The event took place at the Harrogate Masonic Hall, surely one of, if not the finest Temple in the Province, on Tuesday 1st November. This was not, as you may infer from the title, a comedy show but one of the finest, most professional Installation Ceremonies I have witnessed for some time.
The Lodge had been opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Roy Schofield and the usual formalities completed. Then, upon a report, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor was admitted, accompanied by Worshipful Brother John Maxwell, Elected Member of the Charity Executive. W. Bro. Roy then offered the Gavel to the Assistant Provincial Grand Master reminding him that, before the meeting began, he had instructed W. Bro. Roy to enjoy himself. He had concluded that this would be best achieved by W. Bro. Dr. Rod accepting the offer of the Gavel. A good try, but all to no avail, the message being ‘get on with it’.
This W. Bro. Roy did in superb fashion as he Installed the Senior Warden, and his good friend, Brother David Fisher and the little and large show began, see photo. No books, no notes merely the confirmation that a great deal of hard work and practice had been undertaken by both W. Bro. Roy and his Team. Quality was evident throughout with the Addresses beautifully delivered by Worshipful Brothers Philip Ireland, Ian Mackenzie, Bill Pickles and rounded off by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master. This was followed by the presentation of a Past Masters Jewel to W. Bro. Roy by the, very competent, Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Mark Holland. He congratulated W. Bro. Roy on having 2 candidates and a joining Brother, something to be very proud of in current times, especially cognisant of the fact that he had taken the Chair in his Craft lodge in April. W. Bro. Roy acknowledged the praise but emphasised that it had only been possible due to the Team that had supported him. The remaining Agenda items were then covered and The Lodge was closed in due form.
In acknowledging the toast to the Province, proposed by Worshipful Brother John McPartland, W. Bro. Dr. Rod. Drew attention to the Ancients who initially believed that all life was a function of 4 elements, earth, wind, fire and water. Eventually, they realised that there must be a 5th element, which they called the quintessence of life, that indefinable something that gives life true meaning. This draws us to Mark Master Masonry where we most assuredly have that certain something, that quintessence of life that we should continue to cherish. In that regard, and to assist in the process, he asked Lodges to consider a visit by one of the two Mark Demonstration Teams who present certain aspects of the Advancement ceremony, they would perhaps assist in Brethren discovering that certain something!! If so, contact Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith via the Provincial Web site.
A generous donation to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival was then given to Worshipful Brother John Maxwell by the newly appointed Charity Steward, Worshipful Brother Robert Boyd. W. Bro. John reaffirmed that the objects of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust remain unaltered, the relief of all Mark Master Masons of the Province, both present and past, their relatives and dependants, in addition, assistance to external Charities within the Province, this at the discretion of the Trustees. The Llandudno holiday and the Almoners Luncheons, the next at Tapton Hall on the7th November will also be maintained. The West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival is now a key ambition to raise a significant sum to aid the Mark Benevolent Fund in its support for major charitable need such as ‘Hope for Tomorrow’, the provision of mobile chemotherapy units in rural areas.
Finally, a pleasure to record that 5 Masters in the Chair were present at the Installation, 2 from Leeds & Districts I.M.A. and 2 from the South Yorkshire I.M.A. being as follows;
W.Bro. Howard Marshall of Prince Leopold Lodge No. 352,
W.Bro. Richard Aldridge of Castle Lodge No. 1257,
W.Bro. Rod Dyer of Fearnley Lodge No. 58 and
W.Bro. James Ambler of Escafeld Lodge No.1139.
Another wonderful evening of Mark Master Masonry where the Quintessence of the Degree was in full view.
Bro. Duncan Smith P.S.G.D.