Notes from the Provincial Grand Junior Warden's Speech
Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Distinguished Brethren, Brethren All. Thank you Worshipful Brother Bill for those words.
I am going to begin by quoting a poem, a poem that has proved so popular, that it has been adopted as an Anthem by Tylers.
Before you impale yourselves on whatever cutlery is on the table, let me just add that the longest poem ever written is called
The Iliad, written by the Greek poet Homer, 8th Century BC and tells of the Trojan War and its 15,693 lines long.
The longest poem written in the English language in 975 AD, it’s called Beowulf and was written by an anonymous poet and tells of the slaying of a dragon in Scandinavia and is 3,182 lines long. The poem I have was written in the 19th Century and
is 8 lines long.
Isn’t strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in saw dust rings,
and ordinary folk like you and me,
are builders for eternity?
Each is given a book of rules;
a shapeless mass; and a bag of tools
each must make, ere life is flown,
a stumbling block or a stepping-stone
When my shapeless mass started on life’s journey, in my book of rules it read, “get involved, do what you can, but enjoy yourself!” I found out what qualifications I needed to get on, studied at Evening Class, studied for a Humanities Degree and climbed the ‘greasy pole’ towards the top. In my bag of tools was an ability to learn, I haven’t an intellect the size of the Isle of Wight but I have perseverance. This shapeless mass used that book of rules and that bag of tools as stepping-stones and I met a few stumbling blocks on the way.
For those who don’t know what I did for a living, I worked for a Circus as a Human Cannon Ball it paid £50.00 per week, plus a bit of mileage! They kept me on, because I was the only one who could get the tent back in the bag. We had a few mishaps, our Contortionist died of a heart attack, but at least he died in his own arms!
When I joined Freemasonry, I used the same thinking of getting involved, asked; what can I do for Freemasonry and not what can Freemasonry do for me? Then I stumbled on this Rank and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Sir, publicly for this signal Honour. I would also like to thank you all for being here this evening, there were low numbers in the beginning, I would wake in a cold sweat, I thought that there would be only 3 of us here and one of those was Elvis!
Was it me I thought? The venue? The food? The venue is very nice. The food is good and I went to the kitchen to thank the Chef, he’s Chinese. I said I enjoyed your food Chef, do you do Take Away, he said yes, 5 from 6 is 1!
The one thing I would now like to do is to propose the Toast to our Provincial Grand Master. You, Sir, are our 12th Provincial Grand Master, not that you need telling, and each of your predecessors have made a number of changes and innovations.
The Mark Masonry we belong to now is very different from the one that we joined. I am reminded of the English Scientist
Sir Isaac Newton, one of the discoveries that he made which had eluded scientists was the refraction of light, the ability to divide light into its various colour wave lengths, but by passing the light through a glass prism he made a rainbow, that’s an oblique reference to the RAM by the way, and the answer was found. Robert Hook a contemporary asked Newton, "how is it that you have solved this problem, how is it that you can see further than us?" Newton replied, "if I can see further it’s because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."
You too, Sir, have stood on the shoulders of giants and I am confident that I speak for every Mark and RAM Mason in Essex when I say, “thank you for the innovations, for the changes and for your generosity of spirit, long may it and you continue.”
Brethren I ask three things; one, please would you charge your glasses; two, please stand and three, please drink a Bumper Toast to our Provincial Grand Master!