We were always a little uncertain how many would attend our meeting, given it was the Thursday before the long bank holiday weekend, and it proved the case that the numbers were a little all-over. A host of our own brethren were notably absent, but, fortunately, we were well supported by our visitors.
The Lodge having been opened, we welcomed our visitors and then received the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Simon Craig Steele, who was in attendance to present a 50-year certificate to Bro Ron Crossley.
We were also joined by the Provincial Grand Orator, W Bro Bernard Hope, who had kindly agreed to give a talk on the night. The lecture was the story of the film It's a Wonderful Life, and was entitled, It Really is a Wonderful Life. As ever, Bernard had meticulously researched the topic and gave a wonderful insight into the film and also to Bro Frank Capra, who was the driving force in having the film made. Whilst perhaps not seasonal, the message within the film is relevant at all times of the year and epitomises our principles of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. It was very well received by the brethren present, and due thanks was given to Bernard for, yet another, excellent talk.
We then moved on to the second part of the evening's business, and the reason for the attendance of W Bro Simon Craig Steele, the presentation of a 50-year certificate to Bro Ron Crossley. Craig invited Ron to take a seat in the centre of the Lodge room where he asked him about his time in Freemasonry and his life in general, and we were left with some great memories of Ron's time served as a mechanical apprentice and time served on board a number of ships, followed by his time as a lecturer in South Shields. It was a great insight into the life of Ron, and it is moments like this that remind us what great camaraderie and characters we have in our Brotherhood.
Ron was initiated into Westoe Lodge No. 4750 on 22nd February 1967, passed on 25th July 1968, and raised 30th September 1968. He became a joining member of Palatine Lodge on 12th February 1970.
Fraternal visitors for the night were from Fawcett Lodge No. 661, Sancroft Lodge No. 4347, and Lodge of Loyalty No. 8635, each of whom were well supported by a number of their brethren. In total, we had 25+ visitors in attendance, and we very much appreciated their support and friendship. The night would have been a lot quieter without them.
I hope to see you all at a meeting soon.