Number 4281 in the register of the United Grand Lodge of England
Izaak Walton Lodge of Freemasons
March meeting Some have seen it done before. Many have not. But it certainly proved to be a challenge at our March meeting to pass two of our members to the second degree - together, in one ceremony! Not even senior members in the Lodge could remember this being done before. The first objective was to ensure that each candidate felt that the ceremony was focused on him. We achieved that in effect, by conducting two ceremonies, one after the other. Each candidate was alone when taking the obligation - and then, by means of some astute choreography, they worked together through the rest of the ceremony, while not diluting the important lessons and messages that were communicated. The tone for the evening was set by the two candidates who proved their proficiency in the former degree by answering all questions clearly and accurately. Important contributions to the success of the meeting were provided by W.Bro Hirendra Raval, who as well as acting as the Immediate Past Master for the evening, gave a faultless explanation of the second degree tracing board. The Senior Warden, Bro. Frank Pearson explained the working tools of the degree. There were all sorts of questions raised before conducting this ceremony, as to how we might achieve something for which the collective memory of the Lodge could not help to provide solutions. By considering the various options and working closely as a team, with all contributions welcomed, the Izaak Walton Lodge delivered a faultless evening of ritual and another memorable experience for our candidates as they progress through their masonic journey. Our visitors, from various local Lodges, were also impressed and counted the evening both upstairs and downstairs, an unqualified success. In April, we will be conducting a third degree ceremony, so book your meal now if you wish to attend and dine!  
A welcome return It was a real delight to welcome back to our March meeting, two brothers who have faced health difficulties recently with hospital time, invasive procedures and all the prodding and poking that goes on to identify and resolve the issues. W.Bro John Caine, looking trim after a spell in hospital recently, and Bro. David Breeze, also looking as “fit as a flea” were welcomed back with all the enthusiasm we could muster. Despite the stress they had been under, both displayed an amazing strength of spirit and a determination not to let their health traumas define them. We are delighted to see them back in Lodge and look forward to the pleasure of their company for many years to come. Not yet back……. W.Bro Ray Barnett is making steady progress under a strict regime of physio at home and although not yet back with us, we are confident of an early return to the Lodge. To mark Ray’s recent birthday, it was arranged for a group of Past Masters to steal him from under the watchful eyes of Jan, Ray’s wife and spirit him to a local hostelry where food and drink were consumed and the event celebrated with a generous birthday cake. Ray, as usual, was on sparkling form and it proved to be a great lunch, which birthday or not, we shall be reprising again very soon!