Our lives consist of periods of searching – looking back in history, contemplating the present and considering the future. Imagine how interesting it would be if you could examine a masonic dynasty of a hundred years or more. W Bro David Affleck of the Lansdowne Lodge of Unity No 626 meeting in Chippenham, Wiltshire, can do just that, and on a frosty December night he was joined in the Lodge by members and visitors to celebrate a remarkable achievement.
The photo shows VW Bro Peter Winton, DepProvGM, congratulating W Bro David Affleck, PProvJGW, with newly installed Master, W Bro Michael Howson, in the background.
On Tuesday 11 December the brethren of the Lansdowne Lodge of Unity met to witness the Installation of Bro Michael Howson into the Master's chair and to honour W Bro David Affleck who was initiated into the Lodge in 1949 by his father.
Having previously been honoured for achieving 60 wonderful years of service to the Craft, it was, said VW Bro Peter Winton, a real privilege to present David with a memento signifying the high esteem in which he is held within the Lodge and on the 50th anniversary of his being installed as Master of the Lodge.
In paying a moving tribute to W Bro Affleck, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master reflected on how he was always willing to undertake any duties required of him and that during the installation of the new Master, W Bro Michael Howson, he had presented the working tools of an Entered Apprentice. His contribution was not only word perfect but the sincerity of his delivery enhanced the presentation and will have formed a lasting impression on the newly installed Master.
The reading of the Ancient Minutes were themselves full of history and special meaning, as on Tuesday 10 December 1912, exactly 100 years ago, David's father was balloted for as an Initiate into the Lodge. One can only imagine David's thoughts as he heard those minutes being read in open Lodge, recollecting the commencement of his own journey into Freemasonry.
In responding to the presentation W Bro Affleck thanked the Lodge and in his typically understated manner expressed the hope that he might have the opportunity to 'treasure' the memento for a few more years – David is 94 years of age but looks considerably younger.
The Lansdowne Lodge of Unity No 626 and Freemasonry within the Province of Wiltshire is justly proud of David.
RW Bro Francis Wakem, Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire said, 'David Affleck is an amazing man and Freemason; in the register of Past Masters of and in the Lodge his name heads the list on two counts, first in terms of the date he was initiated – 1949 and secondly the date he occupied the Chair – 1962. He is held in high estimation among his brethren and fellows, and this is probably the highest personal honour any man can be afforded. I am delighted to offer my congratulations to David for what is quite exemplary service to Freemasonry in general and to the Lansdowne Lodge of Unity No 626 in particular.'