R.W.Bro. Peter Hawken and W.Bro. Alan Murphy were joined by over 30 brethren to celebrate their achievements in the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner. Present were the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. Peter Balsom, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. John Clendinning and a host of Provincial Officers and members of the Lodge.
After a short hiatus where some attendees were having difficulty 'getting past the Tyler', the meeting was opened by W.Bro. Mark Rodd Worshipful Commander. The dispensation and correspondence were dealt with and the WCN welcomed the members and visitors to the meeting. He invited R.W.Bro Peter Balsom to address the assembly on this auspicious occasion.
Our PGM gave an interesting introduction to the Degree of Royal Ark Mariner with parts of the history dating back to before Craft Masonry with references to the construction of the Tower of Babel and to Antediluvian Masonry, however commenting that the original architects and builders were only shipwrights, a reference on this occasion that was most poignant as both R.W.Bro. Peter and W.Bro. Alan had served their time in HM Dockyard Devonport where they had first met, along with another well known individual in our order, our Assistant PGM W.Bro. John Clendinning. Their meeting was around the time that H.M.S. Ark Royal was in the yard (not the Henry the VIII one...as it was said...) and when W.Bro. Alan was struck upon his head by some falling timber (a joiners error...) and knocked out. Several other stories of Dockyard work were recounted for the members to relish.
R.W.Bro. Peter then read the Certificates, issued by the Grand Masters Royal Ark Council, to R.W.Bro. Peter (who said he did not write it himself as President of the Council) and W.Bro. Alan with many congratulations.
W.Bro. Mark Rodd and the other brethren assembled also congratulated W.Bro. Alan and R.W.Bro. Peter, expressing the hopes that we could all meet again soon and celebrate properly.
The meeting closed and for a short while brethren greeted each other well before dispersing to their own festive boards at home. The end of a lovely evening of celebration in the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity.
Photo: with thanks to W.Bro. John Smerdon