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ADDRESS BY MOST EXCELLENT COMPANION

KIRBY JAMES LEEKE, FIRST GRAND PRINCIPAL,

AT GRAND PROCLAMATION 2018

 

Ladies, friends and Companions, when I was preparing for this part of the proclamation, I was not too sure what I was going to say. Many of you will have attended my proclamation ceremony in Oakey this time last year, and know what happened at that meeting, so I will not re-visit the outcomes of that meeting, but a lot of the matters that I wanted to discuss at that meeting are now appropriate.

At our mid-year meeting in May this year, a lot of the business that should have been discussed last year was covered, and the constitutional changes, were approved. As those outcomes are now known, we can look forward to a different future, although this has caused an 18 month delay to my plans and projects.

The first thing I must do is thank everybody for coming today. There has certainly be a lot of interest in these changes. Last year’s meeting in Oakey, we expected about 100 to attend, and we ended up with over 180, and 177 booked in for the dinner.

Likewise, for the mid-year convocation in Mackay, we expected about 75 people to attend, and had more than 125. My objective of taking some of these meetings to the country has been to try to get rid of the perception that SGRACQ is too much South East Queensland orientated. I think that the number of people attending these meetings has shown these country convocations have been a success.

At my installation two (2) years ago, I laid out a number of proposals on where I wanted to take Royal Arch Freemasonry. To date I have been rather unsuccessful, as I was hampered by the constitution, and some members that did not want change. Companions, to do nothing is a path to inevitable death. While the changes that have been passed are not a magic solution, I believe that will start to help with future developments. I urge all Chapters to look at those changes and see how they can be used to advance your Chapters. Don’t just dismiss them, because it is just not the way we have always done it. Don’t say ‘What is Grand Chapter doing about membership’. You now have some of the tools to make Royal Arch Freemasonry work in your area, and aren’t you the best people to know what will work for your Chapter?

With the constitution in place that allows us and individual Chapters to make some decisions for themselves, we must grasp this opportunity for the future. Changes will happen in the next 12 months, and I will be asking you all to consider the changes we need to implement in the ritual and other orders that we interact with. Some rituals have already been reviewed.

What have we achieved in my first 2 years?

I have led delegations to New Guinea, one of our districts that had not been visited for 10 years. I have led delegations of 15 to the 200 year celebration in Scotland, and I lead 2 delegation to New Zealand. Within Australia, I have led delegations to South Australia, Tasmania, 4 visits to Victoria, and one to New South Wales.

At the beginning of my term, I prepared a 2 page letter that detailed all the visitations I was planning to do (outside Queensland), and would you believe I still get Companions coming up to me and saying ,”I wish I knew you were going there, because I would have liked to accompany you”.

Communication is hard, so let me start now by letting you in on some of my visitation plans for 2019. On 1, 2, and 3 March 2019, I will be attending the Grand Installation of SGRAC of NZ at Hamilton.

Between 3 and 5 May, I am attending the combined installation/proclamation of UGLV and SGRAC Vic, and the Grand Mark of Victoria. This promises to be an interesting weekend and has never been undertaken before. This will be followed closely by the installation of the New First Grand Principal in South Australia on the week end of the 18 May 2019.

On the weekend of 10 August, the Grand Mark of Queensland will be having their Grand installation on the Gold Coast, and I expect RW Bill Heading will be installed on that day.

New South Wales will be having their proclamation ceremony for M E Comp John Anderson on the week end of
21 September 2019, and as my health prevented my attending his installation 2 months ago, I certainly plan to be at that proclamation, which I believe will be held in Wagga.

Western Australia have scheduled their Grand Installation for 5 October 2019, and of course our Grand Installation is scheduled a month later, on 2 November.

As you can see, 2019 will be a big year, and if anyone would like to join me, please feel free to plan your vacations to be in the appropriate state for these installations. I would welcome any Queensland Companions who are in those venues next year to join my team.

To all the delegates who have come today, a very serious thank you, and I do hope to get to visit you in your own jurisdictions in the near future. Those who have a long way to travel home, please ensure you travel safe.

Finally, I would like to thank you all the good wishes my wife and I have received during our respective illness, and for our recovery over the next 2 months.

Tetty made an A3 card with all the good wishes I received.

We are looking forward to getting 2018 behind us, and for a better 2019. Hope you all have a great 2019, and I also hope it is not too early to say Merry Christmas to all.


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