Lodge Centenary...

Banner dedication to mark our lodge Centenary.

On Monday the 19th of June 2023, members of Sudbury Lodge celebrated the Centenary of the Lodge, exactly 100 years to the day of its Consecration on Tuesday the 19th of June 1923, but members also chose to further mark the occasion with a new Lodge banner making it an event few masons would have seen before. The meeting had been much anticipated and plans for the occasion had intensified since masonry in general had recovered from the restrictions of the pandemic.

Like many private lodges Sudbury Lodge has experienced times of fewer initiates and sometimes had little work to do, but we have also had times of such interest that we have even needed to plan double ceremonies, and the last couple of years have been such a period in our history where we have had no shortage of initiates and joining members, which also meant we had brethren of all levels attending our wonderful Centenary, both members and guests from Entered Apprentices to Grand Officers.

The meeting having been meticulously planned by ProvGDC Mark Millard, DepProvGDC Frankie Whelan-Mellor and our very own Secretary W.Bro. Peter Woolley, not only involved receiving the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Jim Mitchell and his Provincial escort, but also involved the escorting of the new lodge banner into the temple for the banner dedication which was conducted by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Robert Rough.

The meeting began as you would probably expect, although we had a lot of guests, some new and some seasoned veterans, making it a wonderfully anticipated meeting. We then received the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Jim Mitchell and his Provincial escort, as you would expect, where W.Bro. Jim went on to accept the gavel and having invited provincial officers to occupy principle offices presided over our Centenary meeting, conducted with light humour and involving the members in discussion and reflection on the history of the lodge and an oration presented by the Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplin Revd. Dr. William Dolman, W.Bro. Jim then individually greeted and presented brethren of the lodge with their Centenary jewels.

W.Bro. Jim went on to invite 'our own' Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Robert Rough to occupy the Chair of King Solomon to conduct the banner dedication, officers of the lodge preambled out of the temple and returned with the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Jason Gerrard escorting the banner back into the temple. W.Bro. Robert proceeded to deliver the dedication and again a wonderful oration was given by W.Bro. William, the Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplin.

W.Bro. Robert having invited W.Bro. Jason to resume his place in the Chair of King Solomon and other lodge officers having resumed their respective places, a motion was passed to make those provincial officers that conducted the Centenary and Banner dedication ceremonies honorary members of the lodge. W.Bro. Jason welcomed the brethren as members of the lodge and proceeded to individually present those Brethren with Sudbury Lodge Centenary Jewels.

Both ceremonies were dovetailed together beautifully and conducted with light humour to wonderful reception, much to the delight and enjoyment of all those present. A quick visit to the bar and on to the festive board in a packed Harrow room, the menu carefully planned to be as close to the menu of the consecration meeting as possible, minus the turtle soup, the festive board continued with light humour and cheerful discussion, toasts delivered to rapacious applause and delight, the raffle involved numerous prizes and raised and amazing £600 with some last minute rounding up from our own Immediate Past Master W.Bro. Raj Radia.

Whilst it is impossible to thank everyone involved in the planning, preparation and execution of such a fantastic meeting, special recognition needs to go to our Secretary, W.Bro. Peter Woolley for the countless hours of planning, our Junior Warden, W.Bro. Doug Black in producing the history of the lodge, and our Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Jason in final preparations for presentations made for his nominated charities.

Members of Sudbury Lodge would like to thank all those provincial officers that took part and assisted in both ceremonies, but with particular thanks to DepProvGDC Frankie Whelan-Mellor, ProvGDC Mark Millard, AsstProvGM Robert Rough and DeputyProvGM Jim Mitchell, along with the many guests that also supported us in what was such an amazing meeting in a packed Prince Michael of Kent Temple at the Harrow District Masonic Centre... that none of us will forget.

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