When investing the Immediate Past Master, the Master reminds his predecessor that he may call upon him for assistance. In most cases, this is assumed to be a mentoring relationship throughout the year but occasionally more is required. This was one of those occasions.
Two weeks before the ceremony, our Master notified the Lodge that he would be unable to lead the planned ceremony due to a medical problem. Chris duly stepped up to the mark asking “Ok, I’ll do it, what’s the plan?” only to be told “a double initiation!”
Thankfully, our Lodge has performed a number of double initiations over the past years and so Gilbert (DC) and Andy (ADC) were able to execute the normal plan and they rallied the team around Chris. In our Lodge, the work is typically shared amongst the team with longstanding members of the Lodge regularly executing “party piece” sections of the ritual.
Our newly initiated members, Petr Behavka and Umut Calkam were treated to a spectacular ceremony, led by Chris, but supported as follows:
- Junior Deacon – Adam Dunn
- Senior Deacon – Mike Beck
- Junior Warden – Marc Cox
- Senior Warden – Robin McGregor
- Roving additional Warden – David Jessett
- Observations regarding the Masonic Badge – Mike Beck
- Working Tools – Tony King (Fellowcraft)
- Charity Charge – Gilbert Mills
- Preamble – Colin Sainsbury
- Charge after Initiation – Robin McGregor
A special mention must go to Tony King, who delivered his first piece of ritual within the Lodge flawlessly. He had clearly put a lot of time and effort into this and he was congratulated both during the ceremony and afterwards for the calibre of his delivery. This is a major step in the career of any Freemason and Tony has yet to take his third degree.
At the Festive Board, the fun continued with a well supported raffle adding to the Alms collection. The Newbury Branch of the Royal British Legion put on a fine spread of fishcakes, cottage pie and Eton Mess which was enjoyed by all.
The new initiates were treated to the Initiate’s Song led by Darren Powell. Darren was initiated at our previous meeting so he was understandably nervous about this but it was an enormous benefit to have a professional singer lead this part of the evening. He is clearly enjoying his Freemasonry as he has already recommended a friend to the Lodge.
Finally, the Masonic Chain was led by Phillip Hackney supported by Peter Harris. As Phillip was unable to conduct this piece of ceremony at Darren’s initiation, Darren was included along with Petr and Umut, as one of the new links in the chain.