Provincial Visit to Shropshire
posted on 08 June 2015
At the instigation of E Comp Peter A Taylor, the ME Grand Superintendent of Shropshire, the Grand Superintendent E. Comp John L Saint and his Provincial Officers were invited to attend a meeting of a Chapter in his Province. Thus it was that on a sunny Friday afternoon on 5th June 2015, carloads of Warwickshire companions converged on Church Stretton to attend a convocation of Caer Caradoc Chapter No 6346.
After struggling with the difficulties of the M6 and M54 road works which caused big diversions and delays the party arrived at a delightful Temple and looked forward to an enjoyable ceremony and companionship. At least one car arrived only minutes before the ceremony, merely alleging good planning rather than any difficulty with the map.
The Chapter room was full to the brim with acting officers from both Provinces, their own members and members from other local Chapters who had come to help. A fine exaltation ceremony then took place using the Warwickshire Ritual, the main workings used in the Province. It was all so familiar and yet so different! It was done in very fine style and the newly exalted companion clearly enjoyed his evening. It certainly added to the education of the Warwickshire Companions, and in a strange way adds meaning to our own working, simply by having seen it done differently.
After the ceremony we adjourned to the bar whilst the Chapter room was converted to the dining room and a delicious dinner was served. Here again the slight differences in the Festive Board protocols between the Provinces, and particularly the firing, were seen. E. Comp John Saint led the Warwickshire Companions in the Warwickshire fire in some style. Most notable, besides the very good meal and the hospitality of our hosts, was the general noise level which rarely seemed to fall. A good time was had by all. After a splendid Toast to the Officers of Provincial Grand Chapters of both Shropshire and Warwickshire by E Comp Peter Taylor, he presented two very special pork pies, made by the renowned butcher Reg May of Ditton Priors nr Bridgnorth,. to E Comp John Saint, who is somewhat of a pork pie connoisseur. The MEGS was delighted with the gift and when he responded to the Visitors’ Toast he affirmed the special friendship between the Provinces which has been in place for many years.
As the Warwickshire companions struck for home, it seemed that inter provincial friendship had been reinforced and deepened, and even though it was dark we could sense the smiling faces on the way home.