The Installation of the new Master of Dartmouth Lodge of Mark Master Masons took place, by dispensation, at Greenhead Masonic Hall, Huddersfield, on Wednesday 1 October, due to building works being undertaken at the Masonic Hall in Slaithwaite.
After the usual opening formalities had been observed and upon a report, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles was admitted, to the delight of all present, and received with acclamation.
The Installation was then undertaken by the Director of Ceremonies, Very Worshipful Brother John Barlow with the assistance of other Senior Brethren. Primarily this was because they had failed to dislodge the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Peter Dransfield who was to enjoy another year in the chair. The Ceremony was therefore by Proclamation, this being superbly discharged by V.W.Bro. John Barlow. W.Bro. Peter then appointed his Officers for the ensuing year, including W.Bro. John Madigan with three offices (they are obviously intent upon keeping him busy and present at all their meetings).
At an appropriate juncture, the Provincial Grand Master requested that W.Bro. Gerald Draper P.Prov.G.J.W. be escorted to the centre of the Lodge. To the delight of all, and the obvious astonishment of W.Bro. Gerald , the Provincial Grand Master proceeded to promote him to Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden, a singular honour and one undoubtedly warranted. W.Bro. Gerald, was advanced into Dartmouth Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.545 on 1 February 1989, was Worshipful Master in 1994, and received his first Provincial Honours in 1999 – a stalwart of the Lodge for over 25 years. Always willing to help out wherever possible, he has an engaging smile and cheerful greeting that we all recognise, W.Bro. Gerald never seems unhappy. A credit to Mark Masonry in general and Dartmouth Lodge of Mark Master Masons in particular.
The toast to the Provincial Grand Master was delivered by W.Bro. Arnold Simpson who said that he had been impressed by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles in the fact that he never forgot Junior Brethren, not as had been in the past in some other orders; in this respect he was pleased to say that R.W.Bro. Jim was like all his predecessors in the Mark. The Provincial Grand Master responded appropriately, particularly thanking all the Brethren who had been involved in the organisation and stewardship of the Annual Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting in April. He also reminded the Brethren of the changes which will take place in November with Deputy and Assistant Provincial Grand Masters but also added that the new Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies would be W.Bro. John Vause and the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies would be W.Bro. Andrew Brown.
He would like as many as possible to join his lady, Joan and himself at the Provincial Sunday lunch to be held at Greenhead Masonic Hall on 26 October. This will be an excellent event, tickets can be obtained via a booking form on the web site. Lastly another date for your diaries, the Family carol Service at Brighouse on 14 December.
In his response to the toast to the Mark Benevolent Fund and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, the Charity Representative, W.Bro. John Wilberforce Ashcroft emphasised the need to maintain contact with Brethren not attending Lodge, ideally with a visit, and to advise the Provincial Almoner, W.Bro. Alex Steele if assistance was required. The next event for the Charity is the Almoners Lunch to be held on Monday, 3 November, at Tapton Hall, Sheffield. In thanking all the Brethren for their contributions, as witnessed by the generous donation to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust that he had received, he commented, ‘your help today will be relief for someone else tomorrow’, how very true.
An excellent Mark Masonic evening , memories of W. Bro. George Haigh’s rendition of the Master’s song accompanied by the clinking of crystal glasses provided by the singer, superb.