Monday, 27 April at Castle Grove Masonic Hall and an era came to an end when Worshipful Brother David Keith, after two years, abdicated and installed a new King of the Castle. This was a singer, no not Pavarotti or Carreras, but Brother Michael Singer, Senior Warden and Master Elect of the Castle lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1257.
The first business was a sad duty to receive a eulogy from the Worshipful Master in respect of W.Bro. Donald Blackburn P.G.J.D., P.Prov.G.S.W., who died on 28 February. W.Bro. Donald was the longest serving Past Master and had held the Office of Secretary for 30 years almost unbroken, he stepped down for one year. He will be sorely missed.
The usual opening formalities were duly despatched, when upon a report, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell was admitted accompanied by W.Bro. F. Leslie Davy, Elected Member of the Charity Committee. When thanking his Officers for their support during the past year, W.Bro. Keith mentioned the assistance that the Lodge had received from visitors standing in where required, particularly W.Bro, Les who had acted as candidate on occasion.
W.Bro. Keith then installed his successor in a very sincere fashion, a polished performance and evidence that a great deal of effort had been exercised in anticipation of the day. He was very ably assisted by a number of Past Masters and all can be proud of a job well done. Amongst his appointments, the Worshipful Master reappointed and invested W.Bro. Roger Ehrlich as Almoner and W.Bro. Ian M. Nicol as Charity Steward, both of whom have undertaken these roles for some years and our grateful thanks go to them.
It is a pleasure to report that three Masters in the Chair attended this meeting, I have not seen more at any Lodge, and have often seen none. Congratulations to W.Bro. Darren Holroyd, Pudsey Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 658, W.Bro. Martyn Hughes, Legiolium Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.457 and W.Bro. David Wadeley of Copley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 111. What an example , keep up the good work. Also, a mention for W.Bro. Trevor Bolton, President of Leeds and District I.M.A. and W.Bro. Edward Wilkinson, President of Bradford and Districts I.M.A. who also attended.
The Festive Board was a delight, starter a Goat’s Cheese and Red Onion tart with Beef Stew and Dumplings to follow, Brethren will not forget that culinary experience in a hurry.
The Toast to the Provincial Grand Officers was given by the Senior Deacon, Bro. Steven Fairbairn who provided some very thoughtful comments on the help and support given to the Lodge by the Provincial Officers, and that received from the Rulers. All this he achieved without appearing the slightest bit ingratiating, methinks he will go far! In his response, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Richard Boswell Puttrell thanked all the Brethren who had supported the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire held on 11 April, encouraging those who had been unable to be present to look forward to 2 April 2016, again at Bradford, put it in your diaries now. He also encouraged the Worshipful Master to visit other Lodges, particularly those in the Leeds and Districts I.M.A. It is a good maxim Brethren that if you visit others, they just might come and see you. W.Bro. Les Davy, responding to the toast to Charity, reminded the Brethren of the next Almoners Luncheon, to be held at Tapton Hall on Monday 2 November and that the Llandudno Holiday would take place from 18 to the 25 July, applications are now in and notices will be going out to those selected. It is also important for Brethren to bear in mind that a tax efficient way of donating to the Charity is by way of Legacy giving. The Trust does have the necessary clause, which has been legally vetted, to include in your Will, if interested please speak to the secretary of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.
A final mention for W.Bro. Darren Holroyd who responded to the Toast to the visitors saying that, on behalf of all the Visitors, we had thoroughly enjoyed the Mark Masonic fellowship, long may we continue to savour our good Luck, I need say no more.
W.Bro. D. Smith P.G.S.D., P.Prov.G.J.W.