I am delighted to be here this evening to celebrate the very distinguished masonic career of Excellent Companion William George Keith Tench. I enjoy presenting Long Service Awards, but I always think it is particularly poignant when a long service presentation follows an Initiation, or an Exaltation as it does this evening. A celebration of both the new and the experienced all on the same night.
E Comp Keith you were Initiated into the Trevor Kelway Lodge on the 7th of January 1982. You were Passed on 4th February 1982 and Raised on 4th March 1982, meaning that you did your three Craft ceremonies in consecutive months.
You served the Trevor Kelway Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1990. You are currently the Lodge Chaplain. I have no doubt that you have held other offices too, but I’m afraid the records kept back in the last century aren’t as complete and easy to access as the records we keep today.
You joined the Kensington Lodge of Installed Masters in 1991 and after a short absence, you re-joined in 2018. You served that prestigious lodge as Assistant Secretary between 2019 and 2021.
In the Craft Province you were first appointed to Provincial Grand Rank in 1997 and you currently hold the very high rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden.
In the Royal Arch, you were Exalted into the Unity Chapter on 8th February 1983, which is 40 years and 6 days ago. Exactly 7 days after it became compulsory to wear a seat belt in the front seat of a car! You were Joshua of the Chapter in 1994, Haggai in 1995 and finally Most Excellent Zerubbabel in 1996. You have served the Chapter as Assistant Director of Ceremonies and since 2021 you have been the Chapter Director of Ceremonies.
In the Royal Arch Province, you have held several Provincial Ranks, including serving the Province as Sword Bearer in 2005. You were very deservedly promoted to the rank of Past Provincial Scribe Nehemiah in 2015.
In the real world you have been happily married to Ruth for many years and next month you will celebrate your Glass Anniversary, which I am sure everyone knows is 54 years!
E Comp Keith, you have managed to combine a wonderful family life with a successful business career and a distinguished masonic career.
You are a fine example to everyone that with a bit of planning and organisation, you can have your cake and eat it.
I have got to know you very well over the last decade and it’s always a great pleasure to be in your company. I am delighted that it falls to me to make this presentation this evening.
I am delighted to present you with this certificate and badge to mark 40 years loyal service to the Holy Royal Arch and I look forward many more years in your company.
I also look forward to attending the meeting when you receive your certificate and badge for 50 years in the Royal Arch.