It might have been bonfire night, so it was a perfect excuse for some fireworks at Cestria Mark to celebrate 60 years in the Mark for Larry Tinkler.
Cestria Mark Lodge worked tirelessly to make sure that there was a slick and extremely well organised evening to acknowledge the incredible contribution Larry has and still is making to Freemasonry in general and the Mark Degree in particular. This occasion would also see a full Provincial Deputation supporting the Provincial Grand Master, Denny Wilson who would be making the presentation to Larry.
Larry is held in such high esteem that the lodge room and hall were filled to capacity with many Heads of Orders, Grand and Provincial officers and most importantly, friends of Larry's.
After the Lodge had conducted all its business, including balloting for two new members, and the Provincial Deputation has processed in ceremonial style, the main purpose of the evening could commence. The PGM Denny, invited Larry to the front of the lodge room where they entered into an enlightening and intriguing conversation. As Larry had commenced his Mark journey in Scotland in 1959, there was a 20 year gap in the information Denny could obtain from Grand Lodge which he knew Larry would complete, even though to Denny's amazement his Grand Lodge CV extended to 14 pages! Larry provided many stories and anecodtes on his time to date in the Mark Degree as well as the many other Orders he is a member of.
Larry's commitment to Freemasonry was later re-emphasised when Mark Gilpin proposed a toast to Larry. It is an incredible achievement that Larry is a member of over 50 units (lodges, chapters etc) and in so many different Orders, achieving Grand Rank honours in most of them as well as being a founder member of over 20 different units. Larry is also very well known for encouraging many a Mason into other Orders, many of us on the receiving end of the mountain of Membership Application Forms he always carries with him, along with his secret weapons of whiskey, a pen and piece of paper - this later turns out to be the Application Form.
Larry's dedication and commitment to Mark Masonry was comemorated with the presentation of a certificate sent from the Grand Master in London as well as one from the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
To add a bit of sparkle to the evening, Larry provided fireworks on each table and there was also a token bonfire to acknowledge it was November 5th. Such was the warmth of the friendship that the fire alarm decided to let rip, it couldn't have been the fireworks after all! The PGM also noting that the alarm was really effective as there was no attempt to form an orderly queue, it was far too important an evening to miss a minute!
It was a great evening and one that everyone whe was there will remember, especially Larry. Well done and congratulations on your achievement Larry.