2017 has been a very busy year with our celebrations of 300 years since the foundation of the first Grand Lodge. In Southern Area two events in particular will live in my memory for ever – our Annual Charity Giving Night on Friday 31st March 2017 where there was standing room only for Freemasons and our families, recipients of donations to so many organisations, charities and other very worthy causes at Stanley House, Audenshaw. This year we were delighted that not only the Civic Mayor of Tameside was present but also our Provincial Grand Master Sir David Trippier. Sir David said he had never felt so proud to represent the Masonic Province of East Lancashire when he heard from many local beneficiaries of their causes and how our donations would be helpful to them.
This was followed on Sunday 16th July when we held our Open and Community Fun Day when hundreds of people from many of our local community organisations took the opportunity to have a lot of fun and again raise awareness of their own causes. It was wonderful to see our Freemasons bringing the Tameside Community together.
These events, coupled with the National publicity generated by the series of Sky TV programmes and the Memorial to those Freemasons who lost their lives in the First World War, have raised the profile of Freemasonry and attracted many new members into Freemasonry in general and Southern Area in particular.
Our challenge now is to build on that success so that many more good men can share with us the fun, fellowship and self-development that we have the privilege to enjoy.
I thank you for your friendship and support and extend to you, your families and friends my best wishes for a very happy Christmas and for Peace, good health and prosperity in the New Year.

The text of this article is the work of, and copyright to, ©A J Pearson 2017 The photograph is the work of, and copyright to,
©Kevin Hall, District Communications Officer Ashton & Mossley District