To mark the celebration of RWBro. Norman Manser’s fifty years membership of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner, the Provincial Grand Master, RWBro. Robert Stokes supported by his Deputy and a number of the 2017 active Provincial Officers attended the regular meeting of Powys Lodge of RAM at Peterborough on the 9th March.
Accepting the Lodge Sceptre from WC, WBro. David Hilton, for the agenda item, the Provincial Grand Master gave a short history of RWBro. Norman’s long and distinguished masonic career. At 33 years of age, Norman was Initiated into Vale of Nene Lodge in April 1960, Exalted into St Peters Chapter in November 1963, Advanced into Fitzwilliam Lodge of MMM on the 27th January 1966 and Elevated into Powys Royal Ark Mariner Lodge in January 1968. 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 and Mariner masonry. During that time he developed close relationships with a number of other Mark Provinces including N&E Yorkshire’s ProvGM, RWBro. George Cooper, who similarly had a Fitzwilliam Mark Lodge, and with RWBro. Ernesto Stevens, District 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. Norman has also been both WM and WC of the prestigious Grand Master’s Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Time Immemorial Lodges and of the Lord Swansea Lodge. During his time as Master of the Grand Master’s Mark Lodge he had been pleased to welcome RWBro. Stokes as a joining member. Asking the Provincial Secretary, WBro. David Sowerby, to then read the content of the 50 Year Certificate from Mark Grand Lodge, the ProvGM presented Norman with his certificate to applause from all present.
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.
Left to Right: RWBro RK Bradley, PPrGM, RWBro NS Manser, PPrGM, RWBro RA Stokes, PrGM, WBro D Hilton, WC, WBro BJ Elliott, DepPrGM and WBro RN Bedells, PrGDC
RWBro Norman S Manser, PPrGM with RWBro Robert A Stokes, PrGM
The ProvGM then vacated the Chair to the Lodge WC where the remaining business of the evening was conducted including an excellent rendition of the Royal Ark Mariner Tracing Board by WBro. Richard Asher.
Following the meeting, the brethren joined together in harmony for a wonderful Ellindon festive board.