This first paragraph is an extract taken from the Monmouthshire Merlin newspaper, in which the text has been updated to present day language. Reported 23rd April 1852
The Masonic Festival: Monmouthshire Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting. Newport witnessed a very interesting spectacle on Wednesday, on the occasion of the provincial gathering of the brethren of this mystic bond.” Flags, emblazoned with Masonic emblems, with the banners of England and other nations, spanned High-street, from the Freemasons Hall, to the opposite house, and were also extended across the commencement of Stow-hill. Indeed, the principal parts of the town generally wore a gala appearance and the vessels in the port hoisted their colours, whilst the mellow-toned bells of St. Woollos rang out enlivening peals in honour of the occasion. The Freemasons Hall, High Street, where the Silurian Lodge met, was very tastefully decorated for the occasion, under the direction of Brother David Blackwood. Above the chair we observed an elegantly formed evergreen crown, into which were weaved, very tastefully, the early flowers of the season. The vice chair was surmounted by a chastely formed plume of feathers, with the Prince of Wales’s motto – “Ich Dien” or “I serve” and a scroll immediately underneath, with the words – “Audi, vide, tact,” or “Hear, see, and be silent.” Tasteful wreaths were also suspended over the various chairs, and around the room, the whole producing a beautiful and harmonious effect. The Brethren were indebted to Brother Thomas Powell, Esq., The Gaer, Brother Lyne, Brother Nicholas, and O. Morgan, Esq. M.P. for the lavish supply of flowers and evergreens, with which the lodge-room was decorated.
(The article continues, but this extract gives us a clear picture of 19th century Provincial activities).
This article submitted by Bro. Ralph Collins