The annual installation ceremony held at the Downs Lodge No 6855, had some familiarity about it. The ceremony started just like any other, with the current Master, Rob Blackmore welcoming members, visitors, and guests to the lodge. The representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Martyn Summers was personally welcomed by Rob and all present in the lodge. Martyn extended the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master and thanked everyone for the warm welcome.
It was at this point that the ceremony hankered back some forty-eight years. Rob handed over to Ken Cox to conduct the ceremony of installing the new Worshipful Master for the forthcoming year. Nothing unusual there, except that the “New” Master was Alan Prior, and it was Alan who installed Ken as Master of the Downs Lodge in 1969. When the opportunity arrived to serve as Master once again, Alan could not refuse. To have his old friend of fifty years install him, brought back many happy memories. The brethren of the lodge are so proud to have Alan as their Master, especially during this Tercentenary year of Freemasonry.
The ceremony was carried out with so much sincerity, feeling, enjoyment and mutual respect, it was enjoyed by all that were present.
Another fitting moment came when David Newman was installed as the honorary organist. David has for many years provided the lodge with sounds of his melodic music.
A member of the lodge who has for many years worked in the background, managing to influence, persuade and lead anyone who he is associated with.
Alan was Master of the Downs Lodge in 1968 and served as Director of Ceremonies for 8 years. He is also a Past Master of Old Manwoodian Lodge No 7636
Alan is able to stand in for any Masonic Office when required, serving as Lodge mentor since the post was introduced in the Province of East Kent. His knowledge of all things Masonic is second to none. Except for Ken!
He is very involved with the Kent Prostate Support Group at one time being the Chairman and now Vice Chairman spending an extraordinary amount of time raising funds and giving talks on the subject to the betterment to us all.
Ken was installed as Master in 1969 and held Office as Secretary for 12 years, he is also a Past Master of Old Manwoodian Lodge No 7636 and is an officer of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Photos and write up by Paul Gear