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Irwin Centenary

Irwin Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 119 celebrated its Centenary in glorious style last evening, accompanied by over 70 brethren including the Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Officers of the year; the lodge being additionally honoured by the presence of
R.W.Bro. H Keith Emmerson, the Assistant Grand Master.
Also in attendance were:-
W.Bro. John G Morgan-Deputy Provincial Grand Master
W.Bro. Ryan Williams – Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies
W.Bro. Angus P D Hannagan – Deputy Grand Secretary
W.Bro. Paul W Tarrant – Grand Secretary Designate
R.W. Bro. David I James – Provincial Grand Master for Monmouthshire
W. Bro. Roger Blake – Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Gloucestershire & Herefordshire, plus a veritable host of other distinguished visitors.

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Left to Right, Keith Emmerson - Assistant Grand Master, John Muskett - Commander, John Bathe-Taylor Past Commander who also donated the banner, David Nelson and John Morgan.

Irwin lodge of Royal Ark Mariners is the oldest RAM lodge in Somerset and one of the oldest in the Country, having been Warranted on 13th April 1873 some 139 years ago. Its chequered early history caused it to suffer breaks in continuity and it was not until 1909 that meetings became stable and continuous, resulting in the approval by Grand Lodge to issue a Centenary Warrant in recognition of 100 years of uninterrupted existence to 2009.

Distinguished brethren were received into the lodge with much pomp and the Provincial Grand Master occupied the Chair to receive the Assistant Grand Master who then took over and directed the proceedings after having firstly addressed the brethren.

The meeting agenda included a short history of the lodge from W.Bro. Bob Newman , the reading and presentation of the Centenary Warrant by the Deputy Grand Secretary and the dedication of a lodge banner (which had been gifted to the lodge by W.Bro. John Bathe-Taylor PCN) by the Provincial Grand Master. The Assistant Grand Master commented amusingly on the fact that it had only taken 139 years for the lodge to acquire one.
Brethren assembled, were treated to yet another delightful oration given by Bro. Vernon Harding, Provincial Grand Chaplain.

The Provincial Grand Master greatly surprised W.Bro. Keith Surry PCN the lodge Treasurer, by announcing his promotion to Provincial RAMGR and investing him with a collaret. The honour conferred was not rejected.

The meeting concluded with an extensive and lively five course banquet where brethren were entertained by speeches from the Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Assistant Grand Master and a most amusing visitors response by R.W. Bro David James the Provincial Grand Master for Monmouthshire.
All brethren attending the banquet were presented with a comprehensive bound copy of the Lodge history, for which the lodge is very grateful for the kind and generous contribution made by Bro. Gerry Chilcott who undertook all the printing.

An evening to remember.

Neil Hawes PCN, Pr.RAMGR

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