What a welcome at Lascelles Mark Lodge on Tuesday, 5 April for the Installation by way of Proclamation of Worshipful Brother Peter Eville, persevering for another year. When a number of visitors, having regaled themselves accordingly, moved to go upstairs, there was W.Bro. Peter to give a warm welcome, shake of the hand and a heartfelt thank you for attending. This was often accompanied by a bear hug, W.Bro. Peter is a very enthusiastic and committed Mark Master Mason and this he communicates to his Brethren, wonderful.
After the lodge had been opened in due form the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. was admitted, accompanied by Worshipful Brother Alan Corbridge, Member of the Charity Committee. W.Bro. Peter offered the gavel; suggesting that as this was a short form Installation R.W. Bro. Jim may wish to accept. It was pointed out by the Provincial Grand Master that he had worked very hard the previous Saturday at the Provincial Grand lodge Meeting and that he now felt a watching brief was sufficient.
The Proclamation was very professionally despatched under the guidance of the Director of Ceremonies Worshipful Brother David Staniforth, assisted by other Past Masters. During the appointment and investiture of Officers it was a pleasure to see 3 stalwarts of the Lodge continuing to be involved namely Worshipful Brother Douglas Garner, Worshipful Brother Mark Flather and Worshipful Brother Peter Varley. In the section under any other business it became somewhat more of a pleasure for W.Bro. Douglas who was promoted on the floor of the Lodge to Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden by the Provincial Grand Master. Well merited but leaving W. Bro. Douglas a little lost for words.
The Festive Board continued the theme of brotherly love that had been evidenced at the outset. It is also a pleasure to report that the Meal at Tapton Hall was a delight and well received by all that I spoke to, hopefully the problems of the past are no more. W.Bro. Peter proposed the Toast to the Provincial Grand Master disclosing facts that demonstrated he had done his homework on the web site. He particularly paid reference to the leadership qualities of R.W.Bro. Jim, a man of Integrity who had put the West Yorkshire Province firmly on the map. In his response, R.W.Bro. Jim reminded Brethren that a key responsibility inherited with attaining the Chair is to represent your Lodge, not only for Lodge Meetings but, most certainly around the appropriate Installed Masters Association and at other events such as the Annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge. This is a message that must, not only be taken on board by current Masters in the Chair but also by those seeking preferment. Comment was also passed regarding the Mark 250 Club which, whilst being a most useful fund raising tool to facilitate the refurbishment and replacement of P.G.L. Regalia, the banner will be dealt with in the next year, also provides a chance to win cash prizes. Cost a modest £10 p.a., you can have as many as you want, give it a try. I have 3 and have yet to win anything but it is a good cause Brethren.
W.Bro. Alan Corbridge responded to the Toast to the Mark Benevolent Fund and Cleaves and Whitehead Trust, ably proposed by W.Bro. Mark Flather. He reminded Brethren that the objects of the Trust remains unchanged, the relief of Mark Master Masons, present and past and their relatives and dependants. To meet this obligation, the Trust looks to the Brethren for support but at this moment only 28% contribute by standing order, this attracts gift aid relief for standard rate taxpayers. To my knowledge, as a Past Chairman of Trustees, that percentage has not changed for some 5 years. With the onset of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival and cognisant that Charity is a corner stone of Mark Masonry, I am sure that you will all agree it is time for action. Consider what you can give and speak to your Charity Steward, PLEASE.
Another wonderful Mark Masonic meeting. Smile, be happy, and enjoy your Mark Masonry.
W.Bro. Duncan Smith