A goodly number of Mark Master Masons from across the Province gathered at the Masonic Hall, Brighouse, Monday 13th February for the Installation of the new Worshipful Master of the Brighouse Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 753. This was in the very safe hands of the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Noel Moroney.
W. Bro. Noel opened the lodge in due for with the help of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor who, noticing that the light on the Masters pedestal had been overlooked, intervened, the first time W. Bro. Noel has been enlightened in that fashion. Upon a report, Worshipful Brother Mark Kenyon, Provincial Grand Senior Warden was admitted and duly took his place. He was accompanied by Worshipful Brother John Wilberforce Ashcroft, Elected member of the Charity Executive.
All duly assembled, the Installation of the Master Elect, Brother David Kenyon was then undertaken in a most sincere and sensitive manner by the Worshipful Master with the help of his Officers, particularly the Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Martin Scott. Mention must also be made of the Address to the Worshipful Master by Right Worshipful Brother Brian Batty, a very moving piece, to the Wardens by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor and the Brethren by W. Bro. Mark Kenyon. The presentation of the Collaret was delivered by a visitor well known to all, Worshipful Brother Bev. Heywood, a most impressive piece of ritual, superbly delivered and an example to all.
The Appointment and Investiture of the Officers for the ensuing year dealt with, the remaining agenda items were dealt with, including the Appointment of the Auditors. The proposal was for R. W. Bro. Brian Batty and W. Bro. John Whitehead, those in favour confirmed, with one nay!! The eagle eyed amongst us noticed that this was R. W. Bro. Brian, nice try but heavily defeated.
The Festive Board was well received and the toast to the Province formally executed by Worshipful Brother Andrew Beardsell. In his response, W. Bro. Mark reminded the Brethren of the Invitation from the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. to join him at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark
Master Masons West Yorkshire to be held at Bradford Grammar School, Saturday 22nd April and he hoped as many as possible would attend, particularly Junior Brethren, it is an experience not to be missed. That also applies to the Annual Carol Service at Brighouse, details of which will be announced in due course, in December and probably at Brighouse Methodist Church. As regards the Festival, he encouraged Brethren to ensure that they provide details of any function, Sunday Luncheons, coffee mornings etc, to the Communications Manager, myself at email@example.com, when it will be placed in the diary together with a flyer.
Finally he spoke warmly about the surprise of being offered the position of Provincial Grand Senior Warden and his delight at being appointed and invested at the last Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting. He was thoroughly enjoying his year and emphasised that it is within the purview of all the Brethren to achieve this honour, undoubtedly the appointment of W. Bro. Mark was a fine decision.
The toast to the Mark Benevolent Fund and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust was in the hands of that intrepid explorer who recently conquered Mount Kilimanjaro, Worshipful Brother Steven Spooner. To many of us who know him well, this was much shorter than we expected but appropriate and accompanied by a significant donation to the Festival. This was acknowledged by W. Bro. Ashcroft who went on to say that we are approaching the 150th anniversary of the M.B. F. who dispense support to Individual Mark Master Masons, their relatives and dependents, but also major causes such as the ‘Hope for Tomorrow’ charity involved with mobile chemotherapy units for mainly rural areas. He stressed that one of the aims for the Festival is to ensure the Province achieves Gold Award Grand Patron status which requires that all the Lodges must also qualify. Individual donations should be made to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust which can then reclaim Gift Aid in respect of standard rate tax payers; this provides an additional 25% of the donation. All Lodge donations should be sent to the Festival Committee.
This was a most enjoyable evening where the atmosphere had a singular buzz echoing the fellowship, brother love and feeling which so enriches our Order.
Smile; be happy, YOU are Mark Master Masons.