We are all custodians of our Masonic heritage, more so for those who are fortunate to meet in the older Centres in our Province. It is all too easy just to turn up for a meeting, use the equipment and furniture that has been set out by the Tyler, attend the festive board and depart to return in a month or so and repeat the process again without a thought for the fixtures and fittings, their upkeep and repair. At Sittingbourne we are fortunate to have had two dedicated members W.Bro. Len Manuell and W.Bro. Stan Duffield, who over the years have refurbished the pedestals, the chairs, benches and the column stands to their original glory. Their dedication was such that they enrolled in evening classes in order to further their skills.
A recently completed project however daunted even these plucky brethren, the restoration of a pair of nineteenth century Carey 18” library globes depicting the celestial and terrestrial spheres. The work was contracted out to Mrs. Silvia Sumira, the leading restorer and conserver of globes. The globes had become somewhat dilapidated through years of dust and grime and suffered the detrimental effects from being placed in obscure corners of the Temple too close to radiators. Even in this sorry state, they were considered to be well worth rescuing and capable of being restored to an almost new condition. The work was delayed for nearly a year due to the number of Mrs. Sumira’s prior commissions, including one from the White House in Washington. The full cost of restoration was £7800, reduced somewhat from the initial estimate because the dynamic duo, not to be outdone, undertook the refurbishment of the stands.
The beautifully restored globes are now displayed in all their glory on either side of the Senior Warden’s chair under clear Perspex covers to keep off dust and fiddling fingers. Shortly there will be a balustrade fitted to provide even greater protection.
The globes were re-dedicated at the 2006 Christmas meeting of St. Michael’s Lodge by W.Bro. Rev. Brian Blade.
(L-R) W.Bro. Stan Duffield;
W.Bro. Rev. Brian Blade;
Mrs. Sylvia Sumira; W.Bro.
Paul LeMasonry (W.M.);
W.Bro. Len Manuell