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History of the Royal Sovereign Light Lodge

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Page 7

The Eighties (cont.)
The March meeting of 1986 was a little unusual. In fact it is recorded in the minutes that the ceremony was unique in the history of the lodge.
The candidate for initiation was Keith Mason, a Police Officer. The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Derek Greenwood invited the following brethren to assist in the ceremony :
  1. As Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Ian Greenlow.
  2. As Senior Warden, W.Bro. James Young.
  3. As Junior Warden, W.Bro. Tom Cranmer.
  4. As Senior Deacon, Bro. Reg Keys.
  5. As Junior Deacon, Bro. Allen Fuller.
  6. As Inner Guard, Bro. Hugh Shaw.
The Charge to the Initiate was given by Bro. William Clements. All these brethren were either past or serving members of the Police Force as were many of the 40 visitors who attended the meeting and festive board.
In October 1986, W.Bro. Roy Lane Smith retired as Director of Ceremonies and W.Bro. Ian Greenlow took on the duties of that most important office. Since the Consecration of the Lodge, very experienced and dedicated brethren have occupied this post and W.Bro. Ian continued those very high standards.
Due to the severe weather being experienced by most of the country, January 1987 saw the shortest ever meeting of the lodge. Just 14 local brethren were able to reach the Temple. Many of the roads around Bexhill were closed by deep snow. The Lodge was opened in due form and with solemn prayer at 5.00 p.m. and the secretary proposed that because of the extremely severe weather conditions the business of the agenda be deferred until the following meeting. This was seconded by W.Bro. Frank Spooner and agreed by the brethren. The Secretary expressed his sincere thanks to those brethren who had been able to reach the Temple and the lodge was then closed in ancient and solemn form at 5.20 pm, and we all gratefully returned to our firesides!

The October 1987 meeting opened with the sad news of the passing to the Grand Lodge above of two highly, respected and much loved brethren, W.Bros. James Young and Ken Greenlow. W.Bro. Richard Barnes drew the brethren's attention to the extensive masonic and police career of. W.Bro. Young and of the distinguished flying record of W.Bro. Ken Greenlow in Wellington bombers during the years of conflict.

On a happier note the November meeting saw the lodge convey their warmest wishes of congratulation to W.Bro. Frank Spooner, our one remaining Founder, on the celebration of his 50 years in Freemasonry. There is scarcely an office in the lodge that W.Bro. Frank had not filled with his usual enthusiasm and attention to detail. There are also many recorded occasions where Frank has delivered the Charge after Initiation, the Second Degree, Tracing Board, the Traditional History of the Third Degree and presented the explanation of the Grand Lodge Certificate. In addition Frank always encouraged the younger brethren and to this end he opened up his home on Monday evenings to those officers approaching the chair. There are many Past Masters who can reflect on the time spent at "Little Copse", Birchington Close, with grateful thoughts. At the following Festive Board, Frank was presented with an engraved silver tray and a beautifully decorated cake which the assembled brethren felt privileged to share on this happy evening.
At the same meeting the brethren experienced a joyful ceremony where the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Alan Fuller raised his own son, Bro. Robin Fuller. The Wardens for this ceremony, Bros. Roy Sydney and Malcolm Cowlard were tested to the full, as Bro. Robin was well over six feet tall and in the words of his dad was "quite a big lad" - he wasn't exaggerating!

The Election Meeting in April 1989 saw W.Bro. Richard Barnes draw the attention of the brethren to the sad state of our lodge banner. Many years of standing in an atmosphere of high humidity in the temple had taken its toll and the banner was now beyond repair. It was agreed that a fund should be started and events organised to obtain a replacement as soon as possible.
Estimates for supplying a new Lodge Banner were sought and W.Bro. Roy Lane Smith and Bro. Roy Sydney were subsequently despatched to Fabb and Company of Maidenhead to confirm the final price, design and delivery date of the new banner.

Fund raising events to meet the necessary target of 1200 went ahead throughout the year, the required sum of money was realised by the end of 1989 thanks to the brethren and their families support at events organised, as well as individual cash donations. Approaches were then made to the Provincial Grand Secretary to apply for a Banner Dedication.
In the mean time the newly installed Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Roy Sydney had received permission from Trinity House to personally take the annual Christmas gifts out to the keepers of the Royal Sovereign Light Tower on the l5th December. The journey was made by helicopter and after distributing the gifts and communicating the best wishes of brethren to the crew he was given a guided tour of this magnificent structure. This was the first time that a member of the lodge had delivered the Christmas packages in such a manner.
Back on 'terra firma' the lodge celebrated another "first" when it held a Christmas Carol Service for the brethren and their family and friends in the Wilton Road Temple. The evening was very well supported with an attendance in excess of 90 people, a hot supper at the home of the Worshipful Master and his Lady followed an enjoyable afternoon.
As the 1980's drew to a close the brethren were able to look forward with great anticipation to the Banner Dedication Ceremony now scheduled for March 1990.

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Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex

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