W Bro Rowland Mitchell 50 years a Mason or to be more precise 50 years two months and two days. With only some 25 years of freemasonry under my belt I am in awe of such Brethren as you who have given such long service to this fine organisation of ours. What an achievement. Hearty congratulations from me and from the Provincial Grand Master who apologises for not being here but is somewhat under the weather. I consider it a great honour to have been asked to present this 50 Year certificate to you this evening, particularly so, as I have personally known you for many years.
I also believe that you have received a congratulatory letter from the RCVS to mark 50 years in that profession.
Born in 1943 to Mr and Mrs Eric Mitchell and christened Stephen William Roland Mitchell. Your father was employed by Barclays Bank and consequently, at least in those days, the family were obliged to move at the Bank’s behest. You were therefore in fact born in Northampton, which I suppose technically makes you an Englishman. From Northampton you moved to Ammanford where you started Primary School, then an early move to St Clears where you attended St Clears Primary School and then Whitland Grammar School.
Another move saw you complete your Secondary Education at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for Boys. An excellent pupil you gained admission to the Royal Veterinary College London and became a qualified veterinary surgeon at the age of 24.
At this time your family had moved yet again to Brecon where your father was the Bank Manager of its Barclays Branch You joined the family in Brecon and joined a Brecon veterinary Practice with a Mr John A Parry. It was whilst at Brecon that you met your wife Chris with whom you have two children and three grandchildren
You became a Freemason in1967 joining the Brecknock Lodge and was Initiated on the December 27th 1967 proposed by your Father Bro E S Mitchell and seconded by W Bro E Jones.it was a double ceremony as was this evening and you were joined by your work colleague Mr John A Parry.
Your initiation was followed by another double second-degree ceremony with Bro John A Parry on the 28th February 1968, 50 years ago yesterday. With the popularity in Freemasonry at that time, the lodge was tyled early for your passing, called off after the ceremony and called on again at 6.30 for a double Initiation Ceremony. As with the second degree the raising was again a double ceremony with Bro John Parry on 24th April 1968.You remained a member of the Brecknock Lodge for 40 years.
You moved to St Clears in 1974 and took up practice with Mr john Bowen
becoming the sole practitioner in 1983. Your Masonic career moved forward being exalted into the Merlin Chapter on the 28th November 1989 and after visiting several Lodges in the vicinity became a joining member of Caerfyrddin lodge on 3 May 1990.
Progressing through various offices you became Master of Caerfyrddin in 1998 since which time you have undertaken various duties within the Lodge including 10 years as its Director of ceremonies. I believe you still take on these duties when required from time to time and the Lodge continues to maintain the high standard of ceremonies, as witnessed this evening, set whilst you were the Director of Ceremonies.
Your dedication to Masonry was acknowledged when you were promoted within Province to Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in July 2005 and then again to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in July 2012.
You are also a faithful member of the Maridunum Rose Croix and became its Most Wise Sovereign in 2000 and continue to assist when required particularly in presenting the Supreme Grand Council Certificate.
November 24th 2005 was a special ceremony in Caerfyrddin when you were very proud to present your son Stephen at his Initiation. Stephen has since become a joining member of the Lodge of St Peter in Exeter and I believe he is here with us this evening on this so special an occasion.
On behalf of the Provincial Grand Master and myself I congratulate you once again and wish you continued health to enjoy your freemasonry for many years to come.