2014 – PGL Annual Communication
Traditionally, the first Friday in February, is the Annual Meeting and Installation of Elective Office-bearers within the Province. However, this year, Friday the 7th February, 2014 was somewhat special, as it coincided with the 275th anniversary to the day, of the appointment of the very first Provincial Grand Master, Brother Alexander Drummond, who was then, the Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No. XII in what is now the Province of Renfrewshire West.
The Province was also privileged to welcome, as our special guests on the evening, a small deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, headed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, Brother Charles Iain Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont, accompanied by Immediate Past Substitute Grand Master, Brother Alexander Galbraith, a Past Provincial Grand Master of the Province, Past Substitute Grand Master, Brother Angus N McInnes and RW Senior Grand Warden, Brother George R Kelly.
Following the Installation ceremony conducted by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Brother James Pearston Livingstone, the brethren retired to harmony and were joined by Mr Guy Clark, the Lord Lieutenant of the County and Brother David Wilson, Depute Provost of Inverclyde.
n his toast to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Brother Livingstone provided a background on the life and work of Alexander Drummond highlighting the difficulties that would have been faced by Brother Drummond in carrying out his duties in 1739. However, Brother Livingstone also praised Brother Drummond, who, although having no model to follow, nevertheless, set an example for future Provincial Grand Masters to follow. He then presented the Most worshipful Grand Master with a cheque for Grand Lodge benevolence.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master entertained the brethren with a suitable reply.
Brother Robert Cooper, Curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, then expanded on the life and times of Alexander Drummond after he had left Scotland and settled in Aleppo, Syria, which was on the “Silk Road” from China to the Mediterranean.
Some ten years ago, the Province instigated a Citizen of the Year Award and over the past decade, this has been awarded to local groups and individuals who have made a valuable but often unsung contribution to the community.
Past recipients have included youth and community leaders and this year was no exception, with the award going to the First Touch Football Coaching Group, which provides individual coaching skills for children, both boys and girls, from the age of 6 upwards to realise their full potential.
The award was accepted by Mr John McClurg and Mr Des McCole on behalf of the group who had joined Provincial Grand Lodge for dinner. Mr McClurg then thanked everyone for the recognition and the award.
Traditionally, the harmony which follows the annual meeting in Renfrewshire West, is an informal affair, without formal speeches but on this occasion, we were delighted to invite Brother John R McCormack to provide a vote of thanks on behalf of the visitors.
In his closing remarks to the Brethren, Brother Livingstone, spoke of some of the highlights of his first year in office as Provincial Grand Master and thanked the brethren for the kindness and support that had been extended to him.
He stated that he was particularly proud of the response to an appeal earlier in the year for funding to assist the Nepal Schools Trust. This followed a visit by the Trust to The Anchor Lodge of Research No. 1814, which highlighted the work of the trust in improving education for the children in that country.
This resulted in all the Lodges in the Province responding by making a financial contribution to the Trust and Brother Livingstone provided a report confirming that the funds had been used to assist in setting up a chicken farm to provide children with a source of protein and an income which would be used to improve their lives and educational prospects. This truly was freemasonry in action.
A most successful and enjoyable evening which was concluded in the traditional manner with the singing of Auld Lang Syne followed by the National Anthem.