Following the success of the inaugural Provincial New and Young Masons forum in 2019, the Province decided that the current restrictions on meetings that have stopped so much Masonic activity, would not mean another year without this important platform for our new and younger members to take part in.
This year, however, the event was to be, like so many others, a virtual one, using the now ubiquitous Zoom platform to allow attendees the opportunity of taking part. The Province was assisted in the organisation of the event by the committee of The Corinthian Club, the new and young Masons club for the Chorley and Leyland Group who have built an enviable reputation for offering virtual events since their launch last summer, with Adam Dennett, Corinthian Club Events Secretary, ensuring the proceedings ran smoothly throughout.
Over 60 attendees joined the event with many more looking in via a live stream on the Province’s YouTube channel. The proceedings were opened by Neil Ward, Provincial Membership Officer and President of the Corinthian Club. Neil welcomed all the delegates, including the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison and Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning. He then introduced the first guest speaker, Stewart Cranage the Provincial Grand Mentor, who gave an excellent presentation entitled ‘From Darkness into Light – The origin of the spiritual journey of your initiation’, in which he explained much of the symbolism and ritual surrounding the initiation into Freemasonry. The talk was very well received and a lively question and answer session followed, which was facilitated by Mark Humphrey, Corinthian Club Secretary and Group Membership Officer.
After a short break Neil then introduced the next speaker, Tony Harvey, who is someone who has been instrumental in developing the Members Pathway Initiative. Tony’s presentation was entitled ‘The Journey Ahead – What does Freemasonry have in store for me?’ The talk was aimed firmly at new Freemasons and those who are considering joining. It was designed to explain what a new member might expect in his early years of membership and what routes he may wish to take in order to get the most satisfaction from his Freemasonry. Tony explained the numerous offices and stages of progression in Craft Masonry and also touched on the many other Masonic Orders, as well as the various roles such as charity, membership and publicity, which are so vital to the fraternity’s continued success. The delegates were once again offered the opportunity to put forward questions, this time facilitated by Nigel Monks, Corinthian Club Treasurer and Group Publicity Officer.
The afternoon was brought to a close by Tony Harrison. He first thanked everyone for attending, the organisers for their hard work in putting the event together and not least, both Stewart Cranage and Tony Harvey for their excellent presentations. Also, all the work they continue to do in educating and informing their fellow members. Tony commented that he had certainly made a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. He continued by mentioning the success of the event, which was a testament to the reputation of The Corinthian Club, which has now become one of the leading clubs of its kind, showing the way in so many aspects of Freemasonry.
Tony then went on to outline some of the things that are currently happening in the Province, despite the lockdown that we have endured. Providing assistance in the community, the tremendous success of the winter foodbank campaign, provision of personal protective equipment where it is in short supply and help for the homeless. All this and continued support of the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. He made special mention of the brethren who have received commendations from the Grand Master for their actions during the pandemic.
Following Tony’s address, Wayne Haslam, Corinthian Club Chairman hosted a final question and answer session for both Tony and Philip Gunning to take any questions from the delegates. The afternoon was closed by Neil Ward who also thanked everyone for attending, the presenters for their efforts and his fellow committee members for their hard work in making the event a success.
After the event, Chorley and Leyland Group Chairman, Peter Lockett commented: “It had been a fantastic day and he, like the Provincial Grand Master, had certainly made a daily advancement in his Masonic knowledge.” Tony Harvey then thanked everyone for the opportunity to take part and for being made to feel so welcome.
All agreed that the afternoon had been a great success. For anyone wishing to watch the edited highlights, they will be available on the Province’s YouTube channel in the next few days and can be viewed by clicking here.