The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Archive September 2013

Sincerity Lodge No. 943 Installation

Sincerity Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 943 – Installation

Thursday, the 12th of September, and a red letter day for Sincerity Lodge of Mark Master Masons. Firstly because of the Installation of Bro. Michael J. Wells as their new Worshipful Master but also the debut of the Provincial Grand Junior Warden, W.Bro. Gary Crawford, the Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles

Sincerity Mark Lodge is one of a number in the Province who requires the Secretary to undertake a report covering their last Masonic year.  This was very professionally prepared and delivered by W.Bro.Robert Downs and contained the interesting statistics that average attendance of their brethren had increased marginally during the period under review but that visitor numbers had grown to 10.  This is very good news for the Lodge at a time where I suspect for many reasons, not least cost, numbers are generally in decline.  The Worshipful master, W.Bro. Roy Berner, then Installed his successor in a most sincere and calm manner, and the new Officers for the coming year were duly appointed and invested.

The Festive board was the usual high standard that we have come to expect at Tapton although those who asked for ice cream as a substitute dessert did appear to cause some consternation however this was swiftly overcome.  W. Bro. Gary Crawford then entertained us all with his response to the Toast to the Province of West Yorkshire.  He began by introducing himself; telling the story of once having to do much the same on another occasion and saying that he had been a policeman with special duties covering Royalty, then later as a counter terrorist advisor to MI5.  When the moment came to introduce him to the assembled guests, the Host, by now well inebriated, said that their Speaker was ‘a retired cop who was now working for MFI’.   Sincerity Lodge wish me to state that they accept no responsibility for any of the jokes W. Bro. Gary told on the night!!

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The next ceremony for Sincerity will be on Thursday, the 10th of October, a special night as V. W. Bro. Geoffrey Wall will be coming over from his home in the Isle of Man to receive his Certificate for 50 years of service to the Mark Degree, an evening not to be missed for those of us who remember V. W. Bro. Geoff in the Lodge.

Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank 2013

The following Brethren have been awarded R.A.M.G.R. by the Most Worshipful Grand Master and have been pleased to accept:-

W. Bro. Ian Murry Nicol Old York TI
W. Bro. Donald Blackburn Elmete 111
W. Bro. Michael John Littlewood Dewsbury 641
W. Bro. Keith Douglas Robinson St Hiev 1079
W. Bro. Alan Jones Truth 137
W. Bro. Malcolm William Mackown Elmete 111

They will be invested at the RAM Assembly to be held at Great Queen Street London on Tuesday 10 December.

Congratulations to them all.

Music Through the Decades – a Show of Two Halves


Worshipful Brother John Whitworth will present an evening of music from
the 50’s 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

With an all new programme for the first half
And songs chosen by the audience in the second half.

Saturday 2nd November 2013 – 6:30pm for 7:00pm.




Price: £13.50 per head to include a home-made steak pie supper during the interval.

Further information and booking: [wpdm_file id=58]

The earlier events organised by W. Bro. Whitworth have proved extremely popular and enjoyable,  I therefore suggest that brethren wishing to attend return their booking form and payment at the earliest opportunity as seating is limited to 80 people.

South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters A.G.M

The meeting took place at Tapton Hall in the presence of the Provincial Grand master, R. W. Bro. James Steggles together with 6 visitors and 34 members.

The retiring President, W. Bro. Michael Minns said that it had been one of the highlights of his Masonic career taking him not only all around the West Yorkshire Province, but into the far flung reaches of North and East Yorkshire, in particular Minerva Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 12TI. Encouraging visiting is a cornerstone of all the Installed Masters’ Associations and it should be emphasised that whilst it is an ‘Installed Masters association’, all Brethren can attend the meetings and Lodge visits and will be most welcome.

The President then told the assembled company that he had had an ambition for his year and that it had been realised.  He then presented the Provincial Grand Master, R. W. Bro. James Steggles, with a cheque for £1000 in favour of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.  This was very warmly received and will be dutifully applied.

The President then invested his successor, the new Team being:

  • President W. Bro. David Spivey.
  • Senior Vice President, W. Bro. Jim Stanley.
  • Junior Vice President, W. Bro. Jim Reynolds

Wishing them all a happy and successful year in office.

The Provincial Grand master, R. W. Bro. James Steggles then addressed the meeting congratulating W. Bro. David and his new team and paid tribute to the excellent work by W. Bro. Michael Minns during his year.  He further informed us that there was to be a gathering at Pontefract, in September, of all the Associations to explore how the excellent work of the Associations could be enhanced.  Also that w.e.f 2015, the Associations would be asked to take responsibility for the Stewarding of the Provincial Annual meeting.  He also reminded those present that we in West Yorkshire are unusual in having Associations; other Provinces have Installed Mark Master Masons Lodges which, of course, necessitate dues being paid to both Grand and Provincial Grand Lodges.

A most enjoyable evening was had by all.

R. W. Bro. Philip Birch and Iris celebrates 60 years

Our Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. George Henry Philip Birch and his wife Iris celebrate 60 years of Marriage.

On the 8th September the family and friends of R. W. Bro. Philip Birch and his wife Iris gathered at his son Peter’s home to help them celebrate 60 years of marriage.

There were over 75 guests present, including many Masonic friends who enjoyed a most excellent buffet in the beautiful setting of Stainton Hall Farm.

An amusing toast to the couple was proposed by both Peter and Kathleen Birch, which received the usual humorous response one expects from our Past Provincial Grand Master, and the cutting of the cake completed a most enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine.

Philip and Iris

Over £400 was raised in lieu of presents for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Congratulations Philip and Iris on such a wonderful achievement.