Our morning began in Tuckey Street at 9.45AM, when we all assembled in the ground floor Dining Room for Registration, before heading upstairs into the magnificent Lodge Room, where most of the day’s activities would take place. I had the privilege of acting as Chairman in this early part of the day, and after the usual housekeeping announcements, I launched straight in with a short introduction to Wor Bro John Belton, a member of The Manchester Association of Masonic Research and elected member of Q.C. who had come over especially to act as facilitator in an open house discussion on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing The Irish Lodge of Research as it begins its second century of continued progress and development.
John had prepared for this presentation by sending out sheets to all the participarts, which he used to get the discussion going, and then encouraged those present to develop these initial comments further. It was a very busy session with plenty of information coming from the floor and being recorded by John for further development in due course. It was a lively session, with so much participation froim all present, that I had to give John an extra ten minutes to deliver his concluding remarks.
Our second speaker of the morning was Wor Bro John Acaster, the current Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076 U.G.L.E. who gave us “An Outsider’s View of the Unrealised Potential of Irish Masonic History”. And, just as it said on the tin, this was exactly what we received. I have always found it interesting to note how we are perceived abroad, John’s presentation was pure Q.C. and brought into sharp focus, the distance still to be travelled in presenting the true origins of the Celtic Irish Masonic History of Irish Freemasonry beginning with the Baal’s Bridge Square dating from the year 1507.
John’s paper, based was well written and well presented and brought forward, probably for the first time to those present a flavour of the 15th century poetry written in Germany at that time.
Our last speaker of the morning was Very Wor Bro Bill Howie, a Past Master of the Lodge Hope of Kurrachi No 337 S.C. Bill has just recovered from an extended period of ill health and received a warm welcome back from all present. His topic for the morning was an overview of the History of The Lodge Hope of Kurrachi. And this history, covering their origins as a travelling military Lodge, its subsequent settlement in Pakistan as a civilian Lodge, the seizure of its Hall and Posessions in Pakistan, the Warrant’s Return to Edinburgh, and its revival in the Province of Fife and Kinross as a Masonic Research Lodge. Quite a journey, covered in 45 minutes, which will make great reading in our Transactions in due course. By now lunch time had arrived, I made my concluding remarks and we retired back downstairs for lunch.
After lunch, we were joined by Rt Wor Bro Leslie Deane Provincial Grand Master of Munster and his Deputy Rt Wor Bro Derek H. Dunne. The Lodge was opened by our Wor Master Wor Bro Stephen Arnold, our guests were welcomed and the business got underway. The main purpose of our meeting was to receive a paper from Wor Bro Dr David J.Butler Provincial Grand Archivist who gave an excellent presentation on the history of Freemasonry in the Province of Munster, with particular emphasis on the City of Cork and the towns of Bandon and Youghal. David, an established Masonic author has published books on the Masonic History of Youghal and Bandon, and has many Munster related articles and presentations to his credit. His paper was well received by all
present and again will make great reading in our Transactions in due course.
The day was brought to a successful conclusion with a Gala Banquet meal held in The Gresham Metropole Hotel, which was attended by some seventy five Brethren and Guests.