Reports on the latest meetings and activities of local clubs and community groups
WHEN Geoff Tozer, of Western Road, Henley, a past master and secretary of Thames Lodge of Mark Master Masons, arrived at the meeting of the lodge at the Henley Masonic Centre, he was not greatly surprised to see the provincial grand master of Mark Master Masons of Oxfordshire already there
WHEN Geoff Tozer, of Western Road, Henley, a past master and secretary of Thames Lodge of Mark Master Masons, arrived at the meeting of the lodge at the Henley Masonic Centre, he was not greatly surprised to see the provincial grand master of Mark Master Masons of Oxfordshire already there.
It was the lodge's traditional Burns Night meeting, an important social event in the province's calendar.
Geoff was, however, taken aback and somewhat apprehensive when towards the end of the evening, after Jose Cadenas had been advanced into the lodge as a new member, he was summoned before the provincial grand master, Right Worshipful Brother His Honour Ian Alexander QC.
Geoff's concern was short lived, however, because the the provincial grand master proceeded to carry out the unusual procedure of a â??field promotionâ?�, immediately promoting Geoff to past provincial grand senior warden in recognition of his considerable service to the province over many years, so saving Geoff a difficult journey to the province's annual meeting at Heythrop Park in May.
The provincial grand master reminded the brethren that Geoff, who has lived and worked in Henley all his life, had for many years not only been a tremendous hard worker for Mark Masonry but had been a devoted supporter of the Henley regattas and Henley Rugby Club, the latter having contributed to his relative immobility in later years.
He said he sympathised with Geoff about the effects of old sporting injuries, many of which were also catching up with him, having had too many falls from horses.
The appointment was received with great acclaim by the 50 assembled brethren of the lodge and province.
Also present were the deputy provincial grand master, very worshipful brother Stephen Willoughby, the past provincial grand master right worshipful brother Richard Slade and the deputy provincial grand master designate worshipful brother Ian Wright.
The very successful meeting was followed by the lodge's traditional Burns supper when the haggis was 'addressed'� with great verve and vigour by worshipful brother Allan Dishington such that the vile beastie was well and truly slain and later devoured with relish (and neeps and tatties) by the members of the lodge and their guests.