Beriffe Lodge of Mark Master Masons, Installation Meeting
(and a real find!)
The Beriffe Lodge held its Installation meeting on the 11th of February at Brightlingsea Masonic Centre. They were honoured with a visit from W.Bro. Mark Reeve, APGM who was escorted by W.Bro. Michael Howard, ProvAGDC.
The meeting saw W.Bro. Brian Birkin duly Installed by W.Bro. Jeff Hierons in a most "Brilliant Beriffe " manner.
The address to the Master was given by W.Bro. Bob Crow; The Wardens by John Stannard, The Overseers, Richard Stephens and to the Brethren by the APGM, W.Bro. Mark Reeve.
Perhaps the "real highlight" of the evening was the official "re-presentation" of some items of real historical interest and value to the Beriffe Lodge. Below are photographs of two jewels (a Founders Jewel and a Past Masters jewel) and the alms box, all of which came to light in the last few months and thus were "re-presented" to the Lodge at the February Installation meeting. The alms box was recently found hidden amongst some old records and paper stored under the seating in the Temple. It was presented by Bro. Cousins, a regular visitor back in the late 1920s and early 1930s, from their Mother Mark Lodge, Constantine. The following might be of interest:
“Clearly, Bro. Cousins was not happy with either Constantine’s nor Beriffe’s alms box, if they had any, as on the 21st January 1930, the minutes of Constantine state 'The WM made reference to an Alms Box of acacia wood in the form of a Keystone which had been presented to the Lodge by Bro. A.E. Cousins who was responsible for its excellent workmanship, the polishing had been undertaken by Bro. L. Neep and the lettering by Bro. W.H. Soar." The minutes of Constantine then go on to state that the box was handed to the Deacons and used for the first time to collect Alms, which raised 20/-.”
The Jewels were returned to the Lodge at the December Royal Ark Mariner Grand Assembly by R.W. Bro. Keswick Jones on the understanding that Beriffe Lodge donate a small sum to Charity. On the night of his visit, the Lodge we presented a cheque for £100.00 payable to the Essex Provincial Mark Welfare Fund, the official visitor on the night, W. Bro. Mark Reeve.
Both jewels originally belonged to W. Bro. Major Arthur J. Oakley-Turner who was the Lodge Secretary for many years and became Provincial Grand Secretary. They are exquisite pieces as seen in the pictures below