What a day Saturday 19th March was. Capacity crowds at Derby Masonic Hall, Stade de France and Pride Park saw the right result at all venues – a grand Provincial Grand Chapter,  a Grand Slam (by England, who else?) and a grand day out (Grommit) at Pride Park.

The Annual Convocation was attended by over 230 companions, including distinguished guests from Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Lincolnshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Yorkshire West Riding, Norfolk, Cumberland and Westmorland, Lancashire West, Cheshire and Lancashire East. Also supporting our Grand Superintendent were Derbyshire companions who are heads or deputies of the following orders within the Province – the Craft, Mark, Knights Templar, Red Cross, Royal and Select Masters, Knight Templar Priests, Order of the Secret Monitor, Royal Order of Scotland, Operatives, St Thomas of Acon and Order of Athelstan (if they will all forgive my use of abbreviated names for their orders). Last, but far from least, we had our two Past Grand Superintendents with us.

There was a sad moment when our Second Provincial Principal retired after a very popular term of office and profuse thanks from the boss; but joy when our Third Provincial Principal was promoted to his place, and EComp Barrie Tipping was installed as Third Principal. Needless to say our Deputy was reappointed.

Congratulations to all those appointed, reappointed and promoted – the new list of Officers will be found on the Provincial Grand Chapter page. The meeting was superbly directed by our new Director of Ceremonies EComp Graeme Hutchinson in a performance which was a fitting tribute to his apprenticeship under his predecessor Niall Johnson – who we are pleased to report is progressing well from his surgery.

The recession, to the robust singing of Jerusalem, would have won the hearts of any Women’s Institute.

The highlight of the meal, for EComp Tom Briggs, was no doubt the individual cottage pie starter, though for others it may well have been the salmon or the sticky toffee pudding – or indeed the merlot or sauvignon blanc. Despite trying lots of all of them, I personally was undecided.

A wonderful day for our Grand Superintendent, the Province and the Order.

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