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The Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. George J. Deacon, RAMGR and Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge visited the Oakley Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 886 at the Masonic Hall in Basingstoke on Thursday 7 November 2019. The Provincial team entered the Lodge soon after the opening in order to hear the eulogy’s for W.Bro. Terence Henry Waite, RAMGR and W.Bro. Ernest Mercer, ProvRAMGR. They both joined the Lodge in 1991 and by 1996 they had both been Worshipful Commanders of the Lodge. They were stalwarts of the Lodge and gave fantastic service for 28 years; they will be sadly missed.

In the absence of the Worshipful Commander W.Bro. Michael Whittaker, opened and closed the Lodge with W.Bro. Michael Baxter, ProvRAMGR, conducting a demonstration Ceremony of Elevation. W.Bro. Michael Baxter also gave the Signs and Working Tools with Bro. David Hessom, Senior Warden, giving an explanation of the Nine Steps.

The Provincial Grand Master congratulated W.Bro. Michael Baxter, ProvRAMGR, and his Officers for a very good ceremony and thanked Bro. Jim Hannah for acting as the candidate, who the Provincial Grand Master remembered from a recruitment evening.  The Provincial Grand Master highlighted the influence of both W.Bro. Michael Whittaker, PC, W.Bro. Michael Baxter, ProvRAMGR, and other Past Commanders in Oakley RAM for carrying the Lodge forward with determination and happiness. The Junior Officers also shone through in the ceremony this evening. He also added that the Provincial team is always available to help any Lodge who require support and help to maintain their Lodge.

At the Festive Board there was a very generous donation by the Lodge to the Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Benevolent Fund; the Lodge now becomes a Patron Lodge of the MBF. The Provincial Grand Master commented that this is a very friendly Lodge who always make their guests very welcome. A very enjoyable evening.