The Lodge was opened in the usual way by the Installing Master, W Bro Roger Charles Godfrey PPrSGD, after which the Lodge Secretary W Bro Richard Waitt PPrJGW read the dispensation from the RW Provincial Grand Master authorising the change of date of the meeting.
Following a report, the Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies Gareth Lewis entered the Lodge to announce that W Bro Robert Rough, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, “was without, and demanded admission”.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by a number of Provincial Grand Officers, then entered the Lodge in procession, to the acclaim of those present.
Refusing the Worshipful Master’s offer to take the Chair, W Bro Rough took his seat in the Lodge, and was duly saluted with “five” by the brethren present.
W Bro Godfrey then proceeded to install his successor, W Bro Robert John Hagon-Torkington PPrDepGReg, in a most competent and sincere manner.
The new Worshipful Master was proclaimed in the East, South and West and the Warrant of the Lodge delivered into his keeping, after which the Installing Master presented him with the Hall Stone Jewel, which had been presented to The Hadley Highstone Lodge in 1932 to mark the help that it had given towards the costs of Freemasons’ Hall.
The formalities of the Installation over, W Bro Robert Rough, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, rose to pay tribute to W Bro Donald Robins, born one hundred years ago on the day of the meeting.
RAISED IN 1941 !!
When most us were but a twinkle in someone’s eye, W. Bro Don had been Initiated, Passed and Raised in 1941.
He had twice occupied the Chair of The Hadley Highstone Lodge, in 1960 and 2003 and was created an honorary member in 2008.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master then presented W. Bro Bro Don with a bottle of 15 year old Malt Whisky to supplement engraved crystal glass tumblers presented to him by the Lodge.
In reply W. Bro Bro Don thanked the AGPM and everyone else present for their kind words and generous gifts.
He said, “Like everyone joining Freemasonry I never really knew what I was getting into.
My father would go out dressed up with his case.
Then when I was 21 he asked me if I would like to join.
I did, of course, and I have enjoyed every single minute I have spent in the Lodge, and I’m pleased to say the standard is as high as ever.”
During the evening the Lodge’s Charity Steward W Bro Eamonn Fitzgerald PPrSGD presented the Assistant Provincial Grand Master with a cheque for £1,700, to increase the amount the Lodge had raised for The 2020 Festival to £28,000, enabling it to achieve the status of Grand Platinum Patron.
Following the Lodge meeting, members and guests of the Lodge enjoyed a most convivial Festive Board together, during which the Worshipful Master recited the “Address to the Stewards” in a most engaging manner, and W Bro Paul Huggins PSGD Assistant Provincial Grand Master, having acted as organist for the afternoon, delivered The Master’s Song.
The toast to the visitors was proposed by Bro John Hagon-Torkington, the son of the Worshipful Master, and responded to by a member of the David Bonner Lodge [WBro Roger Pells, PGStB, PPrJGW], who reminded them of the Pro Provincial Grand Master’s edict to “enjoy their Freemasonry”. “We certainly do in the David Bonner Lodge,” he said, “where we have three meetings a year, two of which include an hour of musical entertainment, with visitors especially welcome”.
A truly memorable evening to celebrate a Freemason of over 78 years standing closed with all those present expressing their intention to join W Bro Donald Robins to celebrate 80 years in the craft.
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