What do you do to celebrate 70 years in Freemasonry when the Brother is unable to attend his lodge ------ you take the lodge to him and on the 8th of March 2017 the Brethren of Lodge Kirknewton and Ratho did just that!
Brother George Tyler celebrated 70 years in Freemasonry on the 10th of January 2017 and now resides in the North Merchiston Care Home. As he is unable to travel we thought of going to the Care Home to celebrate with George. When the idea was raised with the Care Home they could have not been more supportive, indeed when the date was decided and the news leaked out, we had many request to be in attendance. Unfortunately the room available would only allow 25 members, at a push; therefore we had to be very strict on the numbers attending.
When the numbers of Ratho Brethren were decided, George’s other lodge, The Lodge of Light No. 1656, where he was a Founder Member and Master in 1995, were allocated places with the remainder going to Honorary Members of 85.
The Lodge was opened and several apologies were received, correspondence was in the form of a letter from our Grand Master Mason congratulating Brother Tyler on this great achievement.
A second degree was demonstrated with Honorary Member Brother John Anderson, SM 548 acting as candidate.
Thereafter our traditional Harmony took place with PM. Brother Bob Potter proposing the toast to our principal guest of the evening. (Read his toast here)
Brother Ian Brown Past Master, spoke on behalf of The Lodge of Light No. 1656 with a very obvious respect and friendship for Brother Tyler with many happy and humorous reflections of their time together in freemasonry.
Brother Gordon Yeoman, Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Kirkliston Maitland No. 482 then spoke on behalf of all Honorary Members present and as is Brother Yeoman’s gift, spoke with great humour and insight to the evening’s proceedings.
Brother George Tyler then responded, recalling many stories and events over his70 years in Freemasonry with sincerity and humour and when you consider he is 92 years of age, it could have been a man of half his age. He finished by saying “ We should do this again as I expect to live to 192, out living most of you”
I cannot speak too highly of the help and assistance I received from Mr John Tyler George’s son, for liaising with the care home and making sure George was well prepared. The staff from the Care Home for making our visit so special, providing tea and coffee, even having the door windows “Blacked out” for our arrival, obviously a masonic husband in the background somewhere.
On the evening a collection was taken which will result in £200 being donated to the Care Home Comfort Fund.
A great night was completed as I walked George back to his room, struggling into his jacket pocket he handed me an envelope, when I got home and opened it, it was a thank you card for his great night. The mark of the man and the mason.
Below is Bro. George Tyler receiving his distinguished Service Diploma from rwm Bro. Kenneth McMaster. More pics can be found in our photo page.