A day to remember for the Brethren of Old York TI with a visit from the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles and an escort of Provincial Officers of the year, 29 in all. The previous visit had been in 2008, on exactly the same date and comment was made that, perhaps, the next visit would again be in 6 years time, as ever Brethren, time will tell.
The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Howard Shoesmith and the Minutes of the previous meeting were read, approved and duly signed. This came as a surprise to some of those present, including the Brethren of Old York TI. In the minutes were references to the effect that the ritual on the night was excellent, of a standard very rarely seen in the Cleckheaton Masonic Hall rooms, incredulous faces around the Temple, how can this be? These minutes were created and read by Worshipful Brother R. Edward Wilkinson who was referring to, amongst others, himself and Worshipful Brother Andrew. M. Johnson. After the laughter had died down, we agreed that at Old York TI, the sycophants rule!!
Upon a report, the Provincial Grand Master, along with his Escort, was admitted and greeted by W.Bro. Howard. R.W.Bro. James Steggles commented that it was a pleasure to see such a sea of happy smiling faces but, added, that he had told them to do so before they entered!! Brother Duncan John Bryan, a Master Mason of St. David Tarb Mauchline Lodge No.133 of the Scottish Constitution was then advanced into the Degree of Mark Master Mason. The ceremony was of a high standard, very capably lead by W.Bro. Howard. Bro. Duncan, being of the Scottish Constitution was aware of some aspects, not waiting for the prompt and clearly getting there before the Senior Deacon on occasion. The Signs and Secrets were superbly delivered by W.Bro. Edward and the Warrant/Book of Constitutions etc., together with the Conclusion, equally brilliantly by W.Bro. Andrew. Congratulations to both, the ‘Ant and Dec’ of the Province. Perhaps I should withdraw my reference to sycophants?
The Festive Board was a most enjoyable feast and the Toast to the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles was very sincerely delivered by W.Bro. Howard. In his response, R.W.Bro. James Steggles emphasised what a particularly enjoyable Mark meeting we had just enjoyed and how friendship had brought us together, and would see us return. Visiting would also bring us closer to our Brethren, who are not Mark Master Masons, in the Craft and Royal Arch; the Executive Teams of both Orders contain many Senior Mark Master Masons. It was also a delight to hear our newly advanced brother, Bro. Duncan commit himself to getting out and about in the Degree and I look forward to seeing him on my travels.
Enjoy your Mark Masonry, smile and be happy.
W. Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.