Read what PGM Dave Wheeler had to say to members of the Craft at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting 2023:
“Good afternoon, Brethren,
It is great to be with you here today to celebrate our annual meeting together. It is always a pleasure to see so many people here, not least our distinguished guests who have travelled to be with us today. You are all very welcome. I especially thank V. W. Brother Les Hutchinson for his inspirational address, perfectly timed, as we enter in to the midpoint of our 2025 Festival. The outcomes of our fundraising efforts are what is most important and I know that our Province will continue to work hard not only to raise contributions but also to enjoy the vast range of activities taking place in support of the Festival.
The United Grand Lodge of England’s seven-year strategy, to enhance our reputation as a thriving organisation, prominent in our communities, that people aspire to join and that our members enjoy is becoming more familiar to us all. Alongside the strategy is a membership challenge. To ensure our Province manages both of these issues, I have introduced a Strategy Working Group chaired by V.W. Brother John Crutchley.
The purpose of this group is to promote the UGLE Strategy, tackle the Membership Challenge and to thereby ensure the future of our Province. This group is already communicating with lodges and chapters and there will be more, focused activity to come. These is not just a UGLE or a Provincial matter but it is for every lodge and chapter; every Mason and Companion to embrace.
Put simply, the future is in our own hands and the excellent work that is being done will ensure the future is a bright one for Freemasonry, for Lincolnshire and for your lodges and chapters. Everyone in this room is a great ambassador for Freemasonry. Please engage with the challenge, communicate your enjoyment to others and we, as a Province, will continue to thrive.
I meet, every year, with the Heads of our Companion Orders and the consistent message is that if Craft Freemasonry is doing well then all the Companions Orders will flourish. There is no competition in my eyes, we are all Lincolnshire Freemasons and should support each other.
In terms of celebrating success, I congratulate the following on their appointments at the recent UGLE Investiture meeting, presided over by The Grand Master, his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent;
I also congratulate all those receiving active appointments today. I hope you enjoy your year in office, it really is a special year. I also congratulate those receiving promotions and look forward to seeing many of you again at the additional meeting we are holding in June for past rank promotions.
To the outgoing active team, your attendance on our team visits has been outstanding. Thank you for your magnificent support.
I feel I must make special mention of our two active Wardens for the past year, W. Bros Keith Appleton and Adrian Joyce. Both have had serious health issues that curtailed their lodge visits but I am delighted they are both recovering and are here today. There is no truth in the rumour that the two newly appointed Wardens have been asked to take out private health insurance!
It is almost 5 years since I was appointed as PGM. During that time, I have received great support from my executive officers. Today sees a change of Assistant Provincial Grand Masters as Peter Brooks and Bruce Goodman stand down from their roles. I wish to place on record my thanks for their contributions over the last five years. They have worked very hard establishing effective teams under their areas of responsibility and I know the new APGM’s will benefit from the foundations put in place by Peter and Bruce. I also know they will continue to support our province in the future. Thank you to you both.
I also wish to thank W. Brother David Buckenham who stood down today after seven years as Provincial Mentor. David, it has been a pleasure to work with you and I know you will continue to mentor your successor, W. Brother Jason Fitzgerald as he builds on the work you have done. The ‘Chisel’ won’t be the same without you!
Finally, I thank everyone who has been involved in ensuring today has been such a success from those in the Provincial office, who have worked so hard making the arrangements, to all those involved in setting up the rooms and tidying up after we all leave. It really has been another superb team effort.
Brethren all, thank you for your attention and I wish you a safe journey home.”