On the evening of Tuesday 20 th December 2022, the companions of Clarence Chapter assembled at Hartlepool Masonic Hall in Raby Road. This special meeting was of immense importance, the celebration of 100 years of existence 1922-2022 with 55+ companions in attendance.
This evening started with a Deputation team visit led by the Provincial Grand Superintendent John Thompson. There was also a good turnout of acting officers joining him, who were warmly welcomed into the Chapter Room.
Lewis Ayers gave an abridged reading of the minutes from the Chapters first ever-meeting held on 31st March 1922. Lewis then read out a brief 100-year history (link below) of the chapter with a full version souvenir booklet available to everyone attending on the night. Bill Florentine, who was unable to attend, had worked hard to put the booklet and history together.
History of the Chapter
Doug Lister from Rowland Burdon Chapter read out the Chapter Centenary Warrant before handing over the warrant to John Thompson. John then spoke about how it was a pleasure to attend the chapter on this their Centenary Celebration, before presenting the warrant to Bill Abbott.
John then presented each subscribing member of the chapter a Centenary Jewel.
Paul Hopper then announced that it was a real privilege and pleasure to be present to dedicate a storage chest for the Chapter banners, which has been donated by Peter Meadows. Paul asked everyone to rise before reading out a dedication (link below) for this chest for the use of Clarence Chapter.
Dedication of the chest
Chapter Photos were taken before the evening progressed to the festive board.
Following an enjoyable meal, John Thompson thanked the Chapter for a Wonderful evening and was grateful for the invitation to share in this incredibly special Centenary Celebration. The full room in attendance added to the occasion. John then spoke about everything that was happening around the province and to encourage everyone to go out and enjoy their freemasonry.
John praised all the wonderful work that Bill Florentine had done to make the night so special and successful and thanked the chapter for the £200 cheque they had presented to him for Durham Benevolence, emphasising the magnificent work that Durham Benevolence do, giving out a substantial amount to causes in need of support.
John praised Trevor Sherwood for the splendid work he was doing as editor of the successful Insight email, which is being sent out to every member. In conclusion John wished everyone a Wonderful Christmas.
Gary Elgie replied on behalf of the Provincial deputation, paying special credit to the founder members of the chapter who, as was the case one hundred years ago, went about their work without the modern aid of emails and mobile phones to assist them.
Ian Welford proposed the toast to the visitors, to which Ian Groves replied. Ian’s Great Grandfather Matthew Henry Groves was one of the founding members of the Chapter back in 1922 and he expressed his immense pride in being able to celebrate with everyone tonight.
All enjoyed an excellent and entertaining evening.