From an original idea by Willie Leitch of Crane Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners, the various Masonic units meeting at the Dymchurch Masonic Centre held a Memorial Service to remember those Freemasons, their partners and Lodge Widows who passed away during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As mourners had not been able to attend Masonic funerals during the pandemic in the numbers normally expected, it was seen as a way of remembering those who had passed to higher service and their contribution to Freemasonry and the wider community.
An invitation was sent to invite members of all Masonic Orders meeting locally, namely Romney Marsh Lodge No. 4743, Romney Marsh Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1417 and Romney Marsh Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 1417, together with their partners, family and friends to attend the Service.
The hour-long service was held at the nearby All Saints Church in Lydd, which is known locally as the Cathedral of the Marsh, on Sunday 3rd October.
A roll of honour was presented which included family members of Masons who had passed in the previous 18 months. Brethren representing the three Romney Marsh Masonic units delivered the Ceremony of the Roses, a moving eulogy borrowed from the Brethren of a Craft Lodge in Rotterdam, twinned with the Romney Marsh.
Following the service W. Bro Perri Ahmet, Dep.Prov.G.M. and Chair of the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund presented a cheque for £1000 to the Church to assist in the development of a Community Space within the main area of the Church.
After which, light refreshments and an opportunity to socialise followed at the back of the Church, this also offered an opportunity to see some displays of the help Freemasonry has given both to its members, and the general public during the pandemic.
Since the Service, a number of attendees, particularly widows have expressed their gratitude and said how moved they were by the event. Especial thanks must go to all at All Saints Church for hosting the service and social offering.