Quite a busy evening for us on the night of the 9th November. Firstly, election of officers for the ensuing year, then raising Bro Paul Wallace to the degree of a Master Mason, completing his journey.
Once again we were beset by absentees, but we did manage to find very able stand-ins to fill in for our missing officers. A huge thank-you to them all; they know who they are, with a special mention going to St. Peter's Lodge No. 8953 for the loan of their Director of Ceremonies, who acted as our ADC and performed some of the ritual.
It was clear to all that Bro Paul had put time and effort into learning his part for the evening, and he set the tone for what was a very good third degree ceremony.
We also fondly remembered W Bro Jack Thompson and W Bro Bill Gibbins Snr., both of whom passed away in October. Whilst W Bro Bill had not been to the Lodge in some years, he was still fondly remembered by a number of the brethren. W Bro Jack was a stalwart of the Lodge. In his time, he had served in every single office. He was a stickler for the ritual (no books allowed in Instruction, never mind the Lodge room!), but it is fair to say in doing so that he helped maintain the high standards that Palatine Lodge prides itself on. He loved the history of our Lodge and was forever going through our records to find out new information. He played a huge part in helping W Bro Con Culkin put together the historical content of this website, and still very much loved to be involved in the background, helping out where he could. He will be a very big miss to us.
Our Fraternal visitors on this occasion were St. John's Lodge No. 80, represented by their Worshipful Master, Fenwick Lodge No. 1359, represented by their Junior Warden, and Civic Lodge No. 5841, represented by their newly installed Worshipful Master on his first outing as Master.
A fine, albeit late, festive board followed.
It was quite touching, and telling, that by far the longest toast of the evening was to absent and seafaring brethren. W Bro Joe Laidler naming each of the brethren that we have lost to the Grand Lodge Above in the past two years; Bro Charlie Goggins, Bro Alfie Elstob, W Bro Sid Milne, W Bro Alan Carter, Bro Jim Morson, W Bro Joe Thompson, W Bro Jack Thompson and W Bro Bill Gibbins. Also mentioned were W Bro John Cooper and W Bro Tommy Scott, both of whom have seen a serious decline in their health meaning we will unfortunately never see them in the Lodge room again. They are all fondly remembered and leave a huge hole that we shall struggle to fill.
This was my last full meeting as Worshipful Master. It has been a very enjoyable two years and I'm not altogether looking forward to stepping down! However, such is the nature of our Fraternity. I look forward to installing my successor at the next meeting, W Bro Martin Nicholson, who is once again taking the Chair for us, filling a gap year before we have a new brother in position. He has already kindly agreed to me installing the brand-new Master in 2018, who is a very good friend.
Until the next time.