Orion calls it a day
There is very little in life that lasts forever. Be it the milk in the fridge or the car on the drive, they all have a finite lifespan. Sadly this is also the case for our lodges. Some go on for years, celebrating milestones as they go. Others find themselves untenable and take the difficult decision to hand back their warrant. One such lodge that has just made that decision is Orion Lodge. They chose to go out with a bang at their January meeting and make it a ladies-to-dine Burns Supper.
The business of the meeting was obviously fairly short with the Deputy PGM, VWBro Peter Manning accompanied by a number of acting Provincial Officers in attendance to formally receive the warrant. The most poignant moment, unsurprisingly, was when the lodge was closed. We all know those words so well but they are recited on the basis of looking ahead to the next meeting. This time, there would be no ‘next meeting’ and consequently that dialogue between the Master and his wardens was so emotional – the lodge was closed for the very last time – and I defy anyone there to deny that they didn’t have a lump in their throat and a tear in their eye. This was further compounded by VWBro Chris Rogers, there as a PProvGSec, who paraded the warrant around the lodge room before carrying it out of the temple as part of the recessional column.
Thankfully, the overall mood of the evening was celebratory. We were there to remember all that Orion had contributed to the life of Warwickshire Freemasonry and the many brethren who have attended their meetings over the past 94 years. Over 60 ladies, gentlemen and brethren filled the dining room at Yenton to enjoy another legionary Orion’s Burns Supper complete with all the ‘trimmings’ – a wonderful address to the haggis, the toast to the immortal memory, the toast to the lassies etc etc. What was truly impressive was the raffle which had to be the biggest I’ve ever seen, complete with a 43” flat screen TV as first prize! Predictably, there was no problem selling tickets! Indeed, we all had a delightful surprise when we were handed an envelope containing two more strips of tickets – the £10 dining fee had been returned to everyone in the form of raffle tickets. This wonderful gesture meant that the lodge was able to pledge at least £1,000 to the 2023 Festival with the anticipation of more to come.
With wine flowing and laughter prolonged, the celebrations continued well into the evening. The brethren had certainly put on quite a show, one worthy of their history and one that, like Orion Lodge, will live long in our memories.
SWG Feb 2022