The members and guests of Portcullis 2038 were treated to a very special evening of Freemasonry on Thursday 12th January, with the highlights being a Second Degree ceremony and a 60th certificate presentation.
The evening started with Bro Robert Bullock, being passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft in fine fashion, his replies to the question were flawless. Rob, who was initiated in October is a serving Naval Officer and very much enjoyed the Ceremony.
The next highlight was the presentation by W Bro Richard Winter, Assistant Grand Master of a 60th Certificate to his good friend, Worshipful Bro Gary Richmond PPJGW (Surrey & Somerset). Gary was proposed by his Father into his lodge in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey in January 1963, three years before the APGM was born! Gary was first a Master of his Mother lodge in 1973 and then again in 1995 & 2003. Gary was a regular visitor to Portcullis for a number of years, eventually joining in 1993. During is long distinguished masonic career, Gary has served as Treasurer, Charity Steward, Assistant Director of Ceremonies and has also worked behind the scenes helping with the running of the Hanging Chapel. Gary is also a keen member of the Royal Arch, he was exalted in 1975, and has been been MEZ three times. In November 2009 Gary joined the poor and distressed ranks of the Somerset Farmers Lodge.
Gary is a very modest man (hence no photo) and Richard had a little difficulty in getting Gary to talk about himself, but he persevered and finally Gary opened up and talked about his love for freemasonry, how beautiful our ritual is and the positive impact Freemasonry has had on his life.
I must admit there were one or two brothers with a tear in their eye.
Afterwards, I asked Gary about his favourite piece and as quick as flash, he replied “The address to the Master”, as it beautifully sums up what it entails being master of a lodge.
Gary is still very active and always jumps at the chance to act as Deacon or perform ritual whenever needed.
A further highlight was W Bro Dennis Paull becoming Master Elect, some 30 years after being master of Portcullis for the first time! The Brethren of Portcullis are very much looking forward to his year in the Chair.
It was a special night, with over 40 members and guests present. The atmosphere in the old Chapel was superb and continued down at the Festive Board, held in the Langport Arms Hotel, in the usual Portcullis fashion.