On Thursday 5th January 2017, distinguished Masons travelled from all over the Country to pay tribute to the illustrious masonic career of RW Bro Dr John Benjamin Lloyd, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of his Initiation in to Craft Masonry. In addition to the Provincial Grand Master of West Wales, RW Bro Stephen D Hookey, there were senior representatives from 12 other masonic orders - The Royal Arch, Mark Masonry, Royal Ark Mariners, The Royal Order of Scotland, The Ancient and Accepted Rite, Knights Templar, Knight Templar Priests, Red Cross of Constantine, The Commemorative Order of St Thomas of Acon, The Masonic Order of Athelstan, The Order of the Secret Monitor and the Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord. RW Bro Dr John is a member of all these orders and holds very high rank in each of them. Below you can read the Provincial Grand Master's Address to Dr John and below that a picture of each of the other orders representatives addressing the meeting. Hover over the picture to find out which order is which if you're not sure.
We are all here tonight to mark 50 years’ membership of Craft Freemasonry by R W Bro Dr John Lloyd.
In essence that is it. In reality it is so very much more. There is so much that can be said about his masonic history, but you all know most of it anyway. It is contained in yearbooks, and in the very excellent history of the Aberystwyth lodge published in 2015. It can also be found on the walls of this building. I do not therefore intend to go through it all in detail again.
What is important is that on 5th January 1967, 50 years ago, Dr John Benjamin Lloyd was initiated into Freemasonry, and a chapter of Masonic history in this Province was begun. To be a member for 50 years is undoubtedly an achievement, but in every case we must look at the manner in which it has been achieved, and how much the brother concerned has given to Freemasonry. Brethren I can say without fear of contradiction that there is not a living Freemason in this Province who has given more to Freemasonry than RW Bro Dr Lloyd. Indeed, I would go further than that and would say to you that he has done so much to make Freemasonry in this Province what it is today, and we therefore owe him a great debt of gratitude.
In his time, he has set standards which still hold good today, particularly in the area of ritual delivery and execution. He was, and is, universally acknowledged to be so very very good at whatever ceremony he is doing in whichever order he is doing it. So many of us, myself included, were in awe of his delivery and filled with a wonder of just how he achieved it. I can tell you, and I feel sure that he would say the same, that it is done by sheer hard work and a determination to do it properly. Not only has he shown us all how it should be done, and impressed us all in the process, but he has also achieved the most important thing, namely making a lasting impression upon the person who is being initiated, exalted, installed, perfected etc etc – the candidate.
It is thus that other masonic careers are launched and filled with encouragement, and for which many brethren have Dr Lloyd to thank. But there is yet more. RW Bro Dr Lloyd has achieved very high office, becoming Provincial Grand Master in the Craft in 2001. From that position he inspired brethren by his dignity and bearing, by his regular and frequent attendance at lodges – both at installations and at regular meetings – and by his encouragement of those whom he appointed to Provincial office.
Thus far I have deliberately kept my comments to matters concerning the Craft, for that is essentially why we are here this evening – to celebrate long service in the Craft. However, there is more that needs to be mentioned. With the high Craft office achieved came the equivalent position in the Holy Royal Arch, namely that of Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of West Wales. Everything that I have said about his time in the Craft applies equally in the Royal Arch, but perhaps with the addition of his spiritual guidance and deeper solemnity as head of the Order.
As if that were not enough, Dr John Lloyd has been involved in just about every Other Order meeting in the Province and beyond. When I say involved that is really an understatement. He has achieved high office in them all, and is or has been at or very near to the top in each one. And that brethren is why there are so many high ranking officers here from those Other Orders, each of whom is to say something a little later.
RW Bro Dr John Lloyd, it is a very great privilege for me to be here this evening to mark your 50 years as a Freemason and to make this presentation to you. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you as a Freemason and as a man. You have set an example to us all which we all try to follow, but to be honest you have set the bar so high that it can be tricky at times. Holding the offices that I do now, I really do not know where you got the energy and time from during your tenure. I remain in some awe of your achievements. That you enjoy your Freemasonry is not only evident to all but is not the full story. You also live it. You have given so very much to Freemasonry and we thank you for it. Be assured that we are endeavouring to uphold and maintain what you have done, and are building upon it as well.
On a personal note, I thank you for the opportunities and encouragement that you gave to me, which have resulted in me standing here now. I look forward to being with you on many more occasions in the coming years.
I again congratulate you, and I wish you well.
In addition to the tribute paid by RW Bro Stephen Hookey to RW Bro Dr John B Lloyd in the Craft, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Ex Comp Hookey outlined Dr John's contribution to the Holy Royal Arch in West Wales and beyond. This was followed by 12 other tributes outlining Dr John's contribution to the Other Orders meeting in West and South Wales.