The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Archive June 2016

An Escorted Visit, but no one to Escort!

Tapton Hall, Sheffield, Wednesday 15 June, and 43 Mark Master Masons met for the Escorted visit to Escafeld Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1139 but there was no one to Escort at the appointed hour of 6.15.

Huddles were held to discus, where do we go from here?  Easy, open the Lodge, no problem in the hands of the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother James Ambler, and deal with all the business other than admitting the Provincial Grand Master and his team and undertaking an enactment of the Advancement Ceremony.  This was accomplished perfectly to time when a report heralded the admission of Worshipful Brother John Maxwell, the Master Overseer; this relieved yours truly who had been in the seat pro-tem. A further report, and to acclamation, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, G.M.R.A.C. was admitted together with an escort of 17 Provincial Grand Lodge Officers of the year, a sight to behold.

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The Provincial Grand Master apologised for his late arrival, the first time he can remember ever being late for a visit, and allocated all the blame to his chauffeur, W.Bro. Maxwell. Not true Brethren, problems on the A1 M creating traffic chaos on the diversion routes to blame.

Accordingly, with all now in place, and with Worshipful Brother Philip Glover, Worshipful Master of the Cleeves Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.618, acting as candidate, the ceremony commenced. All who took part are to be congratulated on a delightful display of the advancement ritual with the W.M. W.Bro. James leading the way with the obligation. The Overseers, Worshipful Brothers John Maxwell, Michael Nowell and Alan Corbridge, all experienced Mark Master Masons, who knew their task and executed it perfectly. One has to say, however, that all were upstaged by the Signs and Secrets, superbly delivered by Worshipful Brother Clifford Watson; I doubt anyone has seen them executed better. Worshipful Brother Brian Richardson, who had also enlivened the proceedings by his amusing musical interludes on the organ, explained the Working Tools and, finally, Worshipful Brother David Bacon delivered the conclusion, well done to all.

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A most acceptable festive board which, if anyone had any doubt, finally put to rest any adverse comment in respect of the food at Tapton, was then enjoyed by all. The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. James proposed the Toast to the Provincial Grand Master, congratulating him and stressing the considerable amount of work R.W.Bro. Steggles does for the Province of West Yorkshire and the wider Mark Masonic community. Responding, R.W.Bro. Jim said that he had been delighted to attend with the Provincial Team and that they had all enjoyed an excellent enactment ceremony. He also thanked all who had attended the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire and hoped that they would return in 2017, Saturday 22 April at Bradford. All Mark Master Masons are welcome and perhaps Masters in the Chair, who surely all attend, will consider bringing with them their Senior and Junior Wardens.

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The toast to the visitors was eloquently proposed by the Junior Warden, Worshipful Brother Philip Drury in what can only be described as a thoughtful and reflective vein. It was so good that I have no hesitation in repeating it, almost verbatim, enjoy.

‘Each one of the visitors here tonight comes for a reason best known to himself; respect for Grand Lodge, admiration for our Provincial Grand Master, perhaps an interest in the running of Escafeld Lodge. All are good reasons, but underlying all is a desire to join with fellow Mark Masons for an evening of friendship and brotherly love; something that can never be measured in terms of worldly values. I trust that we of Escafeld Lodge have greeted you and treated you, each and every one, as someone special. May you continue to be a visitor, as the hand of fellowship in this Lodge is always extended to you’.

‘Brethren of Escafeld Lodge, will you please be upstanding and drink with me a toast to our visiting brethren:

A toast to all our differences,
A toast to common ground;
A toast to what we’re seeking,
A toast to what we’ve found;
To what brings us together,
To what sets us apart;
A toast to many different souls,
United with one heart’.

The response was in the very safe hands of Worshipful Bother Jim Stanley who began by saying ‘for the benefit of the late comers’, that brought the house down. No need to say anything else, but he did, congratulating all the members of Escafeld for a wonderful evening.

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Finally, if you are sitting comfortably, let me tell you a story. At the Grand Lodge meeting last December, Brethren were enjoying a last libation before returning to Kings Cross and the journey home. Some decided to forgo a last pint at Great Queens street opting to find a taxi when one Brother said no need,’ I have the Uber App.’, to the uninitiated like me that is a facility on your mobile to call a taxi. Others considering this too risky, despite assurances to the contrary, left whilst the App owner and his close friend stayed. Eventually a taxi was called, duly appeared but sadly owing to heavy traffic, often dire in that area, it arrived late and their train had gone. New tickets had to be purchased, cost circa. £120 each, woe upon woe. The moral of this story, have your last pint at the Station but make sure that you take W. Bro. Philip Drury with you.


W.Bro. Duncan Smith, P.S.G.D

Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons Investiture Meeting 7 June 2016

A large contingent of West Yorkshire Mark Master Masons spent a most enjoyable day at Grand Lodge for the Investiture meeting which was rather more special than normal.

In attendance were:

The Most Worshipful Grand Master, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent,

The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master, Richard Victor Wallis, JP,

The Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, H. Keith Emmerson and

The Right Worshipful Assistant Grand Master, Raymond John Smith

After the usual opening formalities, attention turned to the substantive items where it was announced that amongst those named to the General Board of the Grand Lodge of Mark master Masons was our own Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles  G,M,R.A.C, a delight to all of the West Yorkshire contingent.

Thoughts then turned to the main agenda items:

  • Proclaim Most Worshipful Brother, His Royal Highness Prince Michael; of Kent, GCVO as Grand Master and he was saluted accordingly.
  • Appoint and Proclaim Most Worshipful Brother Richard Victor Wallis, JP as Pro Grand Master, with appropriate salutations.
  • Appoint, obligate, invest and install Right Worshipful Brother Raymond John Smith as Deputy Grand Master, with appropriate salutations and finally,
  • Appoint, obligate, invest and install Right Worshipful Brother John Herbert Prizeman as Assistant Grand master with appropriate salutations.

The appointment and investiture of the Grand officers for the year 2016/2017 then proceeded and included the following Brethren from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire:

First Appointment to Acting Rank

Bro. James Stanley, G. Stwd, Gothic Lodge No.1018

First Appointment to Past Rank

Bro. James Ian Reynolds P.A.G.D.C., Escafeld Lodge No.1139
Bro. Graham Anthony Cooper P.A.G.D.C, Bronte Lodge No. 535.
Bro. Alan David Hines P.A.G.Swd.B., Dartmouth Lodge no.545
Bro. Graham Fisher P.G.St.B., Pudsey Lodge No. 658.

Promotions to Past Rank

Bro. Philip Raymond Mann to P.G.J.O., Pontefract Lodge No.878.
Bro. John Robert Parker to P. G.S.D., Lightcliffe Lodge No. 715.
Bro. Gerald John Anthony Graham Barker to P.G.S.D., St Chad Lodge No. 374.
Bro. Jack Acton to P.G.J.D., St Hiev Lodge No. 1079.
Bro. Philip Keats Taylor to P.G.J.D., Castle Lodge No. 1257.
Bro. Philip Oldfield to P.G.J.D., Fearnley Lodge No. 58.

Re Appointment to Acting Rank direct from the Grand Lodge of M.M.M.

Bro. John Edward Vause D.G.D.C., Haywra Lodge No. 525.


Warm congratulations to all upon preferment’s well merited, special mention for W. Bro. Philip Mann, a reward for all the very hard work he and Judith have put in to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.


Afterwards 36 of our contingent dined at the Freemasons Arms, sharing the facility with our friends from the Province of North and East Yorkshire where we enjoyed good food and good company, remainder of our Party in the Connaught rooms. What a wonderful Mark Masonic occasion, not even delayed trains from Kings Cross could tarnish the event, and there it would have been nice to finish. Unfortunately some our Brethren decided to ignore the plea by our Provincial Grand Master that, in the true spirit of Brotherly love we stay to the end of proceedings, leaving well before some of our own Brethren had been invested.

Walking on Water at Wharfedale Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1027

The quality of the ritual at Wharfedale Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1027 never fails to impress and the Installation ceremony on Thursday, 5 May was no exception. This was despite the absence of the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Barry Richardson who was unable to officiate due to work commitments.

The honour fell to the Immediate Past Master, Worshipful Brother John Sullivan who dealt with the opening formalities in due form when, upon a report, the Past Provincial Grand Junior Warden, Worshipful Brother Michael Nowell , personal representative of the Provincial Grand Master was admitted accompanied by Worshipful Brother Stephen Wood Elected Member of the Charity Executive.


Bro. Sullivan then proceeded to install the Master elect, Brother Tom S Woodley in impeccable fashion, not a word out of place and no books in sight. He was very ably supported by the Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Stuart Prince who orchestrated matters to perfection with the occasional movement of the finger and other Past Masters, all of whom are to be congratulated. Worshipful Brother Woodley, for that he had now become, then appointed and invested his team of Officers for the following year when I have no doubt that the excellent standards will continue to be maintained.


This was most certainly the case at the Festive Board where the Toast to the Province was in the safe hands of Worshipful Brother Barry Massam who emphasised the large investment in time which is made by Provincial Grand Officers. This was echoed by W.Bro. Nowell in his response who said that he had seen much evidence of this during his year, which had now come to a close. He congratulated W.Bro. Woodley upon attaining the chair and wished him an excellent year in Office and also remarked upon the superb ceremony that we had all enjoyed in the Temple.


The toast to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and Mark Benevolent Fund was replied to by W.Bro. Stephen Wood who spoke authoritatively in relation to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023. Whilst reminding Brethren that the work of Llandudno holiday, Almoners Luncheons and personal relief will continue through our own Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, we now have a target to assist the Mark Benevolent Fund nationally. They also have a remit to satisfy individual need but their major focus is big ticket need such as the Hope For Tomorrow mobile Chemotherapy units, cost £260k, where the Benevolent Fund is committed to providing 10 units, something of which we all  should be very proud.


Another wonderful evening at Wharfedale, Smile, be happy and enjoy your Mark Masonry.

W. Bro. Duncan Smith, P.G.S.D.

A First for the Aries Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 669

Aries Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 669 held a Ladies After Lodge on the 9th June.  The business was brief but we did welcomed a new joining member, before adjourning to share the evening with our ladies.

42 Mark members and their wives and guests enjoyed a wonderful meal in the sumptuous French Ballroom of the Midland Hotel, Bradford, after which the Worshipful Master, W.Bro Jason Cunningham, provided entertainment by way of the enchanting voice of Ms Kathie Ryan.

Everyone enjoyed a very happy and convivial evening, as we always do in this wonderful order of ours, and it may just come to pass that one of the guests present will be joining us in the non too distant future.

To our knowledge, the Lodge has never held a ladies After Lodge before, certainly not in the past 30 years, but judging by the comments passed at the conclusion of the evening, this may well not be the last one!

David Wright


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Pudsey Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 658 Centenary Celebrations

Monday evening, 9 May 2016 and over 80 Brethren gathered together in Pudsey Masonic Hall to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Pudsey Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 658. This special celebratory evening was further enhanced with the presence of the Pro. Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Richard Victor Wallace and our Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. together with the Grand Director of Ceremonies Right Worshipful Brother Kessick Jones and many other distinguished guests including all our Past Rulers.

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On entering the Lodge, the M.W. Pro Grand Master was given a ‘right rousing Yorkshire welcome’ by the Brethren to which the Provincial Grand Master added that, on him taking the chair he would become an ‘Honorary Yorkshireman’, the M.W. Pro Grand Master cheerfully accepted and greeted the Brethren by saying “Good Afternoon Brethren, Good Afternoon Pudsey.”

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He then addressed the meeting updating us on the latest developments and news from Grand Lodge, and gave brief histories of the Province of West Yorkshire and Pudsey Lodge of MMM No. 658, and added it was the first time he could remember a Pro Grand Master presenting a Centenary Warrant, a rare privilege for him, which was heartily received by the Brethren.

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R.W. Bro Jones then read the Centenary Warrant to the Lodge, which the Pro Grand Master then presented to the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. David R. Wight. The Pro Grand Master and Provincial Grand Master then presented the Centenary Jewels to members of the Pudsey Lodge of MMM No.658.

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The Provincial Grand Chaplain, Very Worshipful Brother Edward Patnick then presented an Oration which has become one of the highlights of Celebrations of this nature. This was no exception and he took his inspiration from the Lodge Banner where the All Seeing Eye is depicted looking down on the Keystone where the Hebrew characters are clearly defined. Research had identified that the three word sentence, when translated from Hebrew, read ‘from God Comes Three’.

Freemasonry has many Threes, notably; THE THREE GRAND PRICIPLES;

  1. Brotherly Love or Love thy Neighbour
  2. Relief or Charity
  3. Truth or a belief in a Supreme Being.

In reference to the Tracing Board he had also notice the Hebrew characters on the rungs relating to Jacobs Ladder who saw this in a dream when resting on Mount Moriah, which later became the permanent site for the Temples. The dream foretold the destruction of the First and Second Temple and the building of the Third and Final Temple, by the Messiah, when the world was at peace. The dream was also of Angels climbing the ladder towards Heaven where, going up the rungs the Hebrew characters read, Faith, Hope and Charity.  Much to reflect upon.

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The Festive Board was a splendid affair, the WM presenting gifts on the table of cufflinks and miniature bottles of gin a most ‘gin-erous’ gesture from the WM who incidentally is the Co-owner of Strathearn Distillery in Scotland where the Gin originated.

An excellent evening which will be long remembered by all who attended, with the Pro Grand Masters comment to W.Bro. Wight “Not a Bad Year to be Worshipful Master.”