ISSUE 12, January 2005

Editorial
Kitchener of Khartoum: Mason extraordinary
Travel: Where east meets west
Veteran Honoured: Old soldier remembered
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part 1
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principal and, Report of the Committee of General Purposes
  Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London: London's first consecration
Soccer: Man in the Middle
Wales: Joseph Parry - flawed genius?
Library & Museum: Donations gather pace
Education: Dates for your diary and, Planning a 'white table' and, Looking to the future and, Time marches on
Grand Charity: General meeting and non-Masonic grant list
Masonic Charities: Reports from the four main charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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    Brethren, you may remember that in 1998 my predecessor, the late MW Bro. Lord Farnham, set up a Strategic Working Party to review the structure of English Freemasonry.
     As a result of the deliberations of that, and other subsequent Working Parties, significant changes have been made to the governance of the Craft, particularly to the composition of the Board of General Purposes and to London, which is now a Metropolitan Grand Lodge.
     There are other aspects of our masonry which need to be looked at from time to time and I have recently set up a new Strategic Working Party under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Grand Master.
     It has already made various recommendations with regard to the role and membership of the Grand Master's Council, which advises the Grand Master in the exercise of his prerogative.
     Once these have been approved by the Grand Master, and in the interests of greater transparency, they will be widely disseminated so that everyone will have a better understanding of the work of that Council.
     The Strategic Working Party will shortly be looking at the financial structure of the United Grand Lodge of England, and as part of that process it will be considering the level of dues and our charitable contribution, both short-term and long-term.
     English Freemasonry is relatively cheap nowadays when compared to what it cost only 20 or so years ago. Our dues have not kept pace with inflation and despite savings and increased efficiency our overall costs have risen. The same can be said for the charitable contribution and this now needs to be addressed.
     This review is a major exercise and will entail consultation with many relevant parties before any recommendations are made to Grand Lodge. We are well aware of the constraints on the finances of some of our older and younger brethren, and will be exploring ways to try and limit the impact of any increases on those who can least afford it.
     Brethren, on behalf of the MW Grand Master and my fellow Rulers, I would like to wish you and your families peace and joy for the festive season, and a prosperous and happy New Year.

Announcements
The MW The Grand Master had made the following appointments:
     W Bro Robert William Rego to be Grand Superintendent of the Bermuda Group of Lodges and the Chapter in Bermuda, in succession to VW Bro Charles Kempe Jr, who retired on 31 December.
     W Bro Dr Virendra Kumar Talwar PGSwdB to be District Grand Master for and Grand Superintendent in and over East Eafrica, in succession to RW Bro Sir "Andy" Chande KBE, who is to retire on 8 April 2005 as District Grand Master, and on 23 September 2005 as Grand Superintendent. Bro Talwar is to be installed on 9 April and 24 September respectively.
     W Bro John Graham Russell PSGD to be Provincial Grand Master for Derbyshire in succession to RW Bro David Law, who is to retire on 15 April 2005. Bro Rudd is due to be installed on 16 April.
     W Bro John Stuart Rushmer PJGD to be Provincial Grand Master for, and Grand Superintendent in and over Norfolk, in succession to RW Bro Major Ian Bruce, who is to retire on 4 October 2005. Bro Rushmer is due to be installed on 6 October.
     The First Grand Principal has appointed E Comp James Randolph Bain PGStB to be Grand Superintendent in and over Bahamas and Turks in succession to E Comp Peter Cole, who retired on 12 November.
     E Comp Dr Richard John Horace Neale PGStB to be Grand Superintendent in and over Buckinghamshire in succession to E Comp Dr Eric Hall. Comp Neale is due to be installed on 24 October 2005.


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