The splendour of the Colne Valley was there for all to see on 2 October when 67 Mark Master Masons met at Masonic Hall, Slaithwaite for the Installation of Bro. Peter Dransfield as the Worshipful Master of Dartmouth Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.545. It also marked the debut of the Provincial Grand Senior Warden, W. Bro. Jim Reynolds, the Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, R. W. Bro. James Steggles, and W. Bro. Andrew Brown on his first outing as a Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The Installation was undertaken by the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. David Mann in a most sincere, warm manner, ably assisted by his Officers. Particularly, I would mention the Installing D.C., V. W. Bro. John Barlow and the Preceptor, W. Bro. Ralph Pearson who, together, ensured that the whole process went very smoothly. Due to the high numbers, the festive board had to be held in the Temple, the preparation of which meant that those who were not driving could enjoy a few more drinks. The meal was of the usual high standard that we enjoy in these rooms although perhaps not the volume that some would have welcomed. This was good news for W. Bro. John Madigan as it allowed him to continue with his diet project!! Some way to go yet methinks, W. Bro. John.
The toast to the Province was ably delivered by W. Bro. Kelsall Nunn and W. Bro. Jim Reynolds replied appropriately. He reminded the Brethren that a number of events will be taking place in the Province over the next few months, coincidentally, mostly in the Huddersfield, Halifax & Districts Installed Masters Association area. They are as follows:
- Five M’s Sunday Lunch at Greenhead Masonic hall, 27th October, places still available.
- Xmas Fayre, also at Greenhead on the 24th November, stalls still wanted.
- Family carol Service at Brighouse, 8th December.
Past Provincial Grand Masters Celebration at Southwood, Halifax has sold out but names can be added to a list in case of withdrawals.
W. Bro. Stephen, ‘Sam’, Cariss in his response to the toast to the Mark Benevolent Fund and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust reminded us all that we need to be vigilant. The trustees remain convinced that some deserving cases, for a variety of reasons, are being overlooked. It is in these situations that all of us are Almoners.
Following the Toast to the Worshipful Master, Bro. George Haigh gave a rendition of the Masters song culminating in his last three, ‘Here’s to his health’ being accompanied by three, loud, clinking of wine glasses with the Worshipful Master. This was a lovely touch, giving a new perspective on ‘When the Bell tolls’.
The response to the Toast to the visitors by Bro. Alan Knott, Junior Warden, was by the President of the Huddersfield, Halifax and Districts Installed Masters Association, W. Bro. Richard Brooke, Worshipful Master of Truth lodge No.137. In alluding to the recent meeting of Installed Masters Associations with the Executive, he advised that he was now encouraging Association Representatives to take at least the Junior Warden with them on their visits. The Worshipful Master then allocated the floral displays. The centrepiece of which was a very intricate piece in the form of a Master Masons Apron which had been prepared by his wife, Mrs. Sharon Dransfield.
Brethren it is superb and if you visit a Dartmouth meeting during the current Masonic year, it will be on display, well worth seeing, but a visit to Dartmouth is always worth doing.
W. Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D