Squaring the circle

Wednesday February 1st 2023 saw the 660th regular meeting of Caer Gwent Lodge No.5071 at the Winchester Masonic centre. This was to be the penultimate time that W.Bro Vincent Jones was to sit in the chair of King Solomon as their elected Master.

The evening was a Past Masters Night to raise Brother Dwayne Phillp, in the presence of an official visit headed by the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro Maurice Doe. My small part in this story was being a junior member of that visiting Team.

The ceremony was exemplary and included such delights as the Walking Charge, which was delivered superbly. The ceremony was split with several Past Masters taking to the floor and doing their lodge proud, all very much in keeping with the current ethos of sharing the ritual.

The festive board was vibrant with 45 Brothers in attendance. That number was made up of 19 Lodge members and 26 Visitors of which the Provincial team were 12 in number. Aside from an evening well run, under the control of Assistant Director of Ceremonies Ian Moore, one moment really stood out, to me, as being special. I witnessed a young Brother, Morgan Tye, present the Worshipful Master with an old Caer Gwent Past Masters Jewel, which he had recovered from regalia which had been returned to the Kings Court Masonic Centre. The Past Masters Jewel was inscribed to W.Bro W.T.Pile. Worshipful Brother Pile was born on 16th August 1908 and had been a Prison Officer. He had joined the Caer Gwent Lodge No.5071 as a joining member from the Lodge of Benevolence No.666 on the 4th of January 1961 and took the Chair of King Solomon from 1972 – 1973, sadly he passed to the Grand Lodge above on 13th August 1999. This meant that he had taken the chair exactly 50 years prior to our evening there.

The old regalia of Worshipful Brother Pile had originally been brought to the attention of W.Bro Dan Read, the current secretary of the Grand Stewards Lodge, being thought to be Stewards regalia which it turned out not to be. Having been seen by Morgan, he felt there was only one proper place for it to be returned to. The hand of the current Master of the Caer Gwent Lodge and dutifully that is what he did. The circle has been well and truly squared!

Brother Morgan Tye is an impressive young man to talk to. At 24 years of age he is now the North Circular coordinator. A group similar to the South East Band of Brothers but covering the North Central part of our Province. Morgan was initiated on the 2nd January 2020 into the Docendo Discimus Lodge No. 7818 (“Through teaching, we learn”) and he tells me that the contact list for the North Circular group has now grown to over 200. Clearly visiting is alive and well in the North Central area.
Well done Morgan and the North Circular!