The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Essex Freemasons, Nick Franklin, was the first to congratulate Joseph Kavanagh on 10th February 2022 at East Saxon Lodge No. 7053. After the ceremony he told the Brethren that a bonus of his surprise visit was to see a superb Initiation by Steve French the Lodge Chaplain (a Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer) and a faultless Charge after Initiation by Nicky Scarborough, the Immediate Past Master and Proposer
Working as a kitchen porter, Joe is studying to become a solicitor. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master praised Joe’s manner during the ceremony and said that as East Saxon is a small Lodge, Joe should advance quickly and he would watch his progress. Nick wished Joe well in his future career and said how pleased he was the Lodge had signed up to the Membership Pathway scheme to attract, introduce and encourage potential new members, whilst at the same time retaining and adding value to the existing membership.
Afterwards Joe said he was 'looking forward to seeing the ceremony again and having the symbology explained'. Joe was surprised to discover why Manchester City F.C. wear light blue shirts and to learn of the Essex Cornerstone Club for young and new Freemasons under 40.
Nick Franklin described his visit as a 'humbling experience'. It was his own idea to surprise Malcolm Robinson, who had joined Freemasonry before Nick was born and who was the Worshipful Master of East Saxon Lodge in 1970, before Nick went to secondary school. As Deputy Provincial Grand Master it also gave Nick the opportunity to thank the East Saxon brethren for their contributions in helping the Lodge achieve Vice Patron status for the Essex 2022 Festival.
'Pledges and regular payments up to December 2023 will count towards the Festival total' Nick explained and added that the Provincial Grand Master will announce the final amount raised by Essex Freemasons for the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge on Thursday 24th March 2022.
Nick encouraged as many members as possible to attend the Annual Meeting at which the Provincial Grand Master, Paul Tarrant, will also sign the Armed Forces Covenant. Nick pointed out that HM Armed Forces face dangers and give up their freedoms so it is right they get fair treatment. He said 'The Armed Forces Covenant has been signed by UGLE as well as some other Provinces and Essex is proud to follow suit.' He also informed the Brethren that the Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, will be a special guest to witness the important occasion.