There was a buzz of excitement in Milford Haven on Tuesday 20th January 2015. The Travelling Gavel was “up for grabs” and the Lodge was packed with Brethren eager to see which lodge would triumph and take away the prize.
Old Priory Lodge were keen to make the most of their time with gavel and once the visitors were admitted the WM was presented with the gavel to use for the ceremony. There were more than 30 visitors in the temple who were treated to an excellent First Degree Ceremony performed by the Worshipful Master, W Bro Gary Thomas, ably assisted by W Bros Peter Gregory & Neil Johnson and Bro Billy Howlin, who also happened to be the very proud father of the candidate!
A quick glance at the signing in book showed that there were 15 Brethren from Neyland Lodge at the meeting and 9 Brethren from Castlemartin Lodge, but the Brethren from Castlemartin had been studying the Travelling Gavel Rules on the Provincial Website and knew that it was the number dining which would determine the final destination of the gavel. They also knew that they had travelled a whole 2 miles further than the Brethren from Neyland and in the event of the same number of Brethren dining, the prize would still be theirs.
The pressure was on W Bro Steve McGarvie to do an accurate count at the Festive Board and after 10 minutes and 4 attempts, the Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary, W Bro James Ross was starting get a bit anxious that he might be called on to make a ruling. Finally it became clear that enough of the Neyland Brethren had stayed for the Festive Board and in a close run thing they won the right to take away the gavel 10 – 9.
W Bro Gary Thomas, WM of Old Priory Lodge was very pleased to present the gavel to W Bro Gerald Taylor, WM of Neyland Lodge. W Bro Gerald said:
“I am delighted to be able to accept the West Wales Travelling Gavel on behalf of the Brethren of Neyland Lodge”
“I look forward to seeing as many Brethren as possible at our next regular meeting on Thursday 12th February 2015, when will be performing a Third Degree Ceremony. The Lodge will Tyle at 7.00pm.”