A fond Farewell to Richard Hinge

Many members of both Agricola Lodge and Agricola Chapter,  together with Freemasons from across the Province of East Kent attended a Service of Thanksgiving this week, to celebrate the life of our recently departed Brother, WBro Richard Hinge PAGDC, PProvJGW.

Richard will be much missed by us all.

As well as being a Freemason, Richard was a prominent local farmer who had lived and worked in Kent all his life.  So great was the attendance,  that the Service, which would normally have been held in his local Church in Bredgar, was moved to the larger Church of St. John the Baptist in nearby Tunstall.

In welcoming the congregation, The Reverend Alan Pinnegar described Richard as someone “who had the knack of putting people at ease”.  He referred to Richard’s kind and gentle manner as well as to his mischievous and often self deprecating sense of Humour.

The main Tribute to Richard was given by his friend of 40 years David Rhys-Jones who described Richard as  “a Gentleman” who was always welcoming, interested in people, and who loved to socialise.

Looking back over Richard’s life and achievements, David described his love of country sports and his lifelong interest in National Hunt and Point to Point racing.  He also mentioned the pride Richard felt in his membership of Agricola Lodge and Chapter,  and in his many Masonic achievements.

He also described Richard’s love of his family, the sad loss of his wife Bridget, and the happiness he had found in later life with Alice.

“With Richard…” said David  “a laugh was never far away”.

The Service featured contributions from 5 of Richard’s Grand Children Charlie, Monty, Rachel, Freddy and Fergus.

A retiring collection was held in aid of the Injured Jockey’s Fund and the local Parish.  Brethren wishing to donate should send payments in Richard’s Name to:

C. Waterhouse and Sons, Funeral Directors, High Street, Burwash, East Sussex TN19 7ET.

Farewell Richard…  We’ll miss you.
May you rest in peace.


Agricola Members conquer Vesuvius…

Tuesday 15th May 2018, saw 24 Lodge members, wives and partners gather at the Vesuvius Italian Restaurant in Maidstone for a Dinner to mark the end of the 2017/2018 Masonic “Season”.

The Lodge does not meet during the summer months.   It was originally formed as a Farmers’ Lodge, whose members would be busy harvesting their crops during the period May to October.

A great time was had by all…

Organised by Junior Warden and membership Officer Neil Marshall, the evening featured some excellent Italian food and wines all cooked and prepared by the lovely staff at Vesuvius.  Several happy diners remarked on the quality of the food, especially the Steak and the Veal which were pronounced “yummy!”

We were delighted to welcome our newest recruit Michael K. and his partner who were able to meet and get to know the members of the Lodge in a relaxed and happy setting.  Michael will hopefully be welcomed into the Lodge in January but we hope to see much more of him before then.

As no Masonic occasion would be complete without a raffle, Neil raffled a bottle of Berry Brothers and Rudd’s No 3 Gin in aid of the Lodge’s centenary fund (we will be 100 years old in 2023).  Rather unusually for an Agricola event it wasn’t won by Secretary Bob Burns, but went instead to well known Gourmet and “Masterbrew” expert Roger Waltham.

Look out for our next social occasion, a mid summer get together at one of Maidstone’s finest Nepalese restaurants,  the Ghurkha in Week Street, Maidstone on Friday 29th June at 19:30. Wives, Partners, Family and Friends all welcome. Please book with Ian Packer ASAP.

Viva Espana!

This just in from our Spanish Correspondent:   Snr.  Rodgerico de Walthamos who is currently on a beer tasting expedition somewhere in the Iberian Peninsula…


Muchos Gracias Hermano!

April 2018 Meeting

Our April Regular meeting took place at the Maidstone Masonic Centre on 27th April 2018.

The main event this time was the “Raising” (i.e. taking the third degree) of Bro. David Dadswell by our Worshipful Master Paul Constable.

However before that, the Lodge witnessed a sad moment when WBro. David Kershaw rose to pay a fulsome tribute to our late Brother Richard Hinge,  who died recently at the age of 83.

David Kershaw
David Kershaw

Initiated in 1969, Richard was the last member of the Hinge “Dynasty” who had been staunch supporters of Agricola Lodge since it was founded in 1922.  Both his Father and Grandfather had been members;  and Richard had served the Lodge for many years including a stint as Secretary in the early 1990’s.

David recalled how he, Richard and the late Ted Whiting had progressed through the Lodge Offices together, providing mutual support, encouragement and friendship over many years.  He was, said David…

An example to us all, who will be sadly missed.

A Service of Thanksgiving for Richard’s Life will be held on Wednesday 16th May.  Details can be obtained from the Lodge Secretary.

David and Paul
David (L) and Paul

The meeting then proceeded with Organist John Fry restored to his place at the keyboard after his recent hospital treatment.  The Ceremony of Raising, featured an hilarious moment when The Worshipful Master, (who is 5ft 3 inches tall) raised David (almost 6ft 5 inches tall).

The Master Masons among our readership will appreciate the problem :-)))

Happily all was concluded satisfactorily,  when David was invested with the Rank of a Master Mason with much acclaim.

The Festive Board was our usual happy affair featuring Hot Sussex Smokie, Roast Beef and Apple Pie.  The Bottle Raffle in aid of the Lodge Centenary Fund featured a particularly fine bottle of Jura Single Malt.  It raised £56.00 and was won by David Kershaw.

The main Raffle raised a further £175.00 for which Charity Steward
Jim de Save thanked the Brethren.

In his toast to the Worshipful Master, acting IPM Richard Carney congratulated him on another battling and determined performance and thanked him for the funniest moment (see above) “… Since Herbie Watson’s trousers fell down”.  A famous moment of high comedy, featuring a wardrobe malfunction,  which occurred back in the year 2000.

This meeting was the last of the current “season”.   Our next will be on Friday 26th October 2018.  However there are a couple of social events over the summer.  Full details are in the Events section.