The Centenary Meeting of Connaught Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 694 was held on Thursday 24 October 2019 at Botley. In attendance were the Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Bro. John H Prizeman, accompanied by Officers of Grand Lodge, the Provincial Grand Master R.W. Bro. George J. Deacon accompanied by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, V.W. Bro. W. Peter Lewis and Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge.
Prior to the entrance of the Deputy Grand Master, the Provincial Grand Master said he was delighted to be here on this terrific occasion. It was a momentous achievement in reaching 100 years of continuous working which was due to the Founders and members over the years being passionate about their Lodge. He singled out W.Bro. Brian Cox, PGSD, who had served the Province and this Lodge magnificently over the years with his determination and enthusiasm. He congratulated all the Brethren on putting together this celebration and hoped that new members will take the Lodge forward to the next 100 years.
On entering the Lodge the Deputy Grand Master addressed the Brethren giving a brief history of the early years of the Lodge. It was named after the Duke of Connaught and founded in 1919 which must had been a very stressful time following the Great War. Life has changed considerably since then but the Founders would recognise what we are today; a wonderful fellowship of Mark Masons. The Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Matthew Hampson then read the Warrant of the Lodge followed by reading the Centenary Warrant. The Centenary Warrant was then presented by the Deputy Grand Master to the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, W.Bro. David Hughes.
W.Bro. Brian Cox, PGSD, presented a short history of the Lodge along with the Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Tim Leather PPrGSD. Every Brother present received a booklet containing a more detailed history of the Lodge produced by W.Bro. Brian Cox, PGSD, and a personalised centenary mug. The Deputy Grand Master then presented the members of Connaught Lodge with a Centenary token as a reminder of a very happy evening.
Following these presentations the Deputy Grand Master called for W.Bro. Alex Ward, PGStdB, to be brought to him. He said W.Bro. Alex has been a loyal servant to the Mark and RAM Degrees and in recognition of his loyal service he promoted him to PGJD adding that there was "no fee of honour" as this was a field promotion! Finally in the Lodge, W.Bro. David Hughes presented a cheque to the Deputy Grand Master for The Masonic Benevolent Fund which was thankfully accepted.
At the Festive Board both the Deputy Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Master said what a splendid evening this had been with some wonderful memories of a very happy and memorable occasion. There was a another fantastic turnout by the Provincial team consisting of 50 Officers! A total of 120 Brethren sat down at the Festive Board which included a piece of wonderful Centenary cake baked by the Worshipful Master’s wife Janet.