The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council

The Annual Meeting of the District Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Surrey took place on the 26th March 2022 at the Masonic Hall, Croydon, Surrey.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council A small team of volunteers arrived early to help set up the Temple and dining room.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council From 9.30 am Companions of the District and their guests started arriving for coffee and bacon butties.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council By 10.45 everyone was seated in the Temple. Just after 10.50 the Companions were called to order to receive the distinguished guests, including Right Illustrious Companions and past members of the District Executive.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council Finally, the entire meeting was called to order by Ill.Comp. Simon McCarthy, the District Grand Director of Ceremonies, to receive the District Grand Officers of the year accompanying the District Grand PCW, Ill.Comp. David Thompson; the Past Deputy District Grand Master, Ill.Comp. Jack Love; and the District Grand Master, R.Ill.Comp. David Blackburn led by the District Grand Sword Bearer and followed by the District Grand Standard Bearer.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council Unfortunately, our Provincial Grand Organist was unable to attend due to illness, and neither could our standby Organists. A call went out β€œIs there an Organist in the house?”’ The District of Sussex came to the rescue in the person of their Deputy District Grand Master, Ill.Comp. John Gough, who very kindly played for us on the day.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council District Grand Council was opened in due form by the District Grand Master who was saluted with seven times three under the direction of the District Grand Director of Ceremonies. The Companions stood to order to honour the memory of those Companions who had been called to Higher Service since the last Annual Meeting.

The business of District Grand Council commenced with the District Grand Master individually welcoming the many representatives of other Districts and Masonic Orders. After approving the minutes of the previous meeting, which were available in the Order of Proceedings and on the Provincial web site, the roll call was made of District Grand Officers and Councils in the District.

The R.Ill. District Grand Master announced that he was re-appointing Ill.Comp. Peter Kipps as Deputy District Grand Master and Ill.Comp. David Thompson as the District Grand Principal Conductor of the Work. A total of 21 appointments in District Grand Rank were announced, the recipients being invested and congratulated by the District Grand Master.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The District Grand Master addressed District Grand Lodge (click here to the Address). During his address he said how wonderful it was to see so many Cryptic Masons at Croydon. He thanked everyone, Surrey members and visitors alike, for attending after our two-year enforced break and hoped that they enjoy the meeting, and the lunch afterwards.

He congratulated the District Grand Officers, appointed or re-appointed, hoping they enjoy their rank during the year ahead. He said he hoped that they will join him and the Deputy or PCW when they make visits to our Councils. He also thanked the outgoing District Officers who have served two years because of the Pandemic but perhaps missed out on the usual number of visiting opportunities. He thanked the Assistant District Grand Recorder, Ill.Comp. Chris Eley for helping to keep the web site up to date, as well as for his work in producing the Surrey Trowel.

R.Ill.Comp. David congratulated the recipients of Grand Rank and those promoted in Grand Rank to be conferred at Grand Council next month. Ill.Comp. Stephen Hall promoted to Past Grand Captain of the Guard; Ill.Comp. David Thompson promoted to Past Grand Conductor of the Council; and Ill.Comp. Chris Eley, on his first appointment to Past Grand Sword Bearer.

The meeting was then called to order and closed in due form with a closing hymn by the acting Organist, Ill.Comp. John Gough. The District Grand Master, the Deputy District Grand Master and the District Grand Principal Conductor of the Work, together with members of the Past Executive, honoured guests and District Officers then left the Temple in procession to the echoing strains of a recessional fanfare.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council After the meeting the Companions of Pride of Surrey Council gathered for a group photo with the District Executive.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The Companions of the District of Surrey and their guests sat down to an excellent Luncheon prepared by the staff at the Croydon Masonic Halls.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council In traditional custom our District Grand Recorder, Ill.Comp. Terry Carpenter, bought a bottle of port for the guests of his table.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The luncheon ended with the District Principal Conductor of the Work proposing a toast to the health of the Right Illustrious District Grand Master.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The Right Illustrious District Grand Master responded accordingly saying how much he had enjoyed the morning and thanked all our guests for coming along to support the District of Surrey.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council The Right Illustrious District Grand Master then retired from the Festive Board.

The Annual Meeting of District Grand Council Click here to see all the photos taken at the Annual Meeting of District Grand Council

Article and photos by Chris Eley


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