Long Service Certificate for Worshipful Brother Peter Saunders, MBE, PAGDC, PPJGW
A well-deserved fifty years Long Service Certificate was presented to Worshipful Brother Peter Saunders at his home by the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Geoffrey Dearing, in the presence of several members of Peter’s Mother Lodge.
Geoffrey started by saying: “Brethren, it is my personal privilege to be able to present a fifty years certificate to Worshipful Brother Peter this morning. We have known one another for many years and I well remember Peter as Secretary of the Lodge in the early 1980s as this coincided with the time that I was in the Chair and I made many visits to the Lodge. You are held in great affection by all the members of your Lodge. You have been sadly missed during the long period of illness suffered by Pauline, who is sadly missed. As always, your sense of priorities has been absolutely right. It is obviously a sadness that, at the moment, you are unable to attend the Lodge but we are all more than happy to come to you on this special occasion.”
Geoffrey went on to set the scene by recalling many interesting and amusing facts from 1964, recalling that it was the year that Radio Caroline was launched, the Post Office Tower was completed and the Forth Road Bridge opened. It was also the year that the Mods and Rockers fought it out in Clacton before descending on East Kent. Geoffrey recalled how the quality of Peter’s Minutes while Lodge Secretary, and the eloquence with which he read them, earned him the nickname of “Vicar”. Later on, the high standards he set in his researches and his lectures earned him a promotion from “Vicar” to the title of “Bishop” by his Masonic friends.
Peter was initiated in the Maeides Stana Lodge No 7868 on 10th December 1964, the sixth initiate of the lodge since its consecration in February 1963. He was appointed Charity Steward in 1968, which office he held with distinction until 1974, and was installed as Worshipful Master in 1975. He was elected Lodge Treasurer from 1977 to 1980 and served as Secretary from 1980 to 1997. In the Holy Royal Arch he was exalted in Agricola Chapter No 4501 in 1970 and became its First Principal in 1982. Eight years later he was one of the Founders of Maeides Stana Chapter and its first Scribe E.
He received Provincial and Grand Honours in both Craft and Chapter, in both of which he was appointed a Provincial Steward and rose to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in the Craft and the senior office of Second Provincial Grand Principal in the Chapter. He joined the Kent Provincial Grand Steward’s Lodge, becoming its Master in 2001 and the East Kent Provincial Grand Steward’s Chapter and was its First Principal in 1994.
He became an Officer of the United Grand Lodge of England and of Supreme Grand Chapter in 1993, being appointed PAGDC in both the Craft and the Chapter. In 2003 he was promoted to PGStB in Supreme Grand Chapter.
In the wider world of Freemasonry he served on the Board of Directors of the Maidstone Masonic Centre for fourteen years, commencing in 1971, during which time he was heavily involved in the moves which eventually brought them to the Tovil site. He was the Founding Treasurer of the “Stability Ritual Association” and worked with the association to produce the Stability Ritual booklet in 1992. He lectures on a wide range of Masonic subjects, was an instigator of the Maidstone Masonic Study Circle, a member of the Provincial Editorial Board and, in 2005 as the Cornwallis Lecturer, he delivered his lecture entitled: “The Overarching Compromise – The Great Architect of the Universe”. He is also a member of East Kent Masters Lodge No 3931.
Professionally, Peter is a retired Chartered Engineer and worked initially with Unilever and latterly with the Inner London Education Authority where he specialised in financial and corporate systems for the control of engineering projects. He was a member of the Church of England Synod and was Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Mid-Kent College of Higher & Further Education, where he served on the Board for more than 20 years. In 2007 Peter was awarded an MBE for services to Further Education.
The Long Service Certificate was read aloud by Worshipful Brother John Grumbridge and Geoffrey presented it to Peter saying: “What stands out most amongst all of us present has been your friendship and wise counsel over the years which is why you are held in both esteem and affection by so many who have had the pleasure of meeting you. Brother Peter, we congratulate you and I now have much pleasure in presenting you with your certificate to mark your fifty years of service.”