The question of the provision of a Provincial Grand Master’s apron for the future Provincial Grand Master had been touched upon on numerous occasions with senior members of the executive over the last two to three years. A particularly sensitive issue within the Province as the only one in our possession, previously worn by RW Bro. Frederick Mansell Gabb (1990-1996) was quite old and in very poor condition.
However, a short while ago I managed to track down the apron worn by RW Bro. Brian Charles Cull who had served the Province from 1996 to 2006.
It may not be generally known, that whilst as an act of courtesy a retiring Provincial Grand Master is invited to submit three names as his successor for consideration, Grand Lodge are the sole arbiter of the selection process. So, after informing the Grand Secretary of my intention to stand down immediately prior to our Provincial Meeting in June my thoughts soon turned to how the apron should be presented to my successor, no matter who, and when.
The decision to hold a Celebratory Mark Advancement ceremony at Maius Lodge in January in the magnificently refurbished temple in Risca Masonic Hall provided the opportunity to do something a little different. Initially it was to be a straightforward presentation either within the temple or at the festive board. But having worked closely with VW Bro. David Powell for almost 5 years I knew he would appreciate something a little different.
So, the idea of a raffle was born. Disguised as a box of redundant Christmas Crackers the “booby prize” was duly “won” by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Probably another first for the Province of Monmouthshire, the first time a Provincial Grand Master’s Apron and Collar have ever been won in a raffle, something I’m sure my successor will always remember.
RW Bro Derek Thomas