A very pleasant afternoon spent at Chandlers Ford, the venue for the annual Provincial Grand Master's reception to formally welcome brethren and their wives and partners who have received active rank appointments at the Provincial AGM in July. As always the event was organised and hosted by 2014 Provincial Grand Stewards, congratulations to those representing PGSL No.9263. An opportunity for Michael Wilks and his wife Kay to meet with all the guests in a relaxing environment and enjoying a buffet and drink together. As the official Provincial Mascot, now commencing the second year as Provincial Grand Standard BEARer, this was a time to meet the new team for the year. There are sure to be many new lodges to visit. Hope to receive your invitations soon.
A surprise visit on Friday evening took place at Brockenhurst Lodge No.7040. An official visit with VIP W.Bro.Tim Lewis the Provincial Junior Warden and support...ed by the Provincial Team, this was the Prov. J.W.'s first official visit. The whole occasion was wonderful and an excellent way to begin the new masonic season. All the brethren were cheerful and vibrant sharing their various experiences over the Summer period. As always getting the chance to visit lodges in the New Forest is a pleasure as you probably know there are bears in those woods. Many thanks to all at Brockenhurst. A few pictures here for you as a record of the evening, W.Bro. Ian Preece, PDC was official bear carer. Keep an eye out for an appearance today at the PGM's Reception at Chandlers Ford.
Today has been a wonderful experience in the company of Gary Spencer-Humphrey Gary has very kindly produced a report which has been reproduced here for you together with accompanying pictures.
"Well, what an enjoyable day at the BBQ Cannonball pitch, Queen Elizabeth Country Park with the guys from the Royal Marine Portsmouth Lodge No. 6423 and their friends and family. The sun was out all day, not a spot of rain, a fantastic BBQ with many new friends made, I’d love to come b...ack again. I was taken to BBQ by my bear carer Gary (on his Triumph motorbike too! Although I couldn’t ride it, I did ask) we arrived at 11am and the BBQ kicked off with bacon sandwiches, followed by some games and then the main cook. It was an all-family involved BBQ, no head chef, just help yourself to the massive BBQ, lots of people to help me cook my steak. Massive thanks to Chris King for arranging the BBQ on behalf of the lodge.
The day was well attended, around 35 humans and I even made a new animal friend - Buster the Dog was over the moon to meet a fellow non-human, he is even considered joining the Craft! So many games going on, we had a few cricket matches, water guns were charged all day and the children seemed to have a really fun, albeit wet day (thank goodness I didn’t get wet), bowls were played a few times and two chaps even played a little golf. It was such a busy day, I took the opportunity to take a few selfies.
I had a unforgettable day and I’m looking forward to my next adventure."
Many thanks to Gary and all the wonderful brethren and families attending today and for the warm welcome received from everyone.
Tomorrow is the visit with Gary Spencer-Humphrey to the BBQ for the Royal Marine Portsmouth Lodge which is surely going to be a great event. Last evening whilst resting in the rucksack, unbeknown to Gary W.Bro. Ian Preece, PGDC initiated the special time travel powers of the rucksack and before you could blink Ian was special bear carer for a surprise visit to Setley Farm.
Setley Farm is a Vinyard and Farm Shop in the New Forest near Brockenhurst. A capacity attendance of over 40 Masons, family and friends attended a special banquet which followed a tour of the vinyard and expert commentary on growing grapes, wine production methods and wine tasting. The beautifully warm and sunny evening was perfect, the wines crisp and clear, and the banquet vast and superb. Chad & Maria Chadha arranged the event which included dining on a single table inside a glasshouse among some 40-year old grape vines. It was a lovely experience.
A special thank you to Chad and Maria, and to Ian for this late notice visit. Today will be spent recovering as time travel is very tiring as the BBQ tomorrow is sure to be busy. See you there!
A wonderful day today at the Southampton Guildhall for the occasion of the Provincial AGM. A most unexpected outing to attend the meeting with current bear carer John Pearson. Opportunity to meet old friends and make many new ones. As you can see from the pictures there was time before the meeting commenced to try out the wardens positions. Best wishes to all who received honours today, hope you all enjoyed your day and have had time to celebrate with friends. You can also follow the attached link to view the PGM Michael Wilks address given at the meeting. http://www.hiowmasons.org/pgm/2015-agm-address/
Tomorrow is the Provincial Annual General Meeting of the Masonic Province Of Hampshire and Isle of Wight. It is one year since being appointed Provincial Grand Standard BEARer to assist the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. Michael Wilks in promoting and celebrating Freemasonry not just across the province but as far as the benefit that social media allows.
During the last year 84 events have been attended which has included visits to 55 lodges within the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight. visits outside the province have been to Lancashire, London, Scotland and Wales. Lodge meetings, Ladies Festivals, Charitable events, Dine-a-Friend, Public events, a flight in a glider and a ride in a classic racing car are just some of the occasions which have been attended. None of the success of this last year could have been achieved without the hard work and good will of countless brethren and their families across the province. Many thanks to all who have contributed.
Originally devised to enable the recognition and celebration of Masonic Anniversaries the Square Bear Adventures have been much more widespread and diverse than was ever thought possible. A fantastic achievement by all involved.
Events can be recorded in words and pictures and will be posted on your behalf hear on the Facebook page for Square Bear, the Facebook Group, Bear on the Square, on Twitter squarebear@squarebearmason and for all those who do not wish to partake on social media there is a dedicated website at squarebear.org.
Please spread the news and success of Square Bear adventures and encourage others to join us. Many thanks to everyone for your continuing support.
Apologies for the delay in presenting this post but guardian of square Bear has been on holiday. Last Tuesday the 23rd. June was the visit to Fareham Lodge, and once again Chris Bayliss was bear carer, Fareham Lodge is Chris's mother lodge where he is the treasurer. The occasion was the reciprocal visit of Solent Lodge, eight of their brethren were in attendance. It was nice to meet up with old friends from Solent Lodge as we had met 20th October last year, a memorable event indeed. Chris very kindly arranged for a place in the lodge room and the Almoner's collar was made available to wear.
Malcolm Stevens gave a couple of orations. The main one being on the "'Trowel and its symbolism'. My word that was very interesting, so very informative. All the brethren present were enthralled.
At the subsequent Festive Board a tour of the dining tables allowed for photos to be taken before joining in with the raffle, thank you for the complimentary raffle tickets, all colours represented. At the end of the evening when almost all had gone home Chris was pictured undertaking his treasurer duties, but don't worry about the reclining posture in the back ground, even a bear has to rest at the end of a busy evening.
The next few days were spent in the company of Chris and Mrs Bayliss together with their adorable children. As you can see from the picture taken with them that cuddles were always available.
Chris has now arranged for transport and safe transfer to John Pearson for the visit to St. Vincent Lodge Race Night on Friday. Hope to see many there. Bye for now.