King Alfred lodge have had another opportunity to celebrate one of their brethren achieving 50 years in freemasonry, this time it was W Bro Tom Gould.
W Bro Martin Slocombe PSGD assistant Provincial Grand Master was invited to make the presentation, which he found a little more difficult than normal, as after inviting Tom to say a little about himself, he soon got on a roll, and Martin found it difficult to get back in.
Tom outlined what has been a very busy life both in and outside Masonry. Born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, a son of a police officer, Tom had an active youth representing his school in many sports, but especially rowing, where he did take part in rowing for Wallington Rowing club in the Great Britain 1948 Olympic eight boat, that the club won the right to purchase. He did row against an Oxford eight, which he said left them standing, before they too were beaten by Cambridge.
Tom joined the RAF at an early age and recapped many of the adventures he had during his years in the service, including when he was at fighter command and one task was when he flew as a target towing operator, with pilots firing at the target, sounds rather dangerous.
After getting married he left the RAF and moved to Weston super Mare, where, with his father having been a Mason, he sought to find his way into masonry. He was initiated into King Alfred lodge in November 1971 by W Bro John Gibbs, and progressed to Master of the Lodge in 1984, and received the active provincial rank of Senior Deacon in 1991. This was topped in 1997 when he received Grand Officer rank as past assistant Standard bearer for services to the province.
Tom has also been very involved in the side degrees of Rose and Chapter, and is still very active in craft and all these side degrees. His comment was he has enjoyed all his time in Masonry and still “strives for perfection in the ritual and one day might achieve it.” Those of us who see him performing his ritual are always very appreciative of his work.
The brethren were finally able to see Martin present Tom with his 50 year certificate.