On 4th May 2011, V W Bro Peter Ward was instantly promoted to the distinctive rank of Past Grand Master Overseer on the special command of the Grand Master, HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

At the regular meeting of Orpington Mark Lodge No. 1083 held on Wednesday 4th May 2011 VW Bro. Peter took the Chair. Nothing very remarkable in that you might think but it was a special evening for VW Bro. Peter as he was celebrating 60 years as a Mark Master Mason. RW Bro. Roger Croucher, PGM, was in attendance together with Lodge members and others representing the various Mark Lodges to which Peter belongs as well as the Province of Kent.

In paying tribute to Peter Ward being a Mark Master Mason for over 60 years, RW Bro. Roger Croucher said that Peter was advanced by his father into the Orpington Mark Lodge on 7th March 1951 while food rationing was still in force! He was Master in 1961/62 and, owing to the early death of his successor, was Master in Charge in 1962/63.

He joined Catford Mark Lodge No 841 in 1960, was Master in 1966/67, again in 1995/96 and Treasurer of the Lodge from 1979 to 1992.

Peter joined St. Mark’s Lodge No 1 in 1967 and attained the Chair of that Lodge in 1976. He was DC of the Lodge for 10 years from 1989 to 1999 and is now Treasurer of the Lodge.

Following his appointment as Grand Steward in 1972, Peter joined the Mark Grand Stewards Lodge and was Master of it in 1997/98.

He was a Founder of another two Mark Lodges in Kent.

In 1991 he was the Founding Senior Warden of the Kent Mark Stewards Lodge No 1691 and, due to the early death of the Primus Master, he took the Chair and installed John Golding as Master.

He became a Founder of Mandalay Mark Lodge No 1886 in 2007. This was appropriate as he had been a consecrating officer of Ravensmead Mark Lodge which had surrendered its warrant with the remaining subscribing members becoming founders of Mandalay.

Remarkably, Peter has been Treasurer of our Provincial Officers Mess since 1982.

As Provincial Grand Junior Warden in 1964, Peter assisted in the Consecration of 2 Mark Lodges and 3 Royal Ark Mariner Lodges.

In Grand Lodge, Peter was appointed Grand Steward in 1972. This was a memorable year for him as he also acted as Sword Bearer to the Grand Master, Lord Harris, when he visited Kent. He was promoted to Past Grand Junior Deacon in 1979 and to Past Grand Junior Overseer in 1989.

The PGM then presented VW Bro. Peter with his 60 year certificate which, unusually, was signed personally by the Grand Master, HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

Next was probably the biggest surprise of the evening for Peter in that the PGM was able to say he had received the command of the Grand Master to promote in his name and with immediate effect VW Bro. Peter to the rank of Past Grand Master Overseer. This was well received by all present.

Immediately after the meeting some photographs were taken to commemorate the event following which all present then sat down to an enjoyable Festive Board.

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