17th October 2019
It was wet late afternoon in Dymchurch upon my arrival, yet as soon as I walked through the wooden doors leading into the hall, the warmth not only came from the heating being on, but that of other masons busily preparing and muttering as they organised themselves into two groups, those carrying out the ceremony and those who could relax and observe what laid ahead. I walked through to the bar area, with no requirement for an invite and a large consistency of fine men in black and many familiar faces including a great entourage from the Spirit of Rugby Lodge greeted me.
The familiar size and shape and that well known booming voice or an ex-squaddie stood in front of me. A smile from ear to ear was spread across a well known and likeable mason by the name of David Tyler. He stood there surrounded by his guests and friends who had travelled near and far to witness him take the chair once more of King Solomon. Some 25 years after his previous instalment in this truly remarkable and inviting Lodge. After our usual barracking and banter and perhaps one or two refreshments an order sounded from the door asking for everybody to make their way upstairs and to find their seats.
Ushered into position we awaited the procession and then greeted our visiting brethren representing our Province and our PGM in the formidable stature of W.Bro David Graeme (APGM) accompanying him by six of our active officers. The atmosphere was electrifying and the humour accompanied a well rehearsed ceremony led by their outgoing Master Desmond Bidwell ably assisted initially by W.Bro David who for a while took the gavel offered to him, both made the evening feel very humbling and meaningful.
All of the officers conducted themselves with gusto and are a true credit not just to masonry but to their Lodge including the young masons who recited each of the three working tools.
The ceremony from start to finish was amazing and to see W.Bro David Tyler take the chair once more surrounded by those who wanted to share in his night was exactly how freemasonry should be, full of life and humour and it was certainly evident that all enjoyed the evening.
Item 11 was for a cheque presentation to the Province by the new master and received by the representative W.Bro David who spoke extremely eloquently about the 2025 Festival and commented on how their cheque of £2,000 would make such a difference to someone’s life.
The lodge was closed in peace and harmony however life is certainly not boring in the Romney Marsh Lodge and we made our way to the festive board, something that I was very much looking forward too. 79 Brethren from all walks of life jelled in one huddle and enjoyed a superb meal by their new caterers, the use of the Provinces newest and poshest toilets where shown off and the evening continued to be memorable including the Masters song which for any past master is such a moving experience and one that can’t really be explained unless you have had that privilege. The Master stood at his helm a true natural and completed the evening by thanking all that had attended.
Good luck Worshipful Master and the very best wishes to The Romney Marsh Lodge.
Report by Matt Jury