Masonic Secret Santas Meet at Loxford Lodge

The first Masonic Secret Santa Meeting was held by Loxford Lodge No. 5621 on 14th December 2021 at The Square at Upminster. All the presents were known but the children who received them were a secret.

Instead of an alms collection the Brethren brought presents for children needing specialist care at Addenbrookes Hospital spending Christmas away from home. At the request of the Hospital’s Charity Trust the presents were not wrapped so that the staff could give an appropriate present to each child who would gain the most, as some have limited mobility and/or special needs and needed toys that have music, sound or lights.

A huge ‘Thank-you’ by the hospital was extended to all the Essex Freemasons who donated presents and money during a special 25 Days of Christmas Fundraiser in honour of the late Alexander Badman who was Master of the Lodge in 1995 and 2011. Alex’s son and Lodge Steward, Harry, explained:

 “The appeal is looking to become a yearly event, growing each year, and, Covid permitting, allowing more people to join in with direct fundraising. However, the recipients of the funds will look to change each year so more and more children are supported. In 2022, the fundraising is looking to fund Christmas presents for Children in shelters across Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, depending on funds. The target is going to be raised to £2,500 off the back of an incredible year. If anyone would like to join the team, please contact me and I would be more than happy to help!”

John Cannon, the Lodge Secretary, said the Meeting was also successful in that Mustafa Ibrahim Mustafa was welcomed back as a re-joining member and Alex Dring was fervently initiated into Freemasonry by the Worshipful Master, Richard Capener. John Cannon delivered the Charge and an Explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board was given by Paul Scothern.

The grateful appreciation of the Province was conveyed by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM) for the Lodge, Martin Howse, who was delighted to confirm Loxford Lodge had also qualified with Platinum status for the Essex 2022 Festival.

Charity Steward, Mike Moisley, said “We had a very busy meeting and as you can see from the pictures there were plenty of presents donated for children at Addenbrookes Hospital. In addition, the raffle monies were topped up to £500 from the Lodge of Instruction funds and also put towards buying presents”.

The children who were at Addenbrookes in special care over Christmas may not know about Freemasonry or the £51 million given to deserving causes in 2020 alone, but for the 27 Masonic Secret Santas who met at Loxford Lodge on 14th December 2021 all the presents were known but the children who received them were a secret.

Pictured Top: Secret Santas APGM Martin Howse with Harry Badman

Pictured Bottom: Addenbrookes Hospital Care Staff receiving the Secret Santa presents

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Fresh hope for little Rosie thanks to Essex Freemasons

Life has been tough for little two-year-old Rosie Harris from Canvey Island, diagnosed at three months old with a rare genetic mutation which prevents her from sweating, no salvia, sitting unaided and profound hearing loss – and one of just three children in the entire world suffering with the same syndrome. But now for the first time there is real hope that Rosie’s life can significantly improve thanks to support from Essex Freemasons.

Unable to hear without the aid of cochlear implants, currently fed through her stomach, constantly being treated with antibiotics and unable to sit or hold her head up, there is only one thing that has been shown to improve her quality of life – regular physiotherapy – a service the NHS has only been able to provide once a month.

That physio is desperately needed on a weekly basis and that is now about to change with a pledge from Essex Freemasons to cover the cost of private physiotherapy every seven days together with a promise to provide the essential equipment that Rosie needs to be looked after each day.

“Rosie’s condition is so rare that doctors are learning from us,” said mum Charlotte. “The NHS started physiotherapy to help strengthen her back and neck and this has really helped, but because of Covid and staff shortages they are unable to provide this service more than once a month.”

“She would clearly benefit if the physio could be applied once a week which meant going private at £80 a time, something we could not afford. Rosie also needed special equipment such as a lightweight pushchair and bath seat which we can also use to take to the beach in the summer months. Essex Freemasons have made this happen and I am so grateful – it is a life changer for Rosie”

It was Philip Tissington, a member of two Lodges meeting at Saxon Hall, Southend - Castlepoint and Counos - who first heard about little Rosie via his daughter. The two Lodges immediately raised and donated around £1,000 to help buy the essential equipment, but it was the physio that would really make a difference.

This was when the Essex Freemasons Community Fund stepped in to provide the funding needed for weekly physio. 

Assistant Provincial Grand Master Rob Eels, explained: “I was so moved by the plight of this little girl and the way that our members responded that I felt we had to do more. The real difference was the ability to find the private sessions of physio which would really help Rosie’s quality of life. I am delighted that this has now been covered by our Community Fund”

Rosie is suffering from what doctor’s call Kilquist Syndrome which was first diagnosed in a boy in the USA seven years ago. Since then, the same syndrome has affected a child in Sweden and Rosie is the third. Charlotte Kirby now believes that there is a 4th case in Egypt.

 

Picture Caption From left to right: Philip Tissington and Alan Anthony (Counos and Castle Point Lodges); Rosie with mum Charlotte; Robert Eels, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons and Paul Harris, Secretary of Essex Freemasons Community Fund.

 

Rosie is also seen pictured with a TLC Teddy, funded by Freemasons, which are usually only given to children in A&E units at Hospitals. We thought Rosie was a special case for just such a Teddy.

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One of the Most Unheard-of Inspirational Stories in Essex Freemasonry

In 1951 Malcolm was initiated into St Margaret’s Lodge No. 5168 which met in Leigh. He recalls “As soon as the door was opened the whole place took off with the first verse of “Lead, Kindly Light” (a hymn written in 1833 by John Henry Newman as a poem entitled ‘The Pillar and the Cloud’). With a big attendance it sounded like a Welsh male voice choir singing from above.”

On getting a job in the drawing office with Marconi in Chelmsford it made it difficult to get to Leigh in time for the Wednesday afternoon meetings. His father was well known in Chelmsford as a Fire Chief in WW2 and had become the first Assistant Secretary of East Saxon Lodge. He arranged for Malcolm to join East Saxon which was just a walk across the road from the Marconi drawing office which made life considerably easier.

“The Lodge of Instruction (LoI) in those days was unbelievable compared to now” exclaimed Malcolm “the Preceptor thought he was on a parade ground with raw recruits and one senior City bank manager said that even his directors had never spoken to him like that”.  

Despite that Malcolm has thoroughly enjoyed all of his 70 years in Freemasonry and reflects on the many things that have happened and in meeting the range and variety of people he became acquainted with whom he would otherwise have never known. He particularly remembers going to Maldon with his family one Sunday to watch Sir Neil Thorne horse riding.

For his charitable work on the Committee and as the Secretary of the Marconi Charity Fund for several years, Malcolm was awarded the BEM. Having been made redundant in the early 1990s he took whatever work he could to make sure his family were always provided for. “I am sure everything happens for a reason” he said ”I used to play football but in one game playing for Chelmsford City B Team I broke my leg and was taken to hospital. Whilst there I first met Pamela who was a nurse and became my wife. We are still happily married today.”

Still regularly driving himself to LoI and Lodge Meetings, Malcolm is one of the most ‘continuously-for-70 years’ active Craft Freemasons in Essex, if not in UGLE, but he has not taken the fourth step into Royal Arch even though he would have liked to had circumstances been different.

“My reasons for not joining” he explained “are because both my children were born profoundly deaf. This had a big effect on the family knowing they will never hear. Envisaging the problems they would encounter in life, I decided to devote all my spare time to help them prepare for life ahead.”  All the love, devotion encouragement and teaching of Malcolm and his wife Pamela has come to fruition as both children graduated with Honours degrees from Oxford University. David is a Senior Scientific Officer in the Meteorological Office and Jane specialises in environmental sciences.

Malcolm Robinson BEM, Family man, Father and active Essex Freemason for 70 years, inspires and moves us all with what is possibly one of the most unheard-of inspirational stories in Essex Freemasonry.

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Three Firsts for Colin Felton at East Saxon Lodge

The Provincial Senior Grand Warden (ProvSGW) and Provincial Grand Charity Steward (ProvGChStwd), Colin Felton, was congratulated by the Worshipful Master, Gavin MacInnes, and the Brethren of East Saxon Lodge No. 7053 on 9th December 2021, on his forthcoming promotion to Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM). For Colin his visit to East Saxon in this its 70th Anniversary-year had three new firsts as he:

  1. Was escorted by his son-in-law Gary Soars, a Provincial Grand Steward (ProvGStwd)
  2. Presented a Grand Lodge Certificate, which was delivered most informatively to Liam Devine, and
  3. Formally presented a 70th Anniversary Membership Certificate and special Badge

“This is so special and rare as there are only three such badges in the Province” Colin explained when appending the lapel badge to nonagenarian Malcolm Robinson BEM, a Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden (PPJGW). Malcolm still regularly attends Lodge of Instruction and Lodge Meetings and is always happy to stand-in for a Brother. In his ‘Thank-you’ response Malcolm ended by wishing “everyone a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year”.

In his role as the ProvGChStwd, Colin has visited many lodges. “Every lodge is different” he told the East Saxon Brethren “but what you do is absolutely fantastic as everyone wants to do his best”. He added. “In every lodge there is a team with each member bringing different skills. We are a bunch of people enjoying each other’s company.”

Colin conveyed an important message from the new Provincial Grand Master, Paul Tarrant, that as we have all been away during the pandemic restrictions, the membership is now divided into three consisting of:

  1. Seriously minded Freemasons
  2. Brethren understandably still worried about Covid, and
  3. Those who having been away and may not miss Freemasonry at all.

Encouraging everyone to be an Almoner, Colin urged everyone to make contact with Brethren in the third group to help them see what they are missing. He then praised the younger Lodge members and looking forward said he felt East Saxon has a great future especially with several potential initiates currently waiting to join.

As the Essex 2022 Festival draws to a close, Colin reminded everyone that if pledges and arrangements to pay are in place by next March, the full donation does not have to be received until December 2023. He said “Please use the next three months to consider making plans for donations in this period which will then count towards the final Essex Festival total.”

Informing Brethren that there were only 700 tickets for the Essex Festival 2022 Celebration Banquet at the Guildhall in London on 9th July 2022, Colin pointed out “With all food and drink paid for it is exceptional value at £149 per ticket for such a prestigious venue.”

On a final note, Colin reminded all present that Rob Eels is the APGM responsible for Membership and encouraged the Lodge to sign up to the Pathway Scheme, especially as we are approaching 2026 when Essex celebrates 250 years as a Province.

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A Christmas message from the Provincial Grand Master

Dear brethren and companions,

Christmas is near, a time of traditions, storytelling, and reflection. All three are bound up in Charles Dickens’ wonderful story A Christmas Carol.

The miser Scrooge is miserable and alone at Christmas, locked in his own self-imposed isolation, walled in with his money which brings him little comfort.

The Ghost of Christmas Present appears to Scrooge wearing a green robe, bedecked with holly, wearing a rusty scabbard without a sword, which is the symbol of peace. He bears a torch, used to spread good will. These are all symbols of the transforming power of Christmas. A light in the darkness of the longest night, and a promise of brighter times to come. For many of us these last 18 months have been very dark indeed.

The Ghost sits upon a pile of festive food, but under his robe kneel the two gaunt children, named Want and Ignorance. Even in the midst of our festivities, Want and Ignorance lurk in the darkness.

Surely this is our work, to cure these children?

When Scrooge speaks about business, the Ghost of Jacob Marley says -

‘Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’

Surely this is our business?

But we have been at our business - supporting many Essex charities; the young, the disabled, the depressed and the poor. As Freemasons, we are learning in life that which Jacob Marley only learned in death.

By the end of the tale, Scrooge is a changed man. We are changed men, taught by our masonic ideals. We should emulate Scrooge as he says –

‘I honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.’

Finally, as we are so aware of spreading infection as we visit our friends and family, please stay safe and well, however, remember that -

There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon when we have more work to do.

Have a very Merry Christmas.

God bless us, everyone!

Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Master

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A Freemason of Beneficence for Fifty Years

Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Master (PGM) made an Official Visit to the Lodge of Beneficence No. 7978 at Orsett Masonic Hall on 18th November 2021. The meeting was an illustrious occasion for Michael Spencer, a Past Junior Grand Deacon (PJGD) as it marked his 50 years in the Craft. Michael is a Past Provincial Grand Master for Essex, in the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Degrees. 

Consecrated in 1964 by The Earl of Warwick, at Southend in 1967 the Lodge of Beneficence moved to Grays following the opening of Thurrock Masonic Hall and in 1971 moved again to its present venue at Orsett. In May of that year the Immediate Past Master (IPM) had the pleasure of initiating his son, Michael George Spencer, to become the first father and son in the Lodge and began a trend which has served the Lodge well over the last fifty years.

Michael Spencer became Worshipful Master in 1982, was appointed as Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies (ProvAGDC) in 1990 and following subsequent Provincial and Grand Lodge promotions was appointed PJGD in 2017.

Paul Tarrant, himself a Past Grand Secretary at Mark Masons Hall, presented Michael with a framed certificate marking his 50 years. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Geoff Turpin, said “This was a special occasion for Michael and among the 77 Brethren present celebrating with him there were many distinguished visitors representing additional Masonic Orders of which Michael is a member of”. It seems appropriate after half-a-century in the Craft making new friendships and charitable-giving that Michael George Spencer may now become known as ‘A Freemason of Beneficence for Fifty Years’.

Pictured Left to right:

WBro Kessick Jones, PSGD (The Grand Master, Order of Royal & Select Masters)

WBro Keith Emmerson, PDepGSwdB (Past Deputy Grand Master – Mark & Royal Ark Mariner Degrees 

WBro Michael Spencer, PJGD

RWBro Paul Tarrant, ProvGM

WBro Graham Flight, PSGD (The Grand Sovereign – Red Cross of Constantine) 

WBro Tom Jackson, PSGD (The Grand Master – Allied Masonic Degrees)

WBro Ryan Williams, JGD (Grand Secretary – Mark Mason’s Hall)

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Colcestria Lodge No. 7123 Welcomes a Hero and Gives, Gives and Gives

In the run-up to its Platinum (70th) Anniversary in February 2022 the Brethren of Colcestria Lodge No. 7123 have been active in giving to good causes and attracting new members to Freemasonry.

In response to the call to help combat loneliness by Gary Hostler, the Provincial Grand Almoner (ProvGAlm), a group of Colcestria Brethren visited the North Colchester Men’s Shed Charity on 18th November 2021 to see for themselves how a large shed full of tools and projects can make such a difference to men experiencing unwanted isolation. They also gave the charity a donation of £500 on behalf of the Lodge.

On Saturday 27th November 2021, the Lodge Mentor and Membership Officer, Brian Chenier, in his capacity as the Group Membership Officer representing all 12 Lodges which meet at the Colchester Masonic Centre attended the new Members’ Pathway event at Braintree together with Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Master (ProvGM) and nearly 70 Brethren.

Brian Chenier is the Prosthetics Support Officer for ‘Blesma, The Limbless Veterans’, an Armed Forces charity helping those who have lost limbs or sight live independently. His article entitled ‘The lowdown on the Freemasons’ in the latest issue of Blesma Magazine | Blesma, The Limbless Veterans Charity at pages 12-13 is especially informative and well worth reading.

Emphatic that the Members’ Pathway event was a great success, Brian immediately returned to the Centre at Colchester and put up a Provincial Membership Team poster on the notice board. At the Colcestria Lodge meeting that evening he reported to fellow Brethren that “It was extremely pleasing to see the enthusiasm of all those who attended and the support from the very top which is appreciated” he added “I will do my best to help our Lodges attract and benefit from more members.”

Earlier in the meeting, Brian had given the Charge after Initiation to Colin Branch, a Support Hub Manager for Help for Heroes, whom he had proposed. Colin had his leg amputated following an operational infantry assault while serving as a Corporal with 1 Royal Anglian Regiment in Afghanistan in 2007. He has a wonderful positive philosophy about being alive with his wife and children as they grow up. The First Degree ceremony was performed by Mark Ingram, the Worshipful Master, who was the seconder and an accomplished Explanation of the Ceremony was given by Tony Brewers, the Director of Ceremonies.

The Chairman of Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) in Essex, Robert Whittingham, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master (PAPGM), was presented with a £1,000 cheque for TLC which was started 20 years ago by two Freemasons in Essex.  Since then, more than three million bears have been given to children in hospitals in England and Wales with over 500,000 in Essex.  Central support and administration for regional TLC charities is provided by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons’ charity which gave over £51 million to UK Charities and deserving causes in 2020

Within one week of his Initiation Colin Branch and his wife enjoyed their first Colcestria Lodge Masonic Ladies Festival Dinner and Dance at the St Giles Masonic Centre in Colchester on 4th December 2021. Over £1,000 was raised by the 42 guests for the children’s mental health charity ‘Place2B’ which had also received a £25,000 grant from the Essex Freemasons for additional support in the Harlow area just a few days before Essex Freemasons helping to improve mental health in Harlow.

As the Platinum anniversary of Colcestria Lodge No. 7123 approaches, the Brethren can celebrate being a Lodge that welcomes Heroes and, with a focus on charity, gives, gives and gives.

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Robert Woodland Presented with 50 Year Certificate by Robert Eels

At Loughton Masonic Hall on Wednesday 8th December 2021, Warren Wood Lodge No. 8284 met for their Christmas meeting. The Lodge was honoured with a visit by their Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM), Robert Eels, escorted by Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies (ProvAGDC), Simon Butcher.

The Ceremony of Raising Fellowcraft Alec Steward to the Third Degree which was carried out with both sincerity and to a high standard.

This was followed with the presentation to Robert (Bob) Woodland, a Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden (PPJGW), with his 50-year Certificate which was delivered by the APGM, Robert Eels, who added some very interesting facts about Bob including the fact that he was responsible for carrying out the refurbishment of the gold organ pipes with gold leaf in the Grand Temple at Great Queen Street.

The festive board was enjoyed by 22 members and guests with a traditional Christmas dinner and carol singing to bring to an end what was a very enjoyable and memorable evening.

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The Importance of Membership, Attract New Brethren and Watch Lodges Grow

The Provincial Membership Team held an important event at Braintree Masonic Centre on 27th November 2021. Nearly 70 Brethren listened as Daniel Broyd, the Members’ Pathway Officer and Group Membership Officer (GMO) for Braintree, Halstead and Kelvedon Masonic Centres, outlined what has changed and how the new UGLE Members’ Pathway can help Lodges grow and thrive.

Daniel Broyd also explained how the new Members’ Pathway is successfully progressing in Essex and elucidated the key messages of:

  • Lodge planning,
  • Attracting new members,
  • Engaging with existing Brethren and
  • Retrieving inactive Freemasons.

Provincial Grand Master (PGM), Paul Tarrant and Deputy PGM, Nick Franklin, were among the Brethren at the event which included a presentation, smaller group discussions and a Q&A session.

The Provincial Membership Team was there to answer questions. Afterwards the Team hosted nine potential new candidates with light refreshments, a tour of the temple, followed by an informal discussion about the Craft and what Freemasonry represents.

All prospective candidates from these events and those referred from UGLE’s National Digital Marketing Campaign are being aligned to Lodges that have signed-up to the new Members’ Pathway. More events for Lodges are planned for Chelmsford, Chingford, Colchester, Southend and Upminster.

Brian Chenier, a GMO, was emphatic the event was a great success. Leading from the front he immediately returned and put up a Provincial Membership Team poster on his Colchester Masonic Centre’s notice board. Brian then reported to the Brethren of Colcestria Lodge No. 7123 meeting that evening saying “It was extremely pleasing to see the enthusiasm of all those who attended and the support from the very top which is appreciated. I will do my best to help our Lodges attract and benefit from more members.”

Find out more about the Members’ Pathway:

  • Visit https://b.ugle.org.uk/membership 
  • Click on the QR code below
  • Contact the Provincial Membership Officer, Ray Quiddlington at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or
  • Contact the Provincial Membership Communications Officer, Paul Kelly, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Discover the importance of Membership, attract new Brethren and watch Lodges grow.

 

Pictured from left to right: John Engledew, GMO: Rochford & Southend; Brian Chenier, GMO: Colchester, Harwich & Manningtree; Paul Kelly, Provincial Membership Communications Office; Ray Quiddlington, Provincial Membership Officer; Paul Tarrant, PGM; Rob Eels, APGM & Membership lead; Dan Broyd, Members Pathway Officer & GMO: Braintree & Kelvedon; Rob Pye, GMO: Upminster; Brian Woodward, GMO: Upminster; Gordon Goodall, GMO: Rochford & Southend.

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Kids Inspire launch new mentor training with help from Essex Freemasons

Chelmsford based charity, Kids Inspire, set to train dozens of new mentors – dedicated volunteers able to provide one to one help for children with mental health issues – thanks to a £3,000 grant from Essex Freemasons.

The money, donated via the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, will enable one of the county’s most active charities, to increase its support offering to children who have been overwhelmed by negative feelings and a wide range of other issues which are now impacting their lives both at home and school.

“In 2021 we have had nearly 3,500 children referred to us so far from every part of the county, as far away as Clacton and Southend,” said Paula Ashfield, Head of Fundraising for Kids Inspire. “It means we desperately need new mentors trained to offer a ‘step-down service’ to young people in need of extra support from us following a course of therapy. This grant from Essex Freemasons will enable us to train up to 30 more volunteer mentors who will each be allocated a child facing mental health issues.”

“Mentoring is a vital part of our work at Kids Inspire which has seen a demand for our services increase over the last two years due to Covid. Each child receives one to one attention and this service is particularly valuable for boys who can be assigned a male mentor who can act as a positive role model.”

The charity provides mental health and trauma recovery support for children and young people from 4-21. Their qualified, experienced team have been trained in a broad range of therapies and work creatively to encourage body and mind reconnection. The focus is on the strengths of the child, their uniqueness, family and other relationships.

“Kids Inspire was founded in 2007 and is now a vital part of the Essex Community,” said Colin Felton, Provincial Charity Steward for Essex Freemasons. “It is the kind of charity that our members like to support. Kids Inspire do a fantastic job and we have been pleased to help.”

Pictured from left to right: Paul Ashfield, Head of Fundraising at Kids Inspire; Sheila Moorcroft, who has been a mentor at the charity for more than four years; Colin Felton, Provincial Charity Steward for Essex Freemasons; and Veronica Mead, who has worked as a Mentor since April 2021.

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Celebrations Come in Threes to Thundersley Lodge No. 5225

On 25th November 2021, Thundersley Lodge celebrated three events: Daniel Ward was Raised to the Third Degree in an excellent manner, Ray Fretten reached a magnificent 60 years in Freemasonry and the Lodge achieved Grand Patron status for Festival 2022.

The Lodge was delighted to welcome Paul Tarrant the Provincial Grand Master (PGM) to the meeting attended by 58 Brethren. The Lodge made a donation of £4,500 towards the Essex Festival 2022 and presented a cheque to the PGM leading to the Lodge being awarded the Grand Patron Certificate.

The Ceremony of Raising was shared between the Worshipful Master, Chris Dorling and senior Brethren to achieve an excellent ritual that delighted the audience.

Paul Tarrant provided a history of Ray Fretten's Masonic career in several orders before presenting Ray with his Certificate for achieving a magnificent 60 years in Craft Freemasonry. Ray was Installed as the Worshipful Master of Thundersley Lodge in 1986 and received promotion to Past Grand Standard Bearer (PGStB) in 2003.

At the Festive Board, the Brethren of Thundersley Lodge presented Ray with a Celebration Cake adorned with his Past Grand Standard Bearer Apron and Collar in icing.

The meeting provided the Brethren attending, in general, and Thundersley Lodge Brethren, in particular, overdue celebrations, reminding all of the camaraderie missed by many due to the pandemic restrictions.

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A Candidate, a Master Mason and the Secretary

On the 17th of November 2021, precisely one year after the original planned date at United Lodge No. 697 in Colchester, Andrew Colsell, the Lodge Secretary, initiated his 19-year-old son, Thomas Colsell, with Grandfather David King, also a member of United Lodge, present.

The Meeting was attended by as many guests as Lodge members, including an official visit by Jeffery Conway, the Provincial Junior Grand Warden (ProvJGW) accompanied by his Provincial Grand Steward (ProvGStwd), David Thorp.

Being very well attended with close to 50 Brethren in the temple and at the festive board, it was a very merry occasion with visitors from many local Lodges, including Colcestria No. 7123, Ostrea No. 8209, Pyefleet No. 8913, Comrades No. 2976 and Grey Friars No. 5169. Consequently, a bumper raffle and Alms collection was had.

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