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Graeme McCormack - 2023/2024

October 23



As soon as our meeting was opened, there followed the entrance of Philip Lovelock, APGM escorted by Chris Sullivan, ProvDepGDC, together with a Provincial retinue of Sword Bearer, Standard Bearers and Deacons. This was to commence this very special meeting of our 125-year celebration. Our reigning Master, Roger Northwood had been working hard in learning the ritual of installation and carried our a splendid job in installing our Master Elect, Graeme McCormack into the chair to an audience of 100+ in attendance, so no pressure! - Stuart James, Paul Thurgood & Mike Steptoe acted in the offices of SW, JW & Inner Guard respectively. Simon Clarkson acted as DC for the whole meeting as Terry Thurston (who attended the meeting) was hampered by a back complaint and about to undergo an operation. The 3rd, 2nd & 1st tools were presented by Josh Vaughan, Trevor Sadler & Paul Marshall respectively. Paul Field presented the address to the Master, Roy Squibb the address to the Wardens and to close the ceremony, Brian Bowden-Brown the address to the brethren. The APGM presented a Grand Lodge certificate to Trevor Sadler and Stuart James delivered a 20 minute address on the first hundred years of the Lodge. He held back from talking about the last 25 years as he had produced a booklet suitably entitled ‘Our next 25 years’ of which everyone attending received a copy. 

To add to the celebration the WM, presented to the APGM a donation for the Essex Provincial Masonic Charity of £10,000. Philip thanked the lodge for this extremely generous amount and called on Mike Hall, ProvAGChStwd, who gave an informative address on how some of the money will be spent.

The next part of the meeting was totally unscripted as the ProvDepGDC, requested the Secretary of the lodge, Paul Thurgood to be presented to the APGM. Philip, explained for Paul’s many years of tireless work as secretary, and in particular for his part in arranging this meeting, on behalf of Paul Tarrant, PGM honoured Paul with a Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden collar. Paul was suitable shocked but, in expressing his thanks said this was a surprise indeed but he was justly proud and received a rousing round of applause.

This meeting was planned several years ahead and finalised during the early part of the year. It was agreed that this meeting was to be a meeting that will not be forgotten.

To complete the day it was a pleasure for Stuart, to welcome back three members who for various reasons have been absent from the lodge for many years namely Brian Pease, John Taylor and Gary Robinson.


What a lovely reunion to finish what was a spectacular day.

Our next 25 years.jpg

By subsidising the member & guest dining fees to just £10 per head, the hope was to achieve a magical 125 to attend. In reality a splendid 101 dined.

The festive board was the usual hearty event full of friendship and good cheer. Our new Master addressed the Haggis which was his first course choice followed by a mixed grill and summer pudding. Several bottles of Port were also passed around.

NOVEMBER 18th 2023 - (Remembrance meeting) - Following the entry of the WM and his Wardens Paul Marshall read a verse from Robert Laurence Binyon's poem 'The Fallen,' and a moments silence was requested to remember those who gave the supreme sacrifice during the World Wars. Graeme McCormack then opened his Lodge. Due to the absence of a candidate the WM and his officers presented an initiation ceremony with Martin Murphy kindly acting as the candidate. The working tools were presented by Paul Marshall and the charge by Paul Field who was also acting as Senior warden in the absence of Iain MacMillan. The ceremony concluded with a first class presentation of the first degree Tracing Board by Joshua Vaughan. We had two new members join the Lodge namely Lee Webster (sadly absent from the meeting) & Martin Finegold.

November 23

The afternoon ended with our Festive Board encapsulating the Remembrance theme. This varied from a menu closely resembling some of the food old soldiers received on the front line of Vegetable Soup, Classic Beef casserole with Suet Dumplings, boiled potatoes, peas, carrots and a tot of Rum and followed by Spotty Dick & custard. The evening also had some old war time songs melodiously sung between courses together with the reading of adhoc anecdotes relating to soldier camaraderie and interest of past times.

The evening was particularly poignant for the WM Graeme who selected, for a charity contribution during his year, to the PSTD 999 social enterprise supporting those effected by Post Traumatic Stress whom his guest Martin Hayes, gave an enlightening insight into the work they perform.

Nov_2023 Rememberance.jpg

JANUARY 20th 2024Worshipful Brother Graham opened his Lodge at 4.30pm and immediately received the entrance of our APGM, W Bro. Philip Lovelock accompanied by his DC., W Bro. Russell Keetch.


Following the early lodge agenda, the members and visitors were then entertained to a presentation organised and arranged by Josh Vaughan entitled ‘Famous Freemasons.’ Commencing with Albert Lucking, of course, and other notable persons including Winston Churchill, war time leader, Buzz Aldrin, first freemason on the moon, Sir Alf Ramsey, 1966 England world cup manager and many more. The event which included the use of a projector and screen also including reading inputs from Paul Marshall, Austin Latham, Roger Northwood and Kieron O’Connor. The whole event was extremely interesting and in parts amusing cumulating in a sterling round of applause.

January 24

Following this an equally interesting and informative event took place that of a presentation by the APGM to W Bro. Brian Bowden-Brown of his 50 years in Freemasonry certificate. A potted history of Brian’s service to Freemasonry and his working career as a Met Police Officer took place. His father Leonard Bowden-Brown was a member of the lodge and delivered the charge to Brian at his initiation. Brian became a ‘gifted’ ritualist and from occupying the chair on two occasions went on delivering the Third degree, Walking charge, Grand Lodge certificates and at installation meetings the Address to the brethren. Brian moved to Kent many years ago and subsequently joined the County Gate Lodge in West Kent which he also became involved taking the chair twice and delivering many pieces of ritual in his inevitable style. Brian is currently a visiting volunteer for the Masonic Charity Foundation.

BBB 50 years-2.jpg

The afternoon concluded with our hearty Festive Board with yet again this season (but as a main course this time) Haggis Tatties & Neeps accompanied with a piper and the usual rapturous address by our WM Graeme – always a treat!

FEBRUARY 17th 2024 – (Italian themed WHITE Table meeting) - Our meeting today did not include any perambulating, in or out of the lodge. Our Worshipful Master, Graham opened what was to be a very brief meeting but first, he called the lodge to order in remembrance of Michael Paul Bauckham who sadly died very recently. Michael had only been a member of the lodge for a very short period and his proposer Iain MacMillan read a brief eulogy.

There followed the confirming of the minutes from our previous meeting and the officer reports from the charity steward and almoner etc.,


The lodge was then closed and just over 50 guests were invited into the temple for a brief explanation of our centre, presented by Josh Vaughan. An explanation of the badges we wear with Trevor Sadler acting as an EA - Martin O'Connor FC - Josh Vaughan MM, Roger Northwood PM, Mike Steptoe PGL & Frank James (our visiting Grand Officer) as GO. The presentation was both informative and in parts humorous in the way they signified their positions in the ranks. Finally, Austin Latham & Paul Marshall gave an overview of freemasonry history and an explanation of some of the furniture within the temple. The event concluded with our Master signifying his position and thanking everybody for their attendance. A few questions were raised and suitable replies given - or not in some cases, leading to yet more humour.

Everybody retired for a Festive Board of Minestrone Soup, Lasagne and classic Tiramisu. The usual lodge raffles took place and raised a staggering £525 towards our Master charity PSTD 999 

Very well done to Austin who took the lead for the event and to all those taking part, as it proved to be an outstanding success with praise being given from many quarters.

February 24

MARCH 16th 2024 – Fish Supper - Our meeting today started on a sad note as Clem Britton had passed away on the Tuesday before the meeting. Stuart James read a eulogy of Clem’s masonic career and would be compiling a history of Clem’s life outside of Freemasonry for reading, as an agenda item, at the October meeting. The brethren were called to order in memory of this wonderful individual.

The meeting then continued and surprisingly with only 25 in attendance. It was seen as a sign of the times currently endured generally throughout Freemasonry and an unfortunate clash for many who had more pressing commitments both for members and regular guests.

Nevertheless, and undaunted, Paul Field took the chair and lead a demonstration of a passing ceremony which was expertly supported by the officers of the lodge. Simon Clarkson kindly volunteered – perhaps with a little persuasion - to act as the candidate. Trevor Sadler delivered an excellent rendition of the working tools and to conclude the ceremony, the presentation of the second-degree tracing board by Josh Vaughan in his usual, first-rate manner of delivery.

Iain MacMillan was declared Master Elect for our 2024-2025 year.

The Festive Board now branded a Fish Supper was a superb evening carried out with decorum intermingled with the Albert Lucking good humour and a little singing lead by Bernie Knight. The evening concluded with our master Graeme thanking everyone for the donations so far to his PSTD999 charity and welcoming the fact he still had three more functions thanking Austin & Josh for their continued support.  

March 24
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