It is a great pleasure to be here with you this evening to pay tribute to W Bro David Gethin Lewis - a very special man and freemason who has been a member of St Peter’s Lodge for 50 Years.
W Bro Gethin, you were Initiated into the St Peter’s Lodge on 17th February 1970, meaning that the exact 50-year anniversary of your Initiation was yesterday. I am sure, like the rest of us, you remember the night of your Initiation like it was yesterday. My own memories of February 1970 are a little less vivid, as it was a full six months before I started infant school.
You served the lodge as Worshipful Master in 1997 and served as Almoner in 1999.
In the Province you served as Provincial Grand Treasurer from 2007 to 2011.
In the United Grand Lodge of England, you were appointed to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2009 and promoted to the Rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon in 2018.
In the Holy Royal Arch, you were exalted in the Merlin Chapter in 1995.
In Provincial Grand Chapter you served as Provincial Grand Treasurer from 2007 to 2011.
W Bro Gethin, there is no doubt that you have had a distinguished career in freemasonry, but your greatest achievements don’t appear in the masonic record which I have just outlined, nor does it explain why such a dedicated freemason would take a full 27 years to become Worshipful Master of the lodge.
You joined Barclays Bank in 1960 and lived for 12 months in my hometown of Weybridge in Surrey, before Barclays transferred you back to Carmarthen. You balanced family commitments and your early career in Barclays in the Carmarthen area and one of your colleagues, the late W Bro FL Morris invited you to be his candidate and he Initiated you in February 1970.
Your successful banking career didn’t allow you much time to get involved in freemasonry and you worked variously in Swansea, Cardiff and London, before you returned to the Carmarthen area in 1986 as Barclays Area Manager.
Your return to Carmarthen allowed you to take an active role within the lodge and you were finally Installed in the Chair in 1997.
Despite being very active in the lodge and running a successful area for Barclays, you also found time to take an active part in other community organisations. You were President of the Carmarthen Rotary Club; played an active part in establishing “The Trust for Sick Children in Wales” becoming the National Trustee for Carmarthenshire and you were instrumental in establishing the “Aberglasney Restoration Trust” where you served first as Chairman and subsequently President. I am reliably informed that at one point you were Treasurer for more than 30 different organisations.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to count you as a friend know that you are extremely modest and self-effacing, so when you received an MBE in 2010 for Services to Charity in West Wales everyone was delighted.
The whole community is indebted to you for your years of selfless devotion to duty, but we in freemasonry in West Wales owe you special thanks. Not for your 5 years as Provincial Grand Treasurer, but for the huge amount of work you put in behind the scenes to establish the “David and Elonwy Evans Trust” after the death and bequest of David Evans. Brethren, in simplified terms, W Bro Gethin, ably assisted by the then Provincial Secretary, RW Bro Steve Hookey persuaded the Charity Commission that the meaning of the will of David Evans was that his estate should be held in trust and the interest put at the disposal of the Provincial Charity for “The Relief of the Disadvantaged Child.” This work has allowed us to support many worthy causes across West Wales over the last 15 years.
W Bro Gethin, a certificate and badge for 50 years’ service seems a little inadequate after all your achievements in freemasonry coupled with your commendable career in banking. You are proof of the adage, “if you want something done, ask a busy man.” You are a fine example to us all and it is with great pleasure that I present you with this certificate to mark 50 years continuous service to freemasonry and pin on this lapel badge which I trust you will wear with pride.