David Wallington found the perfect way to celebrate his 50 years as a Bristol Freemason – he went back in the Chair of his Mother lodge, St Katharine Lodge No 7051
It was a unique event, as there to propose his toast was Graham Russell who initiated him in April 1969. Their links go far deeper for 33 years later Graham was again Master and in his final ceremony installed David as his successor, going on to serve him for two years as Immediate Past Master (IPM).
For Graham it was the start of his 63 years as a member of St Katharine though he was not the most senior member there, that honour went to John Davis, Master in 1967 and 1997 and now an Honorary member. These three stalwarts claim a combined membership of 177 years since the lodge was consecrated in 1951.
Notes for the guidance of all lodges include a recommendation that every Director of Ceremonies should hold the Office for a number of years. David was there at St Katharine for 17 years; a friendly but firm figure who matched enjoyment with great dignity and impeccable performance.
David has been active in other degrees, rising to Third Provincial Grand Principal in the Royal Arch and subsequently being awarded Chapter Grand rank. In his 50 years there is only one year he has not held an active rank in the Craft.
In St Katharine, on his way to the Master’s Chair, he filled every Office including six years as Steward which was par for the course in his early years. Much to his regret it was the one Office he had to leave unfilled at his Installation.
When he came into the lodge there were seven Stewards, with six subsequently going through the Chair. This is the fourth time he has been installed, first in 1985, then 2003 and 2004, with the final two with the same IPM.
‘I intend to enjoy this very special year’, David promises, ‘but with the one regret that I won’t be able to make as many visits as I used to.’ He has already one memento to look back on for someone found a copy of the summons he received on the evening he was initiated. It was presented to him on his first meeting back as Master.