First of all a hearty welcome to everyone attending today, I know some of you have travelled far and wide to be with us here at Botley. Thank you.
I said it in February, at my Installation, but will say again how proud and honoured I am to pick up the fine legacy of Trevor Gulliver As your Provincial Prior I promise to devote myself to the Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight.
My special thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this day work and to the Members of the Provincial Team who are stepping down today, especially V Em Kt John Prizeman, who has been a tower of strength in all he has done for the Province. Good luck and congratulations to the new Provincial Team, those I have promoted and look forward to their company during the coming year. Thanks are due to my Bodyguard, who have supported both Trevor & I, their special humour and willing services are much appreciated. Our host Preceptory, Frescewatre, from the South Island have done a fine job in assisting in whatever has been asked of them.
Next year we will have the bi-annual Church Service at St Cross, Winchester on the 8th June and look forward to seeing you there. To `celebrate` this (if that is the right word!) I hope to do a walk next Spring from Mudeford to Winchester, but will take in every Preceptory meeting place, including the South Island. This will be approx. 180miles and will be called `The Pilgrims Trek`. Full details will go on our website, but sponsorship monies (gift aided I hope) will go the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, RMTGB and Church of St Cross. Please support these worthy causes and join me on the way!
An innovation this year saw us have an `open forum` whereby all Preceptories were represented and a wide range of views were sought and discussed. This is of great assistance to your executive.
The Preceptory of Improvement was a mixed bag and I look forward to progress of this in the coming year when I have asked that some concentration be given to the Malta Degree; it is well worth it, so please support this initiative.
Can I please ask that you all work as hard as you can in ensuring you support the Craft & Royal Arch, as without these foundations, this wonderful order will wither.
Our web site is now under new `management`, so please give feedback, as information is there for your benefit.
In a moment we will all listen to our Precepts, let us all try and keep to them, they are worth the effort of that I am sure.
As Stuart Middleton says to me often, there is no i in teamwork. Let us continue to work together in friendship and harmony in the year to come.
Enjoy your Freemasonry, thank you for your attention and God bless you all.