RW Bro James Ross presents a 50 Year Certificate to W Bro Bradley Davies
There was jubilation and great celebration in Tenby’s Masonic Lodge recently when the Head of West Wales Freemasons, James Ross presented a long service award to the Master of the Lodge – Bradley Davies, marking his 50 years of unbroken service to Freemasonry.
Bradley, who is a member of one of the old established families of the area of Tenby, has been Master of Tenby Lodge on three occasions, and held many high offices in freemasonry at a regional and national level. Bradley's first national appointment was as Assistant Director of Ceremonies in the United Grand Lodge of England having been personally appointed by The Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent.
Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing £51.1m to deserving causes in 2020 alone. Freemasons do not only donate money – more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work is undertaken by members in their communities every year.
Bradley has spent most of his life in Tenby, apart from his time at naval school aboard the training ship Arathusa , then serving 13 years in the Royal Navy in communications and intelligence, attaining the rank of Petty Officer, spending time in the Far East, Persian Gulf, Mediterranean and Home Fleet. After completing his service in the Royal Navy he moved back into the family home, this ‘family home’ having been with his forbearers since 1742, it being one of the oldest buildings outside of the town walls of Tenby, and originally was a farm house with outbuildings attached.
Bradley has found his career within Freemasonry utterly fulfilling, with the comradery and companionship that it gives one and in return his dedication to the Order and what it stands for.
It is a great pleasure to be here this evening to pay tribute to one of the giants of freemasonry in West Wales. If The Province of West Wales can be likened to a Superhero franchise, and I think it can, W Bro Bradley George William Davies is surely our equivalent of Captain America.
W Bro Bradley, you were Initiated into the Tenby Lodge on 22nd February 1971. Today marks the 50th anniversary of your Passing and you were Raised on 4th October 1972. You served Tenby Lodge as Master in 1981 and you were Installed for a second time in 2020 and this evening you have been Proclaimed for your third year in the Chair of King Solomon.
You have held many offices within the Province of West Wales, rising to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 1997, but you are perhaps best remembered for your glorious reign as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. I don’t think anyone who was lucky enough to be present at an Installation meeting and see you demanding admission for RW Bro Colin O’Dare in your own unique style will ever forget the experience.
Your talent for controlling meetings was spotted at the very highest level and on 28th April 1999 you were appointed and invested as Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the United Grand Lodge of England. To hold any Acting Rank in Grand Lodge is a massive honour, but the position of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies is particularly sought after. Not everyone will be aware that becoming a Director of Ceremonies in Grand Lodge, is a bit like joining the Mafia and I like to think that this is why W Bro Bradley has a liking for dark glasses and Alan Ladd trench coats. Bradley, your genial and fun-loving nature meant that you took to Grand Lodge like a duck to water. You became firm friends with my namesake Tim Henderson-Ross who is currently Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Gloucestershire and with one of the young Deputy Directors of Ceremonies who, after receiving some of your help and advice, managed to go on to become Grand Director of Ceremonies and subsequently The Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes. I know that you keep in touch with MW Bro Peter and pop in to see him when you’re passing. I also know that whenever I’m in London, the Pro Grand Master will come over and say, “Hello James, how’s Bradley!” He never asks how I am! I will mention a little more about the Pro Grand Master a little later.
Finally for the Craft, in Grand Lodge you were promoted to the rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon in 2006.
In the Royal Arch, you were Exalted in the Dinbych Chapter in October 1972 and went on to serve the Chapter as MEZ on 5 separate occasions in 1984, 1987, 1992, 1998 and most recently in 2016, when thanks to some excellent behind the scenes negotiation by our last Grand Superintendent, E Comp Stephen Hookey, we sneaked the Pro First Grand Principal, Most Excellent Companion Peter Lowndes into the Province. I was fortunate to be the driver for the evening and David Rayson and myself were tasked with delivering our precious cargo to Tenby Lodge after the start of the meeting, so that your surprise would be complete. Don Mallams could easily have spoilt the surprise because he was a little late that evening and walked straight past my car, but fortunately he had no reason to recognise my car and didn’t look in. Other guests that evening included our Past Grand Superintendent, E Comp Eric Mock and Most Excellent Companion Gareth Jones OBE who is currently Third Grand Principal in Supreme Grand Chapter and Provincial Grand Master for the Province of South Wales. I am sure that evening made a big impression on everyone who was present, and I know that Peter and Gareth really enjoyed surprising you, because they often mention it even now.
You have held many ranks in the Royal Arch Province, most notably Third Provincial Grand Principal in 2001 and Second Provincial Grand Principal in 2009.
In Supreme Grand Chapter you were appointed to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer in April 1999, the day after you received your appointment as Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Craft – that was a very expensive regalia week in the Davies household! In 2011 you were promoted to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Sojourner.
W Bro Bradley, there is no doubt that you have had a glittering masonic career so far and for my entire masonic journey, you have been a Grand Officer in both the Craft and the Royal Arch. Glittering masonic careers don’t just happen they follow a huge amount of work behind the scenes, with no thought of personal gain or reward. Your sincere, but jovial dedication to freemasonry both in Tenby and the Province of West Wales is legendary throughout our three counties. You are routinely present in London to support our incoming Grand Officers and your wealth of knowledge and experience are a great asset to the current Executive. I am sure you have forgotten more about freemasonry than we even know.
W Bro Bradley, your unique passion for freemasonry is infectious and I am sure that has been a major contributing factor to the success of freemasonry in Tenby and West Wales for the last 50 years. On a personal level, you have always been there to help and guide me along my journey through freemasonry and it is therefore a particular pleasure for me to be the one presenting you with this certificate and badge this evening. I know that you will wear the badge with pride. On behalf of the brethren of Tenby Lodge and West Wales I thank you for all that you have done in the past and for the massive contribution you continue to make to our lives. I look forward to many happy evenings in your company in the years to come.