The Claro Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 525
The Meeting held at the Masonic Hall, Wetherby on Wednesday, 31st August, was significant. Not only because Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Senior Warden was proclaimed Commander Elect but also because the Candidate. Brother David Anthony Preston was the first to join the fraternity having heard the new presentation, ‘The Mark meets the Ark’, delivered by our current Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother, Dr. Rod Taylor. Three other Mark Master Masons were present that evening and I have little doubt that they will follow the lead of Brother Preston.
The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother George Wise and the usual formalities despatched. As only one Brother had been nominated, W. Bro. Wise declared W. Bro John Fred Clough Commander Elect, the Installation to take place on Wednesday, 30th November. W. Bro. John invited all present to attend but with the caveat that they paid for themselves!! Tight-fisted he can be but It will be an occasion to remember and many at this meeting will be there again, put it in your diaries you will enjoy yourself.
The Candidate, Brother Preston, was then elevated to the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners in fine form by the Skipper W. Bro. Wise, his two First Lieutenants, W. Bro. John Fred Clough and Worshipful Brother Alan Crusher, and a very fine body of men , his crew. In this regard there were superb cameo performances by three aspiring young midshipman who could go far they being, Worshipful Brother Jim Garland who not only dealt with the Signs and Secrets in exemplary fashion but also then gave the same treatment to the Exposition, the latter after, a moment for Bro. David to cherish, the Admiral of the Fleet, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C., explained the working tools. He later presented Bro. Barry Smith with his Royal Ark Mariner Grand Lodge certificate, another moment to remember on a truly enjoyable meeting for all. Worshipful Brother Gerald Barker superbly explained the steps and Brother Barry Smith, another nice touch, he was the Proposer for Bro. David, presented the Warrant and Bye laws.
The remaining formalities were then despatched and all adjourned to the Mess for the customary high standard of victuals on the good ship Claro. During his toast to the candidate, Bro. Barry advised us that not only his David a very good cyclist but that he also played Rugby League to a high standard and is a Past Master of the Rugby League Lodge in Huddersfield. He became a Mark Master Mason in 2009 so it had taken some time to persuade him take this final step. In his response, Bro. David said that when he came to the meeting earlier he was overwhelmed by the welcome. Hands were held out in greeting and he knew he had made the right decision. You have Bro. David and we all trust that you will have a most enjoyable and long association with the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners.
As ever Brethren, Smile, Be Happy and enjoy your Freemasonry.
W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.