Our 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, John Baker, made his first official visit to the Invicta Chapter No 709 at Ashford on Thursday the 11th October 2018.
The Provincial Grand DC, Ian White, together with an escort of 6 active officers, which included the Provincial Scribe Nehemiah, Graeme Wyles, the Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, Eddie Halpin, the Provincial Grand Sojourner, David Hiscock, the Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, Ray Cooper, and Provincial Grand Stewards David Chapman and James Reuther, accompanied him. Peter Shrimpton, one of the Active Provincial ADCs was also present as a member of Invicta Chapter.
John is a very experienced Companion and a Grand Officer in both the Chapter and Craft, but he still admitted to being a little apprehensive on what was clearly a very special personal milestone. He took some comfort from the fact that the current Scribe Ezra of the Chapter is Clive Manuel, the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal.
The newly appointed Communications Officer for the Province, Chris Sanford who was also attending and was presented to the Chapter by the 2nd Grand Principal, who wished him well in his new appointment.
There followed a wonderful Festive Board during which Fred Keeler proposed the toast to John; this was particularly fitting, as they both have a long-term involvement with the East Kent Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity. In his response the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal outlined the current membership initiatives taking place and the impact they were having.
An interesting historical fact is that the Ashford Masonic Centre was originally the home of Sir John Furley an active member of the Red Cross from its foundation and one of the founders of the St John Ambulance Association, now known as St John Ambulance.