• Ian Slesser

A knight in the chair

On 8th February 2022, in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Phillip L Hall, in an atmosphere that was electric with eager excitement and anticipation, W Bro Sir Bernard Phillip Zissman PAGDC was installed as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Loyalty 4340.


After W Bro Eric Rymer had presented a nervous Sir Bernard Phillip Zissman to the Installing Master, W Bro Michael Spencer who with great affection and dignity, installed the emotional Master Elect, into the Chair of King Solomon. The sensitive connection between these two longstanding close friends and committed supporters of Loyalty was to quote a brother, “plain for all to see.”

The Installing Master paused the proceedings after the Warrant had been delivered into the Worshipful Master’s safe keeping, and in a serious tone, reminded the Brethren of the difficult and trying times we had all been through during the previous two years. He was very mindful of the joyous year the Lodge of Loyalty was anticipating in its Centenary Year and wanted everyone, the Worshipful Master in particular, to be able to enjoy the year happily and in good health. To this end W Bro Michael had great pleasure in investing the WM with the “distinguishing mask of an Installed Master!! This read on the mask’s outside, “Be Calm – I Am The Worshipful Master!”


Then, the highlight of the evening, for which everyone was eagerly anticipating, the presentation of the 60 year Long Service Certificate, took place from the centre of the Lodge Room in a “This Is Your Life” fashion with the Provincial Grand Master posing questions and W Bro Sir Bernard replying with an enthralling insight and outline of his family background, early years, education, his own family, business, major developments in Birmingham such as the Convention Centre, which W Bro Eric was also instrumental in developing, Birmingham Central Renovation, and many others. W Bro Sir Bernard mentioned in particular the extraordinary support he had always received from his wife, Cynthia. W Bro Peter Clarke, the kindly, modest, quietly efficient and exceptionally competent Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, then proclaimed W Bro Sir Bernard in the most exemplary and commendable manner, and called on all Brethren to rise and salute him with Honours 3. W Bro Sir Bernard suitably acknowledged the salutation.

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