Kent Mark Provincial Grand Lodge -
report and photographs

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The Mark Master Masons of Kent together with their guests assembled on a late summer’s day at Margate on Saturday 28th September 2013 for the 140th Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge. Some 380 Brethren attended with many guests from other Provinces including the District Grand Master from the Netherlands and guests from Germany and Spain. In all 26 Mark Provinces & Districts were represented.

This year there was a different format to the day as during the morning a new PGM, RW Bro. Archibald Iain Torrance, was installed as the 13th PGM since the constitution of the Province of Kent. This was carried out in a superb manner by the Pro Grand Master, MW Bro. Benjamin Addy, assisted by Officers of Grand Lodge.

Following his installation the new PGM was pleased to appoint VW Bro. David John Green, PGJO, as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Again the investiture and installation was carried out in a superb manner, this time by the new PGM. Next the PGM was pleased to announce the appointment of W. Bro. Ralph Mannings Apperley, PAGDC, and W. Bro. Frederick Brown, PGJD, as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters who were then invested and installed in a similar manner.

The PGM then addressed the Installing Office to thank him and his Officers for their attendance here today.

Provincial Grand Lodge was called off for lunch to be taken.

A very enjoyable Lunch was attended by some 330 Brethren after which which gifts of appreciation were exchanged between the ProGM and the PGM . Provincial Grand Lodge then reconvened for the annual business to be conducted. Our many guests were warmly welcomed to Margate who joined us for the day and the Brethren who had passed to Higher Service during the past year were remembered with the Provincial Grand Chaplain offering prayer with all joining in the singing of the hymn “The day Thou gavest Lord is ended”.

During the proceedings it was agreed that the following donations be made:

Mark Benevolent Fund - £53,400
West Kent Craft, 2015 Festival - £7,000
Mark Province of Buckinghamshire, 2014 MBF Festival - £3,000

The PGM was then pleased to present the donation for £7,000 to W. Bro. Mark Estaugh, APGM for West Kent Craft and to VW Bro. Jeffrey Green, DepPGM for Buckinghamshire. Both gave thanks to the Province for its generosity.

VW Bro. Peter Williams was then conducted to the pedestal and after being thanked for his services to the Province over a number of years the PGM presented him with his Past DepPGM’s collarette. Next on the agenda was the appointment or re-appointment of 44 Brethren to Active Provincial Rank, 29 promotions to Past Rank and 9 first appointments to Past Rank. Those present were duly invested by the
PGM with a word of congratulation to them all.

Two Brethren, W. Bros Malcolm Burkett and Colin “Jake" Jackson, who had served on the Committee of General Purposes for 3 years, were retiring and after being thanked for their services W. Bros. Steve Dunsdon of Lord Harris Lodge No. 1494 and David Barden of Millennium Lodge No. 1802 were elected in their stead for a period of 3 years.

In his address to Provincial Grand Lodge the PGM referred to various events which occurred during a busy year. There was the consecration of a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge, three Banner Dedications and two Lodges celebrating 125th Anniversaries. The Inter-Provincial cricket Tournament was held at Leatherhead when Surrey won the trophy. This year it was a four way competition with Sussex joining Kent, Surrey and Middlesex

The Party in the Park was the major fund raising event for the year being held on a lovely summer’s day in the beautiful Kent countryside. Much hard work went into its organisation and the whole event realised over £17,000 for the 2020 Festival. The Annual Family Luncheon was held at Tovil and a new Provincial Grand Director’s of Ceromonies Mess had been established.

All members, old or new, were encouraged to support the various Provincial events and to consider becoming a member of one the Provincial Demonstration teams, to joining the Kent Installed Masters Lodge and Kent Installed Commanders Lodge. A warm welcome awaits and new friendships would be made. Tribute was paid to the work done in the background by a number of Brethren to enable the smooth running of the Province. Particular reference this year was made to the Provincial Tyler, W. Bro. Brian Meeres, who retires today after faithfully carrying out his duties for the past 10 years.

At the conclusion of the address the PGM thanked Holmesdale Lodge No. 129 for being the Banner Lodge, to St Peters-in-Thanet Lodge No. 1053 for providing the furniture and announced next year the Banner Lodge would be Lord Harris No. 1494.

The DepPGM, VW Bro. David Green proposed a change in the Trustees of the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund. He said at a recent meeting of the Trustees and following the changes in the Mark Executive that RW Bros. John Edmondson and Archie Torrance had retired and that the Trustees had recommended that VW Bro. Peter Williams and himself continue with W. Bro. Ralph Apperley and Fred Brown being elected. This was duly seconded and carried with tribute then being paid for the work done by the two retiring members.

Next up was the presentation of three Mark Benevolent Fund Gold collarettes with one going to W. Bro. John Tunbridge, of St Michaels Lodge No. 1089, one to Amherst Mark Lodge No. 266 and the third to Robinson R.A.M. Lodge No. 255 for their generous donations to the Fund.

W. Bros. Jason Cameron-Potter and David Barden were conducted to the Pedestal to present the PGM with a cheque for £1500 for the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund, which had resulted from the sale and exchange of regalia. The PGM received the cheque with grateful thanks.

The event was now at an end and all returned home after a superb day. We now all look forward to reconvening next year for the Annual Meeting which will be held at Bromley.

Bill Balderston, ProvGSec

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