This story has been sent in by the Secretary of the Lodge of Sincere Friendship No 8548 about an exceptional event which recently took place at the Uxbridge Masonic Centre on Saturday 3rd June.
About a year ago one of the members of the Lodge of Sincere Friendship, W. Bro Tony McCarron was complaining of back ache which after seeing his Consultant was told that this wasn't the problem but advanced prostate cancer. The initial prognosis with the assistance of tablets was that he would get another ten years of life. Having finished a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy the treatment had not proven successful and life expectancy was reduced to about three months.
The Lodge Secretary had recommended Tony for Provincial promotion last year and he was honoured with the rank of PPrJGW. However due to his discomfort he had been unable to attend the AGM. It had been suggested that he be presented with the collar and jewel of his new rank whilst seated by RW Peter Baker presiding at the AGM, but this was not an option
Given the time scales given by the clinicians for Tony members of the Lodge decided to hold an Emergency Meeting at which W. Bro Tony could be presented with his collar and jewel. The Lodge would be opened and then formally closed. However, it would give Tony the opportunity to wear his new regalia in Open Lodge. The wonderful twist in the story was that Tony’s partner Alison, his daughter Louise and sons Luke, Andy and Sam could be present in the Temple for Tony to be presented with his new “kit” by the VW Barry Cramer Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master which was a wonderful gesture on his behalf. The Lodge Visiting Officer W. Bro Peter Edwards PPrJGW was also in attendance.
Tony’s proposer into Freemasonry W. Bro Walter Forrest PPrAGDC and Grandfather of the Lodge attended the Emergency meeting and commented that he remembered the day back in 1988 over 35 years ago when Tony first became a member of the Lodge as an Initiate. During this time he had occupied most of the Progressive Offices in the Lodge and occupied the chair of King Solomon in 1993 and 2016.
A Career In Perspective
W. Bro Glen Smyth QPM PProvGReg then gave a talk celebrating Tony's Masonic career starting off as Tony had wanted by talking about the elephant in the room namely the devastating news of his cancer prognosis. Tony had made it easy for everyone to talk about his cancer and there were no awkward silences which demonstrated the mark of the man, truly remarkable. W. Bro Glen went onto talk about the moment when Tony had broken the news to him and how disappointed he was to not be able to be invested or to attend his beloved Lodge of Sincere Friendship and not having the opportunity to wear his new regalia. He explained the circumstances to the Lodge Secretary and an Emergency meeting was organised in record time so that Tony's wishes could be realised and that he could attend with his family in the Temple after the meeting ,which was being held as a tribute to a Brother, friend, partner and father. It should be noted that Tony had no self-pity towards himself and how blessed he felt by having four wonderful grown-up children and a beautiful partner who all made him so happy.
Glen ended talking about the old days and how Tony had excelled in performing his beloved Taylor's ritual and having proved himself at an early stage of his masonic life as being of good report, true and trustworthy, held in high esteem by all who met him, exemplary in conduct, courteous in manner, steady and firm in principle and that his promotion was richly deserved and is indicative of the fact that his contribution to the Lodge of Sincere Friendship No 8548 and Freemasonry in general had been recognised at the highest level.
A Family Affair
After the meeting Tony explained that yesterday had gone, tomorrow had not yet arrived but on this particular day he felt was one of the luckiest guys in the world and thanked everyone who had a hand in the beautiful meeting and those who attended for their warmth, kindness and the love shown to him, Alison and his children. It was one of the nicest and greatest events of my life, he said, for which he would be eternally grateful for.
Everyone agreed that the high rank of W. Bro Tony McCarron Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden had a good ring to it.
In Closing the Lodge before the family and other non-masonic guests were invited into the Temple W. Bro Tony gave a superb rendition of the Long Closing worked in Taylors to much acclaim and delight.
There were visitors from Ickenham Lodge No 5770. Together with Lodge of Sincere Friendship No 8548 they formed the last bastion of the original so called cinque Lodges which were all related to each other. Very regrettably the other three namely Field End Lodge No 6924, Haste Hill Lodge No 7592 and Copse Wood Lodge No 8000 are all sadly erased.
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