Another night at one of my favourite Mark Masons Lodges, Tuesday 24 March, an Advancement and a visit from the Bradford and District Installed Masters Association , to the Lodge of its current President, Worshipful Brother Edward Wilkinson.
After the Lodge had been opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother John A Briggs, the minutes of the previous meeting were dealt with by the Secretary, W.Bro. Edward Wilkinson, one of the famous ‘Ant and Dec’ duo with W.Bro. Andrew Johnson. Normally the minutes are speedily despatched but Old York T.I. is not a normal Lodge and W. Bro. Edward not a normal Secretary. They prompted a request from W.Bro. Michael Holgate for an apology and a statement from W.Bro. Andrew Jagger that the minutes and the dialogue surrounding them had lasted longer than the Lecture at the last meeting. That was not the end as the Secretary refused to read out the lengthy list of apologies on the grounds that he knew who was on the list.
Finally we got to the important matter of the evening, that of advancing Brother Mark Simmons, and the Team, led by W. Bro. John A. Briggs, did the candidate proud. It was an impressive performance by all, particularly the Senior Deacon Bro. Phil Harrison, and W.Bro. Alan Pendleton who dealt with a number of matters, including the conclusion, a superb piece of Ritual. W.Bro. Michael Holgate then delivered an explanation of the history of the Lodge, which is attached to the Lodge of Hope no. 302 where Bro. Simmons is also a member. He hoped that this would prove useful to him, if only to fill in moments of insomnia, but possibly also extend his researches in Masonic learning. The Time Immemorial Ritual differs from the norm and as I have said before, those of you who have not witnessed it, get along to Old York T.I. for a very enjoyable Mark Masonic evening.
I must comment, however, upon the claims of topping the Provincial premiership. Whilst they are good and possess some notable ritualists, I am reminded of the adage, ‘When you consider you are doing well, be careful you may be comparing yourselves to the wrong people’. Having travelled widely around the Province in my Role, I wonder to which Premiership they are alluding? Continuing the Football analogy, I feel perhaps the Vanarama Conference Premier Division, leaders Barnet and Grimsby, a common mistake!
The Festive Board was to the delight of all, as were the Toasts and responses. The Toast to the Candidate was, unsurprisingly, eloquently presented by his Proposer, W.Bro. Edward Wilkinson, W.Bro. Andrew Jagger being the Seconder. W.Bro Edward assured us all, that Bro. Mark would make an excellent Mark Master Mason, being a modest, self effacing individual. In his response, Bro. Mark demonstrated all the attributes of being well coached, stating that he had thoroughly enjoyed the Ceremony which demonstrated the high standards evident within the Lodge. He was sure that the principles advocated would help him be a better person and a better man, seemed to have heard that before, courtesy of our Provincial Grand Master. He concluded by saying that he was glad to be a member of the Premier Mark Master Masons Lodge in the Province of West Yorkshire. Well he would say that, but this is the first Mark Master Masons Lodge he has ever visited, whoops Vanarama Conference again!
What a superb Mark Masonic evening, Old York T. I., it is a must on the visit list.
Smile, be happy and enjoy your Mark Master Masonry
W.Bro. D. Smith P.G.S.D., P.Prov.G.J.W.