East Kent Provincial 2013 News

Retirement of a Stalwart

Tony tree WLWBro Tony Elliott, retiring Media Manager

East Kent Freemasons will have read in the December issue of the Provincial magazine, of the retirement on 31st December of WBro Tony Elliott, from his role as the Province's Media Manager.

Tony is a Past Master of his Mother Lodge, St Michael's No 1273 and his old school lodge, Old Manwoodian No 7636. He is also a Past First Principal of his Mother Chapter, St Michael's No 1273. He first became involved with the Province's communication initiatives in 1998 when he assisted David Mander, the Area Information Officer for the Swale and Sheppey area at that time. Their ground-breaking work, encouraging 'Openness', included organising a series of public Open Days at a number of Masonic Halls around the Province. This was a real break from the low profile maintained by Freemasons during the preceding four or five decades.

Another important initiative was to establish links with the local press and to continue to liaise with them over the years. Tony worked very hard on this initiative and produced a lot of excellent articles all helping to break down some of the myths about Freemasonry that had developed since the 1940s.

In 1999, Tony took over as Area Information Officer and continued to work with Michael Lewis's Information Team, along with others such as Roger Odd, Brian Powell and Roger Waltham.

He went on to become heavily involved in the organisation and running of the Kent Freemasons' stand at the Kent County Show. In this capacity he worked closely with Brethren from both East and West Kent for several years and spent many hours talking to members of the public, answering their questions and generally raising the profile of Freemasonry in the community. Such was the success of this exercise that it prompted the Province to acquire a mobile display unit that is now taken to town centres, summer fetes and a wide range of events at weekends throughout the year.

group of 7 KS WSTony surrounded with helpers at the Kent County Show

Subsequently Tony succeeded Michael Lewis as Provincial Information Officer before becoming Media Manager and a member of the newly-formed Provincial Communications Board in 2011. In 2012 he was appointed to Grand Rank, a well-deserved recognition of the tremendous service he had given over many years.

During his fourteen years of involvement with provincial communications, Tony has experienced a revolution in communications technology, much of which the Province has grasped, and an increasingly positive response from the public towards Freemasonry.

East Kent Freemasons have been fortunate to benefit from Tony's dedication to duty. At his own expense he has travelled all over the Province and beyond to attend a wide range of events so that he would be in a position to report on them and, on many of those occasions, take photographs. His kind and polite demeanour, together with his sense of humour, has helped to lighten many occasions and he will be a hard act to follow.

Tony has long since retired from his professional life as a civil and structural engineer and we all wish him well as he winds down his Masonic commitments. Although he will be handing over the baton as Media Manager, he will continue to provide some support for the work of the Provincial Communications Board.

-oOo-

Succeeding him as Media Manager with effect from the 1st January, is WBro Robin Evans, a Past Master of the Manor of Faversham Lodge No 8248.

Robin Evans2 WSWBro Robin Evans, Media Manager from 1st January 

Robin is a professional marketing man and, since 2010, has been the Marketing Officer at the Kent Museum of Freemasonry. We wish Robin well as he takes on this new challenge.