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The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

In March 2019, Stoneleigh Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 995 were honoured by a visit from RW.Bro. Ian Clark, Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by W.Bros. Chris Eley and John French, Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, and many Provincial Grand Officers of the year.

The occasion was to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Consecration of Stoneleigh Lodge on the 7th February 1944. The photo is of the members of Stoneleigh Lodge at their anniversary meeting.

The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

After the Lodge of Mark Master Masons was opened the Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. James Hill, was admitted and advised the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Norman Woodfin, that the Provincial Grand Master was in the ante room and demanded admission to the Lodge. The RW Provincial Grand Master entered in procession with the Provincial team, was presented with the gavel and took the Chair. The RW Provincial Grand Master introduced the Provincial team and spoke about the 2022 Festival. He then spoke about what was happening in the world in 1944 when the Lodge was Consecrated and congratulated the Lodge on achieving this milestone in its history.

After the Provincial Grand Master had vacated the Chair the Worshipful Master invited W.Bro. Eric Trodd, PAGSwdB, to give an address on the 75 year history of the Lodge. The Lodge used to meet at Stoneleigh from 1944 to 1979 when it moved to Sutton. It was a Keystone Lodge from the beginning and was the Mother Lodge of Esher Lodge of Mark Master Masons meeting at Chertsey and H A Mann Lodge of Mark Master Masons meeting at Sutton. The Lodge has worked its own special 1926 ritual from the start and received approval to continue to work this ritual after the new ritual was introduced.

The Provincial Grand Master thanked W.Bro. Eric for the presentation and for all the work he had put into the History of the Lodge. He then congratulated Eric on celebrating his 85th birthday that day. We then did something I have never experienced before in a Masonic Meeting – we all sang Happy Birthday to Eric to the strains of W.Bro. Bob Soper, Provincial Grand Organist, at the organ.

The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

Next on the agenda was the Installation of Bro. Roy Chivers as Worshipful Master of Stoneleigh Lodge. This was done in a very sincere manner by W.Bro. Norman Woodfin assisted by W.Bro. Des Franklin who presented the Working Tools.

The Address to the Master was given by W.Bro. Chris Eley, to the Wardens by W.Bro. John French, to the Overseers by W.Bro. Andrew Sales, and to the Brethren by the RW. Provincial Grand Master. W.Bro. Eric Trodd presented the Keystone Jewel to the Worshipful Master.

The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

The Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro. Steve Jones, gave a very informative and entertaining presentation on the various 2022 Festival initiatives, following which the Lodge voted to donate the sum of £250 to the Festival on behalf of the Mark Lodge and £250 to the Festival on behalf of the Royal Ark Mariner Lodge. The cheques were presented to the RW.Provincial Grand Master by the Lodge Charity Steward, W.Bro. Andrew Sales, PGStB. These were gratefully received by the RW. Provincial Grand Master and passed immediately on to our Festival Treasurer, W.Bro. David Barden, PAGDC, who will ensure that they are faithfully applied.

The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

After the Lodge was closed and photographs taken the Brethren of Stoneleigh Lodge and their guests retired to the bar.

Unfortunately W.Bro. Eric Trodd could not stay to dine so I took a photo of Eric and John French, District Grand Prefect of the Allied Masonic Degrees, sporting their AMD napkins.

The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

The Brethren of Stoneleigh Lodge and their many guests then sat down to a most enjoyable meal at the Sutton Masonic Hall where the members of the Allied Masonic Degrees wore their AMD napkins to promote the Order to Mark Masons.

The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

After the meal the Worshipful Master thanked the Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Team for coming along to help make this a very special day for Stoneleigh Mark Lodge.

The 75th Anniversary Meeting of Stoneleigh Lodge

Stoneleigh Lodge is a member of the Mann Group meeting at Sutton and any Mark Mason wishing to visit them would be made most welcome, especially as they will have a candidate for advancement at their next meeting on the first Friday in September.

Article and photographs by Chris Eley