Provincial Grand Chapter 17th March 2011
'Our Origins are in antiquity, the Future is in our hands today'
Another magnificent Provincial Grand Chapter meeting was enjoyed by over 550 Companions at King George's Hall, Blackburn.Those attending included distinguished guests from as far as Florida and Denmark.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Companion Jack Price, entered Provincial Grand Chapter with EComp Arthur Axford, PDepGSupt, acting as the Second Provincial Grand Principal and EComp Rev Donald Pryce, as the Third Provincial Grand Principal. Jack explained that many of the current workings of the Royal Arch in the Province are down to Arthur Axford and that most of the leaders of the East Lancashire Royal Arch Province here today have served under Arthur; a doyenne of Royal Arch Freemasonry whose previous guidance and leadership deserves our respect. Jack then thanked Arthur for his presence.
Following the initial business of the afternoon the MEGSupt talked of the inevitability of changes in high office, "I have known Allan Bennion for as long as I have been a Freemason. Together we served as Assistants to the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, and then became Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, with the change in name of the office. Allan is a most committed Freemason in all that he does. His other great responsibility is to his dear wife, Olive, for whom he has great love and affection. She is reliant on his support yet I can tell you that Allan has not once let you, me or the Province down on any occasion, and Allan has added tremendously to the 'picture' in this Order". With that Jack invested Comp Bennion with the collarette and Jewel of a Past Deputy Grand Superintendent.
EComp William Porter with EComp Allan Bennion
The MEGSupt then moved on to appoint Companion William John Porter, PGStB, as the Deputy Grand Superintendent. “EComp Porter was Exalted into Peace Chapter No 3792 in 1985 and was MEZ in 1992 and again in 1997. He was a founder member of Commemoration Chapter in 1993 [now named Good Companions of Commemoration Chapter No 6005] and also a Founder member of Aldwyn Chapter No 5712. He joined the EL Provincial Grand Officers’ Chapter No 3747 in 1995. He was the acting Provincial 1st Assistant Grand Sojourner in 1995, promoted to Past Provincial Deputy Grand Registar in 1997. He served as the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 2000. He was appointed Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals in 2005 and to 2nd Provincial Grand Principal in 2009. He was honoured by Supreme Grand Chapter in 2003 when he was appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer. He was initiated into Commemoration Lodge No 3887 in 1981 and was Worshipful Master in 1988 and 1991. He is a joining member of the EL Provincial Grand Officers’ Lodge No 3747, Egerton Lodge No 1392, Frederick William Towns Lodge No 9328 and Pythagoras Lodge of Installed Masters No 9248. He was appointed a Provincial Junior Grand Deacon in 1994 and was promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2000. In 2003 he was appointed a Past Assistant Grand Sword Bearer. At District level he has served as a District Officer Royal Arch, a Deputy Chairman and a Chairman of Manchester District No 4. His record of service and commitment to the Royal Arch is legendary.
The Patent of appointment was presented to the MEGSupt by the Provincial Grand Scribe E, EComp Alan Garnett, and the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies escorted EComp Porter to the West.
ECompanion William Porter prior to appointment (centre) with chain following
John Porter, William's Son, the Chain Bearer
Following the appointment of Comp Porter by the MEGSupt, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, EComp Henri Lyons, then proclaimed Comp Porter's appointment, obligation, investment and installation which was met with great acclaim by the companions.
The MEGSupt moved on to the appointment of Companion Wesley Marchant, PGStB, as Second Provincial Grand Principal, "Wesley Marchant will be well known to nearly all of you present today and has served this Province splendidly over many years. my penchant is for a good mix of seasoned campaigners and young bucks in my Executive Committees and Wes fits in the middle of that quite well. Comp Marchant was Exalted into Townley Parker Chapter No. 1083 in 1986. Became First Principal in 1996. He is a member of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Chapter No. 3747. In 1999, he was appointed Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, received promotion to Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2001 and Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 2003. In 2004 he was appointed Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies as well as Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. In 2005 he was promoted to Past Grand Standard Bearer. In the Craft, he was Initiated into Townley Parker Lodge No. 1083 in 1984 and became Worshipful Master in 1992. He became a joining member of Middleton Lodge of Installed Masters No. 8517, East Lancashire Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No. 8408, East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Lodge No. 3747, Lodge of Fortitude No. 64, and Frederick William Towns Lodge No 9328. Appointed to Provincial Grand Steward in 1997, he was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 2000, appointed a Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2002 and promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2004. In 2007 he was appointed to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. At District level he has also served as Deputy Chairman of Manchester District No 5".
EComp Marchant was then appointed as Second Provincial Grand Principal and, in similar style to previously, he was proclaimed and applauded by the Companions.
EComp Wesley Marchant presented for his appointment
EComp Marchant thanks the Companions for their applause and pledges his service to the Royal Arch
The MEGSupt was then delighted to re-appoint the Rev'v Donald Pryce, PGStB, as the Third Provincial Grand Principal, describing him as a man of God, a Freemason and ever ready to serve the Province in all of his capacities.
EComp Rev Donald Pryce, Third Provincial Grand Principal
MEGSupt, Jack Price with the newly appointed Deputy Grand Superintendent, Bill Porter
The MEGSupt then took great pleasure in re-appointing the Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, Norman Clarke, Ed Cheadle, Stuart Hughes, David Thornton and Michael Llandriau, acknowledging what valuable assets they are to the Province, how they work closely with the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters in the Craft and expressing his gratitude for their efforts. Jack Price then moved on to reappoint the District Officers Royal Arch (DORAs) who were remaining in Office. He welcomed two new Officers to the Team (David Hoyle for Ashton & Mossley and Gordon McMillan for Accrington, Clayton le Moors, Clitheroe and Oswaldtwistle) and expressed his sincere thanks to Eddie Barlow, Ken Edwards, Mike Williams and Fred Holden for the excellent work they have completed whilst in office, adding that he had no doubts that they wouldn't be out of a job for long.
later in the afternoon, during the Investiture of those appointed and promoted in Provincial Grand Chapter, Comp Price appointed EComp Henri Lyons to the office of Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. Henri has served a a Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for a number of years, knows the job well, is respected for his experience and skill in this role and will take on the work with enthusiasm and elegance, as well exemplifed by the quality of the ritual throughout the course of today.
EComp Wes Marchant with his successor as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, EComp Henri Lyons