In a masonic year that has seen several lodges close for the last time and more due for the same fate, it was particularly pleasing to witness the 100th anniversary of Excelsior Lodge on Tuesday May 2nd at the Horndean Centre, located at Five Heads Road.
The Provincial Grand Master, Jonathan Whitaker, escorted by a 28-strong Provincial team joined 68 Brethren and guests of Excelsior in what turned out to be a truly wonderful evening.
The Worshipful Master, Simon Sandham, and his all-light blue team expertly presided over their lodge in front of a temple that was filled to capacity. The PGM first presented the Worshipful master with his centennial jewel and then each lodge member individually.
Pre-dinner drinks led to 97 brethren dining for a traditional 5-course meal. The atmosphere throughout the evening was wonderful and the catering staff did themselves proud.
Charity monies raised from the raffle etc were in the region of £1,000, which equalled the sum donated by Excelsior Lodge to the M.C.F. This was in the form of a cheque presented to the PGM by W.Bro Simon Sandham.
My personal experience of listening to our PGM on such occasions is that there will be at least one point raised which will lodge in my mind and is worthy of retention and consideration. On this occasion, it was a few historical statistics about our Province that were given out during the brief time that he occupied the master’s chair.
On this occasion, it was this (all numbers approximate). 100 years ago, at the time Excelsior was consecrated, our province only had 69 lodges with an average membership in excess of 130 members per lodge! (9,000 members). Today we have 250 lodges with an average membership of less than 35 (7800 members). Food for thought?
Well done to the team at Excelsior Lodge for hosting such a successful evening.