April was a pleasantly varied month, on both Masonic and social fronts.
In the Ancient & Accepted Rite, the North East Lancashire District broke new ground on Saturday 8th April by holding a ‘family’ lunch for members, ladies and non-masons. This event was hosted by Mark Wilkinson Chapter at Darwen in conjunction with their Spring meeting which is always held on the Saturday before Good Friday, so is closely associated with Easter, and was very well attended. See separate posting on this event.
On 12th April, I travelled across the border to attend the Enthronement meeting of St. Blasius Chapter at Skipton. What made this occasion particularly special was the fact that the newly Enthroned MWS, Ill.Bro Derek Thulborn, was originally a member of James D Murray Chapter in Burnley. I had the pleasure of delivering the Address to the Chapter and presenting Supreme Council Certificates to two newly Perfected Princes on behalf of the Inspector General for Yorkshire West Riding, V.Ill.Bro John Boyington, who was engaged on other Masonic business that evening.
The following week, on Thursday 20th April, I attended the Enthronement of E&P Bro Jim Bradley at Emmanuel Chapter in Bolton and again had the pleasure of delivering the Address to the Chapter at the conclusion of a superbly worked ceremony by the retiring MWS, E&P Bro Malcolm Hearsey.
On Saturday 22nd April, I was on my travels to Newcastle for the Annual District Meeting of the District of Northumberland at Byker Masonic Hall, where a packed temple witnessed a superb Perfection ceremony, followed by a very enjoyable lunch.
The final and most dramatic Rose Croix events of the month were still to come when, on 24th April, I travelled to London to see a demonstration of the 9th & 10th Degrees by the King Edward VII Rose Croix Chapter of Improvement in the Grand Temple at Great Queen Street and on 25th April attended a Higher Degrees meeting at Duke Street St. James’s, when the 30th Degree was conferred on 54 Past Sovereigns of the Order.
The month was no less busy in other Orders:
In the Craft, I attended meetings at Queen’s Jubilee Lodge at Colne to see an Initiation, Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge at Padiham for the Personal 50th of WBro Colin Wignall, my own Brierfield Lodge at Padiham on 18th April and finally the Installation meeting of the Pendleside Lodge of Installed Masters on 28th April.
In the Mark Degree, the half-yearly meeting of the Thomas Sharples Barlow Lodge was held at Rochdale, where we received a very informative presentation on the Mark Benevolent Fund and later in the month, at Wycoller Mark Lodge in Colne, I gave a talk on the relationship between the Craft, Royal Arch and Mark Degrees and was elected Master for the ensuing year.
For the final event of the month, on Saturday 29th April, I was a guest at Hugh de Payens Preceptory of Knights Templar at Darwen, when a very dear friend, Kt. Mike Stubbs was installed as Eminent Preceptor and Eminent Prior in two excellent ceremonies.
Somewhere in amongst all that Masonic activity, I managed to attend two Soroptimist events with my wife (boy, do I need the ‘brownie’ points!), visit my Dad in Lincolnshire and celebrate my 60th birthday with some friends at Carlo’s Restaurant in Colne.
Roll on May, with another trip to London and visits to Rose Croix Chapter meetings in Yorkshire West Riding, North West Lancashire and Cumberland & Westmorland. It’s a good thing I’ve retired; sometimes I wonder how I ever managed to fit in work as well!