It was appropriate that Lincolnshire Freemasons should have turned to technology to mark the end of the beginning of introducing Hermes to the Province.
A Zoom meeting was chosen to bring together members of the training team who’d brought together the digital age into administration of the Province’s 75 lodges and 33 chapters.
The team has enabled Secretaries and Scribes E to maximise the benefits of the new technology to transform the way our organisation manages a swathe of its admin, casting aside cumbersome paper forms to reach a stage which Dave Wheeler, the Province’s PGM and Grand Superintendent, had privately thought might not be achievable.
Lincolnshire PGM and Grand Superintendent Dave Wheeler says he has been blown away by the way the online admin system Hermes has been introduced to the Province, and genuinely impressed with the efforts of members of the volunteer training team who’ve made it happen.
At a Zoom meeting to formally wind up the training vital to the introduction of Hermes, he said he hadn’t been sure that the call for volunteer trainers would be met with significant interest. “But a lot of good people have come forward to take on the work and have done a fantastic job. I hope many will stay on to provide help when it’s needed in the future.
“Our Second Provincial Grand Principal Mike Rix has been the project’s Chairman, and has brought us to this point by, it seems to me, working with keen and effective people. I think you have done a brilliant job, and I’m impressed with the commitment you’ve shown and the work you’ve done. I can’t say it any more strongly than that.”
Mike Rix was quick to shift the praise to Adrian Joyce and Mark French, of whom he said: “They’ve done most of the heavy lifting, rather than me, and as such have been pivotal to our success in Lincolnshire.”
Dave predicted that Hermes would quickly become ‘business as usual’, and that once they were confident, Lodge Secretaries and Chapter Scribes E would find the new system easier than the old paper-based one. He said: “It will become as familiar as anything else we do online.”
Hermes has had a long gestation period, having been discussed as long ago as 2015/16, and regular being put back onto the back burner. At the last minute there was even a three-month delay in its going live in Lincolnshire, caused by a desire to eliminate as many potential bugs as possible, which might otherwise have destroyed confidence in the system before it had been given chance to prove itself.
He added: “I’m getting the impression that it’s a good system.”
Mark French is staying on as Project Co-ordinator, and as such will be a central figure for Hermes as part of our daily activities. He explained that virtually all Secretaries and Scribes E were logged on and were making progress. He added that requests for support could be quickly dealt with, adding that although work for the trainer team would now start to fall away, there would always be a need for some kind of training, as new people took on secretarial roles, for example.
Dave rounded off the meeting by saying: “It’s been a long project, but it can’t have gone any better for our Province. I get the impression that you have the answers, which is a credit to you and to the system. I’m really impressed by what you’ve done, and pleased to be here to congratulate you.”