Christmas is only around the corner and it is now time to review the year just gone and look forward to the new year.
We have consecrated two Tabernacles in the UK and, as I hinted at last year, we have re-warranted three Tabernacles in France. The Caribbean hurricane in October played havoc with flights and prevented us from carrying out a consecration in Bolivia which is being rescheduled for the spring.
It is always sad to lose any member of our Order, especially those whom we have personally known. This year we lost M Ill Kt Pt James Turner, Past Grand High Priest, and R Ill Kt Pt Reginald Cooley, Past Grand Superintendent and Past Grand Recorder who co-authored the history of the Order, both of whom will have been known to many of us. They will be sadly missed and in our thoughts.
The change in qualification to allow Master Masons was not made to open up the floodgates to new members, nor has it, but it has enabled some Tabernacles, particularly overseas, to maintain membership at sustainable levels.
For the new year, I am aware of at least two Grand Superintendents who have indicated it is their wish to retire. Submissions have been made from Greece, France and Spain for further consecrations as well as one closer to home in Scotland. Later next year there is also the possibility of consecrations in Barbados and Guyana. Full details of the Especial Assemblies will be forwarded to Tabernacle Recorders in due course.
It is only by the continued support of our willing members that the Order continues to grow. Whilst the work of Tabernacle Recorders and Treasurers is visible (though sometimes underrated), there are many other “unsung heroes” without whose support Tabernacle meetings would not take place so smoothly and efficiently. My thanks and those of the Executive Committee go to you all for your efforts during the past year.
We continue to enjoy meeting many members at Annual and Especial Assemblies and in your own Tabernacles. The continued success of the Order is founded on your enthusiasm, and I look forward to your support in a similar manner in 2017.
May you all, together with your families and friends have peace, health and happiness this Christmas and in the year to come.
God bless you all.
M Ill Kt Pt Christopher G Maiden