November proved to be a busy and enjoyable month, with trips to other Districts and plenty of activity in my own Lodges and Chapters.
Early in the month, I visited Arnold House in Rugby for the annual ‘away’ meeting of the 32nd Degree, when 7 candidates were promoted to that degree by members of Supreme Council, followed by a splendid lunch. It was agreed by all the IGs present that the ceremony was far more enjoyable and relaxed than the ceremonies conducted at Duke Street, as there was no time pressure to admit the candidates for other degrees.
To end that week, I was the ‘host’ as the outgoing District Grand Senior Warden, at the Allied Masonic Degrees District Warden’s Mess in Middleton. Despite several recent changes in personnel, we were well pleased with the standard of the dining and the service from Barbara and her team.
The second week in November was, to say the very least, hectic with TSB Mark Lodge Installation at Bridge Street (still without any heating!) on Monday and St. Peter’s Chapter Rose Croix Chapter at Bolton on Tuesday.
Then, to complete a longstanding ambition, on Wednesday 9th I was admitted into the Royal Order of Scotland along with my very good friend George Tyrell Heys, when we also witnessed the Installation of John Aitken as the new Provincial Grand Master by the Deputy Grand Master and Governor of the Order, Sir Archibald Orr-Ewing, Bt.
A few days in Malta with my wife, attending the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland Federation Conference gained me a brief respite from Masonic activity before returning home to Initiate our newest candidate at Brierfield Lodge on Tuesday 15th.
The next day, I was at Chester Racecourse for the biennial meeting of Inspectors General with the Grand Secretary General, as always a very fruitful and wide-ranging discussion on matters affecting the Order, followed by a superb lunch. Thanks Harry!
The annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire followed on Thursday 17th November, when there was a superb attendance at King George’s Hall in Blackburn, no doubt helped by the recently introduced policy of inviting Masters and Wardens in office to attend and sit together in the centre section of the balcony.
The meeting of Verney Clayton Rose Croix Chapter on Saturday 19th completed the third week of the month. It was a delight to witness E&P Bro John Hargreaves not only conduct an excellent First and Second Point but then Enthrone his successor, Ill. Bro Clive Carroll as Most Wise Sovereign.
Week 4 of the month was by comparison relatively quiet, with a meeting of Plains of Tabor Preceptory Knights Templar at Colne on Thursday and, to round off the month in grand style, the Mark Cabaret Evening at the Holiday Inn in Bolton on Saturday.
December promises to be a no less busy month, with 2 trips to London already planned and a good number of Lodge meetings!