The Tyler’s toast at the end of the festive board is an undoubted highlight, particularly the refrain of ‘happy to meet again’ within it. However, little did W. Bro. Richard Leach know at the October 2022 meeting of Ickenham St Giles Lodge No 6028 that eight of his fellow Brethren had hatched secret plans to make their next meeting a bit earlier than he had envisioned!
W. Bro. Leach, past Master of Ickenham St Giles in 2004, having recently emigrated, was to be installed in the chair of Peace & Harmony Lodge No 9852, which meets in a Nissen hut on the Sovereign Air Base, Cyprus. It is one of 18 Lodges in Cyprus and the only Lodge that practices Taylor’s working.
To support their valued member on this memorable day, W. Bro. Perry Roper, Secretary of Ickenham St Giles Lodge, planned the details of a surprise visit over the six months leading up to the Installation. This included organising travel for the seven other brethren accompanying him (W. Bro Matt Eves, W. Bro Mark Hallam, W. Bro Andrew Margan, W. Bro Gary Skinner, W. Bro Paul Sully, W. Bro Peter Summers and W. Bro Mike Wilson) and liaising with the Secretary of Peace & Harmony Lodge in Cyprus, W. Bro Barry Walker, to ensure that their attendance was a wonderful surprise.
The Installation meeting, held at 5pm on 20 February, was also attended by RW Bro Michael Hadjiconstantas, District Grand Master for Cyprus. With the District Grand Master due to enter the Lodge at 5.15, the Ickenham St Giles brethren had a narrow window to arrive unseen and clothe to enter before the DGM. At 5.10 there was a report, and the stunned look on W. Bro. Leach’s face when he realised the eight brethren had made the journey to support him made all the effort worthwhile. Audacious, indeed.
A thanks to W. Bro Ian Mitchell, Media Team member, for the edit.
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