Gilkirke Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 812 is located, as many of you will be aware, at Barnoldswick in the Dales. Not just around the corner then, a journey for me, from Wakefield at 4.15 p.m., taking 2 hours. But what a joyous, friendly Mark Masonic evening – give it a try.
I was welcomed by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Derek Thulborn, P.Prov.G.J.W. and the Brethren, as were all the 12 visitors, which included the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. John Fred Clough. The main agenda item was to advance Bro. David Antony Key, the grandson of W.Bro. David James Key, Worshipful Master of Bronte Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 535 and son of W.Bro. David Trevor Key, Immediate Past Master of Bronte Lodge No. 535. The discerning reader will have perceived that there are number of David Key’s about. As Bro. David is still under the age of 21, whilst no dispensation was necessary, the Lodge was required to obtain written confirmation from his Craft Lodge, Royal York Lodge of Craft Masons No. 265, which had been received and his Grand Lodge Certificate examined.
The Advancement was conducted by W.Bro. Derek and his Officers to an excellent standard without ritual books in evidence, great to see. The Senior Deacon was a visitor, W.Bro. Keith Morrison P.Prov.G.J.O, of Worth Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 727, who performed of office admirably. Bro. David proved to be a worthy candidate, taking a very keen interest in the proceedings. The Secrets of the Degree were beautifully explained by W.Bro. Simon Gazzard P.A.G.D.C. and it was a delight for those who know him to see him looking in such good health. W.Bro. Clough also got involved with a polished address to the Badge and jewel; he must have been practising a long time for that. W.Bro. David Trevor Key explained the working tools to his son, a wonderful moment. Overall, a ceremony that all who witnessed it will not forget.
The proceedings then reverted to the remaining Agenda items but there was a further piece of work, not on the Agenda. W.Bro. John Fred Clough requested the Director of Ceremonies to conduct W.Bro. Eddie Lord, P.Prov.G.J.W. to the centre of the Lodge where he received an immediate promotion to Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden for all his work for Mark Masonry in general but the Gilkirke Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 812 in particular. Undoubtedly surprised, but very pleased, W.Bro. Eddie thanked W.Bro. John Fred Clough and was saluted with Three.
Surprise, surprise, to the delight of the Worshipful Master and, evidently, the rest of the Brethren, enquiry was made if any Brother had any propositions to bring before the Lodge. At this point, and having been just advanced, Bro. David Antony Key proposed two joining Members, what a way to start your membership of a Lodge.
At the Festive Board which was enjoyed by all, W.Bro. David Trevor Key proposed the Toast to the Candidate, his Son, advising us that because of the number of David’s in the family, his son had the nick name of Diddy, presumably a reference to the Disc jockey of years gone by, David Hamilton but perhaps not! The response to the visitors toast was in the hands of W.Bro. David James Key. This was obviously a very emotional and pleasurable moment for him and one we all shared.
Overall, further proof, if any were needed, that visiting is really the spice of Mark Masonic life. Keep smiling, be happy and remember we are Mark Master Masons, how good does it get!
W. Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.