Provincial Grand Chapter 18th March 2010
Freemasonry - "A Beacon of Hope"
The recurring theme during Provincial Grand Chapter was quality and the word very aptly describes the experience enjoyed by all of those who attended, either as members and guests or as recipients of Royal Arch Honours.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Companion Jack Price, opened Provincial Grand Chapter and his first sad duty was to announce the death on 6 March 2010, of ME Companion the Right Honourable Lord Cornwallis, Past Pro First Grand Principal. The Companions stood in silence as a mark of respect to departed merit. (An Obituary to Lord Cornwallis can be read here).
Companion Price then announced that the following Grand Officers had also been called to higher service:
EComp John Leggatt, PAGDC
together with 38 Past Provincial Officers and Companions of private Chapters. Jack added that we all have happy memories to keep of lost Companions and friends, all of whom have contributed to our Royal Arch Masonry with enthusiasm. The Companions again stood for a moment's silence.
The MEGSupt then welcomed the distinguished guests from this and other Provinces. He said that it is a pleasure to have them all with us and that it is a great strength in Freemasonry in this part of the country that the senior teams find time in their busy schedules to support each other at their Provincial meetings. Many had travelled some distance to be with us and all were warmly welcomed with usual East Lancashire applause. More about the distinguished guests later.
Companion Robert Frankl (Provincial Grand Treasurer - left) then presented the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2009.
There had been a £2,000 reduction in our gross income for the year, but this was more than compensated by a reduction in our overheads which fell by approximately £4,000 to £31,650. This coupled with rent rebates and other savings / adjustments led to an increase in reserves of £12,269 to £29,870 at the year end.
Robert said, "All in all, I stand before you as a happy treasurer content with the current state of the finance of Provincial Grand Chapter and, once again, I shall not be seeking an increase in Provincial dues which will be the fourth successive year without any increase".
He was also appreciative of the professional, courteous and efficient conduct of our auditors and, as always, was hugely grateful for the support provided to him by the Provincial Secretariat.
On behalf of the auditors, Companion Neville Hesketh presented his report and the accounts were then approved. The Auditors (Comp. Hesketh and Comp. Taylor) and the Treasurer were then re-elected.
Appointments and re-appointments
The MEGSupt then re-appointed Comp Allan Bennion, PGSwdB, as the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Comp William John Porter, PGStB, as Second Provincial Grand Principal and Comp Rev’d Donald Pryce, PGStB, as the Third Provincial Grand Principal.
Jack Price commented that Allan Bennion was well known for his commitment and sterling service to the Royal Arch and has proven his competence in his leading and love for the Order over again, that Bill Porter has brought his own flair to the Office and carried out his duties with great dignity and humour, and that Donald Pryce, a man of the cloth who was dedicated to his calling, who sees the best in mankind, serves loyally and is loved dearly.
Jack then re-appointed his Assistants to the Grand Principals: Comp Norman Clarke (Central Area No 1), Comp Ed Cheadle (Northern Area No 2) and Comp Stuart Hughes (Manchester). He then appointed and invested two new Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals: EComp David Thornton, PProvGSwdB (Central Area No 2) and EComp Michael Landriau, PProvGSN (Northern Area No 1).
The appointment of the two new AProvGPs signalled the retirement of two stalwart freemasons, both of whom had given much of themselves to the Province - Companion Trevor Thomas (who Jack had worked with for many years and who worked to a very high level in any position he was placed) and Companion Donald Simpson, JP, (who equally has served excellently in many positions but now needs to spend more time with his lady, who has not been having the best of health). The MEGSupt wished them both well in their future endeavours and stated that the Province owed them a debt of gratitude. He finished by wishing them both a long, happy, healthy and peaceful retirement.
The New Team of Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals with Trevor Thomas and Donald Simpson behind