As your new District Grand Master, I must first pay a most sincere tribute to R.Ill.Comp. George Deacon for his zeal and assiduity in leading our District over the last 6 years. He has been responsible for the continued success of our District and especially for the Consecration of New Forest Council in 2012 and William Cobbett Council in 2015, both new Councils are doing well and I wish them every success for the future.

My Installation at Botley in August was a very emotional day for me, with a full team from Grand Council led by the Grand Master, M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones. It is a day that I will never forget and I thank all those Officers and Companions who took part in the ceremonial as well as all those in the back room who helped with organising of the day.

It also gave me the greatest of pleasure to appoint and Invest Ill.Comp. Peter Dack as my Deputy District Grand Master and Ill.Comp. Stephen Brown as my District Principal Conductor of the Work. It gave me further pleasure to appoint and Invest all the District Officers for the year, but in particular V.Ill.Comp. Ron Bentley as District Grand Recorder and Ill.Comp. Christopher Boorman as the District Treasurer.

I was delighted that, even though we had a large contingent of Grand Officers from other Districts in attendance, all the Companions from our own District who had applied for a seat in the Temple were accommodated. I have received many letters of congratulations from District Grand Masters and Officers of Grand Council who officiated at the Installation meeting, all expressing their delight at being at the meeting. They have asked me to convey their thanks for such a splendid meeting and banquet to all those who had worked so hard in making the arrangements at Botley.

It was the wish of R.Ill.Comp. George Deacon to form a new Council in north Dorset and the District team have been to the Masonic Hall at Shaftesbury with a view to forming a new Council in that town to serve as a centre for the Cryptic degree in that part of our District. The Masonic Hall at Shaftesbury is ideal for our purposes and should be more accessible for those in that part of our District. Unfortunately, so far, we have not had the response that we were hoping for and until we can attract some Masons with the necessary qualifications in that area we will not be able to fulfil the wishes of our Past District Grand Master. But, rest assured, I will do all that I can to try and generate some more interest in this ongoing project.

My aim for the future of our District is quite simple, to maintain and support the members in their Cryptic Masonry, to visit as many Councils as is possible and to get to know you all.

It has been proposed to hold a Sunday Luncheon on the South Island next Spring, when details have been finalised I will let you all know. Companions, I look forward to meeting with you all during the coming year and wish you all well.

R.Ill.Comp. Jeremy Shaw,
District Grand Master

© 2013 District Grand Council of Dorset, Hampshire & Isle of Wight