At the regular meeting held on Wednesday 22nd January 2020, the lodge was honoured by the presence of R.W.Bro. Ian Kingsbury, Provincial Grand Master and W.Bro. Richard Ebrey, Provincial Grand Secretary. They were in attendance to formally present W.Bro. William (Bill) George Morris, PPJGW, with his 70 years Masonic Membership Certificate.
After the lodge conducted an excellent Second Degree ceremony to pass Bro. Jon Allen, those present listened intently to the Provincial Grand Secretary as he gave details of W.Bro. Bill's life, work and Masonic achievements. W.Bro Bill's early life was struck by tragedy, when his father died when Bill was only 9 years old. Bill was then sent to the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys. After leaving school, Bill served an apprenticeship in the electrical industry and spent all his working life in this industry. During the latter part of WW II, Bill served in the Royal Engineers. After leaving the Army, Bill's main interest in sport was Full Bore Target Rifle Shooting. He shot with a number of Rifle Clubs throughout the country during his travels and competed at Bisley for nearly 50 years where he won several competitions. In 1967 he was chosen to shoot for the England team in the National Match.
Bill was initiated into his father's Lodge, Canute Lodge No 3104 at Southend-on-Sea in Essex on the 14th January 1950 but due to all his travels for work he was unable to go through the offices. Instead, Bill joined The Lord Roborough Lodge on 24th May 1972, a year after moving to Plymouth and served in all the offices before finally becoming Master in September 1982. Bill also served as W.M. of the Plymouth and District Masters’ Lodge No.5898 in 1993. Provincial honours came in the form of an appointment to Active Provincial Grand Standard Bearer in 1991, followed by an appointment to Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon in 1993 and the very high rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1999. Exalted into the Holy Royal Arch in the Chapter of Sincerity No.189 in 1978, Bill served as First Principal in 1985 and 1990, before joining Devonian Chapter of First Principals in 1992, where he was the First Principal as recently as 2015. Bill now holds the very high rank of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. In the Mark Degree, Bill was the W.M. of Brunswick Lodge of MMM No.48 in 1998 and 1999, he is now the Chaplain. Bill has been honoured with PPGSD in 2002 and PPGJW in 2015. Russell Lodge of RAM No.23 in Tavistock, WM 2003, 2010. Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank in 2009. Across the Craft and Royal Arch, Bill has spent nearly 30 years as Almoner.
The Provincial Grand Master then presented W.Bro. Bill with his very special certificate, which was received with a well deserved standing ovation from all those present. The lodge members have always been very proud to have W.Bro. Bill as a member of The Lord Roborough Lodge and many have witnessed his invaluable support over many years.
To reach the Masonic milestone of 50 years is very special, but to reach 70 years is simply remarkable. This occasion doesn't happen very often, so to be there to share this magnificent occasion, it will always be an event none of us will ever forget. W.Bro. Bill, the members of your lodge salute you and we wish you many more happy times as a member of The Lord Roborough Lodge No.5789.
Photograph by W.Bro. John Smerdon PAGDC
Article by W.Bro. John Sevieri, PAGDC