Most Worshipful Grand Master, the honour of responding to your most generous toast to the Board of Grand Stewards has fallen to me.
The Office of Grand Steward carries the privilege of attending on the Communications of Mark Grand Lodge and we have all thoroughly enjoyed working hard to make that experience memorable for all of todays’ recipients.
Your Royal Highness is no stranger to hard work, as your commitment to an astonishing number of Charities and organisations, as well as your own official duties, makes us all especially grateful for your attendance here today.
Indeed, for several years I served in the Maritime Volunteer Service of which you are the Patron and a while ago, at the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk Little Ships rally, I had the good fortune of being inspected by you as part of the ship’s company of MVS Appleby. At the time, as a mere member of the crew, being recognised and directly addressed by you left me quite speechless – a deficiency I have the opportunity of amending today. That moment does however serve to illustrate the interest, care and detail you have always taken in your public duties and is an example for us all.
The successful discharge of the duties of a Mark Grand Steward must be attributed to the efforts of the team at Mark Masons Hall and of those who are the bonding and driving force of the Board, in this case our infinitely patient Secretary W.Bro Peter Dack and of course our President W.Bro Glen Coneley and on behalf of the Board of 2016/2017, I heartily thank them both.
We are also privileged and grateful to be admitted to the Mark Grand Stewards Lodge and we extend our thanks to the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Officers for making every meeting such an illuminating and enjoyable experience.
Sir, in fine, on behalf of the Grand Stewards appointed in 2016, we thank you sincerely for your kind toast and hope to continue to serve you and Mark Grand Lodge for many years to come.
W.Bro Mike Gerschel
Tuesday 13th June 2017