On Thursday the 30th September, seventy Manchester Masons and Royal Arch Masons accompanied by their partners attended Manchester Hall to celebrate the return of Freemasonry in Manchester.
Those in attendance were either Worshipful Masters, Wardens or First Principals. They had received a personal invitation for them and their partners to attend the celebration from WBro Mark Davis, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Excellent Companion Tony Freemont, Assistant Principal to the Grand Principal.
The evening was a fabulous celebration of Manchester Masonry. Brethren and Companions from thirty-seven different Lodges and Chapters mingled together in the Goulburn Lodge Room. They enjoyed a drinks reception that Stephen Cliff, Manchester Hall’s owner, had very kindly sponsored.
During the evening, the Brethren and Companions took the opportunity to catch up with old friends whilst also making new friendships.
WBro Paul O’Carroll began the formal events of the evening. He welcomed everyone to the dinner and thanked them for taking the trouble to be in attendance. Derby District Deputy Chairman Ed Beaman then said grace, and the meals were served.
The fare provided by Manchester Hall was to its usual high standard. Many compliments were being passed on to the staff members on the standard of the food and service provided.
In between courses, there was a chance for several games of Heads and Tails, always a favourite, especially when the winner receives a bottle of Lanson Champagne.
WBro Mark Davis addressed the guests. He explained how proud he was to be made the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester several years ago. It was disappointing that he had been unable to meet many Manchester Masons due to the pandemic.
He told those in attendance how he had enjoyed meeting so many Masons from Manchester Lodges and Chapters during the evening. WBro Davis explained that the future looks bright for Manchester Masonry as so many men have applied to join Lodges. He thanked his Area Team for all of their support and the work conducted during the pandemic. He thanked the Brethren and Companions in general for maintaining their enthusiasm for Freemasonry.
WBro Steve Wallace, Sykes District Mentor, then returned thanks. The formal proceedings of the evening were brought to an end by WBro Chris Armstrong, Deputy Chairman of Sykes District. The latter once more thanked the guests for their attendance. He explained the vital role that Worshipful Masters and First Principals play in guiding their Lodges and Chapters through the initial return to Freemasonry. He also detailed the level of support that the Manchester Area Team can offer the Lodges and Chapters in general.
Many Brethren and Companions expressed how much they had enjoyed the evening and the opportunity to meet so many other members of different Lodges and Chapters. They explained how the event had made them feel a part of a wider community of Manchester Masons, and many of them requested that the dinner becomes an annual event.