On Wednesday evening, 5th April a very unusual and very poignant meeting was held by the Brethren of Arenal Deportiva Lodge Number 65. Ostensibly this was to be a demonstration of the ceremony of Raising given by the WM WBro Philip Bowick and his officers. This ceremony was indeed carried out, and extremely well!
What made this meeting so different, however, was that it was honoured by the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Michael Anthony Shilan and what made it moving was that, for the PGM, this was to be his last visit as PGM before leaving office. It was particularly poignant that this is his mother Lodge. I believe the Lodge did him proud on the night!
A great surprise for the PGM was that, after he arrived, he was amazed to see that the Grand Master of Spain MW Bro Oscar de Alfonso Ortega was also making a private visit. This too was poignant in that it was also his last visit before leaving office. His attendance was kept so secret from the PGM, that he was even sent a special summons without this detail included. The surprise was complete.
This was a fantastic and very emotional evening for all concerned but especially for the GM and the PGM. After the ceremony the GM rose and thanked and congratulated everyone involved for their great performances and said how much he had enjoyed being the Grand Master of Spain. He said he had seldom, if ever, seen a better ceremony. He has served as GM for the past twelve years, surely a record, but now looked forward to a little more time at home with his wife and family. He wished the Lodge well and assured us that he would now be able to visit us more often. We hope so too. He will always be most welcome!
The PGM then rose and said how proud he was of this, his mother Lodge, and said he had seldom seen a ceremony carried out more professionally. He too expressed great pride in the Lodge and said he had enjoyed his five years as PGM and had many happy memories of the many happy times he had enjoyed. He too expressed the hope that with a little more free time to spend with his wife and family, he would still be able to come to more Lodge meetings. Again, we hope so, he too will always be welcome. On behalf of Arenal Deportiva, and I am sure, the rest of the Province we wish him well for the future. Thank you Michael for all that you have done.