The three candidates were Kevin Parsons aged 52; Richard Morris aged 51, and Herbert Chamberlain, aged 93, who we believe may be the oldest candidate ever initiated in the Province of Berkshire.
The Lodge was pleased to be assisted and guided during the ceremony by their VGO, Peter Hadden, who also acted as the third deacon during the ceremony. The quote of the day came from Bro Herbert who said “to become Master I guess I should have applied for membership a bit earlier”. Bro. Kevin Parsons followed that with “How on earth do all of you remember all of those words?” – he’ll soon find out!
The picture could perhaps be described as the three stages of a Masonic journey for the three new members, from initiation, through the principal offices of the Lodge, to maybe becoming a Grand Officer one day – who knows.
On September 7th Combined Services got off the mark and initiated their first ever candidate. Being a Military themed Lodge it was fitting that our first Candidate, Rick Hartley, be a serving member of the Forces.
Rick is a Staff Sergeant in 11 EOD Regiment, Royal Logistics Corp. EOD stands for Explosive Ordinance Disposal, which means Rick is involved at the sharp end in bomb disposal, so Freemasonry should be a welcome distraction from the challenge that involves.
Rick said of his initiation, “It’s a privilege to be the first new member of the Combined Services Lodge and I am extremely humbled by the welcome I received on the evening. It appears that Freemasonry is very similar to being within the military, from what I gleaned during the ceremony it requires self-discipline, trust and team work. I look forward to getting involved in the future and enjoying the comradery of the Lodge.”
Rick is pictured with the Worshipful Master Rod Bancroft and the SW and JW, Stephen Quant, and Trefor Williams.Their first candidate was quickly followed up by a second when Dan Swain was initiated at an Emergency Meeting of the Lodge on the 5th October.
At the meeting of Alfred the Great Lodge, 8617, on October 5th in Wantage, David Shirley was initiated into the Lodge . His son, Derek Shirley, Senior Warden of Robert Mummery Lodge 8331 in the Province of Staffordshire, gave the address to his father, the Brother Initiate. David had no previous idea that his son was to take part in the ceremony and everyone enjoyed this very happy occasion.