The Per Mare Per Terram Lodge No 3609 in Chatham unveiled its new lodge banner on 21st January 2017, when a deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Kent visited to conduct a Banner Dedication Ceremony.
The decision to replace the existing banner started in 2013 when the Master of the lodge at that time, Ron Carter, noticed that the old banner was in poor condition and decided to do something about it.
With the support of his lodge committee he set out to find a way of replacing it. The project required several contacts with the Royal Marines to obtain the necessary authorisation to portray their crest and several enquiries with the United Grand Lodge of England until eventually the design was approved. There were also several unfruitful enquiries with various Masonic regalia suppliers along the way.
One of Ron’s fellow members, Past Master John Baker, was visiting a friend’s lodge in Spain and noticed the lodge had a beautifully made new banner. He reported this back to Ron and, to cut a long story short, the manufacturer was contacted, an acceptable quotation received, the work commissioned and the new banner delivered in 2016, more than three years after Ron started his quest.
Arrangements were then made with the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Kent for the new banner to be dedicated. Accordingly, on Saturday 21st January, the Head of East Kent Freemasons, Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing, accompanied by his deputy, Peter Williams, his Director of Ceremonies, Neil Johnstone and the Provincial Grand Chaplain, The Rev Neil Gallagher, visited the lodge.
Ron Carter, with an escort of six fellow lodge members, proudly carried the new banner, which was veiled, into the lodge room. The banner was presented to the Master of the lodge, Vic Higham, and then placed in its stand.
Vic then invited the Provincial Grand Master to unveil the banner which he did, taking a few moments to inspect it in all its glory. Geoffrey then addressed the Lodge commenting on the splendour of the banner and the perseverance of the Lodge - in particular, Past Master Ron Carter - who had overcome many hurdles in the several years it had taken to get to this day.
The banner was then dedicated by the Provincial Grand Chaplain who went on to give a fascinating Oration on its significance. After the Oration the new Banner was paraded around the Lodge and admired by all present. At the completion of the Dedication Ceremony the Master rose to thank the Provincial Grand Master for unveiling the Banner and the Provincial Grand Chaplain for the Oration.
Report and photos courtesy of the Per Mare Per Terram Lodge No 3609