On Sunday 28 April 2019, more than 2,000 children from York and North Yorkshire marched through York in what is believed to have been the biggest St George’s Day parade in the country
Brownies, Guides, Cubs, Scouts, Sea Scouts and Explorers processed from the Eye of York to York Minster with banners flying in a display of music and colour to mark the day of England’s national saint. The parade was so long it took 20 minutes to process into the Minster when it arrived and included three marching bands.
Among the dignitaries waiting for the parade at the Minster were the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Keith Orrell, and heading the entire York Civic Party, County and District Commissioners from the Scout and Guide Movements, Johanna Ropner Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Rachel Maskell MP for York Central, the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor, the Sheriff of York and proudly representing Freemasons Michael McCloud, Master of York Lodge No. 236.
Michael’s invitation by York Minster to represent local Freemasons in the parade is detriment of the great connection Yorkshire North and East Freemasons now have in supporting the Apprentice tools and the sponsoring of stonemason Apprenticeships.
On completion of a celebratory service in the Minster led by the Rev Francis Loftus, the parade marched passed assembled dignitaries in Duncombe Place before returning to the York Eye. Duncombe Place Masonic Hall was open to all the VIP guests where light refreshments served.
Guests were then invited to a tour of the lodge building with a well-received briefing on Freemasonry and its local and national charitable activities.
After the service and as an additional celebration, 1st Heworth Scouts Group were presented with a commendation from North Yorkshire Police for 100 years’ of service to the community.
A Reflection By David Hughes
Looking back over the last thirty-one years of my masonic career I have realised that my early years in the lodge gave me a sanctuary, an oasis of peace and tranquillity from the busy and hectic life as a construction director of a national company.