When You’re Smiling

Since 1066 Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church for monarchs as well as the place to celebrate those who have contributed significantly to our country. On 27th September 2021 it was the turn of Essex Royal Arch Mason, Steve Nottage to be invested there with the British Empire Medal which was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, on behalf of HM The Queen.

In April 2002 Steve and his wife Theresa, as founder trustees, registered the ‘Smiles and Memories (S.A.M.) Fund’, a charity formed to send families with chronically sick children on fantastic holidays to give them some wonderful smiles and memories. In the New Year Honours List for 2021, Her Majesty had awarded Steve the BEM for his ‘Meritorious work as the Chair of the S.A.M. Fund, providing voluntary and charitable services to Sick and Disabled Children’ but the investiture had to be delayed due to the pandemic restrictions.

During lockdown many of the planned initiatives to send chronically ill and sick children had to be cancelled. Instead, the focus was moved to support Homecare Team Nurses who were supplied with new laptops. Essential medical equipment was also purchased for two of the children. Steve said “The S.A.M. team have continued to do great things and proved that every little helps”.

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (MEGS) of Essex Royal Arch Masons, Paul Tarrant, in conveying his congratulations on behalf of all Essex Royal Arch Companions, said “I am delighted to learn that being awarded the BEM has given Steve and everyone at S.A.M. a huge lift.  As a great believer that in every Lodge and Chapter members should enjoy themselves and have a mission to help charity and contribute to society, Steve has led by example. With over 18 million hours each year given by Freemasons in volunteering this reflects well on the type of person attracted to Freemasonry and his recognition by HM The Queen is truly deserved.”

Steve retired as a Business Analysis Manager in 2015 having worked for 41 years for British Telecom. Attracted to the principals of integrity, friendship, respect and charity which Freemasonry offers, Steve began his Masonic journey in 1988 when he was initiated by his brother who was the Worshipful Master in the Spirit of Friendship Lodge No 8061 in which his other brother was the Senior Warden and his father was a Past Master.

A Royal Arch Mason since 1998, Steve made several visits to Ixion Chapter No. 2501, which meets at Harlow Masonic Hall. Having made new friends there and having enjoyed the company of the Companions he decided to join in 2007, became First Principal in 2015 and now serves as Treasurer. As well as holding London Grand Chapter Rank (LGCR), following his appointment as a Provincial Grand Steward (ProvGStwd) in 2016, Steve joined Essex Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter No 8665 in 2018 and was promoted to Past Provincial Deputy Grand Sword Bearer (PPDepGSwdB) in 2020.

After attending the investiture ceremony in Westminster Abbey, Steve and Theresa celebrated with their two sons and their families with an enjoyable restaurant meal making it a special day after two decades of hard work giving happiness to children. On this occasion the tables were turned and it was an Excellent Companion, who loves being a Royal Arch Mason, to have his own smiles and memories.


Nore Give More!

In 1732 the world’s first lightship was moored on the Nore sandbank at the confluence of the River Thames and the North Sea. In the spirit of being a beacon of light helping those in distress, Nore Chapter No 3610 has been congratulated by Paul Tarrant, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (MEGS) of Essex Royal Arch Masons, and rewarded with a Certificate to mark Nore Chapter’s Double Grand Patron status for the Essex 2022 Festival.

Masonic provinces in England and Wales raise vital funding for one of the UK’s largest charities, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), through appeals called ‘Festivals’ which normally last for five years. The Essex 2022 Festival with its initial target of £5 million ends in March 2022. The MCF has pledged £7 million pounds to help charities and good causes in Essex. 

At Southend Masonic Hall, on 2nd October 2021, Nore Chapter held its first convocation following lockdown The Companions welcomed David Wilson, an Assistant Principal to the Provincial Grand Principals (APGP) who was proud to present the Chapter with its Double Grand Patron Certificate signed by the MEGS. Due to a family wedding the Chapter Charity Steward, Trevor Darby, was unable to attend but was full of praise saying “A tremendous effort has been made by all the Companions”.

In the wake of the destruction in the Bahamas two years ago Nore Chapter responded swiftly to the Hurricane Dorian appeal   It then supported the paediatric new Scanner appeal of Southend Hospital which now has one of only three in the south east. The impact of the scanner has been hugely positive. In May this year Jacci Dearman, lead paediatric radiographer MRI at Southend Hospital, said “We are light-years ahead in our ability to scan young children”.  Nore Chapter also made a donation to the Friends of Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court care home at Stisted towards the loss of income by not being able to hold its regular summer fete during the pandemic as well as to the Provincial Almoner’s Covid-19 appeal.

How do the Nore Chapter Companions navigate their way against the tide, through all the barriers and shifting sands of fund raising to support four worthy causes and raise the £10,800 needed to qualify for Essex 2022 Festival Double Grand Patron status? Trevor Darby explained that the money has been raised by various ways and means over the last five years including:

  • Individuals giving generously through the Lodge and direct to the Essex 2022 Festival
  • Annual Chapter subscriptions which include a sum for charity
  • Donations through the Relief Chest
  • Raising a sum for the Nore Chapter Centenary in 2017 for a charity chosen by the previous late MEGS which was for the Essex 2022 Festival appeal

Trevor became a Freemason in 1975, was exalted into Nore Chapter in 1987, has twice been the First Principal, in 1992 and 2018, and is a Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies (PAGDC). He is also a member of Essex First Principals Chapter No 3256 and Essex Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter No 8665. As the Charity Steward at Nore Chapter, Trevor played down his role in all this saying “I am only the conduit for pushing the money through and hopefully there is more to come towards the Essex 2022 Festival”.  

As a guiding light to all other Chapters and Lodges in Essex it is clear for all to see that “Nore Give More.”


Jeff Cripps PPSGW 50 Years in Freemasonry

In the only Cinque Port north of the River Thames, Essex Masonic history was made on 23rd September 2021 at Brightlingsea Masonic Hall where the Installation Meeting of the Lodge of Faith No 6830 was held.  On behalf of the Provincial Grand Master (PGM), Paul Tarrant, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master (DepProvGM) Nick Franklin was delighted to present Jeff Cripps with a Certificate to commemorate his 50 years as a Freemason.

Also in attendance was Tony White, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM) for the Lodge of Faith; Clive Rees, also an APGM and a member of the Lodge; and Geoff Turpin the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies (ProvGDC) and 30 Brethren, all of whom watched Jeff, as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge for the last two years, install his successor, Tony Linton, a Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer (PPGSwdB), with sincerity and to a high standard of ritual which was reflected throughout the whole meeting despite the added pressure of hosting such high ranking senior Provincial Grand Officers.

The evening was made extra special when, on behalf of the PGM, who had sent his congratulations and best wishes, Jeff was given a field promotion to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden (PPSGW) by Nick Franklin. This was well received and greeted with rapturous applause by all the Brethren who know only too well how dedicated a Freemason, the newly promoted Jeff Cripps PPSGW is.

Paul Firmin, a Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden (PPJGW) and the Lodge Secretary, explained on behalf of all the Lodge members, “One of the most impressive things about Jeff is that he is very keen to participate in everything the Lodge does. He gives himself and goes above and beyond all that could be expected of him”.  Paul continued “Promotion to PPSGW is special as there are so few of them and it is so well deserved by Jeff. We are all immeasurably proud and lucky that he chose the Lodge of Faith No 6830 nearly six years ago when looking for another Lodge to join”. Jeff is also a member of North Essex Master’s Lodge No 9831.

In Royal Arch Masonry, Jeff is a Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah (PPGSN) and a Companion of Grey Friars Chapter No 5169 where he is the Director of Ceremonies. “He definitely puts in the hours” said Paul “as he also works at the Essex Mason shop in Colchester. It’s all unpaid and admirable what he does to help all of us enjoy our Freemasonry in Essex”.

Jeff Cripps PPSGW, on behalf of the PGM and all Essex Freemasons, we wish you well and congratulate you on your 50 years in Freemasonry followed by promotion in the field.


Essex Royal Arch Masons Getting Back on Track

Alongside the railway track, a short distance from the famous ‘Frinton Gates’ level crossing, stands Kirby Masonic Hall which hosted the Installation Convocation of Essex First Principals Chapter No 3256 on Thursday 23rd September 2021.  It was the Chapter’s first convocation since the lifting of restrictions and an appropriate location to get back on track since the last meeting two years ago.

Tributes were paid to departed Companions, including the late Rodney Bass whose valued support for the Chapter and its work will long be remembered.  Proceedings were enhanced with 19 new members joining but as Bruce Mapson, an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals (APGP), said “the surprise of the evening was that the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (MEGS), Paul Tarrant, presented Elliott Chevin with his Patent as the Deputy Grand Superintendent (DepGSupt)”.

Following the Installation of David Branch and David Jones as Second and Third Principals, the 89 Companions in attendance watched as their Past First Principal of 1995, Dennis Baum standing in for Frank Sharp who was unable to be present, Installed Richard Mead, according to ancient custom, as the First Principal of the Chapter.

The newly appointed First Principal delivered an oration to the Companions entitled ‘Thomas Dunckerley – A Freemason of Great Renown’, in which he gave many facts to demonstrate how Thomas Dunckerley (1724-96) was a prime mover in the expansion and development of English Freemasonry. Some interesting analysis was presented pointing out that Dunckerley was a decisive man and capable of acting on his own initiative.

It seems appropriate for such an address to have been given on this occasion for two reasons. Firstly, as explained by Prestonian Lecturer Tony Harvey in the latest edition, Issue 55, of Freemasonry Today, the earliest record of a Royal Arch degree itself in England was when Thomas Dunckerley was made a Royal Arch Mason in Portsmouth in 1754. Secondly, the Grand Superintendent for Essex from 1776 – 1796 was Thomas Dunckerley and his present-day successor, Paul Tarrant, is the 14th to lead the Essex Royal Arch Masons.

As the First Principal of Essex First Principals Chapter, Richard Mead will be a great advocate for Royal Arch Masonry in Essex. He commented “Because Royal Arch Masonry follows on from Craft Initiation, Passing and Raising, the members tend to be more established Masons and because of that are generally more committed. I personally find the ceremonies very impressive and easy to understand. The story following on from the Obligation is very interesting and is a fantastic ceremony to participate in whether as the Candidate, an Officer or as a Principal. In addition, there are three great lectures, which add further to the ceremony of Exaltation”.

With so many passionate Companions in Essex, such as Paul Tarrant, Elliott Chevin and Richard Mead, it looks like the 4,200 Royal Arch Masons of the 120 Chapters which meet at 25 Centres in the Province did ‘Get Ready to Get Ready’ and are now ‘Getting Back on Track’.


Essex Freemasons fund eyes on the sea to help save lives

New state of the art CCTV cameras will ensure that eyes will always be on the sea looking out for people in distress and saving lives around the Canvey coastline, thanks to a series of grants from Essex Freemasons.

The money, totalling some £3,600, has been donated to the Coastwatch charity situated in the grounds of Canvey Island Yacht Club. It is one of the busiest areas in the country for call outs to rescue people in difficulty, which means that CCTV has become a vital tool to assist volunteers on the ground.

Grahame Harris, Station Manager at the Canvey HQ, explained: “Because of the tidal situation which can catch out unwary visitors and the large numbers who enjoy being on the sea the Coastguard record more incidents around the Canvey and Southend area establishing the Southend RNLI Station as the busiest in the country.”

“This is why we needed to install CCTV to ensure that we always had eyes out to sea to provide a record of incidents and ensure that rescue teams can reach those in distress as quickly as possible. This is why the money from Essex Freemasons will make such a difference.”

The £3,600 needed to fund the new TV system was made up from donations from St Katharines Chapter which meets at Rochford, a direct grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund and additional donations from St. Katharine’s Lodge and from Counos Lodge which meets at Southend.

“One of the members of St. Katharine’s Lodge, Bill Blissett, is a volunteer at Coastwatch, Canvey,” said Keith Frost, Charity Steward for St Katharines Chapter. “He told us of the need to raise money to pay for new CCTV equipment and once we knew how it would be used, our members were pleased to authorise a donation.”

Members of St Katharine’s Chapter and Lodge and Counos, together with other senior Essex Freemasons turned out in force to see how the money had been spent and the difference the new CCTC system will make. They are pictured with Station Manager Grahame and volunteers Bill Blissett and Joanne Stapleton.


British Red Cross supported by Braintree Masonic Centre

The Home Office reported that over 8,000 Afghans, who had worked with UK forces, and their families arrived in the UK during the evacuation from Kabul. Demonstrating their own state of readiness, Essex Freemasons jumped into action and assisted the British Red Cross (BRC) Afghan Crisis Appeal by providing basic essentials such as warm clothing, baby items and toothbrushes.

Feeling strongly about the plight of the Afghan refugees, Daniel Broyd, an Essex Provincial Grand Steward, and his wife Kristi encouraged local Freemasons to donate clothes, toiletries, toys and essential supplies for the refugees as they arrived in the UK.  They also arranged for Braintree Masonic Hall to open its doors on Sunday 5th September 2021 to receive the donations.

Daniel said “The support that the Brethren, families and friends and even passing public bestowed on our venture was breath-taking, with several thousand pounds worth of new or nearly new clothes, toiletries, baby essentials, toys, art and crafts material and bedding donated.”  With enough to fill a large Luton van, delivery to the BRC was arranged.

Charles Elliott, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, with his wife Sue supported the appeal and gave their own donations. The Centre Chairman, Andrew McLeod, who is an Assistant Principal to the Grand Principals in Essex Royal Arch Masonry, said, “A simple heartfelt request by Daniel and Kristi clearly resonated with fellow Masons and their families resulting in a fantastic response. I am very proud of the Braintree Masonic Centre and its members.”

The supplies were desperately needed by BRC staff at airports around the country as they welcomed Afghan families to the UK. One volunteer described the plight more graphically saying that the people turning up had nothing, children were so dirty you could see track marks down their faces where they had been crying and their clothing wasn’t suitable. Daniel Broyd added “I would like to thank everyone who donated and took time out of their Sunday to provide such kindness”.


Pictured from left to right: Sue and Charles Elliott, Mrs Wash, Richard Wash, Paul Duchar-Clark, David Giles, Andrew McLeod, Barry Broyd, Daniel and Kristi Broyd and John Adlam.


Freemasons donate £1140 to Maldon Saints Youth Football Club Defibrillator Appeal

Having seen Maldon Saints YFC appeal for funding to purchase Defibrillators, the Brethren of Mitre Lodge No 9307, (many of whom live in Maldon), decided to donate £500 towards the cost. However, this amount was not sufficient to purchase all that was necessary, so the Secretary of Mitre Lodge asked the Brethren of the Maldon Masonic Lodges if they would join in and also support Maldon Saints YFC with their appeal.

All were pleased to join in, and they were, Lodge of St Peter, Beeleigh Abbey Lodge,

Daen Ingas Lodge, Wheel of Fellowship Lodge, Frederick Leistikow Lodge, Coromandel Chapter, Frederick Leistikow Chapter, and Plume Chapter.

The Grand Total was increased from £500 to £1140 which therefore allows Maldon Saints to buy the Portable Defibrilator and the Training for the members who will operate it.

The Donation was made on Saturday the 4th September by Dave Harrop the Master of Mitre Lodge and Paul Beech the Chairman of Maldon Masonic Hall on behalf of the Maldon Lodges.

Pictured are:-

From the left, Matt Elderton Maldon Saints YFC Fundraiser, Paul Beech Chairman Maldon Masonic Hall, Dave Harrop Worshipful Master Mitre Lodge, Darren Suitmore Chairman Maldon Saints YFC.

Also present from Maldon Saints YFC were Zeta Conway Secretary and Paul Height.


Teamwork makes the dream work

In preparation for the National Digital Marketing Campaign to be launched in September 2021, all 48 Provinces in the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) were tasked with implementing 14 important ‘Marketing Actions’. Under the leadership of Peter Low, the Provincial Communications Officer (PCO) and the hard work of his Team, on 21st August 2021 Essex was the first Province to complete 100% to meet the approval of UGLE.

Over the last year the Provincial Communications Team members have worked hard to enhance public perception of Freemasonry in Essex with a voluminous number of press releases, news items on the public facing Provincial Grand Lodge (PGL) and Provincial Grand Chapter (PGC) websites, through social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as in The Essex Mason magazine and internally to members with the new Second Rising and Provincial Download publications. 

The team strives not only to get local publicity but also to ‘fly the flag’ for Essex within UGLE. ‘Essex Freemasons Win Pride of Essex Award’ was one of the first provincial news stories to appear in UGLE’s newsletter ‘First Rising ’in which a number of other stories have subsequently been published as well as many more in Freemasonry Today (FMT) both online and hardcopy. “Engaging with the Community” about the partnership with Braintree Museum is one of the most recent.

The National Digital Marketing Campaign is due to be launched on 20th September 2021 by which time all 48 Provinces, including Metropolitan Grand Lodge, in the ten Regional Communications Groups across UGLE must have the requisite 14 Marketing Actions in place. These include Provincial Grand Lodge websites achieving the UGLE Charter Mark, having the new key words displayed, as well as the ‘Discovering Freemasonry’ video and booklet, new Mission Statements, new FAQs and a social media review undertaken. Other processes must also be able to follow through to help make the Campaign successful.

Peter Low expressed his appreciation to Lee Zetter for all his hard work in getting the Essex PGL website first over the line and extended his thanks saying “we have a great team and everyone plays a big part”. In addition to Lee the Provincial Communications Team consists of David Badger, Mike Barrett, David Boylan, Lee Britton, Braham Djidjelli, Ian Graham, Tony Hales, Mike Hall, Barry Hayward, Graeme Lockwood, Paul Palmer, Gerald Reilly, Russell Segal and Barry Stedman.  On hearing the news, Elliott Chevin, the new incoming Deputy Grand Superintendent and the Provincial Executive Officer with the remit for Communications, emailed Peter saying “Huge congratulations to you all. The epitome of a dream team!”

There is an exciting era ahead for Essex Freemasons led by a new Most Excellent Grand Superintendent. With the National Digital Marketing Campaign, the Essex 2022 Festival, support for other Essex Provincial Teams through key players such as Chris Hicks, Chris Lee, Paul Kelly, and Graham Lucas, as well as recognising and publishing the achievements and good works of individual Chapters and their Companions, the Provincial Communications Team is under no illusion that, in the Province of Essex, “Teamwork makes the Dream Work”.


Essex Provincial Grand Stewards Golf Day

The eagerly awaited Provincial Grand Stewards Golf Day finally took place at the South Essex Golf Club on Friday 31st July 2021. The originally planned Spring Event that had been months in the planning, had to be rescheduled twice in May and June, creating significant logistical planning implications.

Undeterred, the organising team of Stewards, myself included, led by WB Christian Webb, maintained their positivity, and constant communication with the changing circa 20 x Four Ball teams (80 participants).  Christian  reported that “the committed brethren and friends were amazingly understanding and patient even after what May have felt like a deluge of calls and emails from me”. 

The day was finally upon us and the teams began arriving at 8am to a full English breakfast and tea. The teams were teeing off on two separate courses and playing the front nine on one and back nine on the other using a team based Texas Scramble format.  After staggering playing teams between breakfast, the driving range and the flawless scheduling of the tee times, we got all the teams off on time to enjoy some great playing and scoring efforts.  

The 80 golfers were supported by us Stewards delivering drinks and snacks and coordinating the nearest the pin and longest drive mini competitions, began to arrive back to a hearty lunch. Even with a little rain during some of the later rounds, teams were arriving back in good spirits, looking forward to what was to follow.  

The Raffle was held first which generated a tidy sum.  Next followed the Memorabilia Auction with a selection of items primarily from across the sporting  world, which proved to be really popular. With John Conteh (Light Heavyweight Boxing Champ) in attendance it, it would have been a real opportunity missed to not invite John to host the Auction, which he very graciously agreed to do.  It’s fair to say he had done this before, and put on a real show, which added to the entertainment of the whole affair, it’s also fair to say the expert selection of items and Jonah Conte’s expert execution definitely led to creating that perfect balance between competition and generous giving. 

The Prize Giving followed, with last place going to a very gracious team called Tinos, and first place overall competition winners being Danny's Banditos.

Other notable guests in addition to our very own Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge - Peter Hollingsworth and Provincial Grand Communications Officer Peter Low, were Tony Cottee of West Ham fame, the entertainer Roger De Courcey from Chelsea Lodge and Ian Watson who donated a pair of signed Anthony Joshua boxing gloves for the Auction and who was also responsible for inviting along along Roger De Courcey and John Conteh.  

Thanks also to our Sponsors, IT Positive Ltd, Belmont Security Systems Ltd and MDG Ltd, organised by WB Dan Broyd.  Also the larger team organisers such as Chris Lee for organising the teams from Lodge of IV along with Richard ‘Juggler’ Austin and Kevin Vance who organised the teams from All England.  

Thanks to our team of Amazing Stewards of Danny Gearing, Paul Bates, Roland Carpenter, Gary Soars and of course our resident provincial Photographer Mike Barrett. 

All in all a really successful day, with all the participants support and generosity generating over £5,200 for the Festival 2022. 

Written by WB Jeff Palmer


The Finishing Line is in Sight! But will it be for £5 or 6 Million?

With just over three weeks before his Installation as the new Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for Essex, at Freemasons’ Hall in London on 9th September 2021, Paul Tarrant, gave the closing address to charity representatives from the Royal Arch Chapters in Essex, as well as those from the Craft Lodges, at the Provincial Charity Stewards Conference held at the Southend Masonic Centre and online on Saturday 14th August 2021

Masonic provinces in England and Wales raise vital funding for one of the UK’s largest charities, the Masonic Charitable Foundation, through appeals called ‘Festivals which normally last for five years.  The Essex 2022 Festival ends in seven months’ time. The initial target was £5 million but, after receiving a large legacy, was increased to £6 million before covid 19 struck and decimated the fundraising of the 9,000 Freemasons in the County, “We can all see it has been a rough year,” said Paul Tarrant.

The conference was informed that the total raised so far in Essex is £4.3 million.  With the lifting of restrictions Lodges are meeting again so £5 million appears feasible. Delegates heard how the MCF has been coping over the past year and how each individual Relief Chest scheme is embracing technology as well as the changes and innovations in methods of donating with a big move to online giving.

The MCF has committed over £7 million to the work of national charities based in Essex as well as local charities and good causes with 95% of the favourable press coverage about Essex Masons being charity based.  After Paul Tarrant had thanked the conference organisers and presenters, he said “We get more from the MCF than we give,” and emphasised to all the delegates the need “to support the MCF as much as possible”.

There is no doubt that as the Freemasons in Essex resume meeting in their lodges once again, there will be a considerable amount of fundraising activity among their members, particularly over the next seven months. On closing the conference, Paul Tarrant said “The finishing line is in sight”. Charities, good causes and readers throughout Essex will all be watching carefully and wishing them every success whilst asking the question “but will it be for £5 or 6 million?”


A ‘Freedom Day’ Exaltation: Victorian Chapter No. 2184

The Chapter was Consecrated, 9th December 1895, by His Honour F.A. Philbrick Q.C.  (too many high masonic and other honours to mention here) in The Phoenix Hotel Rainham.  Among the founders, the licensed vituallers profession was very well represented; this happy trait developed further with exaltees and joining-members during the early years. Chapter meetings continued to be held in hotels and COIs were in public houses until the move in 1947 to Chingford Masonic Centre.  

Interestingly in July 1896, the Chapter was granted a dispensation to hold a ‘Masonic Service’ in ‘Masonic Clothing’ at Rainham Church in support of its Restoration Fund. From the conclusion of WWI to 1922, there were forty-six Exaltees! Thereafter, most years required dual exaltations until the 1970s. (Perhaps post-contagion, we should be looking for increased numbers.)

In Victorian Chapter’s first hundred years, 325 joined or were Exalted from 105 different chapters and lodges; this included 67 from the namesake Mother Lodge.

Exaltee Dave Weightman joined Freemasonry in 2010. His para-medic colleagues included Freemasons; he had noted their gentlemanliness, purposefulness and integrity. This created a respectful intrigue and thus welcomed an invitation, from a colleague, to join. At his Initiation into Sancto Claro Lodge No. 9486, he was delighted to see colleagues in attendance. 

Now, Dave is unable to imagine not being a mason it offers him:- friendship, a sense of family, belonging and community – “magical”. He chose to concentrate on progress to the Chair and now, successfully achieved, has become a Royal Arch Companion; this fourth step he sees as a natural, logical, progression to enhance the benefits of Freemasonry and the contribution he can make to it.

A book could be written about Dave’s nigh thirty years as a paramedic, instructor, air-crew and the awards received: this vital life-saving work is greatly valued by the community and the Air Ambulance has received the enduring support of Essex masons. However, both the highs and lows of this profession are, enduring traumatic – it’s not a case of just logging-out in the evening. Whilst this work attracts caring interest and appreciation, it must be appreciated that their ‘days at the office’ are often, something about which they would rather not speak.

Pictured above: ‘Freedom Day’ Exaltation, 19th July 2021, the first meeting for 18 months with thirty-five members and visitors in attendance. (Image L-R, Frank Lawrence H.; Mike Fox Z, Dave Weightman Exaltee; and Alan Jory J.)

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