Our July meeting of the Lodge had been much anticipated by many. Initially it had been planned as an initiation for Maurice Buddin (the Master's son-in-law), so there was planning for that to be considered. Who would do what, How could we ensure a meeting for him to remember. As it turned out that was not a problem. It was certainly a evening the Master would not forget.
We discovered that this would be the year that our Junior Warden, and one of the founders of the lodge, W. Bro John Rixson achieved 50 years in Freemasonry. We also needed to present a Grand Lodge certificate to Bro. James Wright, having been raised to the 3rd degree last year. So it would be a packed program.
Everyone arrived in good time to ensure everything was in place for the ceremony. Maurice remained in the bar, but both Steve Talbot, the Tyler, and Peter Keeley, Junior Warden were introduced to him as they would be responsible for him during the initiation ceremony. Before the procession of the Master and His Wardens into the Lodge, VW Bro. Peter Sands, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, was brought in and seated. He was placed beside one of our other special guess,t VW Bro. Peter Baker, due to be installed the following Thursday as Pro Grand Master and Grand Superintendant for Middlesex.The Master welcomed the visitors, and showed the Warrant, and the Lodge was opened. Then came a knock at the door, a late visitor we thought, but instead it was the Provincial DC, to announce that the Provincial Grand Master was without, and demanded entry.
A bit of shock to say the least!
Despite the unexpected, but very welcome visitor, the ceremony proceeded very smoothly through its business. The Master undertook much of the initiation ritual, only handing over the Charge in the North-East, to Bro Andrew Welborn (who did an excellant job), and the Working Tools, to W Bro Lyn Austen. Although, given that he knew how well the PGM could deliver the Charge to the initiate, having seen him giving it at the recent Lodge on Enlightenment meeting, it was with some trepidation that the Master proceeded to deliver the charge to Bro. Maurice.
Following the initiation a 50 year certificate from the Province, was presented by W Bro Peter Keeley, to W Bro John Rixson
Then W Bro. Ted Melber presented the Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro. James Wright.
Following the usual reports, plus a notice of motion for our next meeting, the Lodge was closed for us to retire to the bar, and then to the Festive Board.
We enjoyed a good meal of cold meat and salad, very suitable for the warm temperatures we had endured during the earlier part of the evening. The PGM replied to the toast to him, and spoke warmly of the Lodge, mentioning that this is its 40th year. Maurice also replied to the toast to the initiate with a very able few words thanking everyone, and saying how he is looking forward to getting to know more about Freemasonry. The toast to the visitors was responded to by W Bro Ray Sharp, with a very amusing and informative speech, including an exhortation to everyone to visit other lodges.
All in all and very full, enjoyable and memorable Lodge meeting