What a delight to be present at Caldene Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 501 on Tuesday 1 December at the Masonic Hall at Bottoms. Yes it is called Bottoms and it is in Yorkshire! A warm Mark welcome was extended to the 11 visitors and a delightful evening ensued in the company of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell, sadly no visiting Masters in the Chair in attendance.
After the Lodge had been opened in due form and the usual formalities despatched, the principal business of the evening was to Advance Brother Steven Marsden of Kirlees Craft Lodge, Mirfield. We then learned that he would be joining 5 other Brethren of Mirfield heritage who have joined Caldene Mark. How you may ask have they escaped the clutches of Fearnley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 58 – perhaps the latter do not have a press-gang of the same quality. It superficially appeared that it was due to family connections until I received confirmation that the candidate is not related to Brother Warren Marsden, Junior Overseer and the Master Overseer, Brother Richard Jessop is unrelated to Worshipful Brother Michael Jessop, Lodge Secretary. However the Senior Overseer and Junior Deacon are brothers, Brothers Keith and David Williams. I have not come across a Lodge where there is such an occurrence unless someone can tell me different?
The Ceremony was well managed and directed by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Peter Grace, supported by his hardworking Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Ken Lambshead. Particular mention of the Senior Overseer, Bro, Warren Marsden who not only despatched his own duties to perfection but was word perfect with the Signs and Secrets, Caldene have a star in the making. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Richard Boswell Puttrell, being in attendance, presented a Grand Lodge certificate to Bro. David Williams, a night I am sure that he will not forget. W.Bro. Richard then concluded with a promotional address on the Royal Ark Mariner Degree, with which we all agreed, concluding with a mention of Fearnley Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners, now where is he a Royal Ark Mariner?
The Festive Board continued the excellent Mark fellowship we had enjoyed in the Temple. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master took the opportunity to give a brief response to the Provincial Toast and he presented a Mark Year book to Bro. Steven Marsden and reminded him, and all present, of the value of the Provincial web site and the information it contained. Bro. Warren Marsden then proposed the Toast to the candidate, Bro. Steven confirming that they had been friends for many years and that he had also been his proposer into Craft Masonry. He had told him of his Mark Masonry and his enjoyment visiting other Mark Lodges. In his response, Bro, Steven said that after hearing how much Bro. Warren enjoyed the Mark Degree, he felt that he had no option but to follow. The Ceremony had been a delight, not at all as he had imagined and he looked forward to seeing all in his visits around the Province.
It is quite a journey to Caldene Mark No. 501 at Bottomns but it is undoubtedly well worth the effort. Brethren put a visit in your diary now. Meanwhile, Smile, be happy and enjoy your Mark Master Masonry
W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.