Mark Provincial Team Visit to Fitzwilliam Lodge on 28th January 2016
To mark the celebration of RWBro Norman Manser’s fifty years in the order, the Provincial Grand Master, RWBro George Bonham supported by his Deputy and a further eighteen of the 2015 active Provincial Officers along with seventeen Grand Officers of the Province attended the regular meeting of Fitzwilliam Lodge of MMM at Peterborough on the 28th January.
Our Province was further supported by twenty-one brethren from our neighbouring Provinces of Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire including their respective Provincial Grand Masters, RWBro Russ Howard and RWBro His Honour Ian Alexander, in the annual exchange visit of the Provinces.
Past Provincial Grand Master, Norman Manser, was Advanced into Fitzwilliam Lodge on the 27th January 1966. During his address to Norman, the Provincial Grand Master mentioned his long and distinguished career in the Mark Province including Deputy to RWBro John Bennett and then as Provincial Grand Master from 1995 to 2000. He touched on his leadership qualities and for continually maintaining that the brethren of the Mark Province enjoyed their Mark masonry. During that time he developed close relationships with a number of other Mark Provinces including N&E Yorkshire, who similarly had a Fitzwilliam Lodge, and with RWBro Ernesto Stevens, Dist Grand Master River Plate. The ProvGM also praised Norman for his insight and early involvement with the acquisition of the premises at Ellindon, now enjoyed by so many Peterborough masons. The ProvGM then presented Norman with an illuminated 50 Year Certificate from the Grand Master and Mark Grand Lodge.
RWBro Norman Manser, in an entertaining reply, elaborated to the benefit of all on some of the points mentioned by the Provincial Grand Master, particularly regarding how he became life-long friends with RWBro Ernesto Stevens. He concluded with grateful thanks to all for attending and to the ProvGM for his presentation.
Earlier in the evening a packed Lodge Room was treated to an excellent Advancement Ceremony when the Officers of the Lodge Advanced Brother Mark Smith into the Order.
During the Charity Steward’s Report it was noted that the Lodge had raised £220 to be donated to the Spinal Injuries Unit at Sheffield Hospital where RWBro Manser had undergone treatment recently following his fall. The Provincial Grand Master had earlier authorised £220 matched funding from the N&H Mark Benevolent Association so that the hospital would now benefit from a £440 donation for improving the quality of life for all patients of the Spinal Injuries Unit.
Following the meeting, 106 brethren joined together in harmony for a wonderful Ellindon festive board.
WBro Brian Elliott
Left to Right: WBro RN Bedells, PrDepGDC, Bro KA Ellis, Lodge SW, RWBro GE Bonham, PrGM, RWBro NS Manser, PastPrGM, WBro J Mills, WM, WBro D Balmer, Lodge JW, VWBro B Ennever, DepPrGM, WBro W Glover, acting PrGADC, WBro D Hilton, Lodge DC