Saturday, 11 October 2014 and, at 11 a.m. prompt, the Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother Keith Robinson opened the Lodge. This meeting incorporates the Annual Meeting of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners in the Province of West Yorkshire.
After the opening formalities, including a ballot for seven Joining Members which was successful, upon a report the Provincial Director of Ceremonies was admitted to be welcomed by W.Bro. Keith with the greeting, ‘Welcome W.Bro. Boswell’, amusement all round. The Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, G.M.R.A.C, was then admitted and accepted the Sceptre. He then opened the Provincial Grand Royal Ark Mariner Assembly, a roll call of Royal Ark Mariner Lodges followed and tribute to departed Brethren during which Right Worshipful Brother Brian Emmett spoke very movingly about Very Worshipful Brother Brian Addy, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master. He reminded all that V.W.Bro. Brian believed passionately in our values, being a straight talker who only knew one way to do something, the right way. Undoubtedly he did not tolerate fools gladly and would have made a very good shop steward!
The Provincial Grand Master then made the appointments to Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank for the following Worshipful Brethren:
|A.M. Johnson||Old York||TI|
|G. Milnes||Prince Edward||14|
|T.E. Dudley||St. Hiev||1079|
The Provincial Grand Master then addressed the meeting and covered the changes that would take place in November with the appointments of W.Bro. Richard Puttrell as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and W.Bro. Dr. Rod. Taylor as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. In respect of membership, 41% of Mark Master Masons are also Royal Ark Mariners and this does not compare favourably with the average of 60% amongst the better performing Provinces, something for us all to act upon. The Province of West Yorkshire will hold its Festival in 2023 for which work will commence, in earnest, in 2016 but a Committee is now to be established under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Designate, W.Bro. Richard Putrell. A Bank account is being established, all taking place in close liaison with the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. Finally he emphasised the Ladies’ Sunday Lunch to take place at Greenhead Masonic Hall on 26 October and the Annual Carol Service in Brighouse on 14 of December.
A rare occasion then took place when Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, stepped down from the dais to present a Royal Ark Mariner Distinguished Service Award to Worshipful Brother Ernest William Angus, a very long serving member of Caldene Lodge of Royal Ark Mariner No. 501, in respect of his unstinting support of the Lodge and the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner. The Award was instituted in 2010 by the then Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Bennett Truswell; it cannot be awarded to Holders of Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank.
Finally he commented that the Mark 250 Club continues to prosper and that the funds raised are now being utilised to refurbish Provincial furniture, the Sword complete and the Banner now to be dealt with.
R.W.Bro. James Steggles, concluded by wishing that Strength and Beauty would continue to guide our footsteps and that the Supreme Commander of the Universe would keep us all, and all those close to us, safe and well.
The remaining business was then back in the hands of the W.Bro. Keith, one item being the Declaration of W.Bro. James Gray as the Commander for the ensuing year. An honour I am sure that W.Bro. Jim will thoroughly enjoy as I know from my own experience in 2008, the feeling when you ask all the Brethren present to join you in opening the Lodge is astonishing, over 150 Brethren rise – Wow.
W.Bro. Robert Winterflood gave a very comprehensive Almoners report emphasising that , in view of the numbers involved and the geographic spread, if any Brother knows of someone in need , do not assume that W.Bro. Bob knows, contact him to be sure.
After the meeting was closed, in due form, Brethren adjourned to join the Ladies at the Festive Board.
An excellent day enjoyed by all, smile, be happy and enjoy your Royal Ark Mariner Masonry.