Friday, 9th December and the Prince Leopold Lodge of Mark Master Masons was a hive of activity to celebrate 50 years as a Mark Master Mason, an elite band, there are only 18 in the Province, by Very Worshipful Brother, Robert (Robbie) Strickland Scorer.
He was initiated into Freemasonry at the De Grey & Ripon Lodge No. 837 in 1963 when many of us were still at School, and so began an illustrious Masonic career. After attaining the Chair of De Grey & Ripon in 1974 he took up the position of Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies in the Craft for 3 years. This was followed by Provincial Director of Ceremonies in the Royal Arch and, from 1992 to 1998, Provincial Director of Ceremonies in the Craft Province. It being clearly apparent where V.W.Bro. Robbie’s skill lay, after joining the Mark at Prince Leopold Lodge in 1966, he ultimately, you have probably got there before me, became the Provincial Director of Ceremonies for the Mark Degree, a position he held for 8 years. So at one stage he was Provincial DC in the Craft, the Royal Arch and the Mark all at the same time.
A stickler for detail, very authoritative and demanding, I recall him with awe which, frankly, is still the case to this day. His final promotion in the Mark, to date, was to
Past Grand Junior Overseer, having previously been a Grand Steward in 1990. In between he also held the post of Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. All in all
a stellar Masonic career.
Amongst the many who attended to witness the presentation of the Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge Certificates by the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, G.M.R.A.C. were Right Worshipful Brother George Henry Philip Birch, Right Worshipful Brother Brian Morris Batty,
Right Worshipful Brother Brian Emmett and Very Worshipful Brother Edward Patnick together with a number of other distinguished visitors.
In response to the Provincial Grand Master, V.W.Bro.Robbie reminded us that in 1966, the year that England won the World Cup, it was accepted that all Provincial Grand Lodge Officers were addressed as ‘Sir’, no familiarity of first names. When he was called up into the army, after his basic training he was posted to his home town of Ripon into the Royal Signals, where he attained the rank of Sergeant. Perhaps that was the birth of the D.C. in him!!! He loved rifle shooting, even before he was in the army, and afterwards he was Yorkshire Champion, British Champion and shot for England. In his working life, he took over the family wholesale potato business in 1964 when his father died suddenly. They were the first to package potatoes, but not for Supermarkets although they did store potatoes for McCain and United Biscuits (KP Chips) and he managed the family business until his retirement in 1993. He was also heavily involved in the ‘political’ side of the potato trade via the National Joint Council of British Potato Merchants, giving rise to appearances on Tyne Tees television as an acknowledged potato expert.
The Grand Lodge Certificates was read out by Worshipful Brother John Vause, Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, most appropriate given that he has followed in his footsteps. The Provincial Grand Lodge Certificate was read out by the Provincial Grand lodge Deputy Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown. The Provincial Grand Master was then delighted to present both certificates to V. W. Bro Robbie with thanks for his manifest contributions to Freemasonry in general and particularly to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons West Yorkshire.
At the festive board, strong family connections to Worshipful Brother Tom Kirby’s family were expressed, he used to refer to Tom’s Dad as “Uncle Kirby” when he came round to their house for lunch when V.W.Bro. Robbie was about 10. It was fitting therefore that W. Bro. Tom proposed the Toast to the star of the evening, Very Worshipful Brother Robbie Scorer.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.