Provincial Grand Lodge 2017

PGL 2017 47

’Twas the day before Provincial Grand Lodge. I arrived at Suffolk One at 12:30 to find a hive of activity. It was all hands to the pump. Provincial Secretaries, Provincial DCs and Provincial Stewards all looking busy to prepare the rooms for our meeting. It was a great atmosphere.

Soon it was time for rehearsals and those who were present with massive good humour set to the tasks assigned by our hard working GDC, W.Bro Gary Allen. As you can imagine it took a while to settle down, the banter between us all something to hear.

We have a tradition that those who wish gather together at the Holiday Inn across the road for a few drinks, relaxation and join together for dinner. As you can imagine it can become a bit silly!! I usually leave them to it and retire to bed.

Breakfast at 07:30, a few jaded grey members, who wished they had not had that last one for the road. Gary wanted us for rehearsal at 08:30, didn't want to upset him, just yet!

Suffolk One was awash with mark masons, all seemingly busy and having chats with their friends. Off to rehearsal I go, not a bad thing to do. It strange how different it is when we open PGL and get on with the business of the day; those rehearsals are vital.

In we go, and the day begins. This year to celebrate 300 years of freemasonry we had a service of rededication to begin. This simple ceremony was devised and led by our provincial Chaplain W.Bro Colin Birkbeck, most uplifting and thought provoking.

I open PGL and start on the agenda, it seems to run like clockwork, introduction of our guests and other order representatives. Narrowly missed getting that right, I missed a mention for a couple of heads of order. Sorry!

Then we had the main business of the day, to appoint and invest the officers. This, to me is what the day is all about. All the rehearsals lead to this moment, the carousel worked like a dream, Bro Cuthbert and his team had all of the officers in the right order and announced at the right time, excellent coordination and cooperation between ceremonial and secretarial.

Special congratulations must go to W.Bro’s Hayes-Allan and Richard Hawes for being recipients of the Provincial Order of Merit for Service to Mark Masonry in East Anglia.

All too soon it was time to close PGL and retire for refreshments before lunch. Had a chat to our guests and then moved to the members dining room and bar to have a word with them and congratulate them. The rooms were buzzing, not one moan (well not yet!), all smiling happy brethren. Time for lunch and most enjoyable it was. After last year I was concerned, I need not have worried, the new caterers delivered a tasty, enjoyable and well cooked food.

During lunch we heard from “Break” about their work with young carers, Janes and Jo from Break spoke movingly about their work and the difference our grant will make to them and the young people in their care.

On to the cheese platter, coffee and speeches. Thankfully the toast to me given by W.Bro Mike Goffin was humorous, accurate and short. My reply was just 'THANK YOU'. Our guests and I retired from lunch and went on our way energised about the Mark and the coming year.

It was a great day, if you were there I hope you too had a great day. For me it was smashing to be with such great people at a great venue doing great things. All in all a great day.