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Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

PROVINCIAL The MagazI N e for easT KeNT cra fT aNd roya l arch

“Thank you, East Kent Freemasons!” Jamie Barnes, RNLI SEE INSIDE

The MasoNIc ProvINce of easT KeNT


Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

Editor’s Notes Welcome to issue 70 of The Provincial. I’m always impressed by the sheer energy of east Kent freemasons. hardly a day goes by without news of another splendid event and a load more money raised for charity. Now, of course, we all have the exciting challenge of raising £3.5 million for the 2025 festival. are you one of those who have signed up to make a donation? you can give a lump sum or pay regularly by direct debit, or even send a sum by Text. check out our festival feature article to learn more.

our Provincial grand Master/grand superintendent Neil Johnstone is well into his stride as our governor. Were you lucky enough to see him reveal his desert Island discs recently? There’s a report in this issue. also featured is the PgM’s charity awards 2019, sponsored by the cornwallis east Kent freemasons’ charity (ceKfc). hey, you charity stewards: don’t forget the ceKfc in all your hard work! david graeme will be stepping down as assistant Provincial grand Master in april after five great years in the job. as a Provincial escorting dc, I was well aware of his delightful unpredictability. stepping into his shoes will be Provincial grand Mentor Mark costelloe, another energetic team player who can be relied on to keep the pot stirring. as always, I rely on you to keep supplying me with the news around the Province. our next issue is our electronic magazine The Provincial lite, due out in the spring. let’s make it a bumper number!

John Ray, Editor

Malling Abbey Support Junior Parkrun Graham Pover writes: Every Sunday at 9am, youngsters aged four to fourteen gather at Manor Park, West Malling, for a “junior parkrun”. It’s a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. The course is 2 km long and is fully signed, marshalled and supervised by volunteers.

Mike Bowyer-Jones gives the cheque to Laura Dowsett


Naturally there are costs involved, and donations are always welcome. Malling abbey lodge No.1063 took this to heart, and on sunday 13th october presented the group with a cheque for £500. This was followed by an official presentation at the cornwallis east Kent freemasons charity (ceKfc) awards ceremony at canterbury on the 16th November. event director laura Taylor said, “We have built such a wonderful parkrun family over the last four years. It is thanks to this incredible community spirit that we have been able to host 199 parkruns and almost 1300 different children have been able to take part so far. We are so grateful for this donation from the freemasons - it has already enabled us to buy essential kit to make our parkrun even better!” regular volunteer charlotte elliot from aylesford said, “We have been coming to Manor Park junior parkrun for more than three years now. We were welcomed enthusiastically and made to feel part of it immediately. I ended up volunteering that very first week and haven’t stopped! My children have now done over 130 runs. They both regularly volunteer along with me, my husband and even my mum! This has also led to the whole family running the “big” 5k parkrun too”.

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Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

Charity Breakfast Proves A Winner Matt Jury writes: How do you compete against the attraction of the Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals? Easy: supply a Full English Breakfast!

The Province was also able to supply masonic sports shirts to organisers of festival events. The contact email address for further information was info@2025festival.co.uk. festival Jewels for those who were making qualifying donations had now arrived at the Provincial office and would be sent out shortly with an accompanying thank-you letter.

Ninety-seven craft and chapter charity stewards turned up at the Upchurch river valley golf club on the 19th october for a charity stewards Breakfast meeting, organised by chris Watson. Peter rhodes, Provincial grand charity steward, welcomed everyone and introduced Paul crockett, fundraising support officer for The Masonic charitable foundation (Mcf). Paul explained how the east Kent Province had eagerly grasped and supported the 2025 festival, with its aim to raise £3.5 million. The Province was already benefitting from its donations: since January 2019, charities within the Province had received some £269,000, and a further £319,000 had been given to masonic beneficiaries such as family support, health support and the royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (rMBI) – a grand total of £588,000. Well done, east Kent! assistant Provincial grand Master Mark Bassant added his appreciation of the efforts of the Brethren and companions. he pointed out that the Province could help us free of charge to draw up or amend a Will if we wanted to donate to the Mcf by that route.

Peter Rhodes addresses the Charity Stewards Peter rhodes and Provincial grand chapter charity steward John gallagher reminded us that the Province was there to support us as charity stewards and give whatever help they could. There were no stupid questions: simply ask. If anyone queried why we were doing the festival, we could explain as follows. our aim is to raise £3.5 million over six years (2019 to 2025). our previous festival finished in 2014, so we shall be benefitting from the Mcf for eleven years. Taking the Mcf grants of £588,000 so far this year and extrapolating them over eleven years, we could be receiving almost £6.5 million by 2025. Not bad for a £3.5 million outlay! on a personal note, I truly believe in this festival and I believe in our whole masonic organisation. Surely – “Together we will change lives”

INTERESTED IN JOINING FREEMASONRY? Write to: Membership Enquiries, The Masonic Province of East Kent, 11 Estuary View Business Park, Boorman Way, Whitstable, Kent CT5 3SE

The MasoNIc ProvINce of easT KeNT

Find out more or apply now online at:

JUST ASK www.justaskone.org


Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

Chris Clocks Up A Half-Century

100 Years For Manor Of Gillingham

Roger Croucher writes:

Paul Buckingham writes:

I was delighted to present a 50-year Long Service Certificate on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master to CHRISTOPHER TALBERT at the meeting of Bradley Lodge No.7929 on the 21st November.

The Masonic Temple at Wigmore was packed on Monday 25th November. The occasion? The Centenary of the Manor of Gillingham Lodge No.3983, consecrated on the 28th October 1919. Provincial grand Master Neil Johnstone was there, accompanied by members of the Provincial executive. There was much of interest for the distinguished guests and visitors to learn. The twenty-five founders, from four local lodges including the gillingham lodge of Benevolence No.184, comprised local shopkeepers and commercial businessmen, several of whom were gillingham Borough councillors and one a former Mayor. The lodge’s insignia and banner bear the Borough’s coat of arms. The first Master, William John Talbot croft, was a wine merchant, councillor, a director of gillingham football club and member of the former gillingham court leet.

chris was initiated on the 20th November 1969. The weather was very similar to November’s this year: windy and cloudy, with the daytime temperature a miserable 7°c. richard Nixon was President of the United states; the Top Ten included singles by the Beatles (‘get Back’), elvis Presley and the rolling stones; and on television chris might have been watching ‘Monty Python’s flying circus’. chris was Initiated by albert durham, the seventh Master of Bradley lodge. albert allowed the then Junior Warden, chris’s father Bob, to act as Junior deacon for the ceremony. Bob Talbert was himself the first Initiate of the lodge, having become a member on its first working meeting in 1964, and consequently there has been a Talbert in the lodge for the whole of its history.


In the Lodge Room: (centre back row L to R) John Platt JW, Martin Ransom WM, and Dennis Plumb SW, flanked by the PGM and Executive Officers. Front row centre is Lodge stalwart David Graeme, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, with other Executive Officers. The current Master, Martin ransom, cannot stretch his membership quite that far back, but he has been a freemason for over fifty years and was previously in the chair some forty years ago!

In the early days, chris’s various occupations, including a spell working in Iran, prevented him from being a regular attender at lodge Meetings. later he did become a regular attender and progressed up the ladder, becoming Master in 1994 and again at short notice in 1998.

assistant Provincial grand Master david alexander delivered the oration and the Provincial grand Master presented the centenary Warrant.

one of the most supportive members of Bradley lodge, chris has been on hand to take on any office – and has always been keen to protect the best traditions of the lodge.

The lodge gave a cheque for the Masonic charitable foundation (Mcf) to Neil Johnstone. The sum? Three thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three pounds. Naturally!

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Winter 2019-2020

Stars Turn Out To Support East Kent Freemasons’ Tribute To A Famous Songwriter over 160 celebrities, family and friends of the famous songwriter les reed oBe, who died on the 15th april 2019, gathered at the london Marriott hotel in regents Park on the 8th september. The day was hosted by the Province of east Kent freemasons, the reception area providing an opportunity for guests to find out more about freemasonry and the tremendous range of causes supported by the Masonic charitable fund. les reed was born on the 24th July 1935. as a young man, he passed the entrance examinations for the london college of Music but was conscripted for National service, during which he played the clarinet and wrote arrangements for the royal east Kent Military Band.

Rick Wakeman, Patti Boulaye and Jess Conrad

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les was well known in the music industry for writing, arranging and performing. his name is not so familiar to the general public, but his music is: songs like ‘delilah’ and ‘It’s Not Unusual’ for sir Tom Jones; ‘The last Waltz’ for engelbert humperdinck; and ‘There’s a Kind of hush’, which was a hit for herman’s hermits in 1967 and gained international success for the carpenters in 1976. With stars like rick Wakeman oBe, Patti Boulaye oBe, Jess conrad oBe, PJ Proby, cheryl Baker (of eurovision fame) anita harris and duncan Norvelle there, it shows just how highly les was regarded in the industry. after speeches of introduction and lunch, attendees were stunned by the performance from a young songwriter, charlie Wallbank. a friend of one of les’s grandsons, charlie also spoke eloquently about the inspiration and encouragement he had received from les and that one of the songs had actually been composed on les’s own precious grand piano. The four-course lunch was interspersed with videos about les’s life and concluded with a moving, emotional speech from donna, les’s daughter, who was supported by her sons alex and dominic.

Donna was also presented with a beautiful glass plaque to commemorate the day by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Bassant.


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Winter 2019-2020

Have you heard of the Light Blues? Neil Marshall writes: Early in 2020, the Province of East Kent will be relaunching its new and reinvigorated Club for new and young Masons – the East Kent Light Blues Brothers.

The club aims to bring together Masons of all ages who have not received Provincial or grand rank so that they can share experiences and good fellowship. six ‘light Blue Brothers’ from lodges across east Kent have formed a committee and are planning a launch event in the New year. The committee chairman is howard griffin, secretary of the University scheme’s st augustine lodge No.972. assistant Provincial grand Masters david graeme and david alexander have offered Provincial support. While the club is run by Masons, it will not be purely Masonic in nature. It is not attached to a lodge, events are not Tyled (restricted to Masons), ritual is not practised, and the committee members will not be wearing special collars of office. Instead, the club

will be promoting the social side of freemasonry, through a variety of events of all shapes and sizes, whether it’s a coach trip to a show, an evening in a local pub, a family picnic or a concert. There should be something for everyone in the new eKlBBs. We hope that this will help to bring together Brethren from around the Province, helping to build friendships across different Masonic centres and strengthening fraternal bonds between lodges. full membership is open to subscribing members of lodges and chapters in the Province of east Kent. There will be a one-off joining fee of £10 – which even gets you a beautifully designed lapel pin, and which lasts until you receive Provincial or grand rank. Brethren from other Provinces who occasionally work or reside in east Kent are welcome to join as associate Members – and yes, they can have the lapel pin too! further information will be sent out from the club in the coming weeks, including details of the launch event. While you can’t formally sign up just yet, you can obtain a membership enquiry form by emailing comms@eklbb.org.uk: this will allow you to register your interest and help the club plan events that fit in with the social interests of the members.

Long Service Congratulations The Provincial grand Master/grand superintendent, together with the joint executives, offers warmest congratulations to the following Brethren and companions for their long Masonic service, along with sincere thanks for their valuable contributions to freemasonry in general and to this Province in particular:

CRAFT 70 years WBro Keith sharp


duke of Kent


PPsgd PPgstdB PGStdB PPJgW PGStdB lgr PPgstdB

Military Jubilee rochester graveney court lord Warden essetesforde

l4882 l127 l8637 l1096 l9746

PPJgd (West Kent) lgr PPJgW (West Kent) PPgalm PPgswdB PPgswdB PPgstdB PPdeptgsuptWks PPgswdB

Belvidere Windmill Beamish Watch & Ward cobham Weald of Kent Pentangle gundulph Beacon court shorncliffe st george abadan st augustine stour Prince edwin’s

l503 l8683 l3869 l8809 l7269 l1854 l1174 l1050 l1967 l4330 l6058 l972 l2305 l125

CRAFT 60 years Bro eric fitzpatrick WBro graham garnsey WBro William Boggia WBro Peter Norris WBro richard Bottell

CRAFT 50 years WBro dennis Matthews WBro James Martin WBro owen Bailey WBro Peter John hill WBro Kenneth Brooks WBro Keith Nicholls WBro david handley WBro david hanson Bro John Tidman Bro ernest spratling WBro richard stoneham WBro robin Masters WBro Ian smith WBro stuart houston

PPdepgswdB PGStdB PPgswdB PPdepgswdB

WBro leonard Marvelly Bro Norman hodges WBro James sharp WBro ronald revely WBro denniss Parrett WBro derek holland WBro John Brown WBro roger arnold WBro Peter harvey WBro John Barlow WBro derek Bartlett WBro John Mills WBro raymond short WBro Norman stephney Bro ronald James

vo, london duke of Kent PAGDC PProvsgW PPgsuptWks PPgsuptWks PPgreg PProvagdc PProvdeptgswdB PPdepgreg PPdepgsuptWks PPgsuptWks PPgstdB PPgsuptWks PProvgreg


l6338 l5818 old harveians l7243 de shurland l1089 city of rochester l7941 st Mary’s gillingham green l6499 Beacon court l1967 Trinity Mariners l8406 Windmill l8683 lord Warden l1096 gillingham lodge of Benevolence l184 downs l6855 Per Mare Per Terram l3609 Per Mare Per Terram l3609 Military Jubilee l2195

CHAPTER 60 years e comp david hay comp Peter laker

PProvgsN PPagsoj

Per Mare Per Terram Invicta

c7389 c709

CHAPTER 50 years e comp Michael locke PgstdB PPgreg general gordon e comp stanley ranger PPagdc st george’s e comp gordon holter Pagdc PPdepgreg st augustine

c4292 c2099 c972

(list covers the period 1st November 2018 to 31st october 2019)


The MasoNIc ProvINce of easT KeNT

Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER NEIL HAMILTON JOHNSTONE 2019 has been another year of change and progress in our Province. We have seen some significant occasions unfold: amongst other events it has been a personal pleasure for me to have launched the 2025 east Kent festival in support of the Masonic charitable foundation; to have attended several centenary celebrations within the Province; to have presented well deserved long service certificates to some of our craft and holy royal arch members; and to have visited lodges and chapters to meet many of you and join in the enjoyment of your meetings. The year has been busy for me and, of course, for the officers of the Provincial executives. I probably do not need to tell you that we have thoroughly enjoyed all the occasions when we have been able to witness and share the happiness and commitment that is prevalent within our membership. Thank you for the support and enthusiasm you clearly give to your freemasonry and especially for all that you do in so many ways for and within our Province. It continues to give us all, I am sure, a great sense of achievement to see how we can make such a difference to people’s lives. I have been delighted to represent the Province and see that in action amongst the various charities and good causes that do so much valuable work within our communities – work that is very often unsung, but vital in so many ways. you should all take great pride in the fact that what you are doing within freemasonry is having such a positive impact and is helping so many people.

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I am grateful to all of the members of the Provincial executives, both craft and chapter, for the tireless effort they have been putting into so many areas of activity within the Province for our benefit and future success - as well as for the support and assistance they have given me personally. Their efforts have been, in the main, directed towards membership, enjoyment, involvement, taking our message to the wider public, and, of course, charity. I am extremely grateful to them for what they and their teams have achieved for our Province, our lodges and chapters and many individual members throughout 2019. We have focussed a lot over the past eight months on the launch of the 2025 festival - and I am fully aware that you are as keen as I am to see it reach its target. It will continue to provide enjoyment for us whilst we work towards that target. I am grateful to the festival committee for its hard work and forward thinking to get us there. however, in mentioning charity I must also pay tribute to another successful year for our cornwallis east Kent freemasons’ charity. The ceKfc is highly respected within our local communities for what it achieves. By its personal contact with non-Masons, it is a window through which the purposes and core principles of freemasonry can be viewed. on behalf of us all I thank the officers and Trustees of the ceKfc for all that they have done this year. as we approach christmas, I intentionally repeat the message that I gave at this time last year: please remember that there are those, even amongst our own members perhaps, who will appreciate, and possibly need, a little company during the christmas period. I’m hopeful that we can make christmas better for some by letting them know that they are in our thoughts. Brethren and companions, I sincerely thank you all for your enthusiasm and commitment over the past year. on behalf of myself and my wife Margaret, I wish you and your families a very happy and peaceful christmas and the very best wishes to you all for the year ahead.


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Winter 2019-2020

The PGM’s Annual Charity Awards Presentation Nineteen organisations benefitted to the tune of over £26,500 at the Provincial grand Master’s annual charity awards presentation, held this year on saturday the 16th November at the canterbury cathedral lodge. as well as representatives of the organisations, many lodge and chapter members and their partners were there. Provincial grand Master Neil Johnstone explained that the funds he was presenting were provided from the cornwallis east Kent freemasons’ charity (ceKfc). “The aim of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity is to invest in a brighter future. It does this by helping the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our local communities by providing funding opportunities. In so doing it helps these local charities to continue their excellent work and make a difference to people’s lives. It is on occasions such as this that we are both humbled and proud to be able to play our part.”

The Lady Mayoress receiving a cheque for her Charity from the PGM Neil Johnstone


among those receiving funds were swim england and the rNlI for their swim safe charity, which helps youngsters to avoid getting into problems when playing in or near water. swim safe offers free outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children aged between seven and fourteen. children learn how to keep safe when swimming outdoors and know what to do if they get into trouble. swim safe runs every summer at beaches, lakes and other inland locations across the UK. The best thing about swim safe is that it is free to attend. last year, over 7,000 children took part in


swim safe sessions. It was so successful that in summer 2019 the programme was extended to twenty locations. children enjoy a fun, structured swimming session at a choice of open water locations – and learn all about how to stay safe. each sixtyminute session is run by qualified swimming teachers, supported by a team of trained volunteers. Jamie Barnes, representing the rNlI, said, “every donation helps with cost, like training and equipment. Thank you, east Kent freemasons!”

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also receiving a donation was canterbury’s hellfire wheelchair rugby team.

time. It is a mixed-gender sport and male and female athletes play on the same teams.

Wheelchair rugby is a team sport played by athletes with a physical disability. It is a sport like no other and has elements from several different sports including Basketball, handball and Ice hockey. It is a contact sport - physical contact between rugby chairs is an integral part of the game. It is played by two teams of up to twelve players, but only four players from each team may be on court at any

To be eligible to play, athletes must have some form of disability with a loss of function in both upper and lower limbs. Most athletes have a spinal injury, but there are many others with a wide variety of medical conditions. spokesman Brian Pitch said, “We are really thankful for the support given to us by the cornwallis east Kent freemasons’ charity. It will be used to buy two specially made wheelchairs”.


louie’s helping hands also received a grant. The aim of the charity is to provide life-changing support to children aged between two and eleven living in Kent with multi-sensory impairments and physical difficulties. The charity supports children attending The llewellyn school & Nursery by providing the right tools to enable each child to achieve. www.louieshelpinghands.org.

Amalgamation Of Hexagon And Dickens Lodges New lodges are often being formed. occasionally, however, for whatever reason, a lodge will decide to cease operating and to hand in its Warrant. But there is another way to keep running – and that is to amalgamate with another lodge. hexagon lodge No.5380 has done just that, amalgamating with its daughter lodge, dickens No.8047. among the advantages of amalgamating are: • invigoration of both lodges • spreading the fixed costs (room hire, etc.) over more people • making the enlarged lodge more attractive to prospective candidates

Fiona King from Daisy’s Chair, who also received an Award, said, “A huge thank you” to East Kent Freemasons for supporting us”.

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read all about it in the next issue of The Provincial lite, due out in the spring.


Issue No 70

The PGM Reveals All!

Winter 2019-2020

tune faded, and to the Brethren’s amusement, chris advised that the eric coates composition was ‘By the sleepy lagoon’, not ‘By the sleepy lodge room’, and that the Brethren should refrain from snoring or risk a ‘charitable fine’. having heard chris’s explanation and history of the desert Island discs radio programme, Neil commented, “all those lovely presenters and I get chris Metherell”. We learnt a lot about our PgM. Born in Barnehurst in 1948, he was definitely a Kentish Man. as a child he was introduced to classical music by hearing Khachaturian’s ‘sabre dance’. his interests ranged well beyond freemasonry, to books, model-making, photography and travel. he could also be found drawing and painting. Mick Jagger was a fellow pupil at dartford grammar school, so Neil included a rolling stones track in his selection.

Graham Mitchell reports: Does anyone remember the dulcet tones of Roy Plomley, who presented the BBC’s much-loved Desert Island Discs until the mid-1980s? Roy was followed by Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley, Kirsty Young and Lauren Laverne. More than 3,000 episodes have been recorded.

each week a guest, called a ‘castaway’ during the programme, is asked to choose eight recordings (usually, but not always, music), a book and a luxury item that they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island, whilst discussing their lives and the reasons for their choices. anything they can do we can do too. on a typical November evening, Provincial grand Master Neil Johnstone cheered us all up by presenting his ‘desert Island discs’ at the Maidstone meeting of the sir edward elgar lodge No.9837. among the enthusiastic audience were the Provincial grand Master for West Kent, Mark estaugh, and his deputy Mark eyles-Thomas. The lodge’s Master, christopher Metherell, invited Neil to take a comfortable seat provided especially for the occasion. as the well-known opening theme


chris referred to Neil’s career in the Kent Police and scotland yard, then moving to Kent county council in emergency Planning and crisis Management, retiring in 2011 just before the london olympic games. Neil told that in his career of thirty-three years as a police officer there was never a day when he didn’t enjoy what he did. serving in chatham, where there were a lot of uncouth sailors and royal Navy and army Barracks, he averred that friday and saturday nights were not the quietest. he also served at gravesend, sittingbourne and rochester in various headquarters roles. In 1992 he was seconded to head-up a national and international unit at New scotland yard, part of the process being co-ordinating and dealing with emergency disaster and response affecting the UK. The UK had a lot experience with dealing with the management, recovery and investigation of major incidents and disasters, sharing information across police forces nationally and internationally. Neil worked for some time with Interpol and chaired the committee on disaster victim Identification. he told of visiting some very interesting places such as the caribbean (Montserrat), Israel, Japan, australia and Texas, when the Waco siege was taking place, and making a lot of good friends and colleagues across the world. guests have the further choice of one Book, apart from the complete works of shakespeare and a volume of the sacred law. Neil chose the 1851 book ‘Moby dick’ by herman Melville. It was the first book he had owned, a present from his aunt when he was about eight. It made an early impression on him, being both exciting and frightening at the same time. and finally, his choice of a luxury item which could not be of any assistance in getting off the Island. Neil responded that he’d thought long and hard about this. a ferrari? It would run out of fuel, and a case of wine would soon go. Therefore, he considered ‘

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something more practical. his predecessor had chosen an umbrella, but Neil felt he could make that from banana leaves, so in his case he would settle for a hammock. after a hard day on the desert Island, a comfortable night would be ideal! Bringing back memories, and reminding him of various times in his life, Neil’s eight discs were: ‘Sabre Dance’ by Aram Khachaturian ‘The Last Time’ by The Rolling Stones ‘In the Summertime’ by Mungo Jerry ‘One Day at a Time’ by Arrow (alphonsus cassell) ‘Marche Slave Opus 31’ by Tchaikovsky ‘Smooth Operator’ by Sade ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ by Stevie Wonder ‘Nocturne No 10 in A Flat Major’ by Chopin

The recorded music was supplied by Neil himself and edited and played to the Brethren by lodge secretary graham Mitchell. graham is a member of Province’s The cymbolick Penalties band.

Pharos Gives To Macmillan

The objective of the sir edward elgar lodge is to “celebrate the heritage and gift of music”. as the flagship music lodge for the Province of east Kent, it supports the Provincial choir, and encourages and supports new organists, musicians and singers. It can often provide emergency players and/or singers for Installations, Master’s songs and ladies’ festival songs. The lodge meets three times a year and as a ‘Band of Wandering Minstrels’ holds its february and June meetings at canterbury and the November meeting at different centres around the Province. 

donation. We therefore thank emma hammett for helping to arrange the date, and especially christine hall from the deal Branch who journeyed over in blustery conditions for the cheque presentation from our Worshipful Master.

Masons have fun raising money for Charity. Pharos Lodge No.6967 at Dover knows how to do it. Roger Gabriel writes: on the 29th of June at Wootton village hall their Master, roger gabriel, held a lodge BBQ to raise funds for Macmillan cancer support. The event was well supported with members not only from Pharos but from United Industrious No.31, old harveians No.7243, shorncliffe No.4330 and others. When local villagers were made aware of the charity event, and who would be the recipient of the funds raised, many of them also attended. our thanks go to those who helped set up, cook, run the day and clean up afterwards. We raised £625. The monies were sent to Macmillan cancer support some time ago, but due to holidays and sickness, it was not possible to arrange a meeting until the 29th october to make the formal

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Roger Gabriel with Christine Hall from the Deal Branch of Macmillan Macmillan cancer support is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer. It also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care. For more information visit their website at www.macmillan.org.uk


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Winter 2019-2020

A Vital Source Of Funding In april 2016, the four central Masonic charities came together to form the Masonic charitable foundation (Mcf). each year, around four Provinces under the United grand lodge of england launch a new festival appeal in support of the Mcf, which enables them to continue building better lives for freemasons, their families and the wider community. In april 2019 the Provincial grand Master launched the east Kent Province’s 2025 festival, with the exciting challenge of raising £3.5 million. letters were sent to all Masons and companions inviting them to make donations towards that sum. lodge and chapter charity stewards attended seminars around the county and were given festival guides with lots of information on fundraising initiatives. There are several ways you can make a personal donation, whether it’s a one-off sum or a long-term commitment: see panel on right. certain sums will qualify you to receive, free of charge, a festival Jewel. donate £600 and you will be a vice Patron; £1,000 will make you a Patron; and £1,500 a grand Patron. These sums include gift aid tax relief, which will be reclaimed by the Mcf where applicable, making your donation even more valuable!


Donate online at www.2025festival.co.uk Donate over the phone at 020 3146 3352 Donate £5 by texting EastKent2025 to 70500 Use Gift Aid Envelopes – obtainable from the Provincial Office, tel. 01227 272804 Use a Paper Form – obtainable at www.2025festival.co.uk


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Winter 2019-2020

Spirit of Rugby Lodge backs Support for a Rugby Academy in the Local Community Matt Jury writes: On Friday 22nd November 2019 the Master of the Spirit of Rugby Lodge No.9922 Robert Mitchell and other members of the Lodge presented a cheque for £1,000 to Mr John Boyes, the Principal at Herne Bay High School. The money was to be used not only to promote rugby in their school but to help provide valuable equipment for the new rugby academy that the school was hosting as a community project.

makes the game so special for those who enjoy both the environment and culture it creates, as well as producing ladies and gentlemen in modern society […] We wish to teach and allow our students to understand the core values of rugby which include Teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.”

The money was raised at the lodge’s ladies festival held in swansea in october.

spirit of rugby’s donation will help the school to provide the vital equipment needed to give the students and the local community a safe and secure environment in which to play sport and learn those vital values associated with it.

The project encourages local children in the area to play more sport, to make the correct decisions to steer themselves away from different temptations and to protect themselves from the unfortunate increase in gang culture and the county lines issues that are currently appearing in east Kent.

Many schools are suffering from increasing financial constraints. The lodge hopes that the donation will go a long way towards setting a benchmark and encouraging the sport within our youth - one of the core reasons in why our lodge was formed.

Mr Malloy is the Master in charge of rugby. he has great roots as an ex-professional rugby Union player himself. “I believe these values are what

If you are interested in joining and becoming part of the academy, please contact the herne Bay high school directly.

L-R: Bill Higgins (Lodge Almoner), Andy Stevens (Lodge Charity Steward), Robert (Bob) Mitchell (Lodge Master) John Boyes (School Principal), Darren Malloy (School Head of Sport), Matt Jury (Lodge Senior Warden) and Malcolm Jones (Lodge Treasurer)

The MasoNIc ProvINce of easT KeNT


Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

St Augustine Does The Double! he was soon caught up in his two-year stint of national service with the raf, which led to a thirty-year involment in the royal observer corps. he was awarded the lord lieutenant’s certificate of Meritorious service and the roc Medal.

There was much to celebrate at St Augustine Chapter No.972 on the 4th November. grand superintendent Neil Johnstone and his escorting Party of twelve active officers were present to see the exaltation of the chapter’s youngest ever member, companion Matthew edson, who was only twenty. Matthew is a universities scheme member of st augustine lodge. Mez Milan antonijevic and his team did “a brilliant ritual”.

Neil outlined the long service that gordon had given to st augustine, Bertha chapter and the Province. gordon was exalted into Bertha chapter No.31 in 1969 and became a founder member of st augustine chapter when it was formed in 1975. he was installed as Mez in 1983 and held various Provincial ranks before being appointed to grand rank as Pagdc in 1993. gordon thanked the grand superintendent for presenting the certificate and the chapter for the help and support he had received over the years.

Neil Johnstone then had the pleasant task of presenting a 50 year certificate to a founder member of the chapter, gordon holter. gordon was 89 – sixty-nine years older than his fellow companion Matthew.

gordon holter was born in 1930 and educated at seale-hayne agricultural college and the Institute of Botany at cambridge, after which he joined his family firm of agricultural merchants.


The Royal Observer Corps was a civil defence organisation intended for the visual detection, identification, tracking and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain. It operated between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps’ civilian volunteers were stood down (ROC headquarters staff at RAF Bentley Priory stood down on 31 March 1996). Composed mainly of civilian spare-time volunteers, ROC personnel wore a Royal Air Force (RAF) style uniform and latterly came under the administrative control of RAF Strike Command and the operational control of the Home Office.

The MasoNIc ProvINce of easT KeNT

Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

Richard Bottell’s Sixty Years In Freemasonry

on hand to celebrate the event at the essetesforde lodge No.9746 in ashford on the 23rd october and to present richard with his 60 year certificate was assistant Provincial grand Master david alexander.

david outlined an interesting history of events from 1929, the year richard was born, and then gave a brief résumé of richard’s masonic career. he was initiated into the runnymede lodge No.2430 on the 24th september 1956, following his father who was also a member. richard was Master of the lodge in 1966 and again forty years later in 2006. sadly, runnymede lodge no longer exists. Richard Bottell with APGM David Alexander and WM Ray Jenkins It’s a pretty rare milestone, but richard edwin Bottell can now count himself among the select band of Masonic sexagenarians, having clocked up sixty years in the craft.

richard thanked the brethren, mentioning especially the members of his rye lodge for travelling to support him. at the customary festive Board, a buffet tea, richard was given an engraved glass and a card signed by all present.

A Grand For The Youngsters

Kathy Skinner holds the cheque, as husband Gerry, back row second right, and Club members look on. one of gerry skinner’s last jobs as Master of the emergency services lodge No.9676 was, together with his wife Kathy, to present a cheque for just over £1000 to the Tankerton youth football club for use by their deaf children’s Team. The money was the proceeds from Kathy’s ladies Night held in June.

The MasoNIc ProvINce of easT KeNT

you can read more about the club and its deaf children’s team at the link below. gerry tells me that the team is currently appealing for more players.



Issue No 70

Winter 2019-2020

Top Brass At The Red Table For Belvidere

The Communications Team

Belvidere chapter No.503 held a red Table Meeting on the 29th November at the Maidstone Masonic centre, Tovil.

The east Kent Province’s communications Team, headed by richard Wingett, assistant Provincial grand Master, is here to help keep you informed about activities and events in the Province and to facilitate effective communication between lodges, chapters and the general public.

second Provincial grand Principal clive Manuel welcomed Master Mason guests from Belvidere and Malling centenary lodges. he traced the history of the holy royal arch and pointed out that anyone was eligible to join if they had been a Master Mason for at least four weeks. There were many other orders in freemasonry, several of which required applicants to be members of the hra. he advised everyone to think carefully before joining any other order: “It has to be right for you”. Third Provincial grand Principal John Baker spoke about the titles and roles of the various Provincial grand officers in the hra and described the jewels and aprons that were worn. There were sixty-eight chapters in east Kent, seven being located in Maidstone. he counselled care in researching hra on the internet: it might spoil the surprise. Potential candidates should rather consult the your Province website or grand lodge’s solomon website.

Website and Mailing Services Manager Paul Gear eastkentweb2@gmail.com Press and Media Manager Phil Heath media@eastkentfreemasons.org Social Media Manager Matt Jury mattdjury@msn.com Provincial and Editorial Manager John Ray editor@theprovincial.org Education Manager Graham Chisnell 31lodge@gmail.com Chapter Marketing and Communications Officer Chris Sanford thesanfords@screaming.net Photographics Manager Peter Floyd pjfloyd4501@googlemail.com

John Baker, Third Provincial Grand Principal (left) and Clive Manuel, Second Provincial Grand Principal (second from right) in discussion with Master Mason guests from Belvidere and Malling Centenary Lodges.

and finally, Brethren and companions: a reminder that the members-only portal “your Province” – a.k.a. yP2 – is the principal source of information for all craft and royal arch freemasons in east Kent. This secure website is full of interesting material that will support all Master Masons and companions irrespective of experience or rank. To register, please follow the link yourprovince.org/yp2

The Provincial Editor John Ray 01732 845704 editor@theprovincial.org


Editorial Board Peter Rhodes Chris Sanford

Richard Seath Peter Williams Richard Wingett

Design Andy Snare 07443 644313 andysnare@gmail.com

The MasoNIc ProvINce of easT KeNT

The Provincial is produced and published by the Province of east Kent, 11 estuary view Business Park, Boorman Way, Whitstable, Kent cT5 3se Tel. 01227 272804

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The Provincial Issue 70 Winter 2019 - 2020  

Provincial Magazine from the Province of East Kent Freemasons.

The Provincial Issue 70 Winter 2019 - 2020  

Provincial Magazine from the Province of East Kent Freemasons.