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Retiring Officers in Lincolnshire Recognised for their Work

Lincolnshire Freemasons receiving Certificates of Merit from the Provincial Grand Master


Subterfuge and successful subtle scheming meant neither Noel Fisher nor Pete Tong were ready for having a surprise sprung on them at Grimsby's Astral Lodge in front of about 100 members from across the Province of Lincolnshire.

Both were presented with the Provincial Grand Master's Certificate of Merit in recognition of their services as Provincial Director of Ceremonies and Charity Steward respectively.

Not only was it the last team visit of the season, but also Noel's last as Provincial Director of Ceremonies, bringing to an end a job he's done for eight years.

The result was a double guest list: the one Noel saw to help with the detailed preparations he made before every visit and the real one, which his successor Andy Ham used to do the necessary 'undercover preparations'.

And puzzled Pete Tong says he should have smelled a rat when Provincial Grand Secretary Tony Miller rang him to check he would be attending the meeting: 

"He said he wanted to buy me a drink. That's out of character; he's never done that before."

 At the Festive Board, Noel spoke for both of them when he said: 

"This has floored us. It's been a real emotional roller-coaster."

He added that he believed his job was the best in the Province, taking him to every centre and having been part of significant milestone events in the history of the Province and its Lodges.

Dave Wheeler said of Pete Tong that he had transformed the role of Provincial Charity Steward, making personal contact with all of our Lodge charity stewards to support them in what could be a tough job. This was leading to the successful completion of our 2025 Festival.

The meeting saw the raising of Master Mason Ralph Thacker, who'd been proposed by his dad, Nick. In a packed ceremony, the Provincial Grand Master also presented Ryan Ginifer with a Grand Lodge certificate, telling him:

"There's a long version of this presentation; I'm not going to do it because I guarantee you won't remember it; all you'll remember is that I presented it."

The attendance of about 100 people is indicative of a slow but inexorable rise in the number of people attending Craft Lodge meetings in Lincolnshire post-COVID. The Province's average attendance was 36, but that's now on the up.

Lincolnshire introduced the Provincial Grand Master's Certificate of Merit in 2003. Since then, it has been awarded to only 20 members out of the Province's 3,000 members. The latest awards are the 21st and 22nd.

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