Masters and first principals

The Chorley group hosted the masters and first principals question and answer session this year. With 80 brethren and companions from the Leyland, Wigan, Leigh and Chorley groups the meeting was well attended.

Peter Lockett (left) receives a patron's Certificate from Philip Gunning.

Peter Lockett (left) receives a patron’s Certificate from Philip Gunning.

The idea is to give those who have recently become masters of their lodges or first principals of their chapters the opportunity to meet senior representative of the Province of West Lancashire.

The evening started with an informal get together followed by a question and answer session. The questions were wide ranging and the answers straight from the horse’s mouth so to say.

Members of the panel were Chorley Group Chairman Peter Lockett, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon, Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning, Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor, acting Provincial Senior Grand Warden David Asbridge and acting Provincial Junior Grand Warden Peter Allen.

The questions were wide ranging and thought provoking. They included: what is the impact of the “Enough is Enough” publicity? How many Masons are there in West Lancashire (8 to 9000)? Why is it that the major retention problem is people resigning within the first two years of membership? Are we moving recruits through the offices in the lodge too quickly? Is 8 years the optimum length of time to get from initiate to the master’s chair? We are focus on recruiting younger men, are we missing an opportunity to recruit retirees (who are living longer and have more time to contribute)? Do we need to start our meetings later to allow working men to get to our meetings? What is happening with the new data protection laws? What is the situation with the Leyland Masonic Hall? and many more.

 The audience.

The audience.

After a lively and very information discussion it was time to proceed to the festive board where the very interesting discussions continued.

Philip Gunning had the double pleasure of presenting a Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival Patrons Certificate to Peter Lockett for the Chorley Group and a vice patrons certificate to Malcolm Bell Snr for the Royal and Select Masters.

Pictured from left to right, are: Peter Lockett, Stewart Seddon, Philip Gunning, Peter Taylor, David Asbridge and Peter Allen.

Pictured from left to right, are: Peter Lockett, Stewart Seddon, Philip Gunning, Peter Taylor, David Asbridge and Peter Allen.

An informative and interesting evening ended with good food, good wine and excellent company.

Peter Lockett presents flowers to Philip Gunning, Stewart Seddon, Ian Higham and Peter Taylor.

Peter Lockett presents flowers to Philip Gunning, Stewart Seddon, Ian Higham and Peter Taylor.