An extra surprise awaited Ray Bowden as he was exalted into Hereward Chapter in Bourne.
Unbeknown to him, his long time friend Colin Shannon, who he hasn’t seen for many years, had travelled from the Province of West Lancashire to take the place of the Principal Sojourner for the night.
Mike Haynes, who watched the whole thing, explained: ” It was a lovely moment at the point in the ceremony when Ray Bowden looked over to his right and realised who had been leading him around and promoting him all evening.”
Ray and Colin met when they were both in the RAF, and became great friends in spite of Colin having returned from leave only to to find that Ray had stolen his bed.
Despite their great friendship, they had not seen each other for a few years, and Colin was pleased when he found out that Ray had become a Freemason and looked forward to being able to visit him. When Ray decided to become a member of The Royal Arch he invited Colin along to see his exaltation, but with Colin already planning his surprise he told Ray that unfortunately he was on Masonic business that evening and wouldn’t be able to make it.
Mike added: “Colin turned up early on the evening and had a quick chat about the way Hereward Chapter does things. He was then kept in the temple all evening, with Ray being kept away from him. All the members of the Chapter and the visitors enjoyed a fantastic ceremony and festive board afterwards. It was a great evening all round.