The Shotokan Karate Lodge No. 9752 was consecrated in October 2002, and two distinguished BSAL Brethren soon became very much involved with its progress.

The new Lodge was allocated to the Strathern Group of London Management. W. Bro. Keith Kirby was then Chairman of that Group, and W. Bro. John Meredith was appointed the SVO. As this was another affinity lodge, with sporting/recreational origins, it was obvious that there was some common ground.

Shotokan Lodge soon became inundated with new applicants, and built up a backlog of due ceremonies. With liaison through Bros. Kirby and Meredith, it was agreed that BSAL would assist where possible.

So it was that on the 13th November 2004, the first “Guest Ceremony” was conducted in BSAL, when Bro. Raymond Floodgate was passed to the Second Degree on behalf of his Mother Lodge.

He was of course supported by visitors from his Mother Lodge, but when Bro. Floodgate first passed through the door of the host Lodge, he was still a relative stranger to many. So those present could only look on with some admiration as he unexpectedly stepped forward for the ceremony wearing his “gi” (or karate “pyjamas”, to the uninitiated and irreverent BSAL members).

As described earlier, the BSAL members had already established their own customs and acquired some specific equipment. Many of them felt that even some of their own peculiar practices had been surpassed on this occasion. When it was explained that this mode of dress for Candidates had become established tradition for Shotokan Lodge, it served to confirm that the eccentricities of the two Lodges could only bode well for their future association.

Bro. Floodgate later went on to become the first Companion to be exalted into the British Sub Aqua Chapter, who had not first been a member of the British Sub Aqua Lodge. The affiliation thus continued.


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