Time sure does fly when you are enjoying yourself! The month of March hardly seemed to have started with a full but evenly spaced calendar of meetings and then it was over.
Starting as usual with the Rose Croix, on 5th April, Ill∴Bro. Jack Aston 32° and I travelled to York to attend the Installation of the new Inspector General for the District of Yorkshire North & East Ridings, V∴ Ill∴Bro. Stephen Robinson 33°.
Sadly, the Sovereign Grand Commander, Most Puissant Bro. Alan Englefield 33° was indisposed with a virus he’d picked up on a recent visit to our Districts in the Far East and the ceremony was conducted with great aplomb by the newly appointed Lieutenant Grand Commander, Very Puissant Bro. Guy Elgood 33°.
After the festive board we travelled swiftly back across the Pennines to Lancashire to be met at Accrington Railway Station by Jack’s wife Christine and hurried to Rawtenstall for the meeting of Canon Francis Paton-Williams Chapter. All in all a long day, coupled with the calorific intake of two Masonic meals, but worthwhile and we know very much appreciated by the members of Canon Francis Paton-Williams Chapter.
On 15th March, the half-yearly meeting of Donald Maitland Davies Chapter at Bridge Street, Manchester was unusual in that we had a Candidate for Perfection, the Reverend David Halford, Third Provincial Grand Principal. David was Perfected by a team led by the Most Wise Sovereign, Ill∴Bro. Alex McLaren 31° (who conducted the Second Point) which included no less than 4 ‘black hats’: ‘Yours Truly’ conferred the Intermediate Degrees, V∴ Ill∴Bro. Royce Batters 33° and V∴ Ill∴Bro. David Hawkins 33° conducted the First Point and V∴ Ill∴Bro. Ian Clark 33° conducted the Third Point. Certainly a day to remember for the Candidate!
On 16th March, Jack Aston and I were again on our travels, this time to Gateshead for the Annual Meeting of the District of Durham, which, like our own Annual Meetings took the form of a ‘live’ Perfection ceremony, with the Sovereigns from a number of Chapters in the District taking part.
My Rose Croix month ended on Wednesday 27th March with the Enthronement meeting of James D Murray Chapter at Padiham. A delightful evening of Rose Croix masonry, with a strong showing among the Chapter members, but sadly a lack of visitors to witness an excellent ceremony.
Other notable Masonic events during the month included:
- 4th March:- Shuttleworth Council Allied Masonic Degrees and Gawthorpe Lodge of Royal Arch Mariners meeting in tandem at Colne, having reverted to the 1st Monday in the month; and again using the newly furnished Lodge room in the basement of the building and dining in the committee room, an arrangement that has worked very well for us so far;
- 7th March:- Enthronement meeting of County Palatine Conclave No.50 (Red Cross of Constantine) at Ashday Lea, at which I was invested as Senior General (eeek!);
- 12th March:- East Lancashire Mark spring trip to London for the Quarterly Communication of Grand Mark Lodge, dining at a new venue, Davy’s Crusting Pipe (strange name) in Covent Garden;
- 13th March:- UGLE Quarterly Communication;
- 19th March:- Installation meeting of Brierfield Lodge No7560, my Mother Lodge, at Padiham, details on the Lodge website;
- 21st March:- Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Chapter of East Lancashire at King George’s Hall, Blackburn, and a promotion for ‘yours truly’ to Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah.
On the social front, Sue and I attended Pendle Lodge’s Ladies’ Evening at Turf Moor on Saturday 9th March, Soroptimist International of Preston’s 80th Charter Anniversary Dinner at Barton Grange Hotel on Sunday 17th March and our Third Annual Rose Croix District Lunch at Accrington Masonic Hall on Sunday 24th March.