Yes really! It was provided at Gloucestershire Round Table (number 9017) Lodge’s annual summer barbecue for the delectation of the members and their guests. A seventy two pint barrel was supplied courtesy of the Master of the Lodge, Tim Benn, and the brewer, David Leivers of The Lodge of Sympathy. David was there to make sure that the beer remained in the finest condition but the members of 9017 did their best to make equally sure that it did not remain for long. As it was a particularly hot day on the fourteenth of August the Provincial Almoner, Jonathon Steel, kept reminding people to drink plenty, a message they took very seriously.
After working hard to organise the event Steve Tainton was ‘sweating it’ in more ways than one. The Lodge marquee and gazebo provided welcome shade and Eastington church next door kindly lent tables and chairs.
The steak and sausages were skilfully cremated to exactly the right degree by the Assistant Provincial Secretary, Malcolm Sargent, and his charming assistant, one Peter Burrows. The rumour that as Peter is a leading member of ‘The Pony Club’ (Knights Templar, a related Order to Freemasonry) the steaks were indeed pony was judged to be merely a foul slur. We can confirm that no ponies were harmed in preparation for the barbecue. The wives and partners had provided excellent salads and desserts so we do have to confess that several lettuces and tomatoes were seriously harmed in the making of this event.
Our Provincial Assistant Grand Master, Ian Davies, was on hand to ensure that Freemasonry’s highest standards of fellowship and humour were maintained.
The newer members of the Lodge were also well represented with John Lewis, Eric Gardiner, Rob Bergen and Amit Pandya in attendance. The youngest there was only eight weeks old, he being Amit’s recent addition to the family.
The Provincial Treasurer, Dave Carter, as DC (Director of Ceremonies) of the Lodge, encouraged everyone to enjoy themselves while they still could (9017 is the first Lodge to meet in Gloucestershire so they did not have long until the little blue books need to reappear). In fact he took the opportunity to allocate roles at the double Second degree ceremony early in September and to ‘get back into the groove’ at rehearsals in a couple of weeks. Dave told everyone that he expects that the high standard of ceremonies which 9017 achieves will not be affected by the summer break or indeed by the provision of the free beer. We admire his confidence.
Provincial Communications Officer (member of 9017/beer taster)