From left to right E Comps - David Mason (3rdProvGPrin Gloucester and Hereford), John Thurston (Past 3rdProvGPrin G&H), Mike Davies, Stephen Hookey (Grand Superintendent), Eric Mock (Past Grand Superintendent)
Monday 20th May 2019 was a very special day in the life of West Wales Freemasons. One of the brightest characters of the Province, E Comp Michael Burchell Davies, received a 60 Year Royal Arch Award from the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Stephen Hookey. E Comp Mike joined the Royal Arch on 16th September 1957 and his glittering Masonic career is outlined in the Grand Superintendent's Address which is produced in full below. Such has been his impact on Freemasonry in the Provinces he has served that the Grand Superintendent in and over West Wales was accompanied by his predecessor, E Comp Eric Mock and his successor, the Grand Superintendent Designate, E Comp James Ross.
The Royal Arch Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire was represented by the Third Provincial Grand Principal E Comp David Mason, who brought personal greetings from his Grand Superintendent, E Comp Mike Holland. The Craft Province of Gloucestershire was represented by E Comp John Thurston, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Gloucestershire and Past Third Provincial Grand Principal of The Royal Arch Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. To make it even more special, E Comp Mike was present the night E Comp David Mason was Initiated in to Freemasonry, as David's father and Mike were great friends.
It was an excellent evening in the Temple, followed by a sumptuous banquet in "The Helm", Pembroke Dock.
Excellent Companion Mike Davies, in my time I have made many presentations recognising long service, both in the Craft and in the Holy Royal Arch. Tonight is the second time that I have made a presentation to you, and I am deeply honoured to do so.
On both occasions the anniversary being celebrated has been 60 years continuous membership, and that is especially unusual in the Royal Arch. That makes this a unique occasion. I am privileged to be your Grand Superintendent and therefore able to be here to recognise your sterling service.
You became a Freemason on 13th December 1955, and less than 2 years later on 16th September 1957 you were exalted into this Loyal Welsh Chapter. That is 61⅔ years ago. A sobering thought is that, on that day when you were being made a Companion, I was just over 3½ years old! But our age difference does not count in this organisation, and Freemasonry has brought us together as Brothers and Companions. I have to say that it is a great pleasure for me to be known as your Brother.
To achieve 60 years membership of our institution is fantastic, but that fact does not reflect the outstanding manner in which you have done it.
The UGLE database produces what is called a Career History. Mike, yours is the first that I have seen actually needs 2 sheets of A4 to print off!
In 1972 you became First Principal of this Chapter, and from that point on you have gone from strength to strength, and from appointment to appointment.
In 1976 you were a Founder member of Saint George’s Chapter in the Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire and in 1977 you took the office of First Principal.
In 1992 you took office as Third Principal in this Loyal Welsh Chapter, and went on to again be First Principal in 1995.
Since 1979 you have been a Founder member of 2 other Chapters and have been made an Honorary member of 4 more, all in the Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.
Your Provincial career started in that Province, where you served as Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, and later as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for 5 years. Here in West Wales you were made 2nd Provincial Grand Principal in 2007 and held that office until 2009.
Your position in Supreme Grand Chapter started in 1987 when you were appointed to the rank of Grand Standard Bearer, and you rose to the rank of Past Asst Grand Sojourner in 1995.
You have been very active in this Province for many years. I remember when, as a relatively junior mason, I first met you. You were appointed as the PGMs visiting officer to Cleddau Lodge to act as a two way conduit with the Executive. Later on I got to know you on the circuit, and I still recall of the support and encouragement that you gave to me as I progressed in my career. I thank you for all of that Mike - it was and still is important to me.
I know you to be a consummate Mason, faithful and dedicated not only to the Holy Royal Arch but also to the Craft. You are a calming influence, and supportive of all in the Chapter and of everything that the Chapter does.
E Comp Mike, I have nothing but the deepest respect for you not only as a Mason, but also as a man. You are a fine example to the brethren, young and old alike. It is because of the dedication and service given by you and others like you that Masonry in West Wales continues and is thriving.
I therefore have great delight in presenting you with a certificate marking your 60 years continuous membership of the Holy Royal Arch, together with this lapel badge which I know that you will wear with pride.
E Comp Mike, I commend you on your masonic career, your dedication and the example that you set to all. I thank you for your company and encouragement over many years, and I look forward to enjoying your company in the years ahead.