Verney Clayton No 45 of the Province of Cheshire North Wales celebrated its centenary at the October meeting, which took place at Macclesfield Masonic Hall.
The conclave was honoured by the presence of the Head of the order throughout this country as well as the Conclaves overseas, Most Worshipful Brother Andrew Christopher Sweeney. His deputy, Cdr Charles Jonathon Aspinell RD JP was also in attendance along with the head of the order in Cheshire and his deputy.
There are very strong links with Verney Clayton and our own province of East Lancashire, as it appears that members of two East Lancashire Conclaves, Cockcroft No 25 (Burnley) and Champion No 26 (Darwen), took part at the consecration of Verney Clayton becoming founding members.
In this sense Verney could be considered as a ‘daughter’ of these two East Lancashire Conclaves. Current members of both Cockcroft and Champion including Paul Joynson, the Immediate Past Supreme Ruler of Champion were present .
The Conclave had been named after R.Verney Clayton who was described as a ‘Powerhouse’ of East Lancashire freemasonry at that time.
The links may be going back 100 years but they are still as strong today regarding the current Supreme Ruler of Verney Clayton, Henri Lyons.
Henri is also a member of Robert Burns Conclave No 368, which meets at Salford. He is currently Immediate Past Supreme Ruler of 368. Brethren from this and other East Lancashire Conclaves were joined by the head of the Province, Frank Hood Smith in supporting Henri on this momentous occasion.
The Cheshire North Wales Arch of Steel was on hand with a spectacular display of swordsmanship, taking guard as the distinguished guests entered the Conclave.
Once every one was seated comfortably, John Moritz delivered a brief history of Verney Clayton Conclave, going back over the last 100 years. He and John Acaster had carefully researched the development leading to the formation of the Conclave right up to the present day. Every one received a beautifully presented copy of the presentation.
Meetings as spectacular don’t just happen; they take careful organisation and planning. The result of the hard work put in by the Conclave Recorder, Peter Schick, was clear for all to see, including The Grand Supreme Ruler who called Peter out and promoted him to the rank of Past Grand Visitor. He thanked Peter for all his efforts and congratulated him on his new rank as well as the status of Very Worthy Brother.
A fabulous conclusion to the Centenary meeting.
The brethren retired to the dining area and continued the celebrations with fine wine, food and harmony.