Lodge visit May 2015

Royal Naval Lodge visit to Malta

Malta trip.jpg


The Royal Naval Lodge is intensely proud of its Maltese heritage, dating back to 1899, and when an invitation was received about 12 months ago to join with St John and St Paul Lodge no.349 in the celebration of its Bi-Centenary in Valetta, Malta, it was an opportunity not to be missed. With the advantage of having a Past Master of RN now resident in Malta, in the person of W Bro Jim Hunter, who is also a member of 349, arrangements were soon set in motion for a group visit
The event held on Wednesday 6th May 2015 had attracted a lot of overseas interest and was attended by RW Bro Sir David Hugh Wootton, the Assistant Grand Master and others from the United Grand Lodge of England, amongst some150 visitors. The Lodge Meeting was held at the hugely impressive Sacra Infermeria, Valletta, the ancient Hospital, and a true Maltese heritage site, constructed by the Knights of St John Hospitalier almost 500 years ago.
The proceedings got under way with the necessary processions of dignitaries into the Lodge, including the Grand Inspector for Malta, VW Bro Dr Lawrence L Porter, and finally the Asst Grand Master and other Grand officers, with our very own W Bro Jim Hunter, and W Bro Colin Jones playing their parts as ADC and DC respectively.
Appropriate welcomes were made and warmly acknowledged, and we then heard the Minutes of the consecration in 1815 and of the Centenary in 1915 read.
There followed a brief and most interesting history of the Lodge over its first 200 years given by VW Bro Dr Lawrence Porter, during which he mentioned all the other Lodges which had been consecrated subsequently in Malta, and that were here represented today. On the mention of  Royal Naval Lodge no. 2762, the  13 members ( including one Past Member) present gave an united court bow to the Worshipful Master. We were very pleased to see a former member,  W Bro Roy Starling PAGDC, in attendance. He had come to Malta with his 3 daughters as chaperones. I believe Roy has the distinction of being the last District Senior Grand Warden, and he was honoured accordingly.
We then heard proclaimed the Bi-Centenary Warrant which was then presented to the WM.
There followed a fascinating and most appropriate Oration given by R W Bro David Kenneth Williamson, the Past Assistant Grand Master, who is an Honorary Member of the Lodge of St John and St Paul no.349.
We were advised of a new History of the Lodge written by W Bro Theodore Eddie Kalogeropoulos and translated into English by W Bro George Poulimenos the first two copies of which were then presented to the WM and the RW Asst Grand Master.
The Lodge meeting was closed in due form and copies of the book most generously given to all who attended before all present attended a celebratory banquet in the same wonderful vaulted setting of the Sacra Infermeria, during which the customary toasts and responses were enjoyed by all.
The RN contingent comprised WM: W Bro Bill Spregg, SW and Almoner:Bro Chris Kelly, JW: Bro Dan Bowler, Treasurer: W Bro Derek Marpole, Secretary: W Bro Mike Waterman, DC:W Bro Neil Tinkley, Charity Steward: W Bro Bill Clark, SD: Bro Mark Twist, JD: Bro Martin Duan, Asst Sec and LIO: W Bro Scott Gibbons, and Steward Bro Ed Cole, with W Bros Jim Hunter  and Roy Starling joining our greetings. Another Somerset Brother, W Bro John Hawkins of 7973 Glastonbury also made the trip and has contributed some good pictures of the assembled group.
We were accompanied by Rachel, Hazel, Penny, Margaret, and Sally, wives respectively of Bill S, Bill C, Derek, Neil and Ed, to enrich the occasion. A separate and special LadiesDinner was held at the Fortina Hotel on the evening of the Lodge meeting.
We must thank W Bro Jim Hunter, his local Lodge Secretary and his wife, W Bro Terry and Maggie Roberts, and VW Bro Lawrence Porter and his wife, Jacqui for all their help and the latter also for their quite exceptional reception at the Palazzo Promontorio, Wardija on the following day.
An overwhelming success.

Mike Waterman
RN 2761