Brethren, welcome to this rather different September Communication of Grand Mark Lodge, different as this is the first time it has formed the second part of the annual investiture, this second part which, as you will be aware has been for those receiving a promotion in Grand Rank.
This trial appears to have been successful and well received by you brethren and after further consultation we will decide if it is to be repeated in the years ahead adopted as the regular format for future investitures.
My first and most important duty is to bring the apologies of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent. He is today on an official engagement elsewhere but he will be attending the church service at Lincolns Inn on Saturday, a service to celebrate 150 years since the formation of the Mark Benevolent Fund.
For Fund has had an incredibly busy and very special year.
The 150th Festival was held in Lincolnshire under the presidency of its Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Rev. Trevor Walker and what a splendid occasion it was. The Festival Committee has worked so hard but not only was the event a great success, but the total raised was £853,023, a magnificent total in a Province with 22 Mark lodges.
Next year the MBF Festival will be under the presidency of the Provincial Grand Master for Sussex, R.W.Bro. Martin Wilson and will be held at the Metropole Hotel in Brighton on Saturday 6th July. The Festival Committee have, I know, been working extremely hard and are confident it will be a most enjoyable occasion and i know i am looking forward to the weekend in Sussex by the sea.
On a sad note I inform you of the death on 1st September of Christine Mills, MBE, the founder of the Hope for Tomorrow charity which the MBF has for the last few years been working closely with in providing the funds for eight mobile chemotherapy treatment centres. The loss of its founder will be felt by many, but her legacy will live on continuing to provide a great service to cancer sufferers particularly those living in rural locations.