Freemasons from Hythe, Ashford, Sandgate and Folkestone took part in this year’s Hythe Venetian Fete. The fete was the culmination of several months work during which local Freemasons organised the construction of a suitable float.
The Hythe Venetian Fete is a parade of decorated floats in various themes held on the Royal Military Canal in the town of Hythe every second year. The floats are constructed by various charities, local schools and societies and this year for the first time, local Freemasons.
The Masons put down their trowels and took up the oars for a cruise on the Hythe Canal to raise the profile of Freemasonry in this part of East Kent (Area 6). It was also another opportunity to mark Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary.
The float crew consisted of a small group of local Freemasons, one dressed as was the custom in 1717. The crew was ably captained by two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters from East Kent - Peter Hagger and David Graeme. Two parades take place, one during the afternoon and an Illuminated procession in the evening and the float was cheered all along its course.
Lodges from Hythe, Ashford, Sandgate and Folkestone all contributed to the entry and over 10,000 people came to support the event, covering both banks of the canal with spectators.
David Graeme said: “A cracking time was had by all and I understand that several spectators registered an interest in becoming a Freemason”.
Report: James Reuther
Photos courtesy of James Birchall