The Northern Provinces comprise the Provincial Grand Lodges of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Londonderry & Donegal and Tyrone & Fermanagh. In addition to the many and varied events and functions planned within the respective Provinces, there were a number of "centrally co-ordinated" activities which are detailed below:-
Grand Lodge, in the year 2000, celebrated 275 years of continuous working. To commemorate this Anniversary, it held a number of events throughout the year, at which not only Masons and their families, but also their wider family circles and the public in general, were involved.
The events are listed in chronological order:
1. Interprovincial Golf Competition: March 2000 - September 2000
An Interprovincial Golf Competition was played and it concluded with the presentation of the Grand Master's Cup and many other prizes at Killymoon Golf Club on Friday, 15th September. The competition required competitors to submit their 10 best aggregate cards, duly authenticated, and played on any 18 hole Golf Course through the period of March to August. Cards were available from Lodge Secretaries and the top 150 scores competed in the final playoffs. Categories included masons, non-masons and ladies.
2. Concert: Waterfront Hall - Saturday, 8th April 2000
This concert was a great success - representatives of Ireland's Showbands played to a FULL HOUSE and at the interval the Grand Master presented a cheque to the value of £5,000 to representatives of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - this donation to go towards the new lifeboat for Portrush, Co. Antrim.
Open Day at Masonic Halls: Saturday, 24th June 2000
3. Open Day at Masonic Halls: Saturday, 24th June 2000
On the suggestion of the Grand Master, the trustees of Masonic Halls throughout- Ireland were asked to consider opening their premises on Saturday, 24th June to the general public. The principle aim of this "Open Day" was to let those outside our Order gain an overview of our activities, charitable workings, etc. and hopefully it would help to allay some of the misconceptions held by the general public.
4. Gala Dinner: Friday, 6th October 2000 - Balmoral Conference Centre
A Gala Dinner, for Brethren and their ladies, was arranged for the above date in the Balmoral Conference Centre. There was limited seating for 300 and consequently tickets were issued in strict order of application.
5. Grand Lodge: Wednesday, 27th December 2000
- Ulster Hall, Belfast
5. Grand Lodge: Wednesday, 27th December 2000 - Ulster Hall, Belfast
To end off this year of celebrations, the Grand Lodge has kindly accepted the invitation of the Northern Provinces to hold the St. John's Day Communication in Belfast. Many of the Brethren will recall the excellent attendance on the last occasion in 1993 when the Ulster Hall was filled to capacity.
R.W.Bro. Robert J Thomson
(Provincial Grand Master of Antrim)
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