It does not get much better than an Escorted Visit by the Provincial Grand Master and an Advancement ceremony of real quality. Fortunately, for all who attended Southwood on Wednesday, 8th March that is exactly what we got and it was a pleasure to see the Temple so well populated.
The opening procedures summarily despatched, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C was admitted, together with an Escort of Provincial Officers of the Year and accompanied by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother, Dr. Rod Taylor. The Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Lowe offered the gavel to be told that R.W.Bro. Jim had considered taking it and using his team to undertake the ceremony. Upon reflection, however, he had decided that the Lodge Officers would do a better job and the gavel was returned.
The candidate was then admitted, Brother David Pilgrim, a past Master of Harmony Lodge No. 725 and known to many present for his involvement in Royal Arch Masonry. The significant Lowe then took over, W.Bro. Richard, Worshipful Master, who led from the front with ritual of a very high standard and an authority that gave confidence to the Brethren ,aided by Worshipful Brother Malcolm Priestley as Senior Deacon. His Officers were fully supportive, none more so than the Junior Deacon Brother David Vickers who had been advanced only last September, attended a meeting in November and was now on the floor, very well done David. He was one of a number who had to step in at the last moment, obviously this created some problems but these were dealt with; the Signs and Secrets in the safe hands of the Director of Ceremonies Worshipful Brother Martin Longbottom, the Badge and Jewel together with the Working tools perfectly presented by Worshipful Brother Alan Fisher and if it could not get any better, the Warrant, Constitutions, Bye laws and Conclusion by Past Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Brian Battye.
The remaining agenda items were rolled out but upon any other business, a presentation was made. This was by Integrity Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 110 who have qualified as a Grand Patron Gold Award Lodge. Rather than merely amass funds in their own name, they decided to aid Lodges who might be in difficulty. Escafeld Lodge have already benefitted and a cheque for £250 was delivered to the Worshipful Master to assist Halifax in their endeavours. We are fortunate at Integrity No. 110 in that one of our members is the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell and it is he who decides who we will help, he is of course the Chairman of the Festival committee.
Having duly adjourned for a most welcome Repast, the Toast to the Provincial Grand Master was safely delivered by W.Bro. Lowe and duly acknowledged by WR.W. Bro. Steggles. He is looking forward to seeing as many Masons as possible from the Province at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of M.M.M. West Yorkshire as can attend. There is ample room with circular tables offering the opportunity for each lodge to have a table of their own, take advantage before they all taken up! He also announced the impending retirement of Most Worshipful Brother Richard Victor Wallis, the Pro. Grand Master to be replaced by the current Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Raymond John Smith and he, by the present Assistant Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother John Herbert Prizeman. The latter will be succeeded by the present Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Leicester and Rutland, Right Worshipful Brother Steven Davidson. Promises to be a very busy day for all concerned at the Grand Lodge Investiture meeting on the 13th June Well worth a visit and places may still be available for Dinner at the Freemason Arms along with our Friends from North and East. Finally R.W. Bro. James thanked all who had already contributed to the sponsorship of the ‘M.B.F. Charity walk’ which follows the route of the Princess Diana Memorial Walk. The Just Giving portal is still open, please consider.
Brother David Crowther proposed the Toast to the candidate; he was his proposer with Worshipful Brother David Cordell, seconder. He confirmed that Bro. David is a stalwart of the Holy Royal Arch Chapter where he is a Grand Lodge Officer and that he would most certainly be an asset to the Lodge with his Masonic experience. Bro. David’s response was measured and sincere, and he is looking forward to a long and enjoyable career in Mark Masonry.
Once more it was a delight to see two Masters in the Chair present, Worshipful Brother Stephen Bray, Worshipful Master of Eland Lodge of M.M.M. No.493 and Worshipful Brother Philip Dunn, Worshipful Master of the Truth Lodge of M.M.M. No.137. It also fell to W. Bro. Stephen to respond to the visitors having been given 2 minutes notice and introduced as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge of England. A slip of the tongue by W. Bro. Martin but very funny and this proved the theme of his response, inviting all to the next meeting of the Lodge of England, but also acknowledging what a wonderful evening we had all enjoyed..
A couple of notes for your Diaries, Huddersfield, Halifax and Districts I.M.A., Sunday Lunch 2nd April at Masonic Hall, Slaithwaite and Annual General Meeting at Dewsbury on Monday 24th April.
What lucky Brethren we are to be Mark Master Masons.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.