Thursday 21st August 2008 was a memorable, scintillating evening. The proceedings were conducted with dignity, joy and excitement, at the Goede Hoop Complex in Cape Town which has been designated an “Historic Monument” situated next to the South African Houses of Parliament. This Masonic Lodge complex is the first in South Africa and acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
The proceedings commenced at 7:00pm and the Lodge was ritually opened. The Presiding Master then announced that the Lodge was ready to receive visitors.
The Master of Ceremonies instructed the Bro Ambassador to organise that visitors be ritually admitted into the Lodge in the correct sequence accompanied with appropriate music. The respective District / Provincial Grand Masters of the Sister Constitutions (Scottish, Irish, English) were separately received with their delegations.
Thereafter, the Provincial Grand Master (PGM) Southern Division with his delegation was admitted into the Lodge in due form. The PGM Southern Division then briefly addressed the Lodge.
The Grand Master Designate of South Africa and his delegation entered the Lodge in due form. The GM Designate then briefly addressed the Lodge.
The total number of Brethren sitting in the Lodge was 97.
The re-dedication of Lodge De Goede Verwachting by the Grand Master commenced conducted by the Deputy Grand Master Designate Rt Wor Bro Geoff Edwards. For obvious reasons it is very rare for this ceremony to be conducted. It is an interesting ceremony outlining the regular continuous Masonic activities of the Lodge and expressing the hope that the Lodge maintains its standards into the future.
The Presiding Master was presented with the Re-Dedication Charter to the Lodge for safe keeping. The Grand Master Designate then handed the authority of the Lodge to the PGM Southern Division Rt Wor Bro John Smith and his Officers to conduct the Installation Ceremony of the Presiding Master Elect and his Officers.
The PGM then proceeded with the ceremony of installing the Presiding Master Elect for the ensuing year, namely Wor Bro Sergio dos Santos for a 2nd term of Office. The Officers elect of the Lodge were duly obligated into their various Offices by the Presiding Master and they then occupied their respective Chairs of Office. The Presiding Master warmly thanked all of the visitors including Grand Lodge, the Provincial Grand Lodge and the Chain Bearers of the Sister Constitutions for attending the meeting and extended the Lodge’s invitation for them all to attend the Festive Board Banquet.
The Banquet meal of 3 courses with liquid refreshments was most competently arranged and organised by brethren who must be complimented for its excellence. All the Brethren received the Lodge De Goede Verwachting Toast List with the newly elected Office Bearers and the Centenary Brochure, which had been placed at each place-setting.
A souvenir lapel badge on the occasion of the centenary of the lodge was donated to each Brother attending the banquet. This indeed was a most memorable touch which was appreciated by all. After all the brethren were comfortably settled in the Refectory, the MC announced the entry of the newly installed Presiding Master who was escorted to his seat of honour at the top table by the Grand Master Designate and the Provincial Grand Master who sat on either side of him when seated.
The entrance was unique in that our lodge Brother Henry Shields, arranged an African Musical entrance played by a professional Combo musician and a Double-Bass musician and many brethren were given musical instruments to shake in rhythm as they arrived into the hall.
During the meal various Toasts were proposed and responded to:-
It must be recorded that the responses to the respective Toasts were highly complimentary to our Lodge.
The magnificently enjoyable ceremonies and banquet ended after 12:30am.
Our Lodge received a letter dated 3/9/2008 from the Grand Master Designate under the signature of the Grand Lodge Secretary, and it is quoted as follows:-
“The Grand Master Elect, Rt Wor Bro A. Watson, has requested me to offer his, and Grand Lodge’s sincere thanks to your Lodge for the wonderful reception received at the recent Re-dedication Ceremony. He was also extremely impressed with the high standard of working which augers well for the next hundred years.”
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