Installation meetings by their very nature happen every year, so the fact that Temple Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.322 held theirs at Oakley House, Bromley on Saturday 10th June was no surprise.
What is surprising, is the story of the newly Installed Worshipful Master, Simon Athwal and his two Wardens – Charles Clark and Michael Thomas.
L-R Charles Clark, Simon Athwal & Michael Thomas
When we spoke with Simon (30) after his Installation, he told us “I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and I am honoured to occupy the Chair of Temple Mark Lodge, with the support of my good friends Charlie and Michael as Senior and Junior Wardens respectively.”
Charlie (30) added ” I have known Simon since our sixth-form days and Mike for a similar amount of time. In our early twenties we used to run a Sunday League football club with a group of friends in Chislehurst.”
Simon was initiated into Freemasonry in November 2013 (aged 21) into the Burnt Ash Lodge No. 6285, after being proposed by his now father-in-law, Perri Ahmet. After Charlie attended a Ladies Night, Simon then proposed him into Burnt Ash in October 2015, and did the same for Mike in January 2016. The three of them progressed through the offices, with Simon installing Charlie into the Chair in June 2022. Charlie then conferred the same honour on Mike earlier this month.
Mike (31) informed us that, “All three of us have since followed Perri into the Mark & Royal Ark Mariner degrees (Temple Lodges No.322) and the Holy Royal Arch (Burnt Ash Chapter No. 6285).”
Charlie added, “Saturday’s Installation Meeting capped a very special three days, as in between the two Installations, we attended the West Kent Provincial Investiture Meeting, where Simon was on duty as Provincial Grand Steward (Craft), I was being invested to the same rank. It has been a wonderful journey so far and I can genuinely say that joining Freemasonry has been the best decision I have ever made. Personally, it led me to adult Christian faith, but more generally for the three of us, I know it has helped us grow as men and as brothers with our brethren in the Lodges and Chapter we are members of.”
Since the post covid resumption of Freemasonry Temple Mark and R.A.M. Lodges have seen something of a resurgence, with some excellent new candidates and joining members, who are already taking important offices.
In conclusion all three spoke as one to “Encourage all Master Masons to join the Mark degree – it is a natural progression from Craft Masonry and is conducted in a relaxed atmosphere of committed Freemasons.”
Have you worked out the potential record yet?
Well 91 was the combined age of Simon – Worshipful Master, Charlie – Senior Warden and Mike – Junior Warden at the Installation meeting. Surely the lowest combined age of the three principal officers, unless of course you know different?