Members of Hope Lodge together with members of the Provincial and District Deputations
After opening the Lodge, members were pleased to receive the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Peter Graham Hewitt, PSGD together with a Provincial and District Deputation.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master started the proceedings by introducing members of the Deputation after which he explained the importance of the Banner Dedication Ceremony and then instructed the ProvGDC WBro John Griffin to form an escort to carry the Banner into the Lodge room.
The Provincial Chaplain WBro The Rev. Canon Richard Hawkins delivered the dedication prayer after which the Banner was delivered into the hands of the Worshipful Master by WBro Hewitt for safe keeping.
After the formal dedication of the banner The Rev. Canon Hawkins gave a very interesting and informative Oration having first set the scene by explaining the importance of banners throughout history with particular reference to banners in a military context. He explained that they not only acted as a rallying point, but also helped to give a strong sense of identity and belonging. As he put it, it tells us who we are. He then went on to explain some of the symbolism on the banner with particular reference to the symbol of the dove bearing an olive branch. He stated that this symbol is very significant to Freemasons as it represents Christine Faith, Peace and Hope and is of course the symbol of the Deacons of the Lodge.
Before the lodge was formally closed the ProGDC called the Brethren to order for the Patriarchal Benediction, which was given by the Canon Hawkins. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master accompanied by his senior officers together with members of the Provincial Deputation then retired.
The evening was continued at the Social Board were at total of 47 brethren enjoyed a fine meal of Roast Loin of Pork followed by Apple Pie. All agreed that a Banner Dedication Ceremony was not often seen in Masonic Lodges but all those present felt that that they had experience a very enjoyable and worthwhile occasion.
This report was produced by WBro. K. Rowlatt PProDepGDC (Rochdale District Communications Officer )