Friday 1st December 2023 saw the installation of the new Worshipful Master of White Ensign Lodge. On the evening there were 16 brethren of White Ensign, 14 brethren from other lodges and 4 Provincial Team officers taking passage. The lodge was opened in the first degree by the Worshipful Master Martin Carver for the commencement of the lodge business which included a ballot for a new initiate into White Ensign. The Provisional Presiding Officer, W.Bro. MJ Dykes demanded admission and he and his Provisional team plus other Grand Officers were processed into the lodge room. The gavel passing to the Presiding Officer before being handed back to the Worshipful Master.
The brethren who were not Fellowcrafts left the lodge room prior to it being opened in the second degree, the obligation of the Master-elect, W.Bro. Stuart Maris was concluded and brethren who were not Master Masons left the lodge room prior to the lodge being opened in the third degree. Those Master Masons who were not Past Masters then departed the lodge room and the installation continued of the Master-elect. At various stages the brethren who had retired from the lodge room returned for the proclamation of the new Worshipful Master by the Immediate Past Master Martin Carver. The new Worshipful Master invested his Officers for the ensuing year. The Presiding Officer gave his address to the Worshipful Master, the Provisional Wardens then delivering their respective addresses to the lodge Wardens and the brethren of White Ensign.
On conclusion of the installation ceremony, the Presiding Officer and his Provisional team were processed out of the lodge room. The remaining business of the evening been concluded which encompassed the presentation of the Past Masters jewel to W.Bro. Martin Carver and a presentation of a block and gavel to W.Bro. Ian Fothergill for his outstanding service and contribution to White Ensign lodge over the years.
‘Cooks to the galley’ was piped by W.Bro. Tom Kennedy and shortly afterwards the lodge was closed. The assembled brethren duly retired downstairs for the customary ‘tot’ of rum. The festive board was congenial as ever and both the informal and formal toasts given. A total of £476.00 was raised for the evening and will be put to good use by the Charity Steward.
Congratulations also go to the following brethren on being made honorary members of White Ensign lodge:
W.Bro. Denis Woodhams, PPrAGDC, PPrGSwdB (Warks)
W.Bro. Roger Shayes, PPrGReg
The last Friday in October is always a special night for White Ensign Lodge as we commemorate the immortal memory of Lord Nelson following his victory at Trafalgar on the 21st October 1805.
Some 25 brethren of White Ensign being in attendance and 61 other brethren taking passage from other lodges around the provinces, of which 7 were from Newry in Northern Ireland and 3 from Germany, it being rather ‘cosy’ in the temple. The lodge was opened in the first degree by the Worshipful Master W.Bro. Martin Carver for the immediate business including two eulogies for recently departed Brethren delivered by W.Bro. Tom Kennedy. The business being concluded, the gavel was duly passed to W.Bro. David Crump to conduct the Passing ceremony.
The candidate Bro. Buddy Kibbles-Searle acquitted himself extremely well under examination with the questions leading to the Second degree, the rest of the formalities being concluded he left the temple. On resumption of the Passing ceremony, W.Bro. Alun Jones conducted the candidate around the temple, Bro. Paul Tuckley delivered the extended working tools and the ceremony was concluded by W.Bro. Martin Green delivering the Charge.
On conclusion of the Passing ceremony and resuming the lodge in the first degree , the gavel was passed back to the Worshipful Master. The remaining business of the evening was concluded and W.Bro. Tom Kennedy sporting a ‘Bosuns call’ promptly piped ‘Cooks to the galley’ and the closed was closed shortly afterwards.
The brethren duly retired to the lounge for ‘up spirits’ and the enjoyment of the customary ‘tot’ at White Ensign, the exception being if the brethren were ‘UA’ (Under Age i.e. <20 years old) or ‘T’ (Temperance), then soft drinks were available from the bar as an alternative.
There was a double ‘Dutch auction’ for two different items which had been kindly donated to the lodge, one being a commemorative plate depicting Lord Nelson, the other a ‘jerry can’ containing a bottle of gin and a pair of glasses to assist in the consumption of said bottle. There was considerable interest amongst the brethren for both items and the ‘Dutch auction’ raised £201.
What is not unusual at White Ensign Lodge festive boards is for the ‘Shore Patrol’ to apprehend those offenders who then generously acquit themselves of any wrong doings by paying a nominal fine. The generosity amounted to a total of £158.45 to wipe the ‘slate clean’.
There was a flurry of both the informal and formal toasts, W.Bro. Tom Kennedy delivering the toast to the Immortal memory of Lord Nelson. Alms were also collected for charity which raised a further total of £612.75. The grand total raised for the evening being £972.20, a fantastic effort.
A brother also made a further generous donation of £100 to the evening.
The Worshipful Masters chosen charity being SSAFA; the daughter of W.Bro. Ian Fothergill is running in the London Marathon (2024) on behalf of SSAFA, a £1000 will be donated to SSAFA.
It has been a while since there was a double initiation in White Ensign Lodge 9169, and by some coincidence the latest double initiation took place on Friday 26th March 2023 at the Masonic Hall in Redditch, that 4 years previously to the day the last double initiation at White Ensign also took place. The dust and the cob webs having been blown off during rehearsals to make this a special night for the initiates.
The candidates for initiation, were Mr Neil Cramb and Mr Gregory Cramb, having been proposed by WBro Mike Tonkin who just happened to be the father-in-law and grandfather respectively. The lodge being duly formed was opened by the Master, WBro Martin Carver. Salutations were given to the Deputy Provisional Grand Mater VW Bro Keith Evans and other Grand an Provisional Officers in attendance.
The gavel was handed over to WBro Ian Hart to conduct the double initiation ceremony. The ceremony flowed across the ‘millpond’, and following the initiates charge given by WBro David Crump, WBro Mike Tonkin presented a White Ensign scroll containing the initiates charge to both our new made Bro’s Neil and Gregory Cramb. The gavel returned to the capable hands of WBro Cpl Martin Carver for the remainder of the lodge business and closure of the lodge. The visitors having been treated to the White Ensign workings of emulation ritual.
The customary ‘tot’ of rum was offered to the brethren who were attending the festive board and the new initiates were formally welcomed into
White Ensign family. A total of £502 (fines, alms and raffle) was collected at the festive board which was distributed to the Worshipful Masters nominated charity by the Charity Steward.