by Noel Fisher, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies
This week feels a little strange. Under normal circumstances it would be filled with activity for me and for my opposite number Ex Comp Tony Greswell, the Provincial DC in Chapter. We would have been attending to the final details and running the Province’s two major meetings of the year, with about 700 people taking part, in one way or another, at the Epic Centre at the Lincolnshire Showground.
Planning for the Provincial Grand Chapter and Provincial Grand Lodge meetings takes all year, since we begin with a debrief of the ones before. Whilst it’s fresh in our minds we examine tiny details to see what we improvements we can make.
This year that’s different. Preparations have been paused, and we shall pick the threads again in time for the meetings to take place, we hope, on their revised date in October. I have no doubt that we shall be able to make a seamless transition to that.
But for now that’s perhaps little comfort for the officers; both the incoming and outgoing teams, and those receiving past rank appointments and promotions in both Craft and Chapter. I’m sure Tony would agree with me that this is big day for them all. We hope they’re not too disappointed at having to wait months for the ceremony that should have been happening this week. For the incoming teams, of course, at the moment it appears that they might lose a proportion of their year as part of the team, though we shall have to see how that plays out.
Arranging the meetings is a team effort. We should never underestimate the considerable amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, particularly in the Provincial office. That’s where the summonses are produced, all the bookings are taken, money collected and banked, seating arranged, and then re-arranged as last minute changes are fed through, and contact maintained with the Epic Centre and the caterers. That’s a lot of work for Provincial Secretary Tony Miller in the Craft, Adrian Joyce, the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra in Chapter, and Lorraine Miller, who looks after both of them – not to mention the rest of us!
We’ve heard a lot about ‘key workers’ in recent weeks. Those in the Provincial office certainly fall into that category, as do the people who make the meetings possible on the day itself. Think about the people who help with car parking, bringing Lodge and Chapter furniture, and setting the rooms up – especially for the Craft meeting in the afternoon. Transforming the room from its Chapter requirements to the Craft takes place whilst everyone else is having lunch…
Tony and I are always amazed at the enthusiasm and commitment that all members of the Active Provincial teams display. There is no doubt that they feel honoured to receive Active rank, and always do their utmost to attend Provincial Team visits, work and family commitments permitting, willingly giving their support to the Province and the lodges we visit. The presence of the Provincial team is always impressive, and it is always nice when we as DC’s receive favourable comments from Lodge members, visitors both local and from other Provinces, which praise the exemplary manner in which the team members have conducted themselves.