Brethren I must begin by thanking you once again for attending our Annual Meeting here in Great Queen Street in such excellent numbers. We seem to go from strength to strength and show I think, though I am rather biased that the Order is in good heart. Today is a day of celebration for us all, but especially for those of you who have been honoured by promotion in or first appointment to Grand Rank, either way Brethren your new rank will have been well deserved. I have congratulated you all individually, but I must also do it collectively for it demonstrates your commitment to our Order and I hope that you and your guests enjoy it to the full for many years to come.
Those of you who read the agenda and I hope Brethren that you do, will have noticed that we have again increased our membership of the Order, this time by 234. This is most encouraging as it is well over 1 member per Council, but as I say each year we can’t afford to be complacent, we must make every effort to encourage the right Gentlemen to join the Craft and then, when the time is right, move further up the Masonic ladder and hopefully join our Order.