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In April a number of Surrey Mark Masons attended the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Hampshire and Isle of Wight held at the Guildhall in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The day started with a presentation of a brand new St. John Ambulance for the use of the charity in the county.  The unit is one of 52 vehicles which are being handed over in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in a phased programme throughout 2018 and 2019.  They have been provided to the Order of St John by the Mark Benevolent Fund, with the specific aim of providing new ambulances, treatment centres and support vehicles to St John Ambulance, the Order’s operational arm in England and the Islands.  The vehicles will be put to use at local events throughout the country as volunteers deliver lifesaving first aid to members of the public.

There to watch the handover of the Ambulance were many members of the Mark Province of Surrey.

After a drinks reception we had lunch in the main auditorium at the Guildhall.

VW.Bro. Jerry Gangadeen, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of London and a member of Richmond Lodge of Mark Master Masons, had brought along some of his famous cakes for us to have with our coffee.  As is customary, RW.Bro. David Ashbolt, Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of London and a member of Rose Lodge of Mark Master Masons, organised a game of heads and tails to raise money for charity. 

However before the game of heads and tails, VW.Bro. Jerry and RW Bro. George Deacon, the Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, presented RW.Bro. David with a special personalised cake as a thank you for all he has done to support the various MBF Festivals over the years.

The delegation from Surrey included the Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master.  Also present were RW.Bro. David Ashbolt and W.Bro. Ray Johnson, both members of Mark Lodges of Surrey.

The meeting was opened in due form by RW.Bro. George John Deacon, Provincial Grand Master.  At the meeting the RW Provincial Grand Master re-appointed VW.Bro. Brian Ridler, PGJO, as Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and VW.Bro. William Peter Lewis, PGJO, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. 

Also present was the Deputy Grand Master, RW.Bro. John Prizeman, Past Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, who addressed the meeting with the latest news from Mark Grand Lodge and the Mark Benevolent Fund. 

RW.Bro. John said how much he was looking forward to the 250th Anniversary of Phoenix Mark Lodge No 2, the oldest Mark Lodge in the World, at the Guildhall in Portsmouth on Saturday 28th September 2019.  It is hoped that the Grand Master, MW.Bro. H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, G.C.V.O. will attend.  

Article and photos by Chris Eley