With it being an odd year, the 2017 annual Provincial Meeting was once again held at Margate’s Winter Gardens on the customary last Saturday of September.

The honour of being the Banner Lodge on this occasion fell to the Sandwich Haven Lodge No. 797.

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Archie Torrance, presided supported by VW Bro David Green, Deputy Provincial Grand Master and VW Bro Fred Brown, Assistant Provincial Grand Master. Unfortunately the outgoing Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Ralph Mannings Apperley was unable to attend as he was still convalescing from a recent operation.

Distinguished visitors from as far away as Italy, Germany and Wales as well as those from closer to home were warmly welcomed.

The usual business of the meeting was efficiently dealt with in the well attended Main Hall with Lodges and individual brethren being recognised for their contributions to the 2020 Festival, newly Advanced brethren being personally welcomed into the degree by the Provincial Grand Master and presented with a special token, as well as members being recognised with active rank, past provincial promotions or first appointments – and of course the investiture of W Bro Ian Gallehawk as Assistant Provincial Grand Master in succession to W Bro Ralph Mannings Apperley. More details can be found in the Provincial News section.

An amazing 311 brethren then sat down to dine in the Queens Hall, 311 being a number close to the PGM’s heart as it was his first shoulder number as a newly-qualified police officer in Lewisham. The festive board was again enhanced by the presentation of excellent rum-laced cakes by VW Bro Gerry Gangadeen, APGM for the Province of London. All but one were consumed by the brethren, while the PGM for London, RW Bro David Ashbolt, presided over a “heads and tails” competition to raise funds for the 2020 Festival.

After a typically convivial Mark meal the brethren made their way home to the four quarters of the province and beyond.
Photos by Bob Tuthill & Chris Eley