The District Grand King (DGK) Neil Coey thanked all for attending stating that was great to see the room so well filled.
As previously mentioned the District BBQ Tickets for the 15th September in Newry are on sale at £12.50 each. He hoped that the event would be well supported, tickets are available from the Newry Hall Committee members Derek Stevenson and Kenny Hassan, the District Office, on-line orders and at the front door of this Hall. He hoped that Companions would bring their wives out for the night as recompense for letting them go to Provincial earlier in the day.
The new District Ties are also available at £10 each, from the District Office, on-line orders and again at the front door. The DGK thanked VEC’s Jim Prime and Sam Snodden for manning the sales desk at the front door this evening.
Having served as District Grand Organist for over eleven years MEC Charles Ruttle had decided to retire for health reasons, the DGK had reluctantly accepted his decision. He was also standing down as one of the representatives to the Supreme Grand Chapter Board of Purpose. The DGK thanked him for his faithful service and wished him well in his retirement. As this would create a vacancy the DGK was pleased to announce the appointment of EC Alastair Douglas of RAC 430 as a new DG Organist, his investiture to take place at our next Convocation.
The DGK then announced that MEC Frank Craig was standing down as DG Inspector after 11 years and thanked him for his faithful service, dedication and his other work behind the scenes. MEC Craig would continue in his role as overall co-ordinator of the Support Teams.
To replace this vacancy the DGK announced the appointment of EC Sam Snodden, PK of Union Star RAC No 624 Killinchy as a new DG Inspector, to be invested at the next convocation.
Another vacancy was for a Joint Chairman of the District Support Team and the DGK was please to announce that VEC Chris McCullough had agreed to take on this role and responsibility.
GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation, the DGK stated that Grand Lodge/Chapter was in the process of drafting guidelines and that Chapters should not have anything to worry about at present.
If there were any implications for Chapters they would be informed in due course.
The DGK stated that District had not yet received an invitation for the quarterly Convocation in September 2019 and that by way of encouragement the DG Treasurer could offer a subvention of up to £150 in support to any Chapter hosting District, with the Treasurer stressing “if required”.
The DGK closed his remarks, thanking all for their attention and hoped to see everyone in St John’s Parish Church, Dromara in September. He wished all a safe journey home.
The DGK began back in time, some 40 years ago on 3rd June 1978 when a young man was invested as a District Grand Chaplain. One of the “rocks” within the District Grand Chapter of Down and a shining example to all, MEC Rev Charles McCurdy.
MEC McCurdy was escorted to the dais. All three of the Principle Officers made the presentation, firstly the DAGK, REC Roy Humphries, who delivered a “beautiful” sentiment and presented him with an inscribed Bible. Secondly the DDGK, REC Alan Ferris, who again spoke highly of the high esteem in which MEC McCurdy was held and presented him with a specially commissioned, one off, bespoke Jewel, (a circle with equilateral triangle and Bible overlaid) and finally the DGK, MEC Neil Coey who gave his thanks and appreciation and presented MEC McCurdy with a small Token of his appreciation, reminding MEC McCurdy that this was not a retirement and that he hoped to see a fifty year Bar added to the Jewel in years to come.
MEC McCurdy was returned to his seat and a salute called in his honour. MEC McCurdy replied and thanked all, his 40 years brought back some memories, R J Walker & Sam Martin, past District Grand Kings, and other friendships mentioning REC James Copes. He also commented that it was nice to be directed by the DOC’s, he had known VEC Desi McCormack’s wife from Co Cavan for some time and VEC Victor McNeill for keeping him right.
He was thrilled to sill be here 40 years on and would be putting his new Jewel under his pillow and would have sweet dreams of 40 years of friends.
MEC McCurdy was given a standing ovation by all present.