On Friday 8th June 2012 Catford MMM Lodge No.841 held an historical meeting. Over 85 years after being consecrated they finally had a Lodge Banner and were honoured by the presence of RW Bro. Roger Croucher PGM who, accompanied by W Bro. Archie Torrance, APGM, together with a Provincial team in excess of 35, attended to see the banner dedicated.
In the absence of W Bro. Greg Dunham, due to health reasons, W Bro. Graham Raven ably stood in acting as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.
W Bro. Raven duly announced the presence of the PGM who, accompanied by the Provincial team, entered the Lodge, was received by the Worshipful Master, W Bro. Bill Roberts, and promptly assumed the chair. Provincial Grand Officers were subsequently placed in their various offices.
A procession was formed and the Banner was carried into the Lodge by VW Bro. Peter Ward to the accompaniment of the customary hymn. The Banner was presented to the PGM who unveiled it and called upon the Provincial Chaplain, W Bro. John Sylvester, for the benefit of prayer. W Bro. Sylvester then delivered an outstanding oration covering the origins and purpose of banners, the design of this particular banner and its significance to the Lodge. The oration was particularly poignant as not only was it to be the last such occasion for W Bro. John to dedicate a Banner as Provincial Chaplain but he found himself performing it in his mother Mark Lodge.
The Banner was then paraded around the Lodge by the Banner Bearer, accompanied by the Worshipful Master, dedicated by the PGM and delivered into the hands of the Worshipful Master. The PGM then returned the Chair to the Worshipful Master for the continuation of Lodge business.
After waiting so long since the consecration in November 1926, the Lodge finally had a Banner thanks to the untiring efforts of W Bro. Colin Pascoe, the Lodge Treasurer, who was the driving force behind its commissioning, who liaised with Grand Lodge on the design (based on the Lodge crest) and with Mrs. Janet Stiff, wife of W Bro. David Stiff PPDepGSwdB, on its creation. The beauty of the finished Banner is a tribute to Mrs Stiff’s skills and devotion, being totally hand worked.
During the meeting the Lodge presented the PGM with a cheque for the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund and at the festive board, since Mrs. Stiff had declined to accept any payment for her tremendous efforts, W Bro. Pascoe presented W Bro. Stiff with a cheque for the Orchid Trust, a male cancer charity, which she had nominated.
The Lodge now looks forward to the Provincial meeting at Bromley in September when their Banner will take its place for the first time.
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