As is the norm, the 2019 Royal Ark Mariner Provincial Grand Assembly took place at Tovil on Friday 6th September, within the Kent Installed Commander’s Lodge regular meeting, and was presided over by the Provincial Grand Master RW. Bro. Archie Torrance.

After welcoming everyone including the visitors to the “second most important meeting of the year”, receiving the roll call of Royal Ark Mariner Lodges in the Province represented at the assembly and dealing with customary administrative matters, the Provincial Grand Master proceeded to invest recipients of Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank. He wished all those invested “many congratulations and the good health to enjoy your new rank”.

For the very first time, the Provincial Grand Master presented every newly-elevated Brother in attendance with a special Royal Ark Mariner lapel pin, which he hoped they would “wear with pride and thereby help to raise the profile of our beautiful fraternity”. This new tradition will continue at each future Annual Assembly.

The meeting saw the first appearance of a brand new stand for the Provincial Sword, which was designed and crafted by W. Bro. Nic Baker of St. Peter-in-Thanet Lodge No. 1053. The Provincial Grand Master expressed his sincere thanks to Nic, adding “I shall be very proud to have it in front of me at all official Provincial level meetings – Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, Annual Assembly of R.A.M., Provincial Follow-up Meeting, Full Team visits, Lodge Anniversaries, Lodge Consecrations, Banner Dedications, etc. Brilliant!”

It will come as no surprise that Mrs. Janet Stiff (wife of our Provincial Grand Secretary) played a part too by making the pennant drop, which matches the colour of the sword scabbard perfectly. Other evidence of her work is present in the photograph – Janet made the Provincial R.A.M. Standard for us a few years ago.