Sesqui-Centenary Meeting of United Service Mark Lodge No. 69

Thursday 24th July 2014 will linger long in the memories of those present for that was the day on which United Service Lodge No. 69 celebrated its Sesqui-Centenary when a small group from Grand Lodge led by the Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro. Keith Emmerson, were in attendance. He was accompanied by the Grand Director of Ceremonies, RW Bro. Kessick Jones and the Deputy Grand Secretary, VW Bro. Angus Hannagan.

From our own Province a large group of Past and Present members of the Kent Executive together other active Provincial Officers were also present.

This Delegation of 34 was led by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro. Archie Torrance, the DepPGM VW Bro. David Green and the two APGMs, W. Bros. Ralph Apperley and Frederick Brown.

Immediately after the meeting was opened the PGM together with the Provincial Delegation were admitted. The PGM was duly welcomed by the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Alan Twocock, accepted the Gavel and assumed the Chair. The PGM then explained the purpose of the meeting and congratulated the Lodge on reaching this important milestone. At this point the team from Grand Lodge was admitted. The PGM welcomed the Deputy Grand Master and on being offered the Gavel he gladly accepted it.

The Deputy Grand Master addressed the meeting and expressed his delight at being present. This was especially so as his Initiation in to Masonry had been in Kent and he is still a member of the Lord Charles Beresford Lodge No. 2404 meeting in Chatham.

The United Service Mark Lodge had been consecrated on 25th July 1864 and having been able to prove 150 years of uninterrupted working was pleased on behalf of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Prince Michael of Kent, to be in attendance to present the Lodge with its Sesqui-Centenary Warrant.

He called upon the Deputy Grand Secretary to read the original Warrant and then the Sesqui-Centenary Warrant. The Deputy Grand Master presented the latter Warrant to the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Alan Twocock who then resumed the Chair. The WM thanked the Deputy Grand Master for attending to present the Lodge with the Sesqui-Centenary Warrant.

W. Bro. Alan Hodsdon was next invited to present a short history of the Lodge after which the Deputy Grand Master was pleased to present members of the Lodge with a Sesqui-Centenary Jewel. Following this the PGM resumed the Chair so that the new Lodge Banner may be dedicated.

The Banner was presented to the PGM who was asked to dedicate it by the Worshipful Master. This was done in an excellent manner with the Provincial Grand Chaplain, VW Bro. Howard Pashley delivering a superb oration. The Banner had been made by the wife of W. Bro. Chris Debont and he had been selected to carry the Banner in to the Lodge. All present were able to admire her work when the Banner was paraded round the Lodge. At the end of the ceremony the PGM asked the WM to receive the new Banner on behalf of the Lodge.

The meeting was now coming to an end with some 120 Mark Masons about to retire to enjoy a convivial Festive Board when each diner was presented with a commemorative Mark Token.

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