Our International Masonic visitors

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Just before the summer recess we were honoured with the presence of some international visitors at our meeting in May, Right Worshipful Master Robin K Stanford and his son Bro. Ben Stanford both of Lodge Hinemoa 786, New Zealand Scottish Constitution. Robin and Ben had travelled to Devon for Robin’s father’s funeral.

Robin and Ben presented our Worshipful Master, WBro. Lee Williams with a visitors banner from Lodge Hinemoa

Robin and Ben presented our Worshipful Master, WBro. Lee Williams with a visitors banner from Lodge Hinemoa. Pictured left to right: Bro. Paul O'Connell, Junior Warden, Worshipful Master, WBro. Lee Williams, Right Worshipful Master Robin Stanford, Bro. Ben Stanford, Bro. Clive Astman, Senior Warden and WBro. Pete Leins, Director of Ceremonies.

Right Worshipful Master Robin said “Ben and I had been travelling for about 36 hours when we came to Lodge having landed at Heathrow just that morning. I knew you had your meeting so it was then or not at all! My father who had passed away on 13th May was also a Freemason. Ben is a Lewis and I had the privilege of Initiating, Passing and Raising him. We travel to visit other Lodges a lot and he is a keen visitor”.

Lodge Hinemoa 786, New Zealand

Robin and Ben’s Lodge Hinemoa is a Scottish Constitution Lodge which meets in the town of Stratford in the Taranaki District of New Zealand. In March this year they celebrated their 125th anniversary and at the meeting they received a generous cheque for $5,000 from their District Grand Lodge towards the refurbishment work they had carried out. The picture below shows the Lodge room looking towards the East.

Worshipful Master Robin K Stanford, Lodge Hinemoa 786, New Zealand

Robin as well being the current Right Worshipful Master of his Mother Craft Lodge which is his third time in the Chair, has been the Worshipful Master of three New Zealand Constitution Lodges, is First Principal of the local Royal Arch Chapter and at the time of his visit, the Most Wise Sovereign of his local Rose Croix Chapter, a member of the local District Grand Lodge (Junior Grand Deacon), District Grand Chapter for Royal Arch (District Grand Recorder) and a member of the Sovereign Council 30th degree. He describes himself as an enthusiastic Freemason!

Robin said “As RWM I have tried to strike a balance between solemnity and fun and I believe our Lodge is in good heart. Consequently, it was refreshing to see that Miles Coverdale Lodge operates on a similar philosophy seeking that delicate balance between camaraderie and formality.

Ben and I really enjoyed our time with you guys. Your ritual, like so many lodges, is very different but remarkably the same! That really is one of the joys of visiting in seeing variations on the theme. It was great to see a degree working. 

We are also in your debt for your generous hospitality at the Festive Board. Ben and I both had a really good time although I think that by then the jet lag was really starting to kick in. Please convey our appreciation to the WM, Officers and Brethren for your warm welcome and generous hospitality”.

The adage that there are no strangers in Freemasonry, only friends you have yet to meet is indeed a good one!

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