So, Who are They and what is this Suspension Planning Group?
Just over 3 weeks ago the MW Grand Master, in conjunction with other Masonic authorities, issued statements to the effect that “all Lodge, Chapter and other Order meetings were immediately suspended for four months”, an unprecedented decision but one quite rightly prompted by Government advice.
A simple statement but one that has many implications for us as Freemasons, not least that none of us have ever faced something like this before!
Our Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent, supported initially by the Provincial Grand Master in the Mark Degree took another unparalleled step by declaring that they would all work together to find answers to the many questions raised, to offer advice, share good ideas and to keep the light of Freemasonry shining during the next 4 months.
High on their priority list has been to ensure that every member in this Province gets to know what they need to know when they need to know it and that, as far as practicable we avoid bombarding them with the same information multiple times – not an easy task.
In pursuit of these objectives they set-up what has become known as the “Suspension Planning Group” made up of their three Deputies, W.Bro. John Boyington, E Comp David J Boyle and W.Bro. Alan Oldfield together with the Provincial Grand Secretary of Craft and Provincial Grand Scribe E W.Bro. Mick Dyson also The Provincial Grand Secretary of Mark W.Bro. Fraser McPherson, all assisted with administration by W.Bro. Colin Symes Assistant Provincial Grand Secretary.
The group set to work and quickly made a couple of key decisions: first that as everyone in any Order in the Province was likely to be a Craft Mason we would send the bulletin out just once and through Craft Lodge Secretaries ONLY, asking Secretaries of Mark and other Orders and Scribes E to only send the bulletin to any of their members who were NOT a Craft member in this Province. Second that we would only include information that every member needed to know circulating other, more detailed guidance to specific officers with responsibility in those areas.
The Group meets three times a week by video conference and has focused on getting the systems set up and the mechanism for communication working effectively. Barring one or two teething problems this is working pretty well. They also worked hard on getting together answers to the questions members would most likely need the answers to publishing and updating these regularly on the Craft Provincial website. If you have any important questions to ask, comments or indeed good ideas for how you are keeping your Freemasonry going please let us know and we will share what we can with others. firstname.lastname@example.org