Wednesday, 16 February 2016 and a new day dawned for Worshipful Brother David Linley, the Worshipful Master who was about to transfer power to his good friend, the Junior Warden, Brother Denis Parfitt.
After the Lodge was opened, Worshipful Brother Paul Leach spoke very movingly about our sadly departed Worshipful Brother Kenneth David Fisher, ‘Fish’ to many. A most caring and considerate person who worked tirelessly in his Masonic duties and was a superb raconteur, especially when talking about his angling feats. Always with a smile and a witty retort, it was a delight to be in his company, or so he often told me. He is sorely missed, and will be for some time to come, but our thoughts must be with Diane and his family.
The Personal Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Andrew Wright being admitted , accompanied by the Representative of the Charity committee, Worshipful Brother John Maxwell, the Installation ceremony commenced. This was undertaken by W.Bro. Linley in excellent fashion, very ably supported by his Officers, none more so than his Director of Ceremonies. Worshipful Brother Tom Watson who ensured a smooth passage with his professional, unflappable, style. That completed, the Officers were appointed and Invested and the Addresses ably despatched.
The remaining agenda items were then dealt with, a little hiatus when no one appeared to know who were to be the Auditors. This gave rise to some consternation until Worship Brother Barry Fothergill remembered that he was one and had agreed to continue, problem solved.
A sumptuous festive board followed, well received by all. In response to the Toast to the Province, W.Bro. Dr. Andrew Wright reminded the Brethren of the Royal Ark Mariner Order, confirming that 40% are members in the Province of West Yorkshire which does not compare very favourably to many others who enjoy 60%, he encouraged Brethren to give this some thought. He pointed out that the Provincial Year book was an excellent tool and that, if no candidates were available a list of Lectures can be found on the Provincial Web site. In addition the Provincial Demonstration can also be called upon to give a demonstration of certain aspects of the Advancement Ceremony.
W.Bro. John Maxwell responding to the Charity Toast, emphasised that the objectives of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust remain unaltered, the relief of past and present Mark Master Masons of West Yorkshire, their relatives and dependants who are in need, hardship or danger, also for the benefit of other Charities that the Trustees think fit. The confidential help line is in place where the Provincial Almoner can be contacted directly, the number is on the Lodge summons. Finally a reminder that only 28% of all Mark Master Masons in the Province have a standing order in place to the Charity. Given that the West Yorkshire Mark benevolent Fund festival 2023 is to be launched at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on the 2 April, some scope for many others to exercise their charitable inclinations. Please think about that Brethren.
Smile and be happy, you are Mark Master Masons.
W. Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.