Flower Power Helps Harrogate And Ripon Freemasons Celebrate 300th & 200th Anniversaries
Harrogate and Ripon Freemasons have turned to “flower power” to help celebrate key milestones in the fraternity’s history.
The three floral displays – located on Harrogate’s Montpellier Hill, within the Valley Gardens and in Ripon’s Spa Gardens – have been created by Harrogate Borough Council’s Parks & Environmental Services Department to mark the 300th anniversary of the first Freemasons Grand Lodge of England and the bicentenary of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding.
The official unveiling of the beds – which feature the masonic symbols of the square and compasses and the white rose of Yorkshire – was performed by the Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Anne Jones, Ripon Mayor Coun Pauline McHardy and the Provincial Grand Master David S Pratt.
The flower beds, containing some 7,500 plants, were the brainchild of Doug Mills, Charity Steward of The Spa Lodge, who came up with the idea that the Tercentenary of The United Grand Lodge of England and the Bi-centenary of The Province of Yorkshire West Riding, could be celebrated by a floral display in Harrogate.
He approached Harrogate Borough Council to see if they would support planting out beds to mark the two landmarks, which it readily agreed to and added Ripon to the mix.
Doug said: “These three flower beds are simply stunning and they look absolutely fantastic. Six months ago it was merely an idea, and now it is reality. They are ‘bloomin’ brilliant’.
“I want to pay tribute to council leader Coun Richard Cooper, the council’s parks & environmental services department, and in particular Horticultural Officer Sue Wood, Harlow Hill Nursery Operations Manager Barrie Stringer and his team of nurserymen and gardeners. They have done a superb job and the results speak for themselves.
“I would also like to thank Couns Jones and McHardy and Rt W Bro Pratt for performing the honours at the final bedding out ceremony.”
He added: “It was just a pity that no suitable beds were available in Knaresborough and Pateley Bridge.”
Rt W Bro David S Pratt, who presented commemorative hand trowels to the mayors, said: “2017 is a very special year for Freemasonry in England and Wales, and in particular for our Province as we are also celebrating our 200th birthday.
“We very much welcome the support of Harrogate Borough Council, as without them Doug’s floral tercentenary and bicentenary tributes would never have seen the light of day.
“Thanks to the skills of the parks team, thousands of people walking in the three locations will be able to enjoy these stunning flower beds throughout the summer months.”
The Treasurer of The Spa Lodge, W Bro Peter Dodds, facilitated the manufacture and supply free of charge, of four powder coated stainless steel display cases from In Stainless Engineering Ltd together with graphic boards provided by Signs Express that detail the history of the United Grand Lodge of England and The Province. These cases will be left for the Council’s future use.
For further information, please visit the Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s website.