September was, as usual, a relatively quiet month for Rose Croix meetings, but still gave me plenty of opportunities to enjoy Masonic fellowship in other Orders and also get in some holiday.
On Friday 1st September, I attended the Installation meeting of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1272 at Manchester Hall in the newly refurbished Goulburn suite which, happily, was free from the horrible dust which seems to have pervaded the building for so long.
The following day, Saturday 2nd September, there was (by my reckoning) a record attendance for the East Lancashire District Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees at Rochdale, a week earlier than normal due to other bookings at the hall on our usual date.
On Wednesday 6th September, I was a candidate (along with three other Brethren) for the Royal and Select Masters Degree of Select Master in St. George’s Council No.262 at Chorley. Only three more degrees to go in that particular Order!
On Friday 8th September, I was back at Manchester Hall for the Installation meeting of White Stone Mark Lodge, in what I think was the Towns Lodge room, still very dingy and down at heel, presumably awaiting a complete refurbishment in readiness for public use. An excellent festive board as always, in one of the newly decorated dining rooms.
The following morning involved an early start as I travelled from Manchester Piccadilly to Hull for the Annual Rose Croix District Meeting of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, hosted by the Antient York Chapter of Redemption and Wyke Chapter. A very relaxed journey, a well-conducted Perfection ceremony and a most enjoyable festive board in the company of my fellow Inspectors General and our District Recorders.
The week commencing Monday 11th September might just go down as an all-time record for my Masonic activity:-
- Monday: Installation meeting of Whalley Arches Lodge
- Tuesday: Grand Mark Lodge at Great Queen Street, after which the East Lancashire party dined at ‘Tuttons’ restaurant in Covent Garden – a different venue from recent trips and well worth the change.
- Wednesday: Quarterly Communication of UGLE.
- Thursday: Plains of Tabor Knights Templar Preceptory at Colne.
- Friday: Donald Maitland Davies Chapter Rose Croix in the morning/lunchtime at Manchester Hall and Benedicta Chapter Rose Croix at Bryn in the evening.
- Saturday: The East Lancashire Mark Province Festival Banquet at Middleton.
- And on the seventh day, I rested. Whew!
On 18th September, I paid what has now become an almost weekly visit to Prior’s Close, the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund’s residential property in Blackburn, to hold a meeting with some of the tenants to explain our plans for improving the fire alarms and other safety features in their flats and the communal areas of the premises.
The meeting of Brierfield Lodge at Padiham on Tuesday 19th September was rather better attended than I had anticipated, especially as Burnley FC were playing at home that evening. WBro Roy Langtree excelled, as ever, with his explanation of the Second Degree Tracing Board for our recently Passed Brother.
On Wednesday, I travelled to Preston for the Installation of VWBro Paul Snape as District Grand Prefect for West Lancashire in the Allied Masonic Degrees.
The following week, Susan and I enjoyed a few days holiday in Northumberland, staying at the Percy Arms, Chatton, with plenty of sightseeing and some very enjoyable meals in the process. Not to mention some excellent ale. Golden Plover. Try it!
Finally, on Friday 29th September, I made my fourth visit of the month to Manchester Hall for the Enthronement meeting of the East Lancashire Chapter Rose Croix No.440. On this occasion, the meeting was held at lunchtime to encourage attendance among members and visitors who would otherwise be unable to attend due to clashes with other Masonic commitments or the hassle of travelling into the city on a Friday evening. Time will tell, but I was very pleased with the turn-out, coupled with a most enjoyable ceremony and a convivial festive board.