RW Bro Stephen Hookey presents the certificate to W Bro John Kingsbury. Photo reproduced by kind permission of www.mikewaltersphotography.co.uk
W Bro John, I am so delighted to be here with you this evening. I feel very honoured to be making this presentation to you, and I only hope that my few words will do justice to the occasion.
Following your education at Pentrepoeth Primary School and at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for Boys, you went on to see active service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in Kenya with the 4th Kings African Rifles during the Mau Mau Uprising in 1952, ending up in charge of the Motor Transport Yard.
After de-mob you returned to work in the Family electrical business and later ran the company, and expanded it, very successfully until it was sold in 2000.
You were proposed into Freemasonry by Bros R M Rees and C L Thomas, who were fellow Rotarians, and on 20th February 1968, exactly 50 years ago, you became a Freemason in this St Peter’s Lodge. You were initiated by W Bro Gethin Thomas in a double initiation ceremony, the other initiate being Noel Collins. By the end of 1968 you had progressed to being a Master Mason.
50 years is a long, long time. I am only a little over half way there myself, so I am in some awe of those brethren who keep going and give such long service to what is a fine organisation. To achieve half a century of membership of our institution is truly marvellous.
In 1980 you became Master of St Peter’s Lodge, and in in time your service was recognised when in 1987 you were appointed to the active Provincial rank of Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. Ultimately in 2001 you were promoted to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. That is a very high rank and let no-one be under any illusion – it is only given to those who work hard for the Craft.
You have also enjoyed high office in the Kensington Lodge of Installed Masters, having served both as Junior Warden and as Senior Warden.
In the Other Orders of Masonry you have served well, having been MEZ of Merlin Royal Arch Chapter in 1992, and MWS of the Maridunum Chapter of the Rose Croix in 1998.
W Bro John, I have been told much about you, all of which shows what a hard worker you have been and still are. Indeed, I am informed that you been in charge of the bar upstairs for many years. Not only do you do the books but also the purchasing, stocking, serving, clearing up and the recycling of the bottles and cans. You are justifiably very proud of the fact that the bar turns a healthy profit even with very low prices.
I have nothing but the deepest respect for you not only as a Mason, but also as a man. You have been a true and loyal member of this Lodge and of this Province.
On behalf of all those masons with whom you have come into contact I thank you for your company and encouragement over a long period, and I wish for you the health and strength to continue in like manner in the years ahead.