On the 11th and 12th May 2012 The Fire Service Lodge 8401 celebrated the 40th anniversary of its consecration. On Friday 11th May at Stratford upon Avon’s Masonic Hall the lodge was honoured by the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey. After personally welcoming the PGM, the master of the lodge, W Bro Gerry Sansom invited him to witness the initiation of Nadhim Zahawi MP.
Gerry Sansom (l) with the PGM
During the risings, the Provincial Grand Master asked for WBro Douglas Edmondson to be brought to him, who he promoted on the spot to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. This move was a total surprise for not only an emotional Secretary of 16 years standing, but to the Lodge itself.
Doug Edmondson proudly presenting his Certificate of Promotion
At the festive board it was clear that everyone had enjoyed what the PGM termed ‘a cosmopolitan’ working of the initiation ceremony. In a warm toast to the PGM it was explained that the lodge is made up from members from all over the UK, meeting just four times a year. With no rehearsals it was inevitable that Welsh, Scottish and other Provincial workings would creep in to a stirring ceremony. Whatever is missed in ritual is made up for in enthusiasm and delivery. In his response it was very clear to the members of the Fire Service Lodge that not only was the PGM proud to have the lodge meeting in Warwickshire, but he wholeheartedly supported it.
On Saturday 12th May 2012 a celebration was held at the Draycott Hotel. The Guests of Honour were the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan and his wife Joy. In a splendid evening that was well attended by the brethren and their wives several presentations were made. Most importantly of all was a booklet to all members on the history of the lodge's first 40 years.
(l-r) The Edmonsons, Sansoms and Wellans