On Saturday 17th September 2016, a party of 11 members of the Mark Province of Kent attended the annual meeting of the Mark District of Italy in the Complesso Monumentuale di Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome. The annual meeting was preceded by the consecration of two Royal Ark Mariner Lodges on the Friday evening and two Mark Lodges on the Saturday morning, all of which were attended by members of the Kent party. The Kent group traveling to Rome included no less than 10 wives and partners, all of whom had a wonderful time.

Host for the weekend was RW Bro. Fabio Venzi, District Grand Master of the Mark District of Italy, who also happens to be the MW Grand Master of the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy (Craft).

Our Italian Brethren, some of whom had been personally effected by the devastating earthquake in central Italy in August, were moved and grateful for the immediate gesture made by the Mark Benevolent Fund in donating £25,000 for the disaster relief effort. RW Bro. Archie Torrance, our Provincial Grand Master, presented a further donation of £1,000 from the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund, which was received by RW Bro. Fabio with grateful thanks. 

In presenting the donation, Archie said: “When the Mark Fund of Benevolence (now the Mark Benevolent Fund) was created in 1868 by the then Grand Master, MW Bro. The Revd. George Portal, he stated that charitable relief ought to be given promptly in the firm belief that Bis Dat Qui Cito Dat (he who gives promptly, gives twice). In the present circumstances, it is clear that the donation from the Mark Benevolent Fund, within a few hours of the earthquake striking, is not only helping in a practical way with the relief effort but also helps by letting members of our Order and their families and friends, who are suffering following the earthquake, know that we care about them. This is clearly of great comfort to them. We wish them all the very best for the future.”

The next Anglo-Italian event is on Friday 12th May 2017 when Lord Harris Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1494 (Kent) will host a twinning ceremony with Lodge Pico della Mirandola No. 1896 Roma (Italy). This follows the very successful twinning ceremony in February 2016 between Florence Nightingale Lodge No. 44 (Kent) and John Dee Lodge No. 1915 (Italy).