The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Archive August 2016

The Claro Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 525 – The Mark meets The Ark

An Open Invitation had been extended to all Mark Master Masons and Royal Ark Mariners to attend, Wetherby Masonic Hall, Wednesday, 29th June, to receive a presentation entitled, ‘The Mark meets The Ark’. This had been prepared, and was presented, by our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Dr. Rod Taylor.


The Lodge was honoured by the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. and other distinguished guests notably, Past Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother George Henry Philip Birch and Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Brian Emmett. The Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother George Wise, opened the Lodge when the first item was a Eulogy, delivered by Worshipful Brother Robert Winterflood, in respect of Worshipful Brother Keith Robson, now sadly in the Grand Lodge above. W. Bro. Keith had been a very keen and committed Mark Master and Ark Mariner and was, not only sorely missed by all the Brethren of the Lodges he was a member, but also by many who had met him and his wife Christine. A number recalled trips to London for Grand Lodge when much hilarity was experienced both down and back, W. Bro. Keith is now in Christine’s arms again, God Bless. The essential business was then despatched and the Lodge closed. At this time, the Brethren retained their Regalia and four Mark Master Masons were admitted to witness the presentation.


Mark meets Ark Photo 1



Bro. Dr. Rod began with the immortal words, ‘Are you sitting comfortably, then I will begin, welcome to the World Premier of The Mark meets The Ark’. The Lecture is an insight into the Royal Ark Mariner Fraternity, therein lies the first point of note, it is not a degree or order but a Fraternity where all wear essentially the same regalia. One of the earliest records refers to a Brother William Boyce in Bath in 1790 but the working of the Fraternity then faded. Eventually it came under the protection of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons where it remains, there is neither a Grand nor a Provincial Grand Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners; these are covered by their Mark counterparts.


Much is spoken, quite correctly, about the ambience, brotherly feeling and general mood of friendliness that characterises Mark Master Masons Lodges, in Royal Ark Mariners perhaps it goes up a notch. At this juncture it is not appropriate that I say any more about the detail other than it was superbly prepared and delivered by one the most competent public speakers I have ever witnessed, W. Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor, our Assistant Provincial Grand Master. It is now in the hands of the Royal Ark Mariner Lodges to pull together interested Mark Master Masons and then request W. Bro. Dr. Rod to attend; I can assure you they will not be disappointed.


Mark meets Ark Photo 2


For the record the four Mark Master Masons were Brothers Rex Sunders, Howard Marshall, David Preston and Jim Brown, having spoken to them afterwards I am confident that some will take the opportunity to enjoy the Elevation ceremony in the near future. In fact, after writing this, but before submission, I have now heard that Bro. David Preston is to be elevated in Claro R. A. M. No 525 on Wednesday 31st August, a date for your diaries!


The festive board in a buffet style, another triumph for Chef, Worshipful Brother Robert Snowden, was eagerly consumed and the usual bustle of laughter and chatter abounded. Toasts were kept to a minimum with the Provincial Grand Master thanking Claro Lodge of Royal Ark Mariner No. 525 for hosting the event, W. Bro. Rod for preparing and delivering a superb insight into the Royal Ark Mariner Fraternity and all for attending, particularly the four potential candidates. He finished by asking them where could you go to enjoy a meeting more than the Mark? Well now you know!!

As always Smile , be happy, and enjoy the Summer, if it comes!!

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

The Leeds and District Installed Masters Association. A.G.M. 2016

A most welcome Fish and Chip supper was provided to those who attended the Annual General Meeting of the Leeds and District Association of Installed Masters, which took place on Thursday, 21st July at the Masonic Hall in Wetherby.

The opening formalities concluded, the President, Worshipful Brother Craig Kidd addressed the meeting. He said that it had been a privilege to be the President and he had thoroughly enjoyed his year in Office, this was delivered with enthusiasm and suggested that given half a chance he would have gone on for another year. He had visited all the Lodges except one, coincidentally that being Ainsty Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1739, who meet at Wetherby. A successful Social event had been well attended and he thanked all for their support. This was partially responsible for a generous cheque to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund which was presented to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. He then announced a new initiative in that a report of all Association meetings will be provided to all Brethren and a copy of the Bye laws given to each new candidate; sound thinking and I will be surprised if this is not followed by the sister Associations but maybe some of them do it now and I am unaware!!




In his report as Secretary, W. Bro. Richard Brown emphasised that the role of the Association Lodge Representatives is now pivotal and that it is vital that they ensure that Brethren are fully aware of developments and events related to the Festival. Additionally they should encourage Worshipful Masters and their Wardens to attend the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons West Yorkshire to be held at Bradford on Saturday, 22nd April 2017, accompanied by Brethren.

The President then invested his successor wishing him a very happy and successful year in Office, the new Team being;

President, W.Bro. Keith Harmer, Haywra Lodge.

Senior Vice President, W.Bro. Richard Brown, St Chad Lodge

Junior Vice President, W.Bro. Brian Smart, Claro Lodge.




W.Bro. Richard Brown was appointed as Secretary; yes he is going to do both jobs for one year due to unforeseen circumstances. W.Bro. Les Davy was re appointed as Treasurer with W. Bro. Ian Tillett continuing as Assistant Secretary and W.Bro. David Todd continuing as Assistant Treasurer.

Bro. Keith is a conscientious, committed Mason who is not given to leaving much to chance. Accordingly he had already prepared a detailed list of visits and Social events. These will be covered in the Association calendar which will be issued in the next 2 months. For the record , however, a Sunday Luncheon will be held at Harrogate on the 6th November, a Gala on Saturday 17th June 2017 and the Annual General meeting in 2017 will be on Thursday July 20th 2017 at Harrogate. He is also committed to attending every Installation other than Pontefract No. 878, this coincides with other Masonic business.




The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell then addressed the meeting and began by congratulating the President and his newly installed Team; also thanking W. Bro. Craig for all that he had done over the past year. He confirmed the comments made by the Secretary in respect of the Installed Masters Associations being pivotal in respect of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival but, in addition, encouraged us all to get the Ladies and families involved. This is key for Freemasonry in general as we must be seen to embrace modern man and his family in a society far different from that when I became a Freemason back in 1981.



 A most enjoyable evening, be happy.


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

Tadcaster Emergency Flood Relief Pumps Already put to Good Use

One of the emergency flood relief pumps was called into action on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 to save the Tadcaster Albion’s Football Ground from flooding.

It appears that a storm drain was back filling from the river, the river levels rose over night, and one of the outflows non return valves malfunctioned and appears to have remained open slightly. The West Pump was deployed, and we managed to clear the area in an hour.

Thanks go once again to the Yorkshire West Riding Craft Masons and the West Yorkshire Mark Masons for supplying these Pumps.

Tadcaster Bridge

West pump in action


Climbing to the ‘roof of Africa’

W. Bro Steven Spooner Prov. G.M.O. of Brighouse Lodge of MMM No. 753 is about to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The trek takes place between September 30th and October 8th. Kilimanjaro is the “roof of Africa”, the highest free-standing mountain in the world and is situated in Tanzania. 5,895 metres (19,650 ft).

It is a spectacular trek, culminating in an arduous climb to the summit, starting at midnight and arriving at the rim of the volcanic crater at dawn, followed by further climbing to the final summit. Then he’s got to get back!

W. Bro Steven has offered to donate his sponsorship to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023. Sponsorship forms are available from your Charity Steward or Provincial Charity Rep or here on the Web site.

Please help W. Bro Steve make this a worthwhile event by sponsoring him. Why not ask your partners, family and friends to sponsor W. Bro Steven.

As gift aid can be reclaimed, please make cheques payable to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.

Let’s all wish W. Bro Steve a wonderful climb and support him in his endeavours.

Richard B. Puttrell
Deputy Provincial Grand Master
Festival Chairman

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Province becomes a Grand Patron of the Craft 2017 RMBI Festival

The Mark Province of West Yorkshire has been awarded Grand Patronage of the Yorkshire West Riding 2017 RMBI Festival, for donations it has made over the Festival period.

Donations of £13,000 have so far been made to the Craft Festival Appeal by our Charity, the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, demonstrating the continued generosity of all Mark Masons in the Province to Charity and the close relationship the Mark has with the Craft.

The Patronage comes with the thanks of the Provincial Grand Master and Festival President, R.W.Bro. David S Pratt, and the covering letter from the Festival Chairman refers to it as a wonderful example of how the principals of Freemasonry extend and continue in the hearts of Brethren throughout the whole Masonic fraternity.    Long may that continue.

A copy of the Patronage Certificate is shown below.

Well done and best wishes to you all

Jim Steggles

Provincial Grand Master


RMBI Festival Certificate