22nd WM Annual Lodge Report
W Bro. Cristian Mihutoiu W.M. Internet Lodge 9659, 2019-20/21.
Brethren as your 22nd Worshipful Master first of all I must thank you all for encouraging me to submit my manifesto to going in the chair of this really unique and wonderful Lodge few years ago. It has been quite an experience. Being Master of this special Lodge was a great honour for me and same time a fantastic challenge being located in Romania, more than 2000 miles away from UK. I also thank you all for the great help and support over the year you have given to me without which I could not have been able to succeed.
After our first meeting in Malta during a masonic visit with my craft lodge from Romania I decided to join IL 9659 in 2012 and become part of this wonderful story about universal brotherhood and friendship during the year in chair of W Bro. David Starbuck. Special thanks to those which encouraged, supported and mentored me in particular Royston Morris, David Starbuck, Alan Turton, John Dutchman-Smith, Alan Breward, Ken Donoghue, Stephen Gregory, Derek Oliver and many others. Your brotherly love and friendship were the reason for which I joined Internet Lodge 9659 without hesitation.
Special thanks to our much-regretted brother David Slack which strongly supported and encouraged me to submit again the manifesto and step forward in the lodge.
It began then, as always with the installation in Manchester Bridge Street, on the 16th of March 2019 where W Bro. Alan Breward installed me into the Masters chair with consummate skill, ably assisted by the lodge members in a ceremony that will live long in my memory. It was followed by a memorable festive board at which I had the pleasure of seeing W Bro. John Dutchman-Smith singing the masters song. Very exciting indeed.
Many guests from Romania, Greece, France and Netherlands including the Grand Master from Romania and the Deputy Grand Master from Netherlands took part at this special ceremony, being much honored by the presence of our Provincial Grand Master RW Bro. Sir David Trippier together with senior members of the Province of East Lancashire. The temple in Manchester Masonic Hall was full with more than 125 brothers participating from UK and oversees. A special guest from Romania, Bro. Alexandru Constantin entertained us with his great voice singing among others some of the famous songs of Tom Jones.
I am grateful to W Bro. David Starbuck for his strong support in organizing the meeting in Manchester and choosing the Princess Street Hotel being the former Arora Hotel a perfect choice for keeping our good mood and satisfaction.
A special masonic trip to Dublin, facilitated by W Bro. Alan Breward and his wife was successfully organized between 08-11th May 2019, excellent time spent together in this beautiful city of Ireland. An intensive plan for visiting the famous Dublin attractions such as Trinity College including Book of Kells exhibition, Guinness Storehouse Tour and Dublin Castle Tour makes our trip very interesting. especially after taking place at the famous “Celtic night” on Friday evening. The Arlington Hotel was a good choice being placed very convenient in the city center. Our trip ended epically with the Farwell festive dinner organized at the famous restaurant The Church.
Special thanks to W Bro. Alan Breward for arranging the Guided Tour of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and our participation to the Square & Compass Lodge 998 and Kingston Masonic Lodge 510 meetings and Festive Dinner. A new and excellent experience together with our Irish brethren.
The summer meeting was organized in Brighton on 10th August 2019 giving us the opportunity to enjoy the summer time in a nice but windy seaside resort. I wish to give special thanks to W Bro. Mario Portelli for his great support in organizing the meeting with all its related details about the East Brighton Masonic Centre and the lovely Gala Dinner with our ladies on Saturday evening in the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel. Nice food, good wine and special entertainment were the main ingredients that evening which I am sure our brothers and ladies highly appreciated giving us another good reason to enjoy our time spent together.
The main item on the lodge meeting agenda was a special lecture entitled “Rogues and Rascals in Freemasonry” held by W Bro. Bob Lacey OBE, Provincial Grand Orator, which gave us another perspective about Freemasonry.
October sees the Lodge in Sindlesham near Reading (Berkshire), this venue was one chosen by our much-regretted W Bro. Stuart Robinson but could not have been better, the Double Tree by Hilton Moat Hotel was not so far from Windsor and city center and was close to the Sindlesham Masonic Hall for our convenience. The traditional Ladies Festival took place in the hotel having again all the necessary ingredients to enjoy the evening, good food and wine, live music and dancing.
The Lodge meeting on 12th October was well organized by the active officers and offered us the opportunity to hear a nice lecture entitled “Craft: The pointers to the Royal Arch and Mark Degrees within the Craft” held by W Bro. Philip Harris. Again, we had a good attendance including visitors from Romania, France, Netherlands and Greece.
The visiting agenda included a day trip to Windsor to explore the wonderful Royal places and beautiful nature during autumn time,
It was a wonderful experience being in the Chair and a great honor serving this unique Lodge but what I have enjoyed the most is our universal brotherhood and everlasting friendship not mentioning the warm charity shown to my chosen charities. That dispensed with £1000 to the ELMC, £800 to Reverse Rett and £800 to the Children’s Orphanage in Mogosoaia, Romania.
Membership will continue to grow, as we are now more thar 500 members in total with more applications pending or to be announced.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation and governmental restrictions it was not possible for me to install the Master Elect in the Chair of the Lodge in March 2020 neither in March 2021 and Zoom meetings became an usual practice instead of physical meetings. Therefore, I was spending an additional year in the Chair missing the “good old times” when we were able to enjoy our meetings in person and to share nice moments together with our ladies.
So, finally my successor W Bro. Stephen Wall was installed in the Chair of Internet Lodge 9659 at our first Lodge meeting held on 14th August 2021 in Salford even if I was not able to be there due to the Covid-19 isolation and international travelling restrictions but wish him a successful year in the Chair. I am now looking forward to our March 2022 installation meeting hoping to be able to see you all again and enjoy our wonderful lodge spirit.
May I take this opportunity to once more thank all the executive officers for their support throughout the year and in particular David Starbuck our Secretary and John Dutchman-Smith our Assistant Secretary on retiring from their offices.
Thank you again Brethren for all your support and friendship during my years in the chair and I look forward to seeing many of you again in the coming months.
Sincerely and fraternally,
WM of Internet Lodge 9659 for the years 2019/2021.