Richmond Hill Lodge No 6698 celebrated its 75th Anniversary on Thursday 21st September 2023 at TDMC, Cole Court. The members were honoured by the Official visit of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Ian Ferguson PGStdB and his escorting team.
There was an initiation ceremony for Mr Nicholas Simpson, performed by the Worshipful Master. It was great gesture when the APGM presented Brother Nick with his Entered Apprentices apron during the ceremony. Nick’s Father, Bro Martin Simpson, also became a joining member in support of his Son on the night.
The Lodge also honoured its long-standing Tyler W. Bro Clive Jarvis PPrSGW who became the Tyler at the Installation Meeting on the 18th April 2001 by conferring Honorary Membership for his long-standing service and support to the Lodge over the past 20 years plus years.
W. Bro Peter Geldhill PGStdB was also present at the meeting as representative of the Middlesex Masonic Charity and made a presentation to the W. Bro Graham Cooley (Charity Steward) of cheques to be presented to two local charities: The Vineyard Project in Richmond which supports homeless people and runs a local Food Bank in support of those in need and SPEAR, a Charity located in Twickenham also supporting the homeless and assisting in finding secure accommodation for its clients.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro Ian Ferguson, then gave a short oration of the history of the lodge, highlighting points in the Lodge’s history from the past 75 years.
“Since your consecration on the 20thSeptember 1948, the Lodge has enjoyed the company of 144 members, initiating an incredible 95 new members into our fraternity. You’ve enjoyed the leadership of some 42 Masters, 56 Wardens, 19 Directors of Ceremonies and 29 Secretaries.
So, what sort of year was 1948? It was the year when King Charles was born, Nationalisation created British Railways, Burma gained its independence, the Olympic Games were held in London, the first games since the Berlin Olympics in 1936. The Co-op opened its first branch, and a new sweet had just been launched called Polo.”
W.Bro Ian continued, “You trace your lineage back to 1785 and the Lodge of Harmony No 255. You were ultimately begat by Richmond Lodge No 2032 which made its own appearance in March of 1884. You were Consecrated at Freemasons Hall and dined at the Connaught Rooms and have met in 3 other centres before coming to your current home at Cole Court on the 21stSeptember 1972. Over the years the Lodge has: Jointly initiated a father and son, initiated an operative Mason, twins, and fathers have invested sons and grandfathers have invested grandsons.
You’ve had and still have many members of public note and civil honours, including a Mayor of the former borough of Twickenham, the piper to the late Queen Elizabeth the Second and my personal favourite, the publican of the Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham. Richmond Hill has not only been a Lodge of fine Masons, but a lodge of great kindness. Back in 1998 the Chairman of the Festival Committee, W. Bro Dudley Wensley said on his visit that you deserve exceptional praise for your generous contributions to charity, which has never dwindled over your history both before then or after. You have been Grand Patron of the Middlesex Retirement Charity, Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, Royal Masonic Institute for Boys, Royal Masonic Hospital, the Middlesex 1998, 2009 and 2020 festivals and held many Vice Patronships and continue to support the Prince Michael of Kent Court”.
The APGM said the Lodge was a shining jewel in the Crown of the Province of Middlesex and that the founders would be proud of these achievements. W. Bro Ian then welcomed the newest member into the Province and said that he would be entering a respected and joyful Lodge whose members for 75 years have exhibited the finest traditions of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
W. Bro Ian then thanked the Lodge members by saying, “I’m grateful for you allowing me and the Provincial delegation to play a small part in your celebration here this afternoon. It fills me with tremendous happiness that you are marking this milestone with an initiation. As we acknowledge the past this allows us to look to the future, and with Lodges like Richmond Hill Lodge No 6698 in our Province, we will grow in strength and numbers both now and for our future generations.”