50 Year Certificate for Michael Lewis

A party with friends!

 

One of the Province’s most respected and well-known members, WBro Michael Lewis, a Past Provincial Second Grand Principal in the Royal Arch, celebrated half a century as a Freemason on the 13 April; fifty years and one day after being Initiated, when there was a presentation at Michael’s beloved Mother Lodge, the Hexagon Lodge No.5380, in Rochester.

 

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Michael was born in Reigate in 1933. Having been evacuated and attended seven schools during the war years, he eventually completed his schooling at Truro School in Cornwall. He studied law and was admitted as a solicitor in 1957. He was then called-up for National Service, and commissioned in the RAF. Upon demobilisation, Michael began practicing law in Gillingham, where he built up the practice, almost from scratch.

He married Margaret (affectionately known as “Moff”, after Moffat, her place of birth) in 1961. They have three children and six grandchildren and celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary in October.

Michael has always been very active in the community. Among many other activities, he was for thirty-one years a member of Gillingham Borough Council and for most of that time it’s Leader, a member of and Clerk to the Wardens and Assistants of the Rochester Bridge Trust during a period thirty-one years and a Member of the Medway Ports Authority. He was honoured with appointment as one of Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenants for the County of Kent in 2001.

Michael is a great believer in the joy and benefit of sport, is a former rugby player and keen supporter of the ‘family’ cricket club. Whilst he cares little for professional soccer, he is an enthusiastic supporter of Gillingham Football Club and a season ticket holder.

Initiated on the 12th April 1961, he was Worshipful Master of the Hexagon Lodge in 1975 and it’s Charity Steward for eighteen years, covering two Provincial Festivals. He was appointed as the ProvSGW. In the Royal Arch, Michael served his Chapter as Scribe E for twenty-one years He was appointed ProvScribe N, Third and then Second Provincial Grand Principal from 1995 to 1999. He has appointed to Past Grand Rank in the Craft and Royal Arch and subsequently promoted to PJGD and PAGSoj respectively.

Having previously been joint Provincial Spokesman Michael became the first Provincial Information Officer in 1999, in which capacities he successfully spearheaded the Province’s way forward in creating an openness with the press and public, not seen in English Freemasonry since before the threat of invasion by Nazi Germany. He organised and ran the Province’s presence at the Kent County Show for a number of years and successfully challenged the county’s Local Authorities to remove the requirement for employees and job applicants to declare membership of Freemasonry. Michael has been the Editor of the Provincial Website since its revival.

In presenting him with a Certificate to acknowledge his fifty years in Masonry, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Brian Powell, expressed the view of all who know Michael that he exemplifies the continuity of the traditional values of our Fraternity, which are as valid and relevant now as they were three-hundred years ago. WBro Powell went on to comment that some words, which we hear spoken at every Installation Ceremony, are well applied to Michael; May these principles and tenets be transmitted, pure and unpolluted, through this Lodge from generation to generation.

The presentation attracted many good friends from across the years, including RWBro Russell Race, Metropolitan Grand Master, WBro Roger Odd, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, WBro Chris Saville, Provincial Grand Secretary (who read out the Certificate), WBro Brian Powell, Assistant Provincial Grand Master (who presented the Certificate) and WBro Roger Waltham, Assistant Provincial Grand Master.

In his response after receiving his Certificate, Michael spoke emotionally and with considerable passion about the Fraternity and his love, in particular, for his Mother Lodge. He said that he had recently been asked what his happiest moment in Freemasonry had been, to which he replied: ‘At the end of last month’s meeting of Hexagon Lodge, when I realised that we had five Entered Apprentices and that the future of the Lodge, which had been in some doubt not so long ago, was thus once again looking secure!’

Certainly, the Province and the Fraternity owe much to this man of passion and integrity.

As WBro Powell put it in his closing remarks: “May the Great Architect of the Universe grant you continued good health & happiness for years to come so that you can continue to enjoy your Masonry”.

Bravo to that!

 

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