A busy month started on the second day and first Saturday in November. Having had a relaxing day with Maureen and time to enjoy a walk along the promenade in Morecambe, we travelled to Preston late in the afternoon to the Masonic Hall in Saul Street for the annual Charity Stewards Dinner and Cabaret evening.
We were joined by 160 other brethren with their ladies for what was an excellent evening. Following the reception, we enjoyed an excellent meal with a few money raising activities and then we were entertained by `The Rockitts` a band from the past, but they were really good and we were soon up dancing to their great music.
The evening was very successful for the 2021 Festival as we raised over £2,000.
Thanks are due to all who attended this fantastic event and I hope that you can join us again next year.
Two days later in the afternoon I travelled to the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool for a meeting of one of my Mark Lodges. We had an excellent evening and a very enjoyable dinner in the company of some 24 Mark Masons from various parts of the Province.
The following day involved a morning of paperwork, then off to Poulton Le Fylde in the afternoon to attend the Installation meeting of the Lodge of Fidelity No 1256. They had just celebrated their 150 years as a lodge early in May. Geoff Fogden installed John Wright in what was an excellent ceremony. The lodge room was full and I received a great welcome from all present. It was wonderful to have received a great donation to the 2021 Festival and the lodge became `Patron of the Festival`. Following a very good Festival dinner we had the Loyal Toast and usual Masonic toasts before starting my journey home.
Wednesday morning, I was at the office in Leyland for a couple of meetings, and on Friday, on a beautiful autumnal morning Maureen and I took a walk along the promenade. It was in brilliant sunshine but with a cold wind that we got to enjoy the sights across the bay.
Monday of the second week involved a journey to Blackpool and the Savoy Hotel. It was a terrible wet and windy day and one could hardly stand on Blackpool`s promenade. I was attending the centenary meeting of Peace and Unity Lodge No 3966. The meeting was very well attended with some 160 brethren including many senior Grand and Provincial Grand Officers, Acting Provincial Grand Officers many other visiting brethren. We enjoyed an excellent ceremony and the oration, by Rev John Hall, that followed. There followed a most enjoyable Grand Festival Dinner at which I was pleased to propose a toast to the lodge on attaining their centenary. After a wonderful day in the company of many friends and colleagues it was time to return home and fortunately the winds had calmed down.
On 12 November, I drove to Leyland for a very interesting meeting with the Royal Arch Cabinet. Two days later in the afternoon I was driven to Urmston by the Deputy Provincial Grand Almoner, for the installation convocation of Architect Chapter No 1375. The traffic on the M61 was dreadful, but we made the meeting just in time. We were warmly received by the AtoPrGPs Colin Rowling and the group chairman Gareth Jones together with some 36 companions from the chapter and the South Eastern Group.
It was a very interesting ceremony as we witnessed David Durling installing Wallace Fraser as first principal with the other principals remaining in office. Following the meeting we retired for an excellent dinner before having to return home. The traffic congestion had disappeared, and we had an uneventful journey home.
The morning of 16 November saw an early start as I travelled to Bradford for the Annual Provincial Royal Arch Convocation for the Province of Yorkshire West Riding. I was joined by Chris Butterfield and Peter Taylor and Colin Rowling upon our arrival at the meeting. It was very well attended by companions of the Province and many distinguished visitors from adjacent provinces. The MEGS Stewart Carley presided over the meeting during which he presented a blood bike to the `White Knights` who cover the County of West Yorkshire with their vital services. Following a very enjoyable luncheon and the usual speeches we made our way back across the Pennines to West Lancashire after a most enjoyable sojourn.
On 18 November there was a chance to catch up on some paperwork again before driving to St Annes for the installation convocation of Quadrant Chapter No 8044. What a wonderful welcome from all the companions present. We witnessed and enjoyed the installation convocation conducted by Tony Hanson, installing James Dale, Tony Hankinson and Ben Gorry. Following the ceremony we retired to the bar for pre-dinner drinks and then enjoyed a delicious meal and the usual speeches before returning home.
On Wednesday morning I travelled to Westhoughton, Masonic Hall for the installation meeting of Adoniram Mark Lodge No 552 to witness Giles Berkley being installed as master. A great ceremony although the number of brethren present appeared to be somewhat less than in previous years. I was unable to say for the luncheon as I then travelled to Blackpool, the Savoy Hotel for the centenary meeting of Brotherhood Lodge No 3987. The attendance at this meeting was exceptional with over 100 brethren supporting the lodge. I was assisted by David Randerson APrGM, the Provincial Wardens, David and Paul and many other acting Provincial officers of the day. Once the lodge had been opened I entered the lodge room and opened Provincial Grand Lodge in order to perform the centenary ceremony. The Provincial Secretary Peter Taylor read the centenary warrant, which I then delivered to the WM of the Lodge following which Rev Cannon Godfrey Hirst delivered his oration and prayers of dedication. I then closed Provincial Grand Lodge and the master resumed his place to conduct the remainder of the meeting. There followed a most delicious banquet to celebrate this very special occasion.
The afternoon of 21 November I drove to Blackburn, across the border into East Lancashire for the annual Provincial Grand Lodge meeting held at St Georges Hall. The meeting presided over by PrGM Sir David Trippier, was extremely well attended by the brethren of East Lancashire and their many guests. There followed a delightful festival banquet and several speeches before the final toast of the evening was proposed and we all departed for home.
On November 22 after a somewhat leisurely day I attended my Morecambe Rose Croix meeting in the evening, which was very well attended and the ceremony was excellent as was the buffet that followed.
On Saturday 23 November I drove to Westhoughton once again. It was the light blue, new and young Masons forum, organised by Neil Ward and others for the benefit of our newer brethren. It was extremely well attended by some 100 brethren who I am sure many a daily advancement in their knowledge today. I thank all who attended this wonderful meeting and all who took part in it.
Following a quiet Sunday on Monday afternoon I travelled to Pemberton Masonic Hall for the installation meeting of Quingenti Lodge No 8516. I was accompanied by David Randerson and many grand officers and we witnessed Steve Ralph install David Marlor. It was an excellent ceremony enjoyed by some 70 members of lodge.
On 27 November 27 I met with Peter Taylor and Phil Gunning in Leyland after the meeting were drove to Ormskirk Masonic Hall for the centenary meeting of Ormskirk Priory Lodge No 4007. There were 70 Brethren and guests attending the meeting and after I had opened Provincial Grand Lodge the Rev Canon Godfrey Hirst delivered an amazing oration followed by prayers of re-dedication. I was delighted to be able to promote John Wallbank to the rank of PPrJGW. Following the meeting we all enjoyed a wonderful banquet and several toasts before departing for home.
The following morning I met Peter Taylor and Malcolm Bell at Lancaster and we set off for our journey northwards up the M6 and A 69 to Gosforth Race Course for the annual Provincial Grand Lodge meeting for the Northumberland. We were joined there by Stewart Seddon and Frank Umbers making up the West Lancashire delegation. The meeting was very well attended with almost 500 brethren and guests present. Ian Craigs the PrGM presided over the meeting and James Newman from the MCF gave a short talk on their Festival for the RMBI. It was a most enjoyable occasion and we all enjoyed a fabulous lamb dinner to follow.
On the evening of 29 November I attended the Carnforth Study Circle meeting at the Bare Institute, in Morecambe to give a short talk about my duties as the PrGM for West Lancashire. It was good to see a number of local brethren in attendance who were quite inquisitive about many aspects of my responsibilities.
This was my last duty for this month, and I enjoyed a very quiet and relaxing weekend and was able to enjoy a couple of brisk walks on the promenade with Maureen despite the very cold but bright and sunny days. The frost was very heavy and the view across the bay was a joy to behold.