A cause for celebration on multiple levels at Elizabethan’s March meeting, as our newest Brother completed his journey through the three Craft degrees, while one of our longest-serving members was honoured for his half-century of contribution to the Craft.

Beginning with our third Third degree of the season – coincidentally taking place on the third day of the third month, no less! – Bro. Grimes was Raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason by W.Bro Toogood and a crack team of other Past Masters, ably standing in for W.Bro Fitch. The candidate was, as ever, exemplary throughout, and will doubtlessly go on to emulate the care and conduct of those officers to whom he was entrusted on the night, and from whose example and enthusiasm any young Mason could not fail to benefit as they begin their progressive journey toward the chair.

On the topic of distinguished Brethren and examples to emulate – the Lodge was once again honoured by the visit of W.Bro Barry McCormack, Assistant PGM, who joined us for the evening to represent the Province in presenting W.Bro Tony Carter with his 50-year certificate. As alluded earlier, one of the great benefits of our Lodge is that it is blessed with both youth and experience, with the enthusiasm and energy of our younger Brethren being curated and encouraged by our more seasoned ones, and in W.Bro Tony, the latter is very much exemplified. Our current Chaplain and Royal Arch representative, his list of accomplishments and endeavours over his fifty years in Freemasonry is, quite frankly, staggering, and not something you would necessarily guess from the congenial humility that men – and particularly Masons – of his generation specialise in.

Initiated into Lodden Lodge No. 8223 on March 12th 1970, W.Bro David Tony Carter is an alumni of Winchmore Secondary School (for which he won the Parker Pen Scholarship) and Enfield University, where he completed courses in business administration and electronic engineering. Performing national service with the Royal Signals Regiment as a commissioned 2nd Lt., he saw active service in the Suez Canal Zone, earning Campaign and National Service medals, before working for the intelligence arm of the Home Office during the John Profumo affair. This was followed by a 26-year career working for the National Health Service, from which he retired as Deputy Head of Support Services.

With regard to his aforementioned Masonic credentials, W.Bro Tony has been a member of no less than five Craft Lodges, four as Past Master, serving the Province of Somerset as PProvGReg, and is due to be promoted to PPrJW in a few weeks time. His considerable involvement in the appendant bodies includes the following ranks:

  • Chapter – Past Provincial Scribe Nehemiah (PPrScN)
  • Mark – Past Provincial Master Overseer (PPrMO)
  • Royal Ark Mariners – Past Provincial Grand Registrar (PPrGReg)
  • Knights Templar – Past Provincial 2nd Constable (PPr2ndCon)
  • Knights Templar Priests – Past High Priest of the Tabernacle
  • Red Cross of Constantine – Past Grand Prefect (PGPref)
  • Royal & Select Masters – Past Grand Standard Bearer (PGStdB)
  • Allied Masonic Degrees – Past Grand Standard Bearer (PGStdB)
  • St Thomas of Acon – Past Provincial Grand Prior (REProvGPrior)

Suffice to say, we are exceptionally proud to have such a distinguished Mason among our number, and his enduring commitment to the Craft is an inspiration to us all.

Having enjoyed a very special evening in the Lodge, the Brethren decamped upstairs for a quintessentially lively Elizabethan festive board, where alongside good food, good drink, and good conversation, the Masonic principle of charity was indulged with a raffle to generate funds for the Worshipful Master’s charity of the year, as well as a collection for one of the Brethren’s participation in the Bath Half Marathon taking place this month.

We have one more meeting of the season left – an initiation in April – which promises to be another special night in what has been a wonderful year for Elizabethan, a Lodge where the Past, with humility and encouragement, looks through the Present, to the Future.