The Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge reached two milestones on 1st April 2017. The Lodge was consecrated on 1st April 1992, by the then Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V W Bro John D Saville. On the 100th meeting twenty five years later, the anniversary celebrations were held in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David F Macey. A multitude of Acting Provincial Officers, visitors from other Lodges, and Lodge members enjoyed a very special meeting when W Bro David Butcher, was installed as the Lodge’s 25th Master by his predecessor W Bro Mark Thomas in a faultless ceremony.
One of the many highlights of the meeting was the Provincial Grand Master’s immediate promotion of two of the Lodges stalwart members.
W Bro Antony Farnath, Founding Master of the Lodge with a total of 44 years masonic service was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, and presented with his updated regalia by the brethren of the Lodge.
Bro John Byrne, a member with 56 years masonic service was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, and was also presented with his new regalia by the brethren of the Lodge.
Another highlight of the festive board was an explanation of some of the history of the Royal Air Force, and the component parts of the Union Flag by a member of the Lodge – Bro Barry Hope, together with his brother Bro Robert Hope, both in ‘historic’ Air Force uniforms.
A memento of the evening was a specially designed paperweight presented to each brother present, specially commissioned to mark a special event.
The final parting shot was a poem, presented as the toast to the visitors, penned by the Provincial Poet (alias W Bro Bill Clark, Provincial Grand Almoner) which is reproduced below. Not content with one poem, Bill also composed a second rhyme, to thank the Provincial Grand Master for his presence at the celebrations, also reproduced below.
Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge No 9456
Visitors toast saturday 1st april 2017
25th anniversary meeting
Thank you for being with us here today
We are grateful that you were able to stay
And share with us in this festive board
No pressure of your own free will and accord
Our time together we hope has been well spent
We trust you are now replete and content
Replete having enjoyed this festive board repast
Content and being ready to go home at last
Having we trust enjoyed the masonic ritual
Which can sometimes become somewhat habitual
However the promotions and orations as they did unfold
Were truly masonic treats for us all to behold
Please thank your loved ones when you get home
Who may have spent their time at home alone
Tell then how much we in 9456 do appreciate
Their tolerance when you arrive home late
You have made this day a one for us to remember
Please join us again when we meet in september
And tonight as we say farewell and adieu
We can but say to you all a most humble thank you
Junior warden 9456
Warwickshire royal air force lodge No 9456
Installation meeting rugby saturday 1st april 2017
Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master we write to say
Thank you for presiding at our Installation meeting yesterday
You made the event for us in 9456 an occasion to remember
To be discussed at length when we meet again in september
You made the installation special for all concerned
In masonic terms there was much to be learned
Positions to be filled work to be done
Serious elements interlaced with some fun
Everyone present we are sure did appreciate
The manner in which you sought to relate
The ethics of Freemasonry right from the start
In your capacity as our leader -- a perfected art
It was for us all a most memorable occasion
Full of emotion -- addresses and orations
Delivered with such sincerity love and affection
Each brother seeking to achieve masonic perfection
We repeat-- it truly was for us all a day to remember
To be savoured again when we meet in september
The worshipful master will we are sure have a good year
As a brother you have supported and whom you hold dear
Brothers Farnath and Byrne equally honoured on the day
By you as Provincial Grand Master in such a considerate way
Was a joy to behold and a privilege to see
A day they will never forget-- we all do agree
Junior warden 9456