Craft Masonry of East Lancashire
Craft Masonry of East Lancashire

Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting – 22nd February 2012

….United in the Grand Design of Being Happy and Communicating Happiness! at King George’s Hall, Blackburn

The Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, entered Provincial Grand Lodge to tremendous applause following a superbly arranged procession of distinguished guests, Heads of Orders and present & past Provincial Leaders and Officers. Indeed, one of the first items of business following the opening of Provincial Grand Lodge was to welcome the Distinguished guests

The Provincial Grand Master re-appointed his Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters:

 

– Bro Martin S Caller
– Bro Stephen M Blank
– Bro Alex S McLaren
– Bro Martin P Roche
– Bro Chad A Northcott

The Provincial Grand Master then wished to place on record his very sincere thanks and appreciation to WBro Philip Mountford, who retired today as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master after some 7 years in office. He said that Bro Mountford has carried out his duties in his own inimitable style and he will be sorely missed by the Cabinet and more especially by the Brethren of Bolton and Bury.

 

Appointment of Assistant Provincial Grand Master

 

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the appointment of WBro Norman Cope, PAGDC, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. Sir David inspected the Patent of Appointment and confirmed that it was in order before the Provincial Grand Secretary read its contents. The Provincial Grand Master then spoke as follows:

“Bro Cope you were Initiated into Brun Lodge No 5118 in 1982 and Installed as Worshipful Master in 1992. You are a joining member of Pendleside Lodge of Installed Masters No 9111, the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No 8408, the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers’ Lodge No 3747 and the Lodge of Fortitude No 64. You were appointed as a Provincial Grand Steward in 1998, promoted to Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1999, and promoted again to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2003. Later that year you became Provincial Senior Grand Warden before taking on the role of Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2004. In 2006 your services to the Craft were recognised by Grand Lodge when you were appointed Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.You were Exalted into the Chapter of The Nativity No 126 in 1985 and installed as First Principal in 1997. You are a joining member of Huntroyd Chapter of First Principals No 6385 and the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Chapter No 3747. In 1999 you were appointed Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies before being promoted to a Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2003. In 2005 you were promoted to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. In 2008 you were appointed by Supreme Grand Chapter as a Past Grand Standard Bearer”.

He said that Brother Cope had demonstrated over many years that he is more than capable of taking on the responsibility of an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of this Province, but he nevertheless formally asked him if he was willing to accept the duties of that high office. Bro Cope replied in the affirmative.

Following prayers Brother Cope recited his Obligation as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and he was conducted to the Provincial Grand Master for Investiture before being proclaimed then saluted by the brethren.

WBro Norman Cope, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master

 

Before electing the Provincial Grand Treasurer the Provincial Grand Master thanked our retiring Treasurer, Bro Frankl for all his hard work and effort over these past 5 years, “We have benefitted from his considerable accounting experience and are grateful to him for steering us through, what has been a difficult time and for keeping our finances on track. Bro Frankl on behalf of all the members of the Province ‘Thank You’, we all wish you well for the future in your many and varied other Masonic interests”.

The new Provincial Grand Treasurer was then elected: WBro Ashley Hayman (Above) , who has been Treasurer of the Masonic Hall Company in Manchester and is the present Treasurer of the Provincial Grand Chapter. WBro Audrey Rothburn, Roland Adams and Philip Hollinshead were re-appointed as Auditors. Before stepping down completely WBro Frankl managed a final proposition: “Pursuant to the written Notice of Motion, previous given, I propose that from 1 January 2013, the diminished amount of Annual dues payable to Provincial Grand Lodge for every subscribing member be £17.00 exclusive of VAT.” This was approved by the brethren.

 

Presentation of Trophies to the winner of the EL Masonic Golfing Society Derby Cup and to the winner of the Short Paper’s Competition.

The next pleasant duties for the Provincial Grand Master was to present trophies to the winners of the above. The East Lancashire Masonic Golfing Society held their Annual Competition on 4 July 2012 at Dukinfield Golf Club. The winner this year, was the Society’s own Secretary WBro Alan Banks, who was sadly unable to be with us today. The PGM wished him sincere congratulations and all the best for a speedy recovery following forthcoming surgery. Brother Kevin Horne, the Master of this Lodge, accepted the trophy for Brother Banks. Sir David then said, “I am very grateful to the organising Committee for the generous donation of £500 to the 2015 RMBI Festival.

Our thanks are due to the Chairman, Bro Malcolm Worsley, his Secretary, Bro Alan Banks, the Treasurer, Bro Garth Bogle and the team of organisers of this event. The Committee Secretary, Bro Alan Banks, has asked me to remind all Brethren that this is a competition open to all members of the Province. Next year’s competition will be held at a new venue, namely, Dukinfield Golf Club on Thursday, 5 July 2012. New and existing competitors will be made very welcome”.

WBro Dr David Holding, a member of Palatine Lodge No 2447, won the Short Papers competition for his entry entitled “The Origins of English Masons Marks”. This paper was chosen because it introduces Freemasons to a subject which has hitherto been a rather neglected topic of Masonic interest. Dr David Holding covers a subject which although mentioned from time to time by Masonic writers is still a mystery to many and his paper tells us the story of the evolvement and use of Mason’s Marks in many of our great buildings. He also tells us that the use of Marks on stone is not restricted to any country or any particular period and their use has been discovered on material used in Egypt as early as 6,000 years ago.

Bro John Farrington then gave his report as follows:

“Sir, it gives me great pleasure to give my first report as the Provincial Grand Secretary. At the outset, I would wish to thank all those who work in the Provincial Office, both paid and as volunteers for their help and support throughout the year, without which my task would have been impossible. I am most grateful to them all. Prior to your Installation in February the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge attended the Amalgamation of Cromwell and Papyrean Lodge No 5771. This took place in November.

Since your Installation you, your Deputy and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters have attended a number of significant events, which include:-

The Centenary of: Reddish Lodge No 3615

The Golden Jubilee of: Cathedral Lodge No 7814

And, the Amalgamation of Amity & Rossendale Forest No 283.

4 Hosted Meetings which were held at: Salford, Manchester, Audenshaw and in the Rochdale District

 

A number of visits to private Lodges have also taken place, namely to:

– EL Centurion No 2322
– Manchester St David’s No1147
– Internet Lodge No 9659
– Old Blackburnians Lodge No 7933
– Sunnyhurst Lodge No 4631
– Acorn & Rose Lodge No 5677
– Old Mancunians Lodge No 3140

 

Bible Fall Dedications have been held at Townley Parker Lodge No 1083 and Amity & Rossendale Forest No 283

In addition the very successful Let’s Talk Freemasonry Conference again took place in March.

 

There have been a total of 6 Personal 60ths Celebrations for:

– WBro Jack P Hulton, Farnworth Lodge No 5301
– WBro Charles L Brown, Britannia Lodge No 3005
– WBro Eric Ridgway, Equity Lodge No 4589
– WBro George WD Old, Peaceful Valley No 4111
– WBro John Robinson, Lodge of Faith No 581
– WBro William L Clapham, Lodge of Good Companions No 6005

 

And 27 Personal 50ths.

– William A Young, Huntroyd Lodge No 6385
– Eric W Booth, St Margarets Lodge No 7349
– John H Weaver, Vigilance Lodge No 4952
– Roland W Williams, Lodge of Benevolence No226
– George W Davis, St Thomas Lodge No 992
– Geoffrey Mallinson, Madrigal Lodge No 5039
– John S Nicholls, Lodge of Good Companions No 6005
– James T Ward, St Margarets Lodge No 7349
– Alan McColl, Milncroft Lodge [Scottish Constitution]
– James Aspden, Morning Star Lodge No 4136
– John P Price, Progress Lodge No 4848
– Richard Wright, Fleetwood Lodge No 3711[Prov of West Lancs]
– Peter W Furmston, Stamford Lodge No 6427
– Henry M Graves, Manna Lodge No 7602 [Metro Grand Lodge]
– Sidney Smith, Portland Lodge No 6575
– Ronald Edwards, Sincerity Lodge No 3120
– James D Rostron, Lodge of Harmony & Industry No 381
– Bryan Adshead, Imperial Lodge No 5609
– Michael AC Heanly, Roch Valley Lodge No 5120
– John Howarth, Masasa Lodge No 6802 [Zimbabwe]
– John N Holt, Earl of Lathom No 2560
– Stanley Gee, Hardman Lodge No 1948
– Derek Johnson, Ashbury Lodge No 1459
– Bernard Owens, Iron Road Lodge No 4964
– Brian D Shaw, Welfare Lodge No 4780
– Christopher G Adamson, Lodge of Hope No 54
– Reginald B Harrison, Lodge of Relief No 42

 

Amalgamations:

We have now held 33 amalgamations; with 43 Lodges erased to create those amalgamations. A total of 101 Lodges have now been erased and we are waiting the erasure of a further 15. This will leave the Province with 247 Lodges.

 

Membership

The following information relates to the calendar year 2011. The year commenced with 7077 memberships, which included 5934 individual members, and 170 Initiations were held during the year. The year ended with 6745 memberships, which included 5638 individual members. There was a net reduction in memberships of 332 and a net reduction in individual members of 296.”

 

There then followed a collection for the EL 2015 Festival for the RMBI which the Brethren sang Jerusalem:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

The Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier, then stood to address the Brethren:


The Provincial Grand Master’s Address to the Brethren

Sir David began his address by thanking all for being present. He also extended his personal congratulations to all those Brethren who were to be re-appointed, appointed or promoted within the Province and thanked those who were to relinquish their appointments; for their enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. He also thanked the very senior members of the Province, including the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, the Provincial Grand Secretary and indeed all the members of the Craft Cabinet for their support and wise counsel “It is a joy to work with them and I value their experience and good humour”.

The Provincial Grand Master had a number of important messages to convey which were warmly welcomed by the brethren:

The first message was to thank all Lodges and their members who have been kind enough to invite him to their meetings, some of which have been hosted with all Lodges being represented within a District. Sir David said that, without exception, he had been received with kindness and memorable hospitality and had been afforded the opportunity to meet many members of the Craft – previously unknown to him – and to renew old friendships. His experience on those occasions has reinforced his belief that the cornerstone of Masonic activity is friendship, loyalty and service, underpinned by the sheer enjoyment of like-minded people who strive to achieve similar objectives. “The camaraderie that we experience at every level in Masonry is the essence of our organisation and the driving force behind our success”, he said.

 

EL 2015 Festival

It is abundantly clear that the contributions from Lodges to our 2015 Festival have been generous and quite sizeable. It is equally clear that we have many reasons to be grateful to those individual Masons who have already contributed on a personal basis to the Festival. We must always be very careful when we are asking those who have not yet contributed to the Festival to consider doing so. First of all, we are all aware that we are currently in the worst economic recession that any of us can remember, with most of Europe up to its tonsils in debt. Sir David said he is alive to the problems associated with asking our Brethren to consider personal donations when they feel that they are already financially supporting their Lodge, possibly the East Lancashire Masonic Charity, and the Masonic Hall in which they meet, as examples, adding that it is certainly imperative to be sensitive about this matter, to tread carefully and be diplomatic. Pockets are only so deep! He suggested though that we need to put in context the amount of money that is required to receive a Festival Jewel which is about the equivalent of the cost of a pint of beer a week.

Sir David then referred to WBro John Scott, the Chairman of the Festival Appeal Committee, and all his Committee Members, who are working closely with the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and Festival Representatives in Districts and Lodges, “They are trying very hard to increase the overall contributions and their enthusiasm has resulted in considerable success. Contributions from Lodges, from Chapters, from individuals and from the profit of major events have realized the sum of £ 1,150,727.28 to date. I would be grateful for anything you can do to support them and of course the Festival. They deserve that support”.

WBro John Scott, Festival Appeal Committee Chairman

 

To set a personal example for raising money for the Festival the Provincial Grand Master has committed himself to a sponsored “slim”. When he informed Lady Ruth that this was going to happen, she was ecstatic! She thought that she might get back the husband she married 37 years ago when the PGM was 12 stone “wet through”, and as thin as a racing snake. Then she asked, “When would this happen”? He said, “not yet. For example there’s Christmas and all that Turkey and wine and spirits and beer. Then there is Easter!”

Sir David is undertaking this form of self-flagellation in the early New Year, though with all forms of flagellation, He would prefer it if it were a group activity!!

 

Marketing, Recruitment and Retention

In his address at the Installation in February Sir David placed considerable emphasis on Marketing, Recruitment and Retention. As with many things these days the news was both good and bad. It is good in the sense that the figures for new initiates coming into Freemasonry in this Province broadly equates to the number of Masons who have tragically died, but the bad news is that we are facing an increasing number of those who have resigned within a relatively short period of coming into the Craft. 27% leave within 3 years. Undoubtedly this means that we simply must focus on Mentoring within our Lodges. Later, in the meeting Sir David appointed the new Provincial Grand Mentor, W Bro. Alan Kirwilliam, “Whose enthusiasm I find to be infectious and whose inspiration reflects the need for us all to inspire our newer members to remain within the fold through the efforts of newly appointed Lodge Mentors. We need to create a sense of belonging, understanding and involvement – for all Brethren”.

WBro Alan Kirwilliam, Provincial Grand Mentor

 

The PGM continued, “Despite the fact that these problems of retention are not unique to this Province; it is crystal clear that the success of the mentoring scheme here will ensure that we have stronger Lodges and a vibrant Province. It can only succeed if the newer members continue to feel welcome and enjoy themselves. If we make Mentoring work, we make Masonry work. As we have all heard many times in “the Address to the Brethren” at our Installations, “I therefore trust we should have but one aim in view… To please each other and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.”

Turning to Recruitment specifically, Sir David said, “It is important that I should mention two initiatives, which will assist us in our recruitment strategy. One has been running for some time and the other I am launching today: The University Scheme is a huge success as it is in so many other Provinces. Since its inception in East Lancashire in 2006, over 60 young people have been initiated into Freemasonry. Earlier this week, I witnessed a ceremony in Old Mancunians Lodge consisting of 4 initiations conducted exclusively by Freemasons, none of whom had been in the Craft for more than five years. It was well conducted and – for me – uplifting. I wish to announce today that I have decided that we will have a second Lodge in the Province to accept brethren under the University Scheme and I will shortly be inviting any Lodge who would like to be in this scheme to put their name forward and all expressions of interest will be carefully considered. I wish to thank WBro Paul Rose whose dynamic leadership of this scheme has led to the enormous success of this initiative. We should all be immensely proud of what is being achieved.”

He then moved on to the second Initiative, “I have taken on recruitment is to commission a film, which is now connected to our Provincial Web Site. In this film, which I launch today, I have endeavoured to explain face to face to those who take the trouble to connect with our website what Freemasonry means to me – why I have gained so much from being a Mason and my personal enjoyment in being in such a worthwhile and rewarding organisation. In the film, I have emphasized the importance I attach to the three words I referred to at my Installation – tolerance, kindness and integrity. The film also makes clear how we integrate closely with each other; how we support Masonic and non-masonic Charities as well as enjoying ourselves at our many social events; why we treasure the support of our families as well as our friends, and why we are so enthusiastic in our support of the RMBI Nursing Home in Eccles and the Hewlett Court Retirement Home in Bury. In short, I have tried to convey the pride I feel in being a Freemason. I hope you will look at it and, in particular, encourage those who are not in the Craft to look at it too. It is a very important part of our new recruitment strategy. My sincere thanks go to WBro. John Hesketh and his wife Sandy, for the production of this film. Their patience, commitment and above all their professionalism is deserving of the highest praise.” Beyond the film is a brand new area of the website fully dedicated to comprehensively explaining Freemasonry and Membership to the general public and hopefully to prospective members, who will be able to apply for further information or to join using an online form.

 

Certificate of Exceptional Service

Following a recommmendation by WBro Stephen Blank It has been decided that we should award a Certificate of Exceptional Service for members of this Province who have given outstanding service above and beyond the normal call of duty. The number of Freemasons who achieve this recognition will be strictly limited to twelve at any one time and a lapel badge will be worn by those recipients. This award will be over and above whatever Provincial or Grand Rank has been attained by those Masons.

In conclusion the Provincial Grand Master said, “Brethren, society has changed beyond belief since many of us were initiated into the Craft. Freemasonry has changed – and will continue to change in the future. I have no problem with that! I know that we cannot simply stand still and ignore what is happening all around us. Despite the fact we are told by the statisticians that in this Country today, fewer and fewer people are prepared to become involved in voluntary and charitable organisations within their communities, I passionately believe that Freemasonry has still got so much to offer! I believe that we exemplify the coming together of like-minded people whatever their race, religion or socio-economic position in society; that we come from all walks of life and meet as equals; that we passionately believe that Freemasonry is more relevant and important to society today than ever before, as it encompasses and embraces all the fundamental principles of good citizenship. These are things to be proud of! Whilst some pessimists may say that as a Nation we seem to have made an art form of putting ourselves down or selling ourselves short, the rest of the world sees us rather differently and in this particular year 2012 the rest of the world has seen Britain celebrate two amazing major events which I believe have been the envy of the world. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.

The coming together of the people of this country and the restoration of self- confidence, esteem and national pride is something we have all been privileged to witness. Following the huge success of those two events, overseas commentators have described the British as a “can do” society and that “we have always punched above our weight”. I would wish us to transpose those laudable descriptions into our Masonry because we are certainly a ‘Can Do’ Society.”

Bringing his address to a close the Provincial Grand Master said, “Finally, because of the immense significance of this very special year for Her Majesty the Queen, three verses of the National Anthem were circulated. Sir David said, “This is not a mistake. What would have been a mistake would have been if we had printed all six verses which were written in 1745 when we practically ruled the world, and certainly ‘the waves’, I have to confess to you that the remaining three verses are – even for my taste – so bellicose, so belligerent and so aggressive that they were probably designed to put the fear of God into anyone who might threaten us. (Some of you would probably love them). In the year 1887, 125 years ago, at Grand Lodge’s celebration of the Golden Jubilee, the Prince of Wales led the assembly in giving three cheers for Queen Victoria. I believe that it would be your wish that we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at least as enthusiastically”

 

Investiture of Provincial Officers

Following the Provincial Grand Master’s address was another great highlight of the afternoon, the Investiture of the newly appointed, re-appointed and promoted Officers, prior to which the PGM reiterated his thanks to the Wardens and other outgoing Officers of the year and those continuing in Office for their hard work and support. There was a total of 233 appointments and promotions in total including those conferred during the year:

WBro Brian Metcalf was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer at the Golden Jubilee meeting of Cathedral Lodge No 7814. WBro Norman Jackson was promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden at the recent Centenary meeting held at Reddish Lodge No 3615. And WBro Geoffrey H Lee and WBro Frank Wilkinson have been made Past Provincial Senior Grand Wardens.

The new Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies is WBro Wesley Marchant.

WBro Wesley Marchant, PAGDC, Provincial Grand DC

 

Before closing Provincial Grand Lodge Sir David took the opportunity to say a special thank you to the District Chairmen and to the Chairmen of the various sub-Committees who work tirelessly throughout the year on behalf of the Province and who are an essential part of the our structure. He also wished to place on record his sincere thanks to the many people involved in organising today’s meeting. In particular, the Provincial Grand Secretary and those in the Secretariat. Likewise he congratulated the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team, for their splendid ceremonial presentation which was most impressive. He added that on our entry to the Hall today we were guided by Stewards from the Blackburn District led by the District Chairman, Bro David Lightbown and from the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No 8408. Outside the main hall, guarding and securing our privacy were our Security Brethren, under the direction of Bro Steve Smith. Thanks also to our sound men Bro John Hesketh and Bro Peter Hegarty. Many thanks were also extended to our “medical staff” led by Bro Eddie Barlow and the Charity Stewards, under the direction of Bro Bennion who had efficiently taken our contributions towards the 2015 Festival. Thanks also went to Bro Alan Barlow who has undertaken the task of ensuring our seating arrangements were in order for the Dinner following this meeting.

Penultimately the PGM said that this year we have missed the contribution and expertise of Brother Roger Norris and Brother Ian Ronson, both of whom have recently undergone heart surgery. He wished them well in their recoveries on all our behalves.

Provincial Grand Lodge was then closed.

The Brethren then sang the three verses of the National Anthem preceded by a tremendous fanfare from WBro Paul Bowen, the Provincial Grand Organist:

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour
Long may she reign
May she defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen

Not in this land alone
But be God’s mercies known
From shore to shore
Lord make the nations see
That men should brothers be
And form one family
The wide world over

 

Following Provincial Grand Lodge the Brethren moved into the Festive Board


The Festive Board following Provincial Grand Lodge was a splendid affair attended by well in excess of 250 guests including brethren from other Provinces, Orders and the RMBI.

VWBro Derek Thornhill proposed the Toast to our Provincial Grand Master, punctuated with great humour, beginning, “What a year 2012 has been. We have had the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which has been widely celebrated in the Province and over the summer the Olympic and Para-Olympic Games. Nationally this has lifted spirits and given a tremendous ‘feel-good’ factor. Then on 22nd February this year our Provincial Grand Master was installed, giving us our very own ‘feel-good’ factor! Now Brethren I shall let you into a little secret: Since the appointment of the PGM by Grand Lodge last November and leading up to his Installation in February, both the Deputy Grand Superintendent, William Porter, and myself have acted as Sir David’s personal trainers!” (He then asked the Deputy Grand Superintendent to stand), continuing he said, “As you can see Brethren, Bill and I are like a couple of racing snakes :-), we helped prepare Sir David both physically and mentally for the year ahead :-). We prepared him for meals, speeches, meals, toasts, meals, meetings and more meals! Undoubtedly Lady Ruth will agree that Sir David has applied himself completely following our training and hence he will be undetaking a sponsored slim in the New Year. I can tell you, Sir David, that Bill Porter and me will not be joining you on this quest.

I can tell you Brethren that our Provincial Grand Master is very similar to those well honed athletes, Mo Farah, Sir Chris Hoy and Jessica Ennis, well maybe not physically yet but certainly he has had their drive, determination and enthusiasm for work. Sir David has shown this throughout his life, at school, in politics, as an MP, in government and in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. He has given his all to us at a time when we really leadership. He is well aware of our need to enjoy our Freemasonry and has enhanced that with his friendship, loyalty and service. His commitment to Recruitment, Retention and their natural link to Mentoring has been visible to all. 9 months ago people asked who is He? I haven’t heard that question for a long time Brethren!

He then asked the Brethren to rise and join him in his toast to the Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier!

In response, sir David thanked Derek Thornhill for his kind and generous words, “In fact they were so kind and generous I did not recognise myself in them. I am thinking of having them put onto a CD so that I can put it on in the car when I am feeling low! Perhaps occcasionally play them to Lady Ruth to remind her how good I am :-). Derek and I have become very close over the last 12 months. We are on the telephone to each other most days and I am in fact thinking of inviting Derek to move in to our spare room. Providing he occasionally walks the dog it will save me a fortune in telephone bills!”

Sir David then referred to our visiting Provincial Grand Masters, “Particularly RWBros. John Clayton, Stephen Adcock, Norman Thompson, Peter Hosker and, although he couldn’t be here today, Keith Dalrymple from the Isle of Man. They have embraced me into their ‘clutch’, ‘forum’, ‘mafia’ or whatever the collective term is for a set of Provincial Grand Masters. Although I have tremendous support from my senior officers in this Province there are occasions when the input of colleague PGMs is Important and the support we give each other is profound. In fact they have mentored me so well they have nearly replaced the wife….but not quite!”

“Brethren, I am now going to roll into a toast to the Newly appointed Provincial Officers. I have been really delighted today to shake their hands and offer my personal congratulations. It is a privilege to get to know these people and during my visits around the Province the kindness and hospitality shown to me has been very special, in Lodge and especially at the Festive Board where you can almost feel the warmth of comeradeship. The positive vibes will one to do well. To do well so the Lodge and, in turn, the Province can succeed. Brethren, if you ever meet me outside of Freemasonry, in a non-Masonic scenario, say in a hotel, club or bar, especially a bar. Don’t be shy. Approach me. Step up, Take me by the hand. And simply say, ‘What you having’?

With that the Provincial Grand Master was joined by the Brethren in toasting the newly appointed, re-appointed and promoted Provincial Officers.

WBro Peter Faulkner (Above), the new Provincial Senior Grand Warden, responded: “We have a process in the Province which starts with recommendations from the Lodge and culminates some months later with ‘that’ letter dropping through the door. That letter invites us to become Provincial Officers, in my case the Senior Warden, and with that invitation comes the knowledge that we have been thanked for the work we have done in Masonry and our societies already, and with it there is an expectation that we will continue and build on that work into the future, and promote the Province of which we are members”.

The Provincial Junior Grand Warden (Above) is WBro Mark Davis, Chairman of the Benevolence Committee of the East Lancashire Masonic Charity.


…And Finally

During the course of the afternoon the Provincial Grand Master welcomed our Distinguished Guests and Heads of Order whose presence, “..enhances our meeting”. They were greeted with acclaim:

 

From the Province of: Yorkshire, West Riding

– RWBro John K Clayton, Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Colin Dent, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro D Stuart Cummins, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master

 

West Lancashire

– RWBro Peter Hosker, Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Jonathan Clipsham, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Raymond Martland, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Keith Kemp, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies

 

Cumberland & Westmorland

– RWBro Norman J Thompson, Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Keith Young, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
– WBro William J Bewley, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro William H Morley, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro William Douthwaite, PJGD, Provincial Grand Secretary

 

Cheshire

– RWBro Steven Adcott, Provincial Grand Master
– WBro George W Mann, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master

 

And from East Lancashire, we welcomed:-

Our Past Provincial Grand Master: RWBro Paul Rink, and, The Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Nolan Morrison, and our Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp William J Porter, together with our Past Deputy Grand Superintendent: EComp Allan Bennion.

Within the Mark Order we welcomed the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Keith Schofield

From the Order of the Knights Templar, the Provincial Prior, Bro David Gallear.

From the Antient and Accepted Rite, the Inspector General of the District of South East Lancashire, Bro Royce Batters.

From the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees, the District Grand Prefect East Lancashire, Bro Alexander McLaren.

From the Order of the Secret Monitor, the Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler, Bro Howard Nuttall.

From the Royal Order of Scotland, Provincial Grand Lodge of the Counties Palatine of Lancaster and Chester, the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Ian Clark

 

and finally:

We also welcomed our Special Guests from the RMBI:

WBro Peter Williams, Head of External Affairs and WBro James Newman, Chairman of the Trustees.