The sight of Freemasons in their ceremonial regalia is always something special to witness. Thus, when almost 1,000 East Kent Freemasons gathered in Margate on April 15th for their Provincial Festival, it was indeed a truly fascinating spectacle.
Lead by the Head of East Kent Freemasons – Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing, this annual gathering is an opportunity for local Freemasons to celebrate their achievements working together in the community.
Since the formation of the first Provincial Grand Lodge in Kent in 1770 there have been many changes. However, Freemasons have always believed in and maintained their traditional values of integrity, respect, care, cooperation and most importantly charity.
In his address to the members, Geoffrey Dearing reflected on another successful year. Key highlights being the foundation of the Spirit Of Rugby Lodge, re-accreditation of the Kent Museum of Freemasonry in Canterbury and the magnificent work of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity which has supported over 40 local charities and good causes.
Freemasonry’s ties with the local community have also improved greatly, especially in terms of how we communicate in the press, with social media and the new improved website. Many Masonic Centres are holding ‘open days’ and there is a mobile exhibition that frequently visits town centres and other events province-wide.
He also spoke of an exciting year ahead with the United Grand Lodge Tercentenary celebrations in 2017 and the continued support for conservation work at Kent’s most important asset – Canterbury Cathedral.
Another key part of these celebrations, is the recognition of key individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to their community and Freemasonry over the years. The Provincial Grand Master was “Delighted” to present his Merit Award to Eddie Baker of Minnis Bay Lodge, who recently retired from his role as Facilities Manager at the Kent Museum of Freemasonry after 21 years of loyal service. Click here to read more about Eddie Baker’s Meritorious service.
As with any annual meeting there was regular business to take care of. As usual, a number of members received provincial appointments and others received promotions in recognition of their work in Freemasonry.
One of those receiving his first appointment, Philip Norcutt from Lenham, was “Extremely proud and humbled” to be appointed as a Provincial Steward. He will be busy over the coming year or so with his colleagues helping to set up and support events in support of Freemasonry and its charities.
Photos courtesy of Howard Griffin.