Saturday 6th November 2021 saw an incredibly special Annual District Meeting at the Rugby Masonic rooms, this having included the Installation of R.Ill.Comp. Peter Wellings as District Grand Master by the Grand Master M.Ill.Comp Kessick Jones, with Ill.Comp. Paul Harrison as Deputy District Grand Master and Ill.Comp. Chris Rogers as District Grand Principal Conductor of the Work by the new DGM.
The formalities were preceded by a hearty Warwickshire Welcome to the many Distinguished Guests who had travelled from all around the country for the occasion, together with the Grand Installation Team and the many Companions from the District supporting and taking part. The coffee and bacon butties were greatly appreciated by all!
Proceedings commenced with the Presiding Officer, R.Ill.Comp. Richard Wallis, welcoming everyone present then opening the meeting and admitting the Installing Officer (Grand Master) and his team in full ceremonial style under the direction of the Grand Director of Ceremonies, R.Ill.Comp Paul Norman. The Grand Master addressed the meeting on the purpose of his attendance, which included a well-researched snapshot of Rugby, its origins, and famous locals. Also, a sincere tribute to R.Ill.Comp. David Rawlins in appreciation of his many years’ service to the Order as District Grand Master for Warwickshire.
The Grand Master then gave an outline of the new DGM’s background and qualification to take Office, Installing him with full ceremony, following which R.Ill.Comp Peter did likewise with the new Deputy DistGM and DistGPCW, also re-appointing all District Officers except as District Grand Lecturer Ill.Comp. John Handley and as District Assistant Grand Recorder Ill.Comp. John Hayward. The Grand Master congratulated all these Officers and wished them well with catching up with time lost through the pandemic. He also congratulated all the Grand appointees and promotees during the past two years who he hadn’t had the opportunity of doing so personally. The DGM Then thanked the Grand Master for his attendance and support, with all best wishes for now and the future.
Following the retirement of the Grand Master and his team, the DGM continued with District matters. These included prayers in memory of departed merit, a welcome to the many other Districts represented, Heads of other Orders and particularly members of our own Councils, for their company. Also, various administrative items.
The DGM addressed the meeting, adding his own appreciation of his predecessor to that of the Grand Master. He then announced Promotions within the District for Ill.Comps. Robert Ashford, Graham Masefield and Wayne Wilkinson, congratulating them and thanking them for their ongoing support.
Also, the appointment of a District Communications Officer, Comp. David Leask, who had created a magnificent new District website at http://www.rsmwarwickshire.co.uk which will be used to develop communications within the District and beyond.
A District Support Team will be established, under the auspices of the District Grand Director of Ceremonies, Ill.Comp. Peter Stokes. Brief details are included in the new District Yearbooks, which were available for Councils to take away with them.
The ever-popular Sunday lunch at Wishaw was booked for next year, 25th September 2022.
The DGM then continued his thanks to everyone involved with organising the meeting, especially the District Grand Recorder, District Grand DC, and Presiding Officer, together with their helpers and everyone else playing their part. He stated how fortunate he was in inheriting such a marvellous District Team, and thoroughly looked forward to having great fun at our Council meetings in their company.
He concluded by reflecting that our wonderful Order was one of the best kept secrets in freemasonry – time indeed to share that secret!
A splendid lunch followed the meeting, which was concluded with Toasts, sincere yet humorous messages of goodwill and gifts to the Grand Master, Grand Secretary, Grand Director of Ceremonies and Presiding Officer, of “Kingmaker” by the Warwickshire Gin Company as a memento of the occasion.
The Charity Collection raised £391 towards the Warwickshire Craft 2023 Festival in support of the Masonic Charitable Fund.
The 2022 Annual District Meeting will again be at Rugby, on Saturday 5th November.