On Monday the 29th October 2012 at Dartford the Provincial Grand Master for Kent Rt. W Bro Roger Henry Harley Croucher together with the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and both Assistant Provincial Grand Masters consecrated the newest R.A.M. lodge in Kent. There was violent rain storm over Dartford just after the PGM opened a Provincial R.A.M. lodge and the Ark was launched seemingly just in time!
The PGM as well as being accompanied by his Deputy and Assistants, the Past PGM and two Past Assistant PGMs brought with him a large delegation totalling thirty two. With twenty two of the twenty three founders also present together with their guests the lodge room at Dartford was close to being completely full.
The PGM Constituted, Consecrated and Dedicated the new lodge during which the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro the Rev. Howard Pashley gave a most interesting Oration about the origins and moral tendencies of this particularly beautiful order. All present were most impressed and intrigued by his rich words.
W Bro Peter Williams the Deputy PGM then proceeded to install W Bro Tom Quinn into the chair as Primus Commander after which W Bro Archie Torrance the Assistant PGM delivered the Address to the Master, this being most appropriate as both the new Commander and W Bro Archie both hail from Scotland and so were able to completely understand each other!
The Senior Warden W Bro Joe Cole, the Junior Warden W Bro Nick Letherby were invested, the remaining officers were then elected or appointed and duly invested by the Worshipful Commander who had individual comments for each officer. He then greeted and thanked the officers and the remaining Founders for their support in getting the Lodge off the ground.
The By-Laws were adopted and the Officiating Provincial Officers were then elected as Honorary Members with great acclaim by the Founders. The Provincial Delegation led by the PGM retired in procession. During the rising the Scribe read applications for Elevation from W Bro Alan Jenkins and Bro Major Alan Sanford and proposed them as our first Candidates, it was planned for their ceremony to be held on the 14 February 2013 (wives and sweethearts permitting!).
After formal photographs and a quick trip to the bar some seventy seven brethren enjoyed a Festive Board of traditional home made Steak and Kidney pudding. The new Lodge Charity Steward, WBro Ian Gallehawk, was summoned by the Worshipful Commander to present a cheque for £300 in favour of the 2020 Mark Benevolent Festival which the PGM accepted with much surprise and grateful thanks.
During the response to the toast to the Worshipful Commander WBro Tom Quinn presented the Organising and First Lodge Scribe W Bro David Stiff with a specially labelled Bottle of Port (his well known favourite tipple) as thanks for his efforts in organising the Petition and arranging the festivities of the day. He accepted the gift with grateful thanks and not a little embarrassment.
The founders and their guests then departed in love and unity looking forward to many successful years of extending Royal Ark Masonry in the North Kent area.
W Bro David Stiff
A further gallery of photographs taken at the meeting will appear soon.
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