Worshipful Master and Brethren,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you this evening to present Bro Gordon William Smith with a certificate and badge to recognise 50 years faithful service to freemasonry.
Bro Gordon, it is always a delight to present long service awards and I especially enjoy finding out a bit more about people.
You were born in June 1947 in Turriff in Aberdeenshire. After University you travelled the country as a relief farmer. Your original plan was to emigrate to Australia and become a sheep farmer, but in 1968 your travels brought you to Pembrokeshire. It was here that freemasonry had its first hand in your life, because you met your future wife Linda at a Young Farmers dance in Haverfordwest Masonic Hall. You shelved your plans to emigrate to Australia and in 1972 you and Linda got married. You have three daughters and 8 grandchildren.
Your late father-in-law, Jim Sharples introduced you to freemasonry and on 5th June 1973 you were Initiated into St David’s Lodge. The Worshipful Master who performed the ceremony was W Bro Stan Hudson. I don’t know if Stan did your Passing on 4th September 1973 and your Raising on 1st January 1974, but he was certainly Worshipful Master of the Lodge until March 1974.
You switched from farming to the oil industry and continued your masonic career fulfilling every progressive office until you reached Senior Warden. It was at this point that your work took you away from Milford Haven and you spent the next part of your life travelling the world in senior management positions in the oil industry. This included spells in Africa, The Bahamas, The USA, and Europe. You didn’t neglect your freemasonry though. You made many visits to different constitutions and joined several lodges. On 17th April 1985 you were Exalted into the Royal Arch in Lucayan Chapter no 8188 in the District of the Bahamas and Turks.
Bro Gordon, since your retirement you have enthusiastically resumed your involvement in St David’s Lodge. You spent many hours researching the history of the lodge for the bicentenary meeting, where you gave an excellent presentation.
You served the lodge as a Steward in 2018, Junior Deacon in 2019, Inner Guard in 2022 and you are currently Assistant Secretary. You are also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Milford Haven Masonic Hall Company. Your management skills have been instrumental in securing the long-term financial stability of the masonic hall.
Bro Gordon, you have had a successful business career, raised a wonderful family, and still found time to be an enthusiastic freemason. I am delighted to present you with this certificate and badge to mark 50 years in freemasonry and I sincerely hope you will find the time to go through the chair before my successor comes to present you with your 60-year certificate.