Pictured :W Bro Haydn Lewis & Deputy PGM W.Bro. Ryland James
W Bro Haydn, 50 years ago to this very evening, you were initiated into Narberth Lodge, and in recognition of your 50 years unbroken record as a Freemason, our Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Alasdair James Ross has asked me to present you with a certificate on his behalf.
W Bro Haydn, you are a native of Llanboidy, where you first encountered the education system at Llanboidy Primary School, before passing your scholarship enabling you to transfer to that wonderful secondary school of Whitland Grammar School, known in those days as the County School. You attended Whitland Grammar School during the period 1939-1945 – very significant years in our history. Although you passed a scholarship, you still had to pay for your schoolbooks, and in order to help with this, whilst you were in the 6th form, you gained a Royal Observer Post in Llanboidy, where you were paid for noting all planes flying over the village during weekends and holiday periods and reporting them to the Centre at Carmarthen.
This no doubt fueled your interest, and you were called up into the RAF on 19th November 1945. After completing your basic “square bashing”, you were posted to 283 Wing HQ in Egypt on St David’s day 1946, and then on to Palestine some 3 weeks later, where you shared a campus with the 6th Airbourne division. After a few promotions, you soon found yourself in charge of the registry.
In April 1947, you were sent back as part of an advanced party to the UK at RAF Fairford where you were placed in charge of the demob. office.
You were yourself demobbed in May 1948, which, with demob. leave, gave you an effective release date of July 1948.
Following the summer break, you were accepted into Swansea University where you gained your degree in 1951, followed by a Diploma in Education in 1952, enabling you to enter your chosen profession in education.
After two years teaching at the Ffynnon Taf Primary School in Taff’s Well, you moved back home to take up a post at the Senior Centre in Whitland. After 3 years, you transferred in 1957 to Whitland Grammar school, where you remained for 29 years. Having started as Librarian and a teacher of general subjects, you went on to concentrate on History and Welsh before progressing to Deputy Headmaster prior to retiring in 1986.
The waiting list to join Narberth Lodge in those days was long, and after being proposed by Bill Allen (The Vet) and seconded by Bill Morgan, on the 4th February 1972, you were initiated into this, the Narberth Lodge, No 2001. You were passed on 2nd July 1972 and raised on the 1st September 1972. What an excellent way to celebrate that you were finally rid of the class of 1965 from Whitland Grammar School!! Little did you think then that 50 years later, you and I should be together again here on such an occasion.
You were installed as WM of Narberth Lodge on 2nd January 1981 and went on to enjoy a commendable career in Craft Masonry, probably culminating in your appointment as Acting Provincial Senior Grand Warden for the Province of South Wales (Western Division) – as we were known in those days – on the 1st July 1999. This was only some 5 months after I had been initiated into St Peter’s Lodge in Carmarthen, and I can still recall your address to the Wardens at my very first installation meeting in December of that year in your own softly spoken manner and with the associated sincerity which the address deserves.
On the 26th June 1981, you joined the Kensington Lodge of Installed Masters, No. 3667, whilst you were still in the chair of this lodge. On 13th March 2009, you were invested as Senior Warden of that lodge.
You have remained a member of both Narberth and Kensington Craft lodges to this day and are to be commended for that.
You were exalted into the Holy Royal Arch at the Arberth Chapter on 29th May 1974 and became their Most Excellent Zerubbabel on 27th November 1985. At Provincial level in the HRA, you were appointed Third Provincial Grand Principal here in West Wales on 6th July 2006.
I am now privileged to sit on the panel which recommends the Provincial appointments, and I learnt very quickly that appointments as Provincial Wardens in the Craft, and Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals in the HRA, are very carefully considered. They are generally given as a thank you to those who have laboured diligently for the good of Freemasonry in general throughout their Masonic careers, and the fact that you have earned these honours in both Craft and HRA is testimony to your valued contribution over the last 50 years.
W Bro Haydn, it gives me immense pleasure to make this presentation to you, with the sincere hope that your health will allow you to continue to enjoy your Freemasonry for many years to come.