Kent Mark Provincial Grand Lodge
held at Bromley on 27 September 2014

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The Brethren of the Mark Province of Kent together with their guests assembled on Saturday 27th September 2014 at Bromley for the 141st Annual Meeting of the Province which was the first full meeting for the “new” Provincial Grand Master RW Bro. Archibald Iain Torrance. Over 350 Brethren were present with many guests from other Provinces and Districts including Germany, Spain and Italy. In all 21 Mark Provinces and Districts were represented as well as 8 Heads of other Orders of Kent being present.

The many guests were warmly and individually welcomed to Bromley who had joined us for the day.

After the various salutations were given it was time to remember those Brethren who had passed to Higher Service during the year. The Provincial Grand Chaplain offered prayer with all joining in the singing of the hymn “The day thou gavest Lord is ended”.

The PGM was pleased to individually welcome 20 Brethren who had been advanced in to the Degree during the past year. Each was presented with a Kent Mark Token which had been especially made.

The next item was to present Mark Benevolent Fund Collarettes but before doing so the PGM invited RW Bro. Martin Wilson, PGM for Sussex and a Trustee of the Fund, to say a few words. He spoke about the purpose of the MBF and the support it was giving to Hope for Tomorrow a Charity which provides mobile chemotherapy units in communities around the country. The 8th such unit is due to be launched in Wiltshire on Monday 29th September 2014. The PGM thanked RW Bro. Wilson and then proceeded to present a Grand Patron Gold Collarette to the Master/Charity Steward of 6 Lodges, a Grand Patron Collarette to 6 Brethren, a Patron Collarette to 3 Brethren and finally a Vice Patron Collarette to 5 Brethren.

During the proceedings it was agreed that donations be made to the Mark Benevolent Fund, £3000 to the Mark Province of Worcestershire for the 2015 Festival and £3000 to the Mark Province of London Minibus Appeal. The PGM was pleased to present the donations to W. Bro. Michael Taylor, ProvGTreas. of Worcestershire and RW Bro. David Ashbolt, PGM for London. Each gave thanks to the Province for its generosity with RW Bro. Ashbolt saying that the 3rd minibus is due to be presented to St Georges, Duke of Kent Court, Chislehurst in about 4 weeks time.

VW Bro. David John Green was reappointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master with W. Bros. Ralph Mannings Apperley and Frederick Brown reappointed Assistant Provincial Grand Masters. Salutations were given.

Next on the agenda was the appointment or re-appointment of 45 Brethren to Active Provincial Rank, 45 promotions to Past Rank and 16 first appointments to Past Rank. Those present were duly invested by the PGM with a word of congratulation to each.

The two Brethren to complete their 3 year stint as members of the General Purposes Committee were
W. Bros. Ian Gallehawk and Bill Taylor who were accordingly thanked by the PGM for their services. Their places on the Committee were taken by W. Bros. Alf Lipscombe of Millennium Lodge No. 1802 and David Austin of Kentish Lodge No. 857.

In his address to Provincial Grand Lodge the PGM referred to the various events that had taken place during the year. Two Brethren, W. Bro. Philip Timms of Pentangle Lodge No. 682 and VW Bro. Frank Holding of Manor of Chatham No. 584 & Malling Abbey No. 1425 had both been presented with their 50 year Service Certificates. VW Bro. Peter Ward of Catford Lodge No. 841 had been presented with a Quaich, a Scottish Friendship Cup, following his retirement after 33 years outstanding service as Treasurer of the Provincial Officers’ Mess. Two Banners had been dedicated, United Service Lodge of MMM No. 69 and Lord Harris R.A.M. Lodge No. 1494. United Service Lodge had also celebrated their Sesqui-Centenary in the company of the Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro. Keith Emmerson.

New initiatives undertaken this year were Information Booklets about the Mark and R.A.M. degrees being placed in the Centres to encourage membership, Provincial Delegations for Active Provincial Officers,
eFlash messages sent to members by email and the Lottery Bonus Ball Scheme.

Looking forward with new ideas are Mark Awareness Evenings to aid recruitment, the formation of a Kent Mark Golf Section and a Kent Mark Burns Night Supper on 30th January 2015.

In conclusion thanks were given to the Banner Lodge, Lord Harris No. 1494, the Provincial Secretariat and the Director of Ceremonies Team for their efforts in making this meeting a success, finally announcing that the Banner Lodge for the meeting next year at Margate would be St Andrews Lodge of MMM No. 237.

W. Bro. David Barden was conducted to the pedestal when he presented the PGM with a cheque for £2020 for the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund, which had resulted from the sale of regalia. The PGM received the cheque with grateful thanks.

The meeting was now at an end with the Brethren retiring for lunch. Another successful day in the history of the Province was thus concluded with every one looking forward to reconvening at Margate next year.

Bill Balderston

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