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Lodge Somers Isle marks 60 years of service

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Lodge Somers Isle celebrated its 60th anniversary with the installation of Right Worshipful Master Derek LA Smith on November 10.

It took place before a packed crowd of Freemasons comprised of all three constitutions — Irish, English and Scottish. Also present were overseas visitors from the Bahamas and the USA.

The brethren were treated to some excellent Masonic work by the officers of Lodge Somers Isle. The officers looked crisp in their white tuxedo jackets and gloves, with very colourful regalia.

Brethren were treated to a very tasty festive board, enough to stimulate the most discerning palate.

Located on White Hill in Somerset, Lodge Somers Isle was founded in 1955. It was partitioned by several well-known and respected members of the craft including Very Worshipful Brother William Murphie, the than District Grand Superintendent of Scottish Lodges in Bermuda.

It was presided over by officers representing the Grand Lodge of Scotland, with Brother William Mayne noting others in attendance including Sir Stanley Spurling, Past District Grand Superintendant and Brother Thomas Godet, Grand Inspector of the English Lodges in Bermuda. Lodge Somers Isle, under the current leadership of Right Worshipful Brother Travis Gilbert, Right Worshipful Grand Superintendent of the Scottish Constitution in Bermuda, continues to evolve and grow since becoming a landmark in itself of the Sandys landscape.

Membership is composed of men of varied religion, colour and creed, each of whom pledge themselves to the principles of the craft thus dedicating their efforts to the betterment of their communities and the world at large. Lodge Somers Isle continues to look for and encourage participation by “good men seeking to be better”, in their service to God, their fellow men and community.

• It's great being 90

It took 90 long years to occur, and I am constrained to just put my modesty aside and say how exhilarating it was being feted by family and friends at The Dining Room at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse on Wednesday night. It was absolutely fantastically planned with AIG excellence, by my son Anthony, and finessed to the utmost detail by his wife Michelle. (Anthony is AIG's CEO in Bermuda).

I could only have one birth date, which was December 16, 1925, however on that date 26 years later my late wife Ismay bore us a son, Don Quedelle.

So Wednesday was in fact a two-in-one celebration. “Poor me”, I was nearly smothered by family and friends. There were those offspring ordinarily resident in Bermuda; the night before, my grandson arrived from studies in India. My niece Doilene, daughter of my late brother Aubrey and the grand dame of the family, arrived on a twofold mission — the birthday celebrations and, the next day, seeing her daughter Thifanni graduate from the Bermuda College.

Grandson Don Jr, an Immigration officer, was almost breathless, having just returned from a mission in South America escorting individuals deemed persona non grata here in Bermuda, to their home country. An even greater surprise was the entrance of my granddaughter Cara, a student at Oral Roberts College, who arrived directly from the airport accompanied by her mom Chrislyn.

Calls of congratulations came from grandchildren in Africa, Jamaica, Canada and France. Additionally, I have received countless e-mails and Facebook notifications on this milestone which makes me feel like doing it all over again.

Packed crowd: front row from left, Brothers E Bailey, WJW G Minors, WB Secretary N Tyrrell, DOC. R Fox and T Butterfield. Second row from left, Brothers B Smith, A Faries, R Daniels, E Robinson and D Greenidge. Third row from left, Brothers WSW M Caines and M. Smith. Back row from left, M Minors, C Paynter, RWM Derek Smith, C Ray and R Baker (Photograph supplied)
Anniversary celebration: Right Worshipful Master Derek LA Smith (Photograph supplied)
From left, Right Woshipful Masters C Paynter and Derek LA Smith, Right Worshipful Substitute Master R Baker and Right Worshipful IPM C Ray (Photograph supplied)
Feted by loved ones: Ira Philip, front centre, celebrates his 90th birthday with his family (Photograph supplied)
Family celebration: Ira Philip's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren at his 90th birthday celebrations this week (Photograph supplied)

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Published December 19, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 19, 2015 at 8:10 am)

Lodge Somers Isle marks 60 years of service

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