For the first time since 2008, a new Mark Lodge has been consecrated in the Province of Kent.

Following a letter from the Grand Secretary in which he confirmed that “The Most Worshipful Grand Master, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO has listened to the prayer of the Petitioners and has been pleased to grant a Warrant of Constitution”, Fore Cantia Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 2002 came into being on Monday 25th March at the Tunbridge Wells Masonic Centre. The name being constructed from two words – the shout that golfers give to warn others of a wayward ball and the Latin name for Kent.

At 3pm, the Consecrating Officer, RW. Bro. Archibald Iain Torrance entered in procession and assisted by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W. Bro. Ivor Spencer, appointed his Assisting Officers. After the singing of the opening hymn, he then opened a Lodge of Mark Master Masons and addressed the Brethren on the object of the meeting and called upon the Chaplain for the benefit of prayer.

The Petitioners were arranged in order in the East and the Warrant was read. The Consecrating Officer then enquired of the Petitioners if they approved of the Master and Wardens named in the Warrant. The Petitioners signified their approval with the sign of fidelity and the Lodge was constituted, dedicated and consecrated.

Upon the completion of the consecration, RW. Bro. Torrance invited VW. Bro. Frederick Brown to be the Installing Officer, assisted by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, W. Bro. Martyn Summers. After the presentation and installation of RW. Bro. John Edgcumbe GJW as the Primus Master, he was saluted, proclaimed and entrusted with the Warrant. He then proceeded to appoint and invest the first officers of the Lodge.

The addresses were given as follows:

The Worshipful Master by VW. Bro. Frederick Brown, DPGM
The Wardens by W. Bro. Ian Gallehawk, APGM
The Overseers by W. Bro. Perri Ahmet, APGM
The Brethren by RW. Bro. Roger Croucher PPGM

Once the Lodge by-laws had been approved and and the ordinary business of the Lodge completed, the Provincial Grand Master conferred both the MBF Grand Patron Diamond Award and the 2020 Festival Platinum Award upon the Lodge, in recognition of the monies raised by the Kent Mark Golf Association out of which the Lodge was formed. It was then closed in due form and the first verse of the National Anthem was sung.

The Lodge already has four candidates (all golfers) waiting to join and the possibility of three joining members, a superb opening seven!

A total of 87 Brethren attended the consecration, of whom 85 sat down to dine at the friendly Festive Board.

The Regular Meeting dates for the Lodge will be on 1st Thursday in June, 1st Thursday in September and 1st Saturday in December (Installation) and the format for the meetings will be breakfast followed by the Lodge Meeting, and then a round of golf at a pre-selected Golf Club. These will be very social events and members will be encouraged to invite partners, friends and family to attend the golf and festive board in the evening. The home centre is Paddock Wood, where the Installation Meetings will take place, but the June and September meetings will take place elsewhere within the Province to coincide with the aforementioned rounds of golf.

In closing, the Provincial Grand Master stated that he was extremely grateful for all the hard work that has gone into planning and consecrating this new Lodge and extended his sincere best wishes to W. Bro. John Edgcumbe GJW (Primus Master), W. Bro. Keith Stoner PAGSwdB (Organising Secretary) and all the members of the Lodge for a long and happy future.