Truly what a wonderful Mark Masonic occasion was enjoyed at the December meeting of the Lodge held at Eastgate Masonic Hall on 17 December – with 67 in attendance, including 37 visitors.
This was memorable, not only due to the number in attendance which is a testimony to the Lodge and the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Ian Schofield, a regular visitor around the Province, but also by the number of Masters in the Chair present. I have mentioned in numerous reports the disappointment of seeing none, or very few, Masters in the Chair present. Maybe, the tide has turned with FIVE visiting Masters appearing, see photo with W. Bro. Ian below, they being: Bro. John Blundell, Gothic No.1018; Bro. John Cousins, Danum No. 398; Bro. Roy Edwards, Vulcan No. 1191; Bro. John Sealey, Lightcliffe No. 715; Bro. John Simpson, Integrity No. 110.
After the usual opening formalities were dealt with, the agenda proceeded to an enactment of the Advancement ceremony. This was led by the Worshipful Master in his normally highly competent and conscientious fashion which set just the right tone for his Officers who responded impeccably. This despite the fact that part of the regalia could not be found, the ceremony proceeding in any event, These items were subsequently found in a refuse bin, an apology then coming forward from a Craft Mason who had innocently thought that they were rags and disposed of them!
The candidate Brother AB, Worshipful Brother Ian Yates to the rest of us, was attentive throughout and was unfazed when the Secretary, having been asked if the Candidate had signed the usual forms honestly replied, ‘No’. A bit of a shock to him, therefore, when the Treasurer was addressed, that he replied that the necessary fees had been paid by cheque, W. Bro. Ian quizzically pondering, ‘by whom’. To facilitate reasonable time keeping, part of the Ceremony was excluded, this pleased the Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Ian Dalton Potter, who had been in true finger pointing form but did not fancy the Signs and Secrets on the night. The Worshipful Master and the Officers undoubtedly enjoyed a good rehearsal which no doubt they will repeat, for real, when a Candidate is to hand.
The Festive Board was excellent fare being the usual Xmas menu, sufficient to satisfy the heartiest appetite. Toasts were equally efficiently despatched to provide time for Carols to be sung, This was in the very safe hands of Worshipful Brother David Sunderland, particular mention of ‘While Shepherds watched’ to the tune of Ilkley Moor and the Holmfirth anthem, ‘Pratty Flowers’. All wended their separate ways home having enjoyed a superb curtain raiser to the Christmas festivities.
Smile, be very happy, and enjoy your Mark Masonry.
W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.