A Memorable Evening at Prince Alfred Lodge No. 1218: Embracing Tradition and the Future
It was a night of tradition, camaraderie, and a strong sense of fraternity when the Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM), WBro The Reverend Canon Richard Whishaw Hawkins, warmly greeted the assembled brethren. He introduced members of the Area delegation, including the Southern Area Chairman, Nigel Johnson. The atmosphere was charged with anticipation as the APGM went on to introduce the distinguished group of Grand Officers in attendance: Ian Casson, David Thompson, Peter Douthwaite, Martin Roche, George Scaife and David Leach, who also holds the esteemed status of being an Honorary member of the Lodge.
Upon being offered the Gavel, the APGM graciously thanked the Worshipful Master but declined to accept it. He shared his excitement about WBro Craig Spencer-Smith’s upcoming installation of his successor, Bro. Craig Pattison, as the Master of the Lodge. It was clear that many in the room held immense respect for the outgoing Worshipful Master, recognising the diligence and hard work he had poured into every ritual he underto
ok. As the ceremony progressed, those gathered were not disappointed. What unfolded before them was nothing short of a confident and seamless performance from the Installing Master, supported by the diligent officers of the Lodge.Countless hours of practice by the Lodge members came together to deliver an exceptional and truly memorable event, a testament to their unwavering commitment to the craft. There were no shortcuts taken, and every aspect of the ceremony, from the Wardens’ roles to the Director of Ceremonies and other participating members, was executed with an exemplary level of precision.
Once officially installed as the Lodge’s new Master, Bro. Craig Pattison introduced some fresh elements to the proceedings, which may very well become traditions. The first notable change occurred as he invited all present who were Masters in office (or equivalent) to stand in a semi-circle before the chair of King Solomon, where he presented each of them with a bottle of Port. Bro. Pattison expressed his intent to make subtle changes in the Lodge’s operations, most significantly moving the Almoner’s report to a more prominent position on the business agenda for future meetings. He explained that this adjustment was meant to reflect the immense importance of the Almoner’s work in caring for the Lodge’s members and their families during times of need. His inspiration came from his personal experience as an Almoner, highlighting the joy it brought him and, more importantly, the profound impact it had on the lives of others.
One could not help but notice the number of young Masons within the Lodge and the promising prospects of more expected to join in the near future. This sense of growth and rejuvenation painted a vibrant picture of the Lodge’s future, making it an appealing destination for new members. The Lodge’s commitment to supporting local causes and events, in addition to their ongoing charitable efforts, further reinforced their dedication to making a positive impact on the community.
Unsurprisingly, the festive board was also a splendid gathering, with Peter Douthwaite giving a rendition of the Master’s Song to the assembled gathering, which included two prospective candidates wishing to join the Lodge.
In the heart of the United Kingdom, Prince Alfred Lodge No. 1218 stood as a symbol of tradition seamlessly blending with an exciting future, a testament to the unwavering dedication of its members and their enduring commitment to Freemasonry