I write this letter during what has become known as the ‘Third Lockdown’. Freemasonry has been suspended for most of us almost continuously since the beginning of March 2020. The problems associated with suspension are well known to you all. The2019 transactions of the Manchester Association For Masonic Research have been delayed and I, as President, offer my apologies for this. However, owing to the diligence of our editor, WBro Ken Olive, I am delighted to be able to attach this letter to the latest volume which covers the work of the Association during the year 2019.
But what of 2020? We have been unable to meet, to hear papers and to enjoy the accustomed question and answer sessions that follow. However, the research has not stopped and we hope to bring you a 2020 volume packed with interesting, original work in the autumn of 2021.
The Association will resume our meetings as soon as we possibly can. We are currently working on our 2021 itinerary and the minute we can confirm dates for meetings and events we will issue a programme.
Now, and this is very important, we need your help. If you have an e mail address (and few of us these days do not) would you please send a simple e mail message to our Membership Secretary, Philip Myers at email@example.com This will enable him to update his records.
At the moment we are obliged to contact the bulk of our members by snail mail. This is costly and limits the amount of useful information we are able to send. We certainly won’t be bombarding you with e mail messages, but we need to keep costs down and we need to be sure that our members can be contacted quickly, efficiently and to their benefit.
In its history of over 120 years this Association has had to deal with many crises and it has done so successfully. We can emerge from this present crisis stronger than ever before if we have the resolve to do so. We are building a strategy to increase membership and to ensure that the work we do will be effective in that direction; will be attractive to hear and relevant to a wide audience. We cannot do this without your assistance.
On behalf of the Manchester Association, I wish you all a happier year in 2021; one in which we can once again join together in the fellowship of Masonic Research.
RW Bro Roger Brentnall Pemberton
Provincial Grand Master for the Masonic Province of Shropshire
Grand Superintendent for the Royal Arch Province of Shropshire
President of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research