The Spirit of Rugby Lodge No 9922
Pre Match Warm Up
The summons was received, the Lodge of Instruction’s attended. The day had come, when The Spirit Of Rugby Lodge No: 9922 was to hold its 4th Installation meeting at the Maidstone Masonic Centre in Tovil, on the 18th February 2019.
Although the weather outside was somewhat chilly, I walked through the doors leading to the centre feeling the warmth of a huge gathering of masons, all smart, dignified and appearing to be in fine spirits. This may of been helped by the extensible use of the bar in front of them.
In the usual Masonic manner, I was greeted well and my nerves settled from being apprehensive, to that of excitement. Proud to be part of this superb Lodge.
The Match Starts
The Director of Ceromonies barked his commands and we were ushered towards the meeting room. (I would at this point say like sheep, yet I believe that the Master Designate, Worshipful Brother Robert Mitchell, would find that more intriguing than the rest of us Non Welsh Masons)
All assumed their seats and those outside who were part of the possession, gave their best wishes to the Master and his replacement.
The ceremony was conducted in the usual high standard known by all, our representative of our Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Clive Manuel, was greeted whole heartedly and welcomed to the Lodge by the Master, who held the helm firm.
Those sitting around him were eager to see if the Provincial Director of Ceremonies could live up to his high station.
As if there was any doubt? He executed his duty with gusto and the new Master took his seat with ease. The officers were congratulated on their new positions with a difference, each senior member to that position appointed their relief, which has now become a tradition and talking point of our Lodge.
The addresses were eloquently delivered and again 6 of the junior members stood, whilst reciting a paragraph each of the address to the Brethren. Which again was met with silent applause and a mumbling of celebration. This Lodge and its members increasingly delivers like a sketch from the Greatest Showman, with our guests travelling afar to witness its performance.
The festive board seating 92 masons started well, with that defining white noise of men all talking at the same time, conversing about the ceremony they had seen and the standard in which it was delivered. This however was brought to an alarming halt as one of our members was hideously accused of failing to down a pint of beer, quicker than our IPM’s wife!
This Brethren, was hugely uncomfortable and required the assistance of a Judge, Prosecutor, Jury, Trial and Executioner the Guilty Party! (oops I meant Defendant).
The stage was set, the terms arranged and the court was in session. All presented their case, yet the plea from Worshipful Brother Steve Jones, the accused was extremely watered down and poor just like his ability to drink. What hope did he have? What chance of survival could he expect…………
The Jury jeered, the accused trembled! The Judge pasted sentence. Draped with a black cloth resting on his head, “that of Abstinence” was cried, no further drink for the rest of the evening.
This was greeted with huge applause and a fine was paid by Steve for his lack of commitment and will power.
Spirits were lifted by the raffle and an amazing £500.00 was collected to support our Lodge’s Masonic connections.
The finale was upon us, there were the great toasts, spoken from the heart, yet humour and the usual rugby banter prevailed. The Immediate Past Master gave an amazing account of his past history, with our new Master concluding that behind every great Englishman, there is a great Englishwoman and in front of a Welshman a ‘sheep,’ at this point our Master was presented with his Lodge mascot (for the year) and our outgoing Director or Cremonies was presented with the man of the match trophy, which is decided by the away team (Our Guests) and was steered by our representative.
Peace and harmony was had by all (except for Steve Jones, who was still in disarray) and all began their journey back to their native lands.
Report kindly submitted by Matt Jury