Our annual meeting was held on Thursday 13th December, 2018, this being the installation of WBro Martin Pigford.
The representative on the evening was WBro John Johnston Stevenson, ably assisted by WBro Richard Davison, who was his Director of Ceremonies for the night. It was the second succesive year Richard has performed this role at Palatine. He is a true friend of the lodge! They both received a very warm welcome from the brethren.
In the absence of our sitting Worshipful Master, WBro Martin Nicholson, I acted as Master to start the proceedings. As WBro Martin is a Past Master, the short version of the Installation ceremony was performed. Work was still aplenty for me, as I am now rightfully the Director of Ceremonies, so not only acted as the Installing Master, but I still performed my duties as Director of Ceremonies for the remainder of the meeting.
I'm happy to say that, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, our new Master ably appointed and invested his officers. We are fortunate to have Brothers in the positions of Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Junior Deacon, Inner Guard, and Assistant Secretary. Had things been different, our Senior Warden would have become the Worshipful Master at this meeting, but work commitments have limited his ability to attend lodge this year, so, at his request, and one we readily agreed with, he is doing a second year in that office. Here's hoping we get to install him next year.
We have had a good year with candidates. We started the year with two people lined up, and over the course of the year, that turned in to four. The latter two arriving after contacting us through this site! Next year promises to be even busier, with no fewer than seven candidates waiting to join; a further three of which are through the site. After a dreadful couple of years losing some of our older Brethren, whilst they can never be replaced, we are at least looking positive on a members front.
Again, we had a great time at the festive board. The Worshipful Master had raided his drinks cupboard to provide a mass of prizes, and WBro Jim Harker again kindly donated one of his paintings; a Christmas scene which had once featured on the Provincial Christmas cards. £215 was raised from the raffle, and a further £90 was raised for Masonic Charities by means of a collection.
We start the year with a number of initiations, so practices will have to be arranged before we kick-start the year proper! It's going to be a very busy one.
As per last year, this will be the last entry I make this year, so here's wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy new year.
Until the next time.