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The Trinity Mariners' Lodge

No. 8406


1997 introduced an event almost unique in Lodge histories, with two members attaining Grand Rank honours. John Edmondson was promoted to PAGDC and John Attwood appointed to PGStdBr. A proposition for the Lodge to be removed to Canterbury was rejected in December.

1998 saw a visit by R.W.Bro. John Bonomy OBE, JP, Provincial Grand Master, to celebrate W.Bro. John Edmondson’s fiftieth year in Freemasonry,

1999 also had a fiftieth year presentation, this time to Eric Mutter, by W.Bro. Ronald Byres de Gray, PSGD. APGM. Our master at this time was one of the characters in the Lodge, The Rev. Can. Len Tyzack, 

The new millennium started with an interesting and amusing lecture entitled ‘Recollections of the Army and Navy Lodge of Bombay’ presented by the Founding Master W.Bro. Walter Blewer. Our founding Master was also presented with a certificate to mark his 50th year in Masonry by W.Bro. Michael Robin Bailey, PSGD. APGM. The idiosyncrasies of some 8406 workings were long known as ‘Bombay Workings’ for reasons that should be obvious. 

2001 included a visit from The Royal Sovereign Light Lodge 6630, Bexhill, East Sussex. W.Bro. John Backhouse gave the Lodge a presentation chest containing fifty firing glasses engraved with the Lodge crest for use at the festive board. Hugh Gordon received an active Provincial appointment to ProvAGDC. 

2002 moves us within twenty years of the current date (2021) and subscriptions were raised to £72, only just over half the current rate! The Lodge reciprocated the visit from 6630. 

2003 started badly with the death of our D.C. and past Secretary, Maurice Miles after a short illness. His deep chuckle is remembered fondly. Chris Saville, fresh from the IPM’s chair, was seconded into the role of DC. Norman Stanley, our founding Secretary, also sailed for uncharted waters. The installation saw the Secretary’s collar handed over from Nick Hutchins to Hugh Gordon. Unfortunately, the chest of firing glasses disappeared from Folkestone Masonic Hall following a break-in. The resultant disagreement with the hall management over their replacement saw the wheels set in motion for the lodge to leave Folkestone. The October meeting saw the necessary notice of motion, of a written deputation from seven members, that the Lodge be removed to Dover. At the same meeting W.Bro. Michael Robin Bailey PSGD. DPGM. presented Bro. Ted Martin with a certificate to mark his 60th year in Masonry.  

2004 and the February meeting was the first meeting to be held at the Masonic Hall, Dover. Chris Saville was made the Lodge's first Provincial Steward since John Attwood (founding steward) who had unfortunately sailed for uncharted waters recently, as the result of a fall. 

2005 and it should be noted that the lodge had 38 members. John Edmondson received a Grand Rank promotion to PJGD. Owing to the inability to have our usual Christmas meeting in the evening at our new home, due to long standing socials, the Lodge adopted the practice of holding a "white table" social Christmas lunch at the December meeting. 

2006 and the June meeting saw the initiation of our current Master John Turner. The October meeting saw Hugh Gordon giving a particularly poignant reminiscence of his experiences in the Falklands conflict, including playing an operational tape of typical British stoicism at the arrival of an unexploded Argentine bomb in his engine room. 

2007 started badly with Eric Mutter (founding steward) sailing for uncharted waters. Eric’s widow, Betty, presented the Lodge with a set of silver square and compasses in memory of Eric. Our founding Master, Wally Blewer, also sailed for uncharted waters. V.W.Bro. Peter Brooshooft PGSwdBr. DPGM. visited the Lodge. 

2008 included Chris Saville’s investiture as Provincial Junior Grand Warden at Margate. Our long serving Secretary, Patrick De-La-Mere, was installed as Master in the presence of W.Bro. Brian Powell PAGDC. APGM. W.Bro. John Grumbridge PSGD. APGM. presented John Edmondson with a certificate to mark his 60th year in Masonry at the October meeting. Dinner was curry, as is our tradition in October. 

 2009 Installation

From left: Nick Hutchins, Patrick De-La-Mere (I.P.M.), Roger Waltham (ProvSGW & Rep), Graham Skelton (Master), Chris Saville (ProvJGW), Roy Petzing and Hugh Gordon (Secretary).
2009 arrived and Colin Rhodes (founding Chaplain) sailed for uncharted waters leaving 8406 with just three surviving founders in the Lodge. Chris Saville became Provincial Deputy Grand Secretary. These had been lean years for the Lodge with membership down to 24 subscribing brethren, several of those being of advancing years. However, the tide was turning and the December meeting saw a ballot for an unprecedented six joining members!
2010 W.Bro. Pat Thomas PSGD. APGM. visited the lodge at the February meeting, which had an unusually early start of 1100hrs. Chris Saville became Provincial Grand Secretary in April. Hugh Gordon handed over the scribe’s quill to Patrick De-La-Mere. John Webster Walker, founding Senior Deacon, left our merry band.
2011 was the fortieth year of Trinity Mariners and at the December celebration the Lodge received the talk, included in this history, from John Edmondson. Trinity Mariners was now in the far healthier position of 34 subscribing and 2 honorary members. Adrian Friend became a Provincial Grand Steward for his many services to 8406 and Freemasonry in general.
2012 began well with three more candidates and two joining members. Sadly, Peter Lawrence, founding Junior Deacon, sailed for uncharted waters. John Turner was Master and had the rare privilege of initiating his Son, Daniel, into Freemasonry. November heralded a social unique in the Lodge history, a Trafalgar Night. Ninety-two were dined, entertained and took part in all the traditional singing, festivities and flag waving, all proceeds went to the Kent Association for The Disabled.
2013 was a bumper year for Trinity Mariners with candidates and joiners taking the Lodge to 43 subscribing and 2 honorary members. Charlie Jones received a promotion to the active rank of DProvGReg. The master installed in 2013 was Mike Goodwin, another keen Trinity Mariner. Without the efforts of Mike and Adrian Friend the Lodge would not have found itself in such a healthy position. .

The superb Ladies’ Night that year entertained 142 diners at Solton Manor

The Lodge received a visit from the Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing at the October meeting and it was necessary to purchase another 30 firing glasses to accommodate their now traditional use at the festive board where 64 diners sat down. The purpose of the visit had been to present Ted Martin, the longest serving Freemason in East Kent, with his certificate for seventy years membership. Unfortunately, Ted could not be present and received his certificate at the December white table.

Ted, accompanied by his son Brendan (right), is pictured receiving his certificate from the Master, Mike Goodwin.
2014 and Charlie Jones followed Mike Goodwin into the chair of King Solomon, his and Pat’s Ladies’ Night also attracted 100 diners. Chris Saville handed over the bosun’s whistle to Barry Swinerd as D.C. after twelve years. In February, six intrepid Mariners went North to The Lodge of Philanthropy No. 940 in Stockport to support a former initiate, Mike Ellner, of 8406 at his installation. Mike’s work had taken him from East Kent but the Lodge still wished to support his installation.
2015 was the start of two torrid years for 8406 with seven members departing this realm. Sadly, our last surviving founder John Edmondson, whose original embryonic suggestion led to the formation of Trinity Mariners, sailed for uncharted waters. A stalwart and irreplaceable founding member of our lodge and when John spoke, everyone listened! His dry humour and hangdog expression will long be remembered. Chris Saville became only the third member of 8406 to be appointed to Grand Rank and Chris presented the Lodge with the array of signal flags used when the festive board is “dressed overall”. Chris Jones, our Chaplain, received an active Provincial rank as ProvADC.
2016 and East Kent’s longest serving Freemason, Ted Martin sailed for uncharted waters, followed all too soon by his son Brendan, succumbing to a heart attack. The organist for ours and many other lodges in the area, Roy Howard, also sailed for uncharted waters. W.Bro. Peter Rodd PSGD, APGM. visited the Lodge in October - our traditional curry evening! The February, June and October meetings welcomed three initiates - Albert Thorp, Patrick Devine and Mark Riggs. It is also an unfortunate fact that these have been our most recent initiates at the time of writing.
2017 Despite the recent losses, 8406 still had 41 members, but was soon to lose another stalwart, Hugh Gordon a past secretary for 8406. Hugh had been secretary and instrumental in the move to Dover.
2018 Adrian Friend was awarded honorary membership for his services to 8406.
2019 and Roger Arnold was presented with a fifty-year certificate by W.Bro. David Alexander PSGD, APGM. By now the Lodge banner seemed to look increasingly ‘tired’. It was taken to a specialist firm in London, who highlighted that much of the banner had been lovingly constructed, but with enthusiasm rather than ability! An estimate of £750 was required to safeguard the future of the banner and a new one would have been no more expensive. The banner is a central part of 8406 history, its significance being explained at every installation. Patrick Devine, one of our newest initiates, kindly stepped forward and underwrote the repairs! Clouds were on the horizon, however, with the Lodge down to 35 subscribing and 1 honorary member at the end of 2019, what was around the corner was unprecedented in Masonic history.
2020 started with the spectre of Covid 19 looming large, though few, if any, could have foreseen that the February meeting was to be our last for eighteen months.

The autumn respite from Covid 19 allowed 8406 to lead the campaign for Dover Lodges to supply a retro jukebox to the newly opened Harmonia Village for supporting those suffering from dementia. At a Covid restricted ceremony a cheque for £5600 was handed over to pay for the juke box in the picture.
2021 found Covid 19 preventing face to face meetings, 8406 tried to maintain social contact via monthly on-line virtual chat meetings. As the restrictions were being lifted, the Dover Masonic Hall could not satisfy the ventilation requirements of Covid compliance.

The semicentennial celebrations were looming large and the Lodge found itself at Canterbury (Covid compliant) for an emergency meeting to install John Turner, an 8406 initiate, as Master for the festival year. The ceremony was certainly a unique experience with all the faces hidden behind Covid masks (who said Masonry is a secret society??) and ventilation scrubbers whirring quietly in the background. At the time of the July meeting, membership had dropped to 30 subscribing and 1 honorary member.

The semicentenary was planned to be held at Dover Town Hall as an exact replication of the former occasion. Covid closure allowed restoration work at the Maison Dieu to start nearly a year earlier than was intended, so the present day finds us planning the semicentenary at Snargate Street.

October 2021 sees our first regular meeting, post Covid, for eighteen months - an initiation! Let’s hope it’s the start of better times once again!  



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