lockdown until such time when the restrictions are lifted.
In the meantime he proposed with the assistance of the Provincial Directors of Ceremonies (DC) to instruct Lodge and Mariner DC and Worshipful Masters and Commanders on the proceed required to hold meetings in line with the advisory working of Mark and Mariners degrees.
He mentioned with the introduction of Virtual business meetings, everyone has an opportunity to keep in touch with each other remotely and it has been welcomed by members. He also encourages all Mark and Mariner Lodges to consider to hold their own Virtual meetings not only for the members to communicate with each other but to keep the business ticking over. For the Brethren who have no access to modern technology, a simple phone call is always welcome.
Finally he congratulated those appointed and promoted and thanked those for their services for our Province especially the Provincial Secretary for his hard work throughout the year and more particularly for organising this Virtual Meeting today. He also thanked the Deputy Grand Master, R W Bro. John Herbert Prizeman for tuning in this morning and hoped that he has found it interesting. In conclusion the PGM thanked everyone for the attendance this morning.