The Annual Meeting of Grand Council, held at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London in April, was again extremely well attended by Warwickshire Companions keen to support their friends receiving appointment to, or promotion in, Grand Rank from the Grand Master. Several travelled on the same train, accompanied by celebratory Cava and Canapes courtesy of the District Grand Master R.Ill.Comp Peter Wellings, Ill.Comp John Handley and Comp John Clarke.
Those receiving preferment were Ill Comps Philip Gough (acting rank as Grand Sword Bearer), Dennis Potter (acting rank as Grand Manciple), Douglas Hopton (Past Grand Councillor), Philip Wills (PAGDC), Dr. Dennis Freshwater (Past Grand Sword Bearer), John Handley (Past Grand Conductor of the Council) and Joe McCollum (Past Grand Conductor of the Council) to whom our hearty congratulations go.
In opening the meeting the Grand Master extended his heartfelt sympathy to all who had suffered as a result of the Covid pandemic, but looked forward to the surge of confidence which the lessons learnt from the challenging circumstances would bring.
The agenda for the meeting included the election and proclamation of the Grand Master, M.Ill.Comp Kessick Jones, followed by the re-appointment of R.Ill.Comp Ian Alexander, QC, as Deputy Grand Master. The Grand Master gave tribute to the support from the outgoing Grand PCW R.Ill.Comp Richard Gan, JP, who would later be appointed to the newly created rank of Grand Historiographer, and invested his successor R.Ill.Comp Paul Norman, who had served as Grand DC for eleven years and who would be succeeded by V.Ill.Comp Graham Seeman. This was followed by the appointment and investiture of Grand Officers for the ensuing year, and promotions.
The Grand Master introduced many distinguished guests, visitors from abroad and Heads of other Orders, thanking all who had contributed to the great success and organization of the meeting and the packed calendar of events in the post-lockdown era thus far. He also introduced the new District Grand Masters he had installed since the previous Annual Meeting in 2019, congratulating all District Grand Masters and Grand Inspectors in keeping their Councils motivated during Covid and now inspiring Companions to return to meetings.
In his closing address the Grand Master also revealed plans for the celebration of the Sesquicentenary (150th) Anniversary of Grand Council next year, which will be marked with a special meeting at Freemasons Hall on Tuesday 3rd October 2023. A design competition has been launched for a commemorative lapel pin.
The formalities were followed by a splendid banquet at the adjacent Connaught Rooms.