With the Festive Season fast approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a joyful Christmas and good health and happiness for the New Year. I trust that, for the majority of you, the year which is drawing to a close has been a happy and successful one on which you can look back with satisfaction.
It has certainly been another successful year for the Province and I would like to thank you for the contributions which have been made to achieve this result. We will all measure success in different terms, but two critical components of success for Freemasonry in Berkshire must be that it thrives and grows. Your efforts have ensured that we can be optimistic that the path we have set ourselves is helping us achieve those outcomes.
We continue to attract many good men into our organisation and for the third year in a row we will finish with more lodges than we had at the start. As far as I am aware, Berkshire is the only Province to show such growth for three consecutive years. We pride ourselves on never having lost a lodge in Berkshire in modern times and I know that this remarkable outcome has only been achieved over the years by the dedicated efforts and assistance of a huge number of contributors, many of whom have made considerable personal sacrifices to ensure that lodges experiencing difficulties are given the support needed to effect a recovery. I am truly grateful to everyone who has helped maintain our proud record and I am deeply appreciative of the unstinting support, commitment and generosity which characterises Freemasonry in Berkshire.
I started by saying that I trust the past year has been a good one for you, but I am very aware that in a society of our size there will be many whose year has been marked by sadness or ill health. Those of you who have been touched by misfortune have been in our thoughts during the year and it is my sincere wish that you will have drawn comfort and support from your membership of this organisation of ours. To a lot of of us, Freemasonry is a journey of self understanding and personal development, and an essential element of this journey is the continual reminder to be concerned for others. Many of you will have such thoughts in your minds over Christmas, but may it also be marked by the joy, the excitement and the family gatherings which make the festive season so special.
With all good wishes to you and your families,