It was a very busy few days for King Alfred lodge in Weston when the normal meeting on a Friday night was followed immediately by the Worship masters Charity night.
The Friday night was to be a Past Masters night with W Bro Terry Porter taking the Chair to perform a third degree ceremony. The call of lateral flow tests for COVID then started to be the order of the day, many of those due to be taking part in the ceremony falling to the dreaded positive test. This continued, and finally the DC and then the Worshipful Master W Bro Steve Taylor succumbed to the dreaded result as well. Volunteers to replace the excluded brethren were found, including the secretary W Bro Chris Millard who took on the catering arrangements to ensure the usual excellent festive board when the catering officer succumbed as well.
W Bro Martin Slocombe was also present, leading a fraternal visit to the lodge on behalf of Provincial team. Even with all the added challenges W Bro Terry Porter was master for the whole ceremony, which went well, and concluded with W Bro Martin presenting veterans certificates to W Bro Ian White and W Bro Dave Parrott. We were fortunate to have six of the eight Lodges Veterans in the lodge on the night.
The lodge decided to donate the raffle at the festive Board, together with the Broken column to the Ukrainian fund. The lodge doubled this amount, and with other donations made by Brethren on the night on the night a grand sum of £1150 was raised. There was a special toast at the Festive Board to recognise all of the lodge veterans and to mark their service to freemasonry.
W Bro Steve Taylor eventually tested negative and was able to attend his Charity race night, run by W Bro Terry Porter, in the Weston masonic centre on the Saturday. This turned out to be a very successful night with some winning and others unfortunately loosing on the horses. The event was in the aid of The Children’s Hospice South West where a total excellent sum of £1300 was raised for this very worthwhile children’s charity.
We all sincerely hope that there will be no other Brethren that end up with the dreaded positive test following these events. Those Brethren that were unable to attend are now hopefully all making a good recovery.
W Bro Ian White
Ian’s Father, who was a Royal Naval Officer, was lost with his ship, HMS Maori, in Malta in 1942. This was soon after he was involved in action against the Bismarck, when he was Gunner and scored 2 hits on the ship, after which they picked up 8 survivors.
His Father’s Lodge, Royal Naval Lodge No 3377 in Plymouth took a close interest in his welfare and for education culminated in them arranging for him to attend the Royal Masonic School from 9 years of age.
He was initiated into King Alfred lodge on 14th April 1972 was Master in 1985, and served as Worshipful Master in King Alfred Lodge for the 2nd time in 1993. During this time led a delegation of 10 Somerset Masons to the USA when King Alfred Lodge twinned with St Martin’s Lodge in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, at which their Grand Master attended. He was made an honorary member on the night.
With Golf a hobby, he was Master of the Somerset Fairway lodge in 1992 and Master of the Provincial Grand Stewards lodge in 2007. He received the provincial rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2019.
He has also progressed through all of the Chapter offices finishing as Zerubbabel in 1996. His current Chapter provincial rank is Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer.
W Bro David Parrott.
W Bro David is a Lewis who was initiated by his Father, on 12th February 1971. His Father who was by then the IPM had been away on business in Australia. When he returned the WM invited him to initiate his son. David went through the master of the Lodge in 1983. He received the Provincial rank of past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2017.
David has also passed through all of the Chapter offices being Most Excellent Zerubbabel in 1990. His current Chapter Rank is Past Provincial Grand Registrar.
He worked in his father’s wholesale grocery business, which was sold out to a larger company. David then worked as PA to the Managing Director of the takeover company for 2 years.
He set up his own family run business in Weston-super-Mare, Birnbeck Finance Ltd, specialising in mortgages, finance and insurance. He is now retired from there.