After nearly 18 months of planning Draytonian Lodge, No. 3980 celebrated its Centenary at its 481st meeting which was held at the Uxbridge Masonic Centre on Saturday 8th February in the presence of R W Bro. Peter Baker, Pro Provincial Grand Master escorted by a large Provincial delegation.
To celebrate the event, the Pro Provincial Grand Master performed both the Centenary Warrant and Banner Dedication ceremonies.
Seventy nine members and visitors filled the Gordon Bourne Temple, many of whom were personal guests of the Centenary Master, W. Bro. Chris Nixon, who had remained in the Chair for a second year overseeing the preparations for the event.
The Lodge balloted for four new joining members who were welcomed by the WM.
Honorary Memberships were offered to those of the Provincial Team who were active within each of the ceremonies.
W. Bro Andy Hodgson, on behalf of his father Ken, presented the Worshipful Master with a new Master’s Collar, ready for engraving with the next set of Masters’ names.
W. Bro. Chris then offered the Jewel he received when he first became IPM after being Master during 1983, which would be presented to all future Immediate Past Masters.
Presentation of the Centenary Warrant –
W. Bro. James Mitchell, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, announced the arrival of the Pro Provincial Grand Master and his team, who were duly welcomed into the Lodge by the Master and those present.
The ProProvGM accepted the gavel from the Master and then took the Chair.
He then called on the Acting Provincial Grand Secretary, W. Bro. Michael Dean to read the Centenary Warrant.
W. Bro. Michael had been instrumental in assisting in the planning of the ceremony by guiding the Lodge Secretary W. Bro. Keith Dear through the daunting process of setting out the order of work for the Summons.
After the Warrant was read, it was inspected by R W Bro Peter Baker who then presented it to WM.
The Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro The Rev. Dr Bill Dolman, gave a well-researched Oration on the Lodge and its history and followed this with the Patriarchal Benediction.
Once complete, the ProProvGM ordered the Lodge members to line up in order of seniority to receive the Centenary jewels.
Dedication of the Lodge Banner –The current Lodge Banner had been dedicated in 1970, and despite remedial work sponsored by W Bro Ken Hodgson’s family (Ken is a past Master of the Lodge and now and Honorary Member) it was in need of replacement.
Under the watchful eye of the Provincial Grand Secretary W. Bro. Mike Ross, and working closely with UGLE and Toye Kenning and Spence the banner was recreated as close to the original as possible.
The new Banner had been presented to the Lodge by W. Bro. Derek Breslin PPrGReg, as a mark of his attaining 40 years of membership at the forthcoming April meeting, a gesture recognised later in the Chaplain’s Oration.
The Worshipful Master asked the Lodge Secretary to record the gratitude of the Lodge to W. Bro. Derek for his exceptional generosity.
The Dedicating Officer instructed his Director of Ceremonies to form an Escort of Lodge members who then escorted the new Banner into the Temple.
W. Bro. Chris Nixon paraded the Banner through the Lodge before presenting it to the Dedicating Officer.
With the Banner on the stand the Chaplain offered the Dedication prayer prior to R W Bro Peter Baker presenting it back to the Worshipful Master.
With the Brethren resuming their seats, the Provincial Grand Chaplain gave his second Oration of the meeting.
The Worshipful Master and the Brethren were delighted when the ProProvGM presented a magnificent Bible to the Lodge on behalf of the Province to mark the Centenary.
He then returned the Chair of King Solomon to the WM so that the Lodge could finish its business.
The Lodge had achieved Grand Patron status with the Festival 2020 only recently closing.
With a late rally by the members, the Lodge qualified as Platinum Grand Patron, and to celebrate the Centenary.
The WM was delighted to present a further cheque to R W Bro Peter Baker to round the number up to £20,000, for which the Lodge was thanked by the ProProvGM.
A Field Promotion and a 50th Certificate –
To cap the afternoon’s events W. Bro Martin Kendall PProvAGDC was summoned by the ProProvGM and informed that with immediate effect he had been promoted to PPrGSuptWks.
Not only this great accolade but the Lodge also celebrated the 50 years of W Bro Wally Parkins who duly received an eloquent summary of his masonic career given by the Lodge’s APGM W Bro Bob Rough and his Certificate to mark this wonderful achievement.
The Labours of the day being ended –
The Lodge members together with the R W ProProvGM and Provincial Team retired to the Festive Board and enjoyed a meal of Steak and Salmon with other vegetarian options.
With such large numbers for dining the catering team and bar staff provided excellent service.
A further £1,000 was raised during the evening for the purpose of charitable giving.
In proposing the toast to the visitors the Lodge Secretary remarked that it was usual to thank those who had attended but perhaps unusual to congratulate them on performing the ceremony too.
All guests were invited back in 100 years, when it was remarked that W Bro Chris Nixon the current WM might also still be in the Chair.
A grateful thanks to W. Bro Keith Dear, Secretary of Draytonian Lodge, for providing the report of the Meeting.
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