District Grand Council
Of Surrey
Meeting new friends in Farnham

Some time back, I'd made it known that I had plans to join the Royal & Select Masters followed by the Allied Masonic Degrees…but then something happened on a global scale, to curtail my Masonic ambition.

Since the restart of Freemasonry, the District Grand Prefect had made several enquiries of my intentions to which I made reference to R&SM first… thus, when I was Admitted into Weyside Council of the Royal & Select Masters in early April, I finally succumbed to John's charms and filled in my form. With several suitable units to choose from, I selected Farnham Council - a venue I'd visited only a handful of times, with a view of broadening my Masonic circle of friends. My emailed form duly arrived in the inbox of the Secretary - who was on a cruise. But strings appropriately pulled, I was given the go-ahead to join.

Thus, on Monday 16th May, I arrived at Farnham Masonic Centre, and made myself comfortable in the bar. I was soon joined by John Ward, my fellow candidate for the evening, listening to the bangs and creaks from above, as the Council was opened. The Council being duly opened, the first item of business was to mark the passing to Higher Service of W.Bro. Peter Ribi, Director of Ceremonies of the Council and a well-respected man and Mason. W.Bro. George Deacon was then Proclaimed as Worshipful Master for a further year, with VW.Bro. Brian Howlett as Senior Warden and erstwhile Tyler Bro. Brian Dougherty as Junior Warden.
Meeting new friends in Farnham
Bro. John and I were then called to the door, and Introduced, Received and Admitted as Brothers of St. Lawrence the Martyr by W.Bro. Brian Selway, with W.Bro. Jack Love as Deacon, in excellent manner. The clear and calm presentation of the Lecture was especially noted and appreciated.
Meeting new friends in Farnham
Having been presented with our goody bags (of the ritual book, tie and a Surrey Mark calendar) we were placed into our seats - then promptly ejected from the temple, joined by Bro. Clifford Foster who had been Admitted at the previous meeting. In our absence, a Council of Knights of Constantinople was opened, and the three Candidates readmitted, to be Admitted as Knights of Constantinople by W.Bro. Brian Selway under the watchful eye of Bro. Jerry Neave as Conductor.
Meeting new friends in Farnham
With another ritual book in hand, we were returned to our seats, and the Council of Constantinople duly closed, and the Lodge of St Lawrence the Martyr was resumed. But before John and I could get too comfortable, we were called forward to be Invested as Stewards of the Council. The meeting was then closed and we all adjourned downstairs for an excellent Festive Board.

My intention, with joining Farnham was to broaden my Masonic circle of friends - and so I met Cliff for the first time, and John for the second. Everyone else in the Council is already well known to me… I was already among friends.

Farnham Council No.235 meets at Farnham Masonic Centre on the 3rd Monday in May (for the Installation) and the 1st Wednesday in November. New and joining members are welcome. At the November meeting, it is intended to open a Council of Knights of Constantinople, followed by a Lodge of Grand Tilers of Solomon.

Article by Andrew Banks, photos by Andrew Banks assisted by Ian Smith

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