There were 70 brethren in attendance- 36 members and 34 visitors including Grand Lodge oicers of the GLBFG. Lodge Niederrhein has 102 members wth 57 living outside of Germany. It was pleasing to note that 14 of these non–residents were in attendance. They came from Manchester, Doncaster, Wiltshire, Kent, Stratford upon Avon, Sardinia Venice. By their attending many visiting brethren from these areas joined for the Installatin and magnificent festive board. And also brethren from the Netherlands and different parts of Germany.
We were honoured by the attendance of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany,the DGM, the AGM and other Office Bearers
What a superb weekend. I would like to congratulate Worshipful Brother Andy Gardiner who organised it.
I would like to also congratulate, Worshipful Brother German Ramirez-Espinoza the way he carried out his duties, as Installing Master, and all the brethren who carried out their duties in the Temple. It was great joy for us all.
The Installation itself had many highlights including the presentation of the Working Tools with typical Lodge Niederrhein panache. Well done Tim Wells, (Inner Workings), Tam Pearce, (3rd) Euan Dykes (2nd) and in particular Gero Schmidt (1st.) (Scotland, New Zealand and Germany)
The new Worshipful Master was Installed into the Chair and should prove to be an excellent Master. Well done Worshipful Brother John Thomson. I am sure the day will come when he joins a Rugby Lodge bearing in mind his passion for the game,
The Festive Board meal was superb and substantial money was raised for the WM Charity by way of a raffle.
The Grand Master gave an outstanding response to the Toast to him where he emphasised the need for Freemasonry to consider changes if we were to progress and stressed the importance of unity. He said that Lodge Niederrhein was a good example of how to go forward. The GM expressed his appreciation for the week-end and thanked Niederrhein for its strength, support and loyalty to the United Grand Lodges of Germany and the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany.
Worshipful Brother Tim Wells gave a magnificent Toast to the Master and we enjoyed the Toast to the Visitors and their responses. Worshipful Brother Graham Hollowell, Master of Swan of Avon Lodge No 2133, Stratford upon Avon handed the Travelling Tankard to the Worshipful Master. In a suitable manner, he drank the contents rather quickly. Lodge Niederrhein will return the tankard to Swan of Avon at their Installation Meeting on the 6th February,2018. I introduced this to commemorate the 50th year celebration for Lodge Niederrhein in 2014 and I am pleased that despite the dent in the tankard it just keeps travelling between the two Lodges.
Brethren Lodge Niederrhein has always been an International Lodge and a place of peace and friendship. where we can become even more tolerant and good to all honourable human creatures.
Lodge Niederrhein Brethren currently have brethren who originate from 18 different countries. Represented at the Installation there were members from 13 of them.
Worshipful Master and Brethren all, I thank you.
Sincerely and fraternally
David Stevens PJGW (GLBFG)
PM Lodge Niederrhein
PM Swan of Avon Lodge No 2133 EC