Barnard Lodge of MMM No 687 - Centenary Meeting

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What's that old saying about buses, you never see one and then two come along at once! It’s a bit like centenary meetings in East Anglia. Two in eight days. Off we went to Wyndham to help celebrate their 10 decades of continuous service to the Province and the Fraternity. It was a challenge for some of my Provincial Officers to navigate to the venue, despite using a sat nav!

We all had to arrive early so that our Provincial GDC W.Bro Gary Allen could put us through our paces and ensure we all knew what we were doing and where we were seated. It was easy for me. I just made my way to the big chair in the east, accepted the gavel from the WM and took over.

All too soon the moment of truth had arrived and in we went, the room was packed, no spare seats. Over 80 Brethren had gathered together to support this centenary gathering. I was welcomed most cordially by the Master W.Bro Nigel Hood, accepted the gavel and took my place. Provincial Grand Lodge Officers arrived at their seats, the Provincial Wardens invited to occupy the lodge wardens chair and battle commenced.

After some opening remarks from me about where we were and what we were here to do I called on W.Bro Richard Styles to read the original warrant, this he accomplished with great skill.I then invited W. Bro Richard Hawes to present the lodge history, this proved enlightening about the lodge and its members. He kindly presented each brother present with a longer version.

Now it was time to read the centenary warrant granted by the Grand Master HRH Prince Michael of Kent, this unique document bearing his signature congratulates the lodge for its fortitude and sets a precedent for all time that Barnard Lodge of MMM No 687 is in receipt of this sacred trust. Once the warrant was read I invited W.Bro Colin Birkbeck Provincial Chaplain to invoke the blessings of the Great Overseer of the Universe and pray for the continued prosperity of the Barnard Lodge. The warrant was presented to the WM, who received it with a most gracious vote of thanks to me and the Province.

The lodge members then presented the Mark Lecture, lead in great style by the Master W.Bro Nigel Hood, each brother rising and delivering his piece; all done with flair and was a tribute to them all. They had worked very hard to achieve such a high standard.

All too soon it was time to decorate the members with their centenary jewell, authorised by the centenary warrant just received.

It was the support from Lowestoft Lodge No 686 which celebrated their centenary only last week which brought home to me how much we are a united friendly Province caring for each other and supporting other lodges. Thats one of the unique attributes of being a Mark Mason in East Anglia.

The Brethren retired to dinner where the usual toasts were honoured. An extremely enjoyable and happy evening, one in which I was proud to participate and I hope forward the lodge onto its bi-centenary with happy memories of a great evening.