On Friday 30 January the Crew of the Peace Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 681, together with a goodly number of visitors, congregated on the foredeck at Uppermill Masonic Hall to witness the Installation of a new Skipper.
The Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother Michael Jessop was at the helm, skilfully steering us through the opening formalities. These included a warm welcome to the newly appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell on his Lodge debut visit in his new role. Bro. Steven Spooner was presented as Commander Elect and W.Bro. Jessop then navigated him, in impeccable fashion, through the potentially stormy waters of the Installation Ceremony. The Officers who would be supervising the voyage, which will last until 2016, were then appointed and invested. I must also record that the Exposition was perfectly delivered by none other than the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Richard Boswell Puttrell. Brethren, our Rulers in the Mark Degree are something special, are they not? The new Worshipful Commander, W.Bro. Steven then advised us that there would be a minimum of two stops en route when it was intended that three new Crew members would press ganged; excellent news. The whole process had been skilfully managed by the Assistant Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Steven Littlewood but, unfortunately, when the crew were to retire via the gangplank, they began their departure before the Deputy Provincial Grand Master had joined them, Quite amusing, but he did reach the jetty safe and sound.
All then adjourned to the Mess where excellent fare, professionally prepared in the Galley, was dutifully despatched. In response to his toast, superbly delivered by W.Bro. Martin Roche, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Richard Boswell Puttrell, reminded the Brethren of the Annual general meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons which is to take Place on April 11 at Bradford Grammar school. This is the time when the Province attends the Provincial Grand Master’s Lodge; it is only courteous to be there. After all, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. visits us. Put it in your diaries now, look forward to seeing you. The 250 club continues to flourish, proceeds being used to re furbish Provincial Regalia, the Provincial Standard being dealt with at the moment.
A most enjoyable Royal Ark Mariner evening and I dearly wish that were the end of the story. However, after the meeting, I was availed of information which, in view of the lengthy voyage we are to share with our new Worshipful Commander, you should be aware. As can be seen vividly in the photograph below, W.Bro. Steven has a penchant for dressing in women’s clothes, some may say he looks quite attractive but I could not possibly comment. If this were an isolated instance I would not have considered it worthy of note, but I am reliably informed by Bro. Peter Dransfield that it has happened before! You have been warned, great care to be taken when in his company. On a serious note, I think that W. Bro. Steven has an alternative career as a drag act.
I have no doubt that the next year for the good ship Peace Royal Ark Mariners No. 681 will be one to remember, come and join us.