It isn’t very often that the members of Sincerity Lodge No 3677 have an exotic evening away from their home at the Masonic Hall in Bryn, Wigan, but when the Group Chairman of North Fylde John Cross asked them along to conduct a Directors of Ceremony seminar at Cleveleys Masonic Hall they all jumped at the chance.
Cleveleys Masonic Hall Chairman Glen Jackson was extremely hospitable and the hall staff laid on a festive board to be proud of. It all helps of course when the WM of the lodge is also the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for West Lancashire and most of the officers on the floor are his deputies.
The meeting was opened punctually in due form, and it was wonderful to see a ceremony conducted with such precision, from the tyler to the senior warden and needless to say the WM was word perfect. With the business of the meeting undertaken and the minutes read and approved, the meeting was quickly concluded with reports from the almoner and treasurer before greetings were received from group chairman John Cross.
The WM thanked John for the hospitality shown and he thanked also John Selley, Wigan Group Chairman, for travelling to the Fylde Coast and for his support. With the meeting completed with a charitable collection, the meeting closed in peace and harmony and the gathered Masons split into Craft and Royal Arch groups to attend the two seminars which were led by the Provincial Deputy Grand Directors of Ceremonies Garry Smith, Robb Fitzsimmons and Ryan Modlin for the Craft and Ian Halsall for the Royal Arch.
Both seminars were based on the same precept, that of a visiting chain bearing officer accompanied by his own team visiting the lodge or chapter for some special occasion. Garry Smith led the Craft seminar and Ian Halsall the Royal Arch seminar. Both detailed precisely how an evening with such prestigious visitors should be conducted and the etiquette expected from the home lodge or chapter officers.
It soon became apparent how much time and effort the Provincial Deputy Grand Directors of Ceremonies must put in to enable them to perform their duties with such accuracy and style. Garry, Robb, Ryan and Ian all explained the different areas that required practice, practice and more practice before taking on an installation, centenary or 50th celebration when accompanying the ProvGM or other chain bearing officers from Provincial Grand Lodge or United Grand Lodge of England.
After a lengthy question and answer session the seminars drew to a close and the ProvDepGDCs and the brethren retired to the festive board where even more training was offered during the meal, wine takings and toasts.
With the tyler’s toast and the final words of the WM, the brethren began to make their way home. Some to the Fylde coast, some back to Wigan and the ProvDepGDCs across the rest of the West Lancs Province, a good night having been had by all.
By Ian K Dawson, Wigan Group Publicity Officer.