Craft News

The Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Mark Constant, attended Pomfret Lodge No 360, to present WBro Desmond Jones with his platinum certificate, to mark his 70 years service in the craft.

2024 05 03 70 years

 It is perhaps fitting that the oldest Lodge in the Province, has the current longest serving brother in the Province and they devoted the evening to a celebration of Bro Desmond’s life and masonic career.

Desmond was moved centre stage, in a chair in front of the WM’s pedestal, and joked he felt like he was for sale. WBro Nigel Morley, the Lodge historian, read a brief history.
WBro Neil Desmond Jones was born in March 1931, attended Northampton Grammar School and initially worked for Northampton BC.

He was initiated into Pomfret Lodge on 6th May 1954, the day that Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile, by his father, WBro Clifford Jones, the then Master of Pomfret.
He was installed as the Master of Pomfret in 1967 by his father Clifford and was very involved with the founding of the Demonstration Team that year by his father, giving demonstrations both locally and elsewhere. The main highlight was giving a demonstration of a 1717 initiation at Great Queens Street attended by many Provincial Grand Masters.
He was exalted into Northampton Chapter 360 in 1957 and was First Principal in 1974. He served as acting Provincial Scribe Nehemiah and was awarded the Grand Superintendent’s Certificate of Merit in 2017.

24 05 08 Desmond Jones 1967 2

Desmond was Master of Pomfret again in 1979 and Secretary from 1980 to 1983. He initiated and installed his late brother Brian Jones into Pomfret, exalted him into Chapter, all attended by their father. He was also the Treasurer of the Lodge of Harmony 9048. He was an active member of many side orders. His one and only craft Provincial appointment was straight to acting Provincial Senior Grand Warden, showing the esteem in which he was held.

24 05 08 Desmond Jones 1979

In 1983 he moved to Cirencester and became an active member in the Province of Gloucestershire, being appointed Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. He was made an honorary member of Pomfret in 2006, having already clocked up 50 years of service, but on his return to Northampton in 2023 to live with his nephew, he insisted on becoming a full member of Pomfret again. Hermes apparently had to be reprogrammed, as it was not anticipated that honorary members would ever revert to full members. Desmond has therefore been a member of Pomfret for 70 years, during which time he has known Princess Street, St George’s Avenue and Sheaf Close as Pomfret meeting places.
Four brethren of Pomfret then read extracts from the minutes of important masonic events in his masonic life; Bro Richard Nixon from his initiation, Bro Joe Bareford his passing, Bro Andy Hoare his raising and Bro Agil Savigov his installation.

The Worshipful Master WBro Richard Assenheim then presented Desmond with a “this is your life” book compiled by the Lodge containing photos and memorabilia of his masonic life.
The Provincial Master then drew up a chair next to Desmond and congratulated him on his 70 years and presented him with his Platinum Certificate and a framed letter of congratulations from UGLE. He noted Desmond had seen nine Provincial Grand Masters during his 70 years.
The Past Provincial Grand Master RWBro Max Bayes then took the chair next to Desmond to congratulate him, thank him for his support and friendship over the years, in particular a treasured letter sent by Desmond to him following his retirement as PGM.

WBro Desmond then asked to say a few words. He thanked the brethren for coming, especially those from Gloucestershire, and for their congratulations. He said he remembered his initiation clearly. He recalled a few years before, aged 16, asking his father if he could join the club he seemed to have enjoyed so much when he returned. His father had responded ask in a few years’ time if you feel the same, which in due time he did. The first he knew his father was conducting the ceremony was when he heard his voice while blindfolded. He recalled the Tyler with great fondness, for putting him at ease, who was known to all as “Curly”, who had not a hair on his head. He reminisced about his early days in freemasonry, recollecting brethren and stories with such clarity, his memory would be the envy of brethren half his age.

The celebrations continued into the Festive Board, with a photograph presented to him of the Lodge members on its bicentenary, with Desmond centre stage. Memorabilia was on display including table plans from his installation and Ladies night in 1967, other Ladies nights’ programmes and photos.
The response to the visitors’ toast was given by the Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Gloucestershire, VWBro Nigel Bridges, who was part of a large contingent of Gloucestershire Masons attending, including Lord Wigram Past Senior Grand Warden. He recalled visiting WBro Desmond’s Lodge shortly after joining freemasonry, and Desmond sidling up to him and saying come over here and introducing him to two other senior masons, who together took him under their wing and became great friends and helped him understand and develop in freemasonry, something WBro Desmond has done for many people, as evidenced by the many people in attendance to celebrate his milestone.

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the home of Freemasonry in England, Wales, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and a number of Districts overseas.

There are many resources available to help you decide whether Freemasonry is for you.

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The Northants & Hunts New and Young Masons Club (NHNYMC) helps new Masons meet, enjoy social events, share ideas, and contribute towards the future of Freemasonry.