During service in the Royal Navy W Bro Mike Goldthorpe served as the Naval Base Commander, HQ British Forces Gibraltar from 2007 to 2010 joining USL.
Since his return to UK he sought to get back at least once a year for a meeting, which would usually be Installation.
As the current WM of Fortitude Lodge, Mike extended an invitation to members of the Lodge to join him for the experience.
Installation Ceremonies in Gibraltar are particularly special as the WMs from all other Lodges in Gibraltar are invited, together with the senior teams from both the Scottish and Irish Constitutions.
The District Grand Master of Gibraltar or his Deputy also attend.
On this occasion there was also the presence of visiting brethren from Lodges in Hampshire, Kent, Derbyshire and Lancashire, to name but a few and W Bro Mike, being a member also of a number of Hertfordshire Lodges, extended invitations to members of Goffs Oak Lodge, No. 7169 and Park Street Lodge, No. 8556.
Ladies Also Invited –
To make the experience all the more enjoyable the invitation for this visit included partners, for whom a special partners’ programme was organised to coincide with the United Services Lodge meeting, and it was decided to combine the visit to Fortitude Lodge a Ladies’ Night dinner on the Saturday evening.
The event took place in a small family-owned hotel in the nearby Spanish town of Benahavis, where pre-dinner entertainment was provided by a local troubadour.
The Ladies Night was a great success and funds raised were donated to Combat Stress, W Bro Mike’s chosen charity.
Not everything went like clockwork, however.
Despite most of the visitors arriving in Gibraltar on time, a number of Fortitude members were forced to miss the Gibraltar meeting when their flight was diverted to Malaga owing to bad weather.
As a consolation, arrangements were made for them to visit the regular meeting of one of the Scottish Lodges, where they witnessed an Initiation Ceremony.
Very fortunately, all were reunited in time for the Ladies’ Night.
W Bro Mike points out for the eagle-eyed reader that he was wearing an old apron because his luggage had been delayed !
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