I promised you an update on the Lodges which decide to meet at MMH – so I believe this is the very first one. Cenabis Bene No 835 met for its postponed Installation Meeting on 2 September. Here are the members captured in the Brazil Room over 2 separate photos (to comply with social distancing). All the conditions of the Adapted Ceremony of Installation were complied with (naturally) under the watchful eye of Grand Secretary, who was attending as an Honorary Member. As you can see, the majority were also wearing masks – those not masked had of course a medical exemption. VW Bro. Ron Venn was installed, in fine style, as the newly reponed Lodge’s 2nd WM, by RW Bro. David Ashbolt. The Brethren all reported an uneventful journey into central London and that their trains and the railway terminals were very quiet – making it easy to stay apart from the few other travellers who were about. Black cabs were also readily available for the final leg of their journeys to MMH. Within MMH the signage was easy to follow; there were hand sanitising stations readily available; and the toilets were also all compliant with the distancing rules. As you are all aware, there is no catering available within MMH so the party repaired to a local Club for a private dinner. Overall a most enjoyable time was had by everyone – the only thing really missing was all the fun of a Festive Board. Apparently the fine dining and champagne made up for that!
Whilst it is comforting and encouraging to see so many senior members of the Province taking their first tentative steps towards physical gatherings, I would re-iterate my previous comments that no-one must feel compelled to attend a meeting unless they are comfortable in doing so. However, the experiences of the Cenabis Bene Lodge members might serve as a reassurance to others that the steps taken within MMH to achieve Covid compliance standards are conducive to gatherings of up to 30 members, and that it is possible for a level of enjoyment and satisfaction to be achieved whilst working under the Adapted Ceremonies guidelines. Once my own period of convalescence is over, I too look forward to getting back in the saddle and perhaps I will soon be seeing more of you back at 86 St James’s Street.
Also meeting for the first time since Suspension was lifted was Imperial Lodge of MMM No. 643. This time at Duke Street St James. The members there were able to meet in the spacious Grand Temple in the basement and of course enjoyed a happy reunion with friends and brethren they had not seen for many months. Full marks to their Tyler, David Riddoch, for his assistance in setting up the Temple in accordance with the CV-19 requirements.
Stay Safe and Mark Well Brethren.