A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council

The September meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council No 168 was going to be a very special one. Not only was this the first meeting of a Council in the District of Surrey since the resumption of Masonic meetings, but we had three Candidates to take the Degree of Select Master

Alan Boniface, the Council’s Director of Ceremonies, and Chris Eley, the Recorder, arrived early to set up the Temple. The Temple had already been deep cleaned and disinfected by Shelley and the team at Sutton Masonic Hall by the time we arrived so all we had to do was lay out the furniture in a socially distanced manner. The additional furniture for the meeting was the three pedestals for the Bibles to be used by each Candidate during the Ceremony.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council The Council was opened by the Thrice Illustrious Master, Ill.Comp. Steve Jones, who welcomed everyone, especially our Honorary Member R.Dist.Comp. Arnold Long, Past District Grand Master, who kindly acted as Captain of the Guard for the meeting. The Past District Grand Master was saluted with 7 times 9 under the direction of the Director of Ceremonies. The main item on the agenda was to ballot for Bros. Jeff Flint, Allan Thompson and David Coombes, all members of Weald of Surrey Lodge of Mark Master Masons. This proved in their favour.

The ceremony of Select Master was undertaken by the Thrice Illustrious Master, Ill.Comp. Steve Jones; each Candidate being received individually. The T.I.M. was assisted by Ill.Comp. Chris Eley who entrusted the Candidates with the secrets of the Degree and also presented the history of the Degree. Companions Jeff, Allan and David were then welcomed into the Council by Ill. Comp. Steve and into the Order by R.Ill. Comp Arnold Long, our Past District Grand Master. It was great to see Comp. Roy Miller with us – at 96 years young a little Covid isn’t going to put off an old war veteran.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council Thanks to all who took part to ensure that Jeff, Alan and David had a great ceremony – as close to ‘normal’ as we could get it. Having the main Temple in Sutton ensured that we were able to easily adhere to the social distancing guidelines. Thanks to Arnold, Garth, Alan, Tim and Bill for taking office, some at the last minute - good teamwork. It was a most enjoyable ceremony and everyone did their part well.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council After the Council was closed we all retired to the main dining room for a socially distanced drink and a meal together.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council This was not a Festive Board but an opportunity to sit down together in a socially distanced manner after the meeting. How nice to get together afterwards at our non Festive Board. Well done to Sutton Masonic Hall and Fino’s Kitchen for looking after us so well.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council Ill.Comp. Steve Jones, Provincial Grand Charity Steward in the Mark Province of Surrey, doesn’t miss a trick selling his Mark Festival merchandise.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council And finally – thanks to Shelley, Geoff and the team for not only such a warm welcome back but for all the hard work in ensuring we stayed safe while in Sutton Masonic Hall.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council Yes – that is Steve Wigmore buying a drink... Everyone agreed that it was a most enjoyable afternoon, not just in the Temple but being able to be together afterwards.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council Our new Companions said how pleased they were to have joined the Order of Royal and Select Masters; and the Pride of Surrey Council.

A Special Meeting of the Pride of Surrey Council
Article and photographs by Chris Eley


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