W Bro Ivan Yordanov LGR reports

(Note: The photograph above was taken in 1951 at the 50th celebrations)

Lockdown restrictions were no reason not to celebrate for Ceres Lodge 4179. Therefore, on Monday 1st February 2021, there was seen what we believe to be the first-ever online centenary celebration of a Lodge.

Having had to cancel the proposed centenary meeting on Saturday 27th February 2021, the members found that it was fortuitous that a zoom meeting could be held on the exact day of the consecration one hundred years ago, at the Hotel Cecil in the Strand.

The zoom meeting was opened with welcoming words from WM Peter Rae, after which Lodge Secretary W Bro Peter Eshkeri read the minutes from the previous meeting held back in January 2020 and used the opportunity to update the members with relevant Lodge matters.

W Bro Roy Pummell SLGR then delivered a wonderful explanation of the Lodge’s origins and history and gave further details of the founders, all of whom were originally members of the London Corn Exchange in Mark Lane. His talk was accompanied by contemporary pictures of London at that time, and further pictures of other events from the Lodge’s history, all of which greatly contributed to the enjoyment of the presentation.

W Bro Stuart Ludlow PAGDC proposed a toast to the Lodge, and as nobody needed to travel home afterwards, they were free to fairly drain their glasses. W Bro Dermot Sharkey PAGDC proposed a toast to all of the guests, present and past, who had attended Ceres over the last 100 years. This was followed by a most generous response from W Bro Bob Simpson PAGDC.

The meeting closed with the Tyler’s toast at 9 pm., always a poignant moment to reflect on the wellbeing of our members and to remind everyone what we have been missing over the last year. It seemed that a number of members were reluctant to depart, and an informal chat with numerous reminiscences continued for a further ninety minutes, longer than the scheduled meeting. The host of the event, Lodge Almoner W Bro Ivan Yordanov LGR, facilitated the smooth running of the zoom meeting, so we were fortunate to not be cut off after the usual 40 minutes.

A total of sixty-one members and guests attended the meeting. The cosmopolitan nature of the Lodge was reflected by attendees from Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and Spain. Metropolitan Grand Lodge was very well represented by Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent Chris Clark, Metropolitan Grand Secretary David Swain, together with Metropolitan Grand Inspectors Clive Hawkins and John Parry, Lodge SVO Mike Fahey, and past VO Denis Gibney. 

Honorary members from the Lodge and Chapter, Robert Faulkner, Ken and Harry Benford, and Past Chairman of the Devonshire Group Brian Vickers, together with Keith Gilbert OSM, completed a very high ranking attendance of Very Worshipful Brethren. Special mention was given to our oldest serving member, Terry Ayre SLGR, who was initiated, as a Lewis, in 1956.

The Lodge and its members were pleased to receive greetings from W Bro James Pearson, the Worshipful Master of our Mother Lodge, Clissold No 2551, and W Bro George Petkov, a SVO of the United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria.

Ceres Lodge has been fortunate recently in having had quite an influx of new initiates. This has seen us performing two separate degrees at every meeting for the last five years. Owing to the lockdown, we have four raisings, two passings, and the initiation of a Lewis, all waiting to be conducted. This should keep all the officers, and probably some of the Past Masters, busy for some time to come – but unfortunately will delay the full centenary meeting from being held for a while.

The Lodge now hopes to hold a non-virtual centenary celebration in the spring or summer of 2022.

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 44 April 2021 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 44.