At the 2012 Provincial Meeting at Margate we had the pleasure of seeing one of our members, W. Bro. Graham Jolly being presented with the Provincial Grand Masters Award of Merit. As a Lodge, we felt it only right that we also recognise Graham’s contribution to Freemasonry & the Province of East Kent especially.
Graham being a shy and retiring type, (?!) didn’t want any fuss to be made, so we rose to the challenge!! – and here began a story of deception, conniving, and downright underhandedness involving members of the Lodge, Graham’s family and even the Deputy Provincial Grand Master!!
The outcome was a complete success; at our May meeting, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master graciously presented the Lodge with the Festival Gold Award, thanking all for their continued support and then summoned W. Bro. Graham Jolly to the pedestal.
This took W. Bro. Graham by surprise; not only did the Deputy Provincial Grand Master praise Graham warmly for all his service and commitment, but also spoke movingly of the debt many owe to Graham for his support and guidance, especially the newer and younger members, for whom Graham was their first point of contact.
Then, in a Lodge room full of emotion, all stood whilst the DPGM read the Scroll setting out the Award from the Provincial Grand Master, displayed the accompanying Plaque and explained the significance of the Award to all present.
At this point W. Bro Graham was trying to figure out how his Scroll and Plaque came to be at the Lodge; when he left home they were in the Lounge!
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master then presented W. Bro Graham with a solid silver engraved ashtray as a gift from the members of the Lodge. This had been commissioned by the Lodge and made by one of the members, Bro. Steve Ottewill, a silversmith of international standing.
Having been suitably embarrassed and after the Lodge closed, W. Bro Graham went upstairs to find his Wife and other guests assembled to celebrate his award further!
In an informal and joyful atmosphere, more warm words were spoken, including a tribute to W. Bro. Graham from his wife and daughters.
Many will know Graham, others may never have met him, but this evening was a fitting tribute to one who is truly “well and worthily recommended”.