We knew something special was in store at Lodge of Sincerity when it became known that the Provincial Grand Master, Tim Henderson-Ross, together with his two assistants [Ian Davies and Mark Smith], the Provincial Grand Charity Steward [Peter Coles], and his two predecessors [Phil Waring and Dave Sullivan], suddenly announced they would be attending. Was it to witness the rarely performed ‘Exeter Workings’ ceremony, which is the norm at a Sincerity Installation, perhaps? Such was the secrecy that sixty-plus brethren had to wait until the end of proceedings for the answer. The PGM rose and solemnly commanded the DC to present to him W Bro Bob Preece. It is fair to say that Bob looked discombobulated.
In acknowledging the sterling work which Bob, and especially his wife, Mary, had undertaken over the past fourteen years or so, in assisting the Provicial Grand Charity Stewards raise money for Masonic charities, the PGM revealed he was there to perform a ‘Promotion in the Field’. He told the brethren that Bob and Mary’s generosity had contributed to raising in excess of £10,000 for the deserving causes which events such as Highnam support. Bob was, with immediate effect, promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. The lodge-room filled with applause as the new apron and collar was produced. As always, Bob was his modest self, concurring that Mary was the driving force behind the enterprise, and she was not to be left out as a spectacular bouquet was produced by Peter Coles for Bob to take home.
Those ‘Exeter Workings’ resulted in W Bro Chris Boon being installed into the Master’s chair, and he promised a full programme and continued charitable giving throughout the ensuing year. It started well. At a bumper raffle at the festive board, no less than £390 was raised. That was enhanced by a further £50 raised in raffling a cake, especially baked and decorated for the occasion by the Installing Master, Phil Trotman and his wife, Sue. It was won by the Provincial Grand Secretary, Geoff Warburton, who also happens to be the lodge Liaison Officer.
An altogether splendid evening.
1: With the PGM
2: With the Rulers
3: With the Charity Stewards
4: With Peter Coles
5: In action at Highnam
6: Geoff Warburton, winner of the cake, with Phil Trotman.
We thank Dick Smith for this article and photographs.