This year’s event was hosted by the South Fylde Group and was also very well supported by visitors from far and wide who joined their West Lancashire colleagues for this colourful ‘day at the seaside’.
The Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison, opened the proceedings by welcoming everyone. He then invited the assembly to observe the normal ‘token of respect for departed merit’ for those brethren who had been ‘called to higher service’ since the last meeting.
The distinguished visitors from other Provinces were introduced, as were the leaders of other Masonic Orders, before they were welcomed in the traditional and typical West Lancashire fashion. Tony then continued by re-appointing his Deputy and Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, with the single exception of David Grainger who was retiring after five years tireless service as the APrGM.
A little fleetness of foot was required for the next item of business, as the new APrGM to be appointed was at that moment, still occupying the office of Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. With commendable dexterity, Tony solved the apparent problem by promptly appointing and investing Malcolm Bell as the new PrGDC, thus making Keith Kemp available to be duly obligated and invested as an APrGM.
Following the announcement of those who had been appointed to or promoted in grand rank, Tony detailed the changes in group chairmen and vice chairmen, resulting from a number of retirements.
Following the collection, the appointment and investment of acting Provincial grand officers began with the first two new appointments being those of the Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Wardens.
With the acting offices all completed, Tony then went on to appoint and invest all those who were receiving a first appointment to Provincial grand rank. Before continuing with appointment of those who were receiving a promotion in rank, he gave his annual address to the brethren.
Following the closure of the meeting, the ‘Celebrant’s Banquet’ was held in its usual venue, the Empress Ballroom. Both the wine and accompanying toasts flowed effortlessly, concluded by the response to the toast to the newly appointed and promoted brethren being given by the new Provincial Senior Grand Warden, David Edwards.