The start of this month being a Bank Holiday it gave me time to have a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend with Maureen, knowing full well that this first week in May was going to be very busy.
On Tuesday 5 May I travelled to Southport for an evening meeting with a number of Masons in preparation for the Provincial meeting the next morning. On Wednesday 6 May it was the investiture of Keith Beardmore as the Provincial Grand Master of another Masonic Order. The meeting being held at the Southport Convention Centre in the presence of the Pro Grand Master of the Order Richard Victor Wallace and his team. I had been invited to open the Provincial Grand Lodge at 11am as the Presiding Officer and welcoming the Pro Grand Master. A great honour for me and a day that I shall remember for a long time.
The morning meeting went extremely quickly following the investiture of Keith, there was the appointment and Investiture of the Deputy PrGM Geoffrey Lee and the Assistant PrGM`s Michael Clarke and Ian Nairn, following which we enjoyed a well-attended luncheon and then in the afternoon the annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge. A long but most enjoyable day for all who attended.
Thursday 7 May saw another long day this time in Blackpool for the Craft Provincial Grand Lodge meeting held at the Winter Gardens and what a splendid occasion, after spending the morning at rehearsals with the Provincial DC`s I was pleased to open PrGL to almost an auditorium full of West Lancashire Freemasons.
This really was a sight to behold and made for an excellent meeting. I was pleased to welcome many distinguished guests to our Province and in particular my predecessor Peter Hosker, who we were so pleased to see with us. Although we had quite a long meeting due to the number of brethren receiving Provincial grand rank, all went well and I closed PrGL at 5pm following which we all travelled to the Hilton Hotel for the recipients banquet.
The Hilton Hotel proved to be the right choice for our banquet, as almost 600 brethren enjoyed a delicious dinner to celebrate this special occasion.
On Saturday May 9 I journeyed to Wellington Park at Leyland for the annual meeting of another Masonic Order. After the meeting I drove to Southport where I joined Maureen for our evening at the West Lancashire Freemasons Charity Festival which was held at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.
A most enjoyable occasion where we were able to enjoy a dinner and cabaret and at the same time support our own charity. Sadly this year`s event was not supported as well as in previous years.
Thursday 14 May took me along to Liverpool Hope Street, where I attended an afternoon meeting in the Provincial Office followed by a Special Royal Arch meeting. The occasion, the celebration of Peter Connolly’s 50 years in the Chapter of Liverpool No 292. A small chapter well supported by a goodly number of visitors for the special occasion. Following which we all enjoyed a delicious dinner.
On Thursday 21 May I set off on a sojourn to Cumberland and Westmorland where I attended the annual convocation of the chapter which was held in Carlisle. I was accompanied by Paul Renton, David Randerson, Chris Butterfield, Barry Jameson and Peter Taylor our Provincial Scribe E. We had a most enlightening meeting and had the opportunity to meet with many old and new friends from the adjoining Provinces. Following the meeting which was held at the Sands Centre we travelled to the Shepherds Inn for an excellent banquet, before travelling home late on in the evening.
Saturday 23 May Maureen and I attended the Royal Arch Assistants dinner where we enjoyed this annual event with many of the Royal Arch Assistants present and past together with ladies, a delightful occasion enjoyed by us all.
Wednesday 27 May took me to Blackburn in East Lancashire where I was invited to attend their annual Provincial meeting at St Georges Hall. We had a most enjoyable meeting and had the great pleasure of see some of our brethren from West Lancashire who have dual memberships, invested as Provincial officers, after which I enjoyed a banquet in the company of many other Brethren from Provinces far and wide.
As PrGM of the Province I have the honour of being an honorary member of the DC`s Mess and on Thursday 28 May I joined them for one of their ‘Mess Dinners’. We all had a most relaxing evening with no formalities just good fun.
Friday 29 May brought the month to a close as far as Masonic engagements were concerned. This evening I was the guest at the Liobian Masonic Associations Annual Dinner, which was held at the new Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. A wonderful evening during which I met many new and old friends within Freemasonry.
Following the dinner you could have imagined that the Hotel was sinking, for there was a protest outside the door of the Hotel, which gave cause for the Police to attend and for us as guests to be led out of the hotel through the staff only corridors and areas of the Hotel. What an exciting conclusion to yet another busy and fun packed month!
Provincial Grand Master