Updates from the Provincial Grand
Hello and welcome once again,
I have devised this page to assist in keeping you all update on the OSM in the Province of East Lancashire.
We have our news page to keep you abreast off all the News stories from around the Province but here I can share with you some of my views, aims and addresses I have delivered at our meetings from month to month.
Along with any official visits I have planned.
Hope you enjoy it
What a month this has been, following a very special telephone call from the Grand Recorder, during which he informed me that the Grand Supreme Ruler, Most Worthy Brother Andrew Christopher Sweeney has invited me to take over the role of Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for the Province of East Lancashire. It was all systems go as it was only two weeks until I was due to be obligated, invested, and installed in that high office.
Along with my Provincial Grand Recorder (designate) we burnt the midnight oil to get all the planning and preparation ready for the meeting as up to this point all that was done was the Hall had been booked, for the last Saturday in October's as this is always the date of our annual convocation of the Secret Monitor for the Province of East Lancashire.
The invitations were prepared and sent out to all the provinces, the summons drafted and sent to Mark Masons Hall for vetting and a provincial team of officers were chosen and wrote to offering them their office for the year.
Well before you knew it the 30th October 2021 was upon us and I set off from home to drive to Rochdale Masonic Hall for what was to be my proudest day in my masonic career and what a day it was with over 90 members of the Order making the journey to support the occasion along with the Grand Supreme Ruler and his team of Grand acting officers.
The day went extremely well and after lunch I hosted my first Provincial annual meeting including the investiture of my Provincial team along with my first address to the province that can be read here.
Well, what a busy two months it’s been since I was invested as the Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler and what a lot we have done.
November saw my first official team visit, which took us to one of our oldest conclaves, Cockcroft No.25 and what a special night it was, not just for myself as the Prov.G.S.R., but for two for the two celebrants of the conclave who has achieved a huge milestone in their masonic careers.
Wy.Bro. Ian Williams had achieved 51 years’ service in the Order and his good friend Albert Young had completed 50 years and it was a pleasure to present them with their certificates and jewels.
Albeit my predecessor, Frank George Hood Smith was on sabbatical following my investiture, I invited him along to witness the occasion.
We have also started a Provincial lead recruitment drive to bring more members into the Order. This has taken the form of several ‘pop-up banners’ advertising the Order along with a tri-fold leaflet which explains the history and workings of our Order and combines an application form. These have all been strategically placed in Masonic Halls where our membership is low, or they do not host a conclave.
November was a special month too with the visit to Grand Conclave and joining all the other Provincial.G.S.R.'s in the procession into the Grand temple for what was an excellent meeting and not forgetting the fine fare we were offered at the banquet in the Grand Connaught Rooms following the meeting.
With Christmas here now and being a time to spend with family, I have a special Christmas message for you all which can be read here.
“Well its nice to see East Lancashire are back on the map” these are the words I heard at another Provinces annual meeting by other distinguished visitors whilst in the robing room….. it brought a raised smile to my face along with a feeling of achievement. Since I took over in my new role, I have made it my intention to try and attend every Provincial meeting or be represented there and these comments proved as a Province we had been noticed. I must thank my Deputy Stephen Holcroft, my Recorder Paul Joynson who have travelled may miles with me, and also my Counsellor Derek Oliver and Chaplain Geoff Glover who have both done a Stirling effort attending the meetings I could not make.
February also saw me taking my Provincial team across the border into West Yorkshire, following an invitation from R.Wy.Bro. David Staniforth to the Centenary meeting of one of his Conclaves, Bishops Blaze No.48 where many its founders had come from Cockcroft Conclave No.25, in our Province. Not only was it a very enjoyable occasion I was able to pick up a lot of tips as later this year we will be celebrating the centenary of one of our own Conclaves, Supera Moras ‘The Internet’ Conclave No.49…. which also happens to be my mother Conclave that I was inducted into thirty-one years ago.
The planning is all on the way for this meeting and the province are looking forward to receiving the Grand Supreme Ruler again on July 29th as we celebrate the Centenary of Supera Moras Conclave.
However, during this month, we had the sad news that two of the conclaves in the province that were struggling for membership had decided that they unable to continue and wished to hand in the warrant, which is never a nice prospect. I decided though, rather than hand them back, that we would keep them in abeyance at Province as I had some plans to hopefully use them.
For years it had been spoken about creating a Provincial Grand Supreme Rulers Arch of Steel and I decided instead of just talking about it, let’s do it so the planning is underway and watch this space for developments. Also, I am thinking once it has been formed, how nice it would be to create a conclave just for its members, hence me keeping the warrants. The other warrant I plan to utilise for an idea Geoff Glover has in creating a conclave for uniformed services, so again watch this space for its development also.
Well, I am now six months into my role as the Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for East Lancashire, and it’s been a very busy, however enjoyable time in office, a lot has been accomplished in the past two months especially.
I visited Freeman Conclave No.57 and witnessed the Supreme Ruler, Mark Davis conduct a marvellous ceremony of admission, not just one but a triple and we welcomed three new Princes into the Order.
I also witnessed an excellent ceremony of Installation at Champion, conducted by Eric Bullock, who installed his successor in the most excellent manner, however there was no requirement on this occasion for me to commission the new Supreme Ruler as it was my Provincial Deputy, Stephen Holcroft who had taken the chair………Congratulations Stephen.
Meanwhile, in my own Conclave, we spread our international wings further by inducting a brother from France, Wy.Bro. Vincent Pouchain who had travelled all the way from France for the occasion and has been a Supreme Ruler on many occasions in his native Normandy, however being qualified to become a joining member, he requested to be inducted in the UK.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Ruler was taken ill on the morning of the meeting and was unable to attend, therefore the immediate past Supreme Ruler, Nigel Dunlop, stepped up to the mark and volunteered to do the ceremony. It was however quite amusing to hear Vincent say to Nigel in his best French accent, “ Supreme Ruler, if it helps, I will just recite my own obligation”……… Now how often do you hear that from a candidate?
The planning is still ongoing for the Centenary of Supera Moras, and looks like it will be a tremendous occasion, we have even commissioned a commemorative jewel for the members. We have arranged an emergency meeting for June 29th for the ceremony…. Hope to see you all there at Rochdale.
And finally for this month, a quick update on my Arch of Steel, the members have been chosen and the regalia and swords are ordered, all exciting times for East Lancashire.
I hope you are all having a nice summer and enjoying the weather and summer recess.
Hang on a minute, what am I talking about, this is the Order of the Secret Monitor and we don’t have a summer recess, it’s been full steam ahead and I have lots to tell you about.
Champion Conclave No.26 are so busy they had to share some of their work out and asked Roses in Concord Conclave to carry out two second degrees for them which saw Bro. Lee Gridley and Bro. Alan Ogden admitted as Princes of our Order. Nice of them to assist not only the Conclave but also myself as I had asked these two brothers to form part of my soon to be formed Arch of Steel.
May also saw another Provincial team visit, this time to Cockcroft Conclave for their installation where we witnessed Mike Boyce be proclaimed for another year in the chair of this old and distinguished Conclave. It was a very good evening and a big thank you to Mike for staying in the chair and to all his officers who assisted in making it a memorable evening.
June was a very busy month with another team visit, this time to Dr. James Edward Glover Conclave and one of the main items on the agenda this evening was they were to host the invest of my Provincial Arch of Steel……After years of saying we should have one, it finally arrived and I was very proud that it was done on my watch. They all looked very smart in their new regalia and their drill was impeccable under the watchful eye of their commander, Shaun Higson. Shaun is also the Commander for the Grand Supreme Rulers Arch, so I thought, if he’s good enough for the Boss, he will be good enough for me. Well done lads and I look forward to seeing you on duty in the future.
Well I didn’t have to wait too long to see that as the Provincial Supreme Ruler of West Yorkshire, R.Wy.Bro. David Staniforth built upon the friendship of developed between Roses in Concord from our Province and Roses Conclave in his Province by suggesting each Province carries out a full team visit to both Conclaves. It was off to Yorkshire we went, however this time I had my bodyguard with me, in the form of my Arch of Steel and they did not let me down, adding to all the pomp and pageantry they helped make a special night even more special.
Then the 29th July was here and the long awaited Centenary celebrations for Supera Moras were upon us and the Grand Supreme Ruler was in East Lancashire again.
It was a fantastic turn out and very special, all the hard work had paid off.
It’s been an extremely busy summer and lots of work has been going on behind the scenes. I have selected my Provincial Team for the forthcoming year, the letters have been sent out and I’m please to say everyone has accepted their preferment.
All the planning for our upcoming Provincial meeting has been meticulously done. all the invitations to other Provinces along with all our members have been sent out, and the bookings are coming in. All thanks to my Recorder who has, and as I write this, is still working tirelessly getting everything ready for the meeting in October.
Its also coming up for Grand Conclave, all my recommendations have been sent to Mark Masons Hall, and those luck recipients should have received their letters, well done to you all and very well deserved. As soon as everyone has accepted, I shall announce those from East Lancashire who are to receive either first appointment or promotion in Grand Conclave.
I do hope to see a good contingent of our brethren down at Great Queen Street supporting your colleagues as they receive their rank. This year will be special at Grand Conclave as my Recorder, who is an active Grand Steward, will be working on the day shepherding the recipients up to the Grand Supreme Ruler.
The Provincial visits to other Conclave have continued, and I’ve clocked up many miles, travelling the length and the breadth of the British Isles visiting other Provinces at their Annual Convocations. The Golf has taken a bit of a back seat in doing so, but it’s been both rewarding and enjoyable to witness the various meeting, and to see all the smiling faces from the hosting Provinces, and to enjoy the company of the ever-expanding circle of brethren with which I have developed good friendships with.
These meetings are open to all brethren, and should you like to attend any, just let me know and I will get you booked in, well, when I say “I” you all know that I very kindly refer to the Provincial Recorder who will collate all those attending..
Anyway, here’s looking forward to October 29th when we get to host our own Annual Provincial Convocation.
Well where did that year go, it doesn’t seem like a minute since my investiture and here we are, in October, and I have just hosted our Annual Provincial Convocation.
Even the disruption caused by the industrial action on the railways couldn’t stop us. What a day it was too, with ninety-one Secret Monitors in the temple and eighty-five of us enjoying a delicious festive banquet.
The weeks, well months to be honest of hard work all paid off and it went well.
To read the full report please click here.
Twelve other Prov.G.S.R’s came along, not only to support their own Province’s, but to help make our meeting a huge success, thanks to all that came and made the day really special.
I the greatest of pleasure in appointing my Provincial Team for the year along with promotions which are listed here.
Then, following all the business which needed to be transacted, I addressed Provincial Grand Conclave and I attach my address for your perusal in the comfort of your own home.
We will be looking at changing one or two ways we run the meeting next year to help save the Province some money, one of those will be a strict ‘No payment = No meal,’ as unfortunately, we booked a number of brethren into the meeting, ordered their meals and they did not turn up or offer an apology.
Moving on to Grand Conclave which will soon be upon us; I have great pleasure in announcing to you that the following have received either first appointment or promotion;
Wy. Bro Anthony Smith will become Dep. G.Std.B.
V.Wy. Bro. Paul Bowen P.G.V. to be re-appointed as G.Org.
Wy.Bro. Howard Freear will receive P.G.Swd.B.
Wy.Bro. John M. Styles will receive P.G.Std.B.
Wy.Bro. Aiden Murphy will receive P.G.B.B.
Wy. Bro. Peter Morgan P.A.G.D.C. will receive P.G.V.
Wy.Bro. David Rigby P.G.Stwd. will receive P.A.G.D.C.
Congratulations to you all on these well-deserved preferment’s, which are all well deserved.
I look forward to seeing you all in Great Queen Street to receive your rank.
By hook or by crook I will make my way down there, as every obstacle you could think of from Rail Strikes to ‘Just Stop Oil’ protests on the motorway, have been thrown in the way, but as Thomas Jefferson once said,”Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal….” So I will see you all on the 10th.
To be Continued Please check back soon