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Mark Master Masons of Surrey Mark Master Masons of Surrey
The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

The Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Surrey took place on Saturday 16th March 2019 at the Croydon and District Masonic Hall, Croydon, Surrey.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

Once again our Provincial Grand Stewards did a splendid job of ensuring everyone was able to park in the Stanton Road car park.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

From 9.30 am the Brethren of the Province and their guests started arriving for coffee and bacon butties.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

Here we have three London Mark Masons who are also members of Mark Lodges in Surrey. RW.Bro. David Ashbolt, Provincial Grand Master, VW.Bro. Jerry Gangadeen, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, and W.Bro. Ray Johnson, Grand Junior Deacon.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

This is the third time in recent years that our Provincial Meeting has been held at Oakfield Road and, following the success of the two previous year’s meetings, over 300 members and guests filled the Temple.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

By 10.35 am everyone was seated in the Temple. Just after 10.45 pm the Brethren were called to order to receive the distinguished guests, including Right Worshipful Brethren and past members of the Provincial Executive. The Worshipful Masters and Worshipful Commanders then entered in procession.

Finally, the entire meeting was called to order by W.Bro. Paul Wicking, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, to receive the Provincial Officers of the year accompanying the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the RW Provincial Grand Master, led by the Provincial Grand Sword Bearer and followed by the Provincial Grand Standard Bearer.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due form by the Provincial Grand Master who was saluted with seven under the direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. The business of Provincial Grand Lodge commenced with the Provincial Grand Master individually welcoming the many representatives of other Provinces and Masonic Orders.

After approving the minutes of the previous meeting, which were available on the Provincial web site, those present remembered our members who had passed to the Grand Lodge above since the last annual meeting. A number of newly Advanced Brethren were then escorted to the Provincial Grand Master who presented them with a special lapel pin.

This pin is only presented to the newly Advanced Brethren who attend the annual meeting following their Advancement and is therefore something very special to have. The Provincial Grand Master said that the recruitment and retention of Brethren in our Mark Province of Surrey is one of his priorities and he wants our newly advanced Brethren to feel welcome and part of our family from the moment they join.

The Travelling Keystone was then paraded into Provincial Grand Lodge by W.Bro. Roger Chapman of Loyalty Mark Lodge No 914 and returned to the Provincial Grand Master. Loyalty Mark Lodge had raided Coulsdon Mark Lodge only two days earlier.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

RW.Bro. Ian said that the Travelling Keystone was prepared by W.Bro. John French, assisted by VW.Bro. Bob Tuthill, as an initiative to promote visiting and the exchange of fellowship and goodwill between the Lodges in the Province. It was presented to Bond of Friendship in November 2016 and since then it has been claimed by a number of Lodges within the Province. It was to be presented later at the Festive Board to the Lodge with the most members dining.

VW.Bro, Richard Baker, was re-appointed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. The RW Provincial Grand Master thanked W.Bro. Chris Eley for all the work he had done for the Province over many years in various roles, especially his last five years as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. He then had much pleasure in presenting him with a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master’s collaret. W.Bro. John French was re-appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master.

The RW Provincial Grand Master announced that he was appointing W.Bro. Richard John Knox, PGSD, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Paul Wicking, formed a procession to escort the Assistant Provincial Grand Master Designate into Provincial Grand Lodge.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

W.Bro. Richard Knox was presented, obligated and invested as the Assistant Provincial Grand Master and took his place in Provincial Grand Lodge. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies called the Brethren of the Province of Surrey to Order and W.Bro. Richard Knox was proclaimed as Assistant Provincial Grand Master and saluted with five.

A total of 84 appointments and promotions in Provincial Grand Rank were announced, as well as 8 Brethren receiving Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank. The Brethren of the Province of Surrey below the rank of Provincial Grand Officer were called to order to salute the newly appointed and invested Provincial Grand Officers with three.

The Provincial Grand Master addressed Provincial Grand Lodge. The meeting was then called to order and closed in due form. The Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, together with members of the Past Executive, honoured guests and Provincial Officers then left the Temple in procession to the echoing strains of Land of Hope and Glory by the Provincial Grand Organist, W.Bro. Robert Soper.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

The members of the Provincial Executive greeted all our Honoured Guests as they retired from Provincial Grand Lodge.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

The Brethren of the Mark Province of Surrey and their guests then retired to the bar. Pictured together are members of the Provincial Craft and Royal Arch Executive, who congratulated W.Bro. Richard on his appointment as Assistant Provincial Grand Master.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

Following the meeting, around 250 Brethren of the Province of Surrey and their guests dined together in peace and harmony, where the customary Loyal and Masonic toasts were honoured. Once again, due to the increased numbers dining there were two dining rooms with a video link set up. Here we have members of the Allied Masonic Degrees pictured with their District Grand Prefect, John French, our Assistant Provincial Grand Master.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

A special cake was again baked by VW.Bro. Jerry Gangadeen, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of London, a member of Richmond Lodge of Mark Master Masons, to raise funds for the 2022 Festival. This was served with coffee after the meal.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

RW.Bro. David Ashbolt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of London, a member of Rose Lodge of Mark Master Masons, organised a game of Heads and Tails. This was won by Bro. Ian Chandler, the Provincial Grand Master of the Craft Province of Surrey.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

To round off a very successful meeting and festive board the Provincial Grand Master presented the Travelling Keystone to the Worshipful Master of Richmond Lodge of Mark Master Masons, W.Bro. Wayne Lucas.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW.Bro. Richard Baker, proposed the Toast to the Provincial Grand Master who thanked VW.Bro. Richard and all the Brethren present and then proposed the Toast to the Visitors.

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, the Very Worshipful Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and other distinguished Brethren then retired from the Festive Board. Afterwards the Brethren of Richmond Mark Lodge gathered for a photograph with the Travelling Keystone.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

The Travelling Keystone will be taken home by the Brethren of the Mark Lodge that has the highest numbers dining at the next meeting of Richmond Lodge of Mark Master Masons meeting at Surbiton on Monday 17th June 2019.

Click here to view all the photos of the day.

Article by Chris Eley, photos by Jeff Penfold, Michael Fenech and Chris Eley