The recent annual provincial meeting of The Scarlet Cord in East Lancashire, held at Shaw Masonic hall, was a very special and unique event. As well as the usual business that takes place at any provincial gathering, the order had the opportunity to dedicate a new provincial banner and sword.

The province has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years, Indeed David Norbury, the Provincial Recorder informed the brethren during the meeting that membership of the order had increased in the last 12 months.

Companions at the festive board

Companions at the festive board

R.Dist.Comp Howard Stephen Nuttall opened the Provincial meeting following a superb procession under the guidance of Anthony Smith the Director of Ceremonies. Howard welcomed the Companions of the province as well as many distinguished guests from other provinces which included Northumberland, West Yorkshire, Cheshire and North Wales, North and East Yorkshire and our neighbours from West Lancashire. The lodge room was indeed full.

This dedication ceremony is very unique and those who attended this meeting would witness something quite rare, it’s not every meeting that you get to see a banner and sword dedication.

Howard with the 'top table' guests

Howard with the ‘top table’ guests

An escort of companions was formed and first the banner and then the sword where formally dedicated with some very unique ritual delivered perfectly by Howard. An informative and interesting oration was given by Geoffrey Glover, Provincial Episcopus (Chaplain).During the oration he explained the reasons behind why our Masonic orders have adopted the banner and sword as part of the Provincial structure and their individual significance to this order. The banner is has a crimson back ground with the badge of the order, as well as the red rose of Lancashire and looked splendid as it was unveiled by the escort.

Ian Ronson , left, taking wine with Howard

Ian Ronson , left, taking wine with Howard

Howard then appointed his team of officers for the following year many of whom received first appointments. The meeting was closed with the message to spread the word and encourage brethren to join The Scarlet Cord along with thanks for all the Provincial officers from last year for all their hard work.

The brethren then retired to the festive board where they enjoyed a delicious meal of vegetable soup, braised steak with all the trimmings finished off with chocolate profiteroles. There was a great atmosphere around the dinner table and Howard took wine with his team of officers, visiting brethren and other companions of the order. In response to the toast made to him by the Deputy G Summus, Dist.Comp Ian Ronson, he thanked everyone for coming to the meeting and how much he had enjoyed the day. That feeling was felt by all of the companions present who left having seen something both unique and special in freemasonry.

Howard with the Provincial Team and the newly dedicated banner and sword

Howard with the Provincial Team and the newly dedicated banner and sword