Darwen is the home of Champion Conclave No 26 and Nigel Dunlop was installed as the new Supreme Ruler at the April meeting.

Chris Givvons (right ) with John Tewson (centre) seem relaxed before the meeting . Nigel meanwhile phones a friend.

Chris Givvons (right ) with John Tewson (centre) seem relaxed before the meeting . Nigel meanwhile phones a friend.

19 brethren gathered in the wonderful Darwen lodge room which included John Marrison, Grand Visitor representing Grand Conclave in London, Chris Givvons who is the Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler of the province of East Lancashire as well as Past Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler Howard Nuttall and John Tewson, Past Grand Counsellor. There were also a goodly number of Acting Provincial officers present who were either Conclave members or simply visiting.

The  visiting Supreme Ruler of Fraternity Conclave No 75, Ken Laidlaw  presented the ‘Travelling Arrow’ to Champion Conclave.

Ken (left) presents the Travelling Arrow to Nigel

Ken (left) presents the Travelling Arrow to Nigel

So the stage was set for what turned out to be a perfect example of an installation ceremony, conducted by outgoing Supreme Ruler, Paul Joynson. It was fitting that it was to be Paul who would install Nigel as they have both been friends for over 12 years, as masons and members of other lodges, but also with similar workplace backgrounds.  They met in a pub purely by co- incidence when Paul noticed a ‘Masonic’ ring on Nigel’s hand. They introduced themselves and have been friends ever since. Paul and Aiden Murphy, the conclave Director of Ceremonies then introduced Nigel into the order.

Nigel was installed in fine style and with sincerity; Paul was well assisted by his team of officers. The ceremony was most enjoyable and well executed by the conclave it was good to see one of the new recruits, Martin Davies deliver The Weapons to Nigel in a very polished display. It was clear that everyone learnt their parts and worked hard to deliver what was a very good installation meeting.

Pictured on the right Paul presents Nigel with the conclave gavel

Pictured on the right Paul presents Nigel with the conclave gavel

Champion is moving from strength to strength with three new candidates announced at the meeting as well as a joining member it means that the progression, or ‘ladder’ as it is sometimes called when referring to becoming the Master or Supreme Ruler in this case, is such that for the next seven years the conclave will be able to install a fresh new Supreme Ruler. Paul was able to present Chris Givvons with a charitable donation of £250 during the meeting and Chris thanked the brethren for their generosity. This benevolence extended to the festive board when a further £78 was raised during the raffle. However the prize described as a ‘fine blend’ Scottish Whiskey which was initially won by Nigel found its way into the Director of Ceremonies hands. Claiming his reluctance to accept it, a re- draw meant it was won for the third time by Stephen Holcroft who is the Provincial Director of Ceremonies and that was where the re-draw process ended!

Nigel announces just one of the lucky winners

Nigel announces just one of the lucky winners

The festive board was as enjoyable and harmonious as the meeting had been. Nigel thanked everyone for their support and friendship found in this conclave. Both Chris Givvons and John Marrison praised the officers and brethren for delivering a spectacle of a ceremony.

It looks like it’s a triple induction at the next meeting which is not to be missed!

Nigel (centre) with Chris (left) and Paul (right) along with members and visitors in the wonderful surroundings of the Darwen Lodge room

Nigel (centre) with Chris (left) and Paul (right) along with members and visitors in the wonderful surroundings of the Darwen Lodge room