A grim and cloudy Thursday morning turned into a lovely afternoon not just because of the weather; yes it’s Provincial Grand Lodge. Close to 1000 members from across the province and the country attended the meeting at King George’s Hall Blackburn.
In this, our tercentenary year celebrating 300 years of the World’s first Grand Lodge, the Provincial Grand Master Sir David Trippier referred fondly to each of the events the province of East Lancashire has laid on this year, all of which he and his good lady attended. Firstly in June the Tercentenary Dinner at the Macron stadium, Bolton; the Teddy Bears Picnic in July; the Cathedral service in September and finally the Tercentenary Gala Concert in October. It truly has been a year to remember.
One item of special business was the retirement of WBro Norman Cope, Assistant Provincial Grand Master to the western area, and his replacement WBro John Griffin. The Provincial Grand Master thanked WBro Cope for his outstanding work over the past 5 years and I’m sure the Brethren of Bolton & Bury would echo that. The Provincial Grand Master then appointed WBro Griffin to the post of APGM for the western area after inspecting the patent of appointment.
What followed was the usual transactional business of the meeting along with a report from the Provincial Grand Secretary about the state of the province in general and with regards to the Provincial Grand Master’s attendance at significant events throughout the year.
The Provincial Grand Master then spoke to the attendees in his usual outstanding fashion (tip Brethren: if you’ve never seen the PGM speak – make sure you correct that as soon as possible!), during which he honoured WBro Brian Robinson by presenting him with a Certificate of Exceptional Service for his outstanding contribution to the province over many many years.
The Provincial Grand Master then welcomed each and every Brother to be appointed and promoted – 233 in total! Of whom all received warm rounds of applause and congratulations from those who had come especially to support them.
The Provincial Grand Master and the rest of the honoured guests then retired.
Huge numbers of the attendees stayed for the meal and literally packed out the dining room. It’s definitely getting busier every year! Speeches all round and an excellent evening enjoyed with friends.
Definitely a day out Brethren and certainly one you will wish to attend next year. Book early!
PGM Address, more images and honours list: https://www.pglel.co.uk/provincial-grand-lodge-2017/
Author: Alan Ogden
© 2017, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.