Lancashire Province, by Provincial Sub Prior
An overnight trip to Lancashire Provincial Priory meeting at the Masonic Hall, Church Road, Leyland on Saturday, 12th Mat 2018
I was on my own for this visit so left home about 11.30allowing for the fact I was travelling North on a Friday. I had booked in to the Holiday Inn Classic at Leigh and arrived around 6.30pm after a fairly horrible journey involving the M6 and bits of the M1. My phone-based SatNav software (WAZE) did an admirable job keeping me out of most of the trouble.
I found the hotel to be a new-build and very good it was too – especially with a B&B rate of £54.00.
I drove the half hour to the Hall, was made very welcome and had to eat a bacon butty that was cruelly forced into my hand. I then caught up with my colleagues, most of whom I had seen recently at Essex.
The meeting started at 10.30, a little earlier than usual. We were all greeted warmly by their R.E. Provincial Prior, David Gallear and I offered by apologies for our R.E. Provincial Prior who had drawn the short straw and had had to go to Gloucester’s meeting.
Lancashire is the largest province with 32 Preceptories, 16 of them with Preceptory numbers under 100! And nearly 1,100 members. It therefore follows that the meeting takes a little longer as there is more to do.
In addition, all Provincial Officers wear a collar and jewel to denote their rank which they have to sign for and return when their tour of duty comes to an end.
V.E. Michael Southwart had retired and his successor, E. Kt. Stuart Hughes, PGtAdeC was duly obligated, installed & saluted.
There were eight 1st Appointments and twenty Promotions to Past Rank in addition to the twenty-seven Acting Provincial Appointments, including four Provincial Aide-de-Camps. There was also a field promotion to PPGReg making him a long serving and stalwart member of the province a V.E.Kt.
They have 29 members on the Bodyguard as well and the Chancellor is the chief administrator and the Vice-Chancellor organises the dining for the Provincial meeting.
So, as I alluded to earlier, a very busy meeting.
The R.E. Provincial Prior moved everything as quickly as he could and the Preceptory was closed as 12:35 though it took us 15 minutes to form up and process out.
We were treated to an excellent lunch of Black Pudding Stack, Broccoli & Stilton Soup, Roast Beef and trimmings, Cheese & Biscuits and coffee and, above all, good company.
Dinner proceedings finished about 4.15pm and I had an uneventful 3:50 minute journey home.
Graham McGowan-Smyth, Provincial Sub-Prior.