Loyal Travellers Feb 2023

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An installation meeting is always special. It might be thought of as the lodge’s birthday. The new Master, often full of nerves, takes the Chair and invests his new team. Events might make it even more special – the lodge may have little traditions to honour, there may be a surprise in store for someone, there may be presentations to be made.

The recent meeting of the Loyal Travellers Lodge No 2733 was certainly special and very much overdue as the Master, WBro John Ville, had been in office for three years! There were no fewer than two AsstProvGMs in attendance – WBros Peter Clarke and David Greenwood as Master Elect and Presiding Officer respectively. Over 50 brethren were present to witness the transfer of power and the start of the new Masonic year for the lodge.

Having dealt with the usual business, the Master announced the installation team and it was clear that Loyal Travellers has real experience in depth. WBro Keith Holdsworth, who will be receiving his 60yr certificate at the next meeting, was the Installing JW and WBro Ray Hancox, a mere youngster with only 55 years service, was the Installing SW. Then the Master announced that the Installing Master would be RWBro David Macey! The Master Elect’s face was a picture as this had been kept a closely guarded secret.

Well, as one might expect with such an illustrious brother occupying the Chair, the ceremony was quite superb with RWBro David installing WBro Peter with great sincerity, after which he invited him to inscribe his name in the lodge’s VSL – a special moment, rarely seen these days. Unsurprisingly, the new Master then proceeded to invest his officers with the confidence and aplomb that one might expect of a PProvGDC and now an AsstProvGM. Another (less well-kept) surprise was his choice of JW – RWBro David Macey! – so it should be an excellent year for the lodge. It will certainly be busy with two EAs, two FCs and another candidate in the wings.

WBro David Greenwood, having conducted his duties as Presiding Officer, was delighted to put his Festival Director’s hat on and present the new Master with a Gold Award certificate to mark the lodge passing it’s target. Another lovely presentation, this time from the Lodge of Instruction, was made by WBro Mike Perrott to the now IPM – an engraved crystal goblet to recognise his service as Master.

The brethren then enjoyed an excellent Festive Board at which support of the Festival continued with the alms amounting to £300 and the Festival Gin raffle raising over £200 more. The new JW’s toast to the visitors was another highlight, as was the response from WBro Richard Macey who, in addition to saying a big “thank you for having us”, was at pains to explain that he was not related to the JW, something easily proved when the two WBro Maceys stood next to each other! There was also a lovely surprise for the Presiding Officer when WBro Paul Mason presented him with a cheque for £400 for the Festival from the Warwickshire Masonic Shooting Club.

Having been treated to a splendid evening from the meeting to the meal, the brethren then headed home most certainly replete. In the words of a certain PProvGM, the evening hadn’t been good…..it had been great!!