A Performance ‘Par excellence’ at Rother Lodge of MMM No.651

A sublime pleasure for those present to witness the Installation of Brother Ronald Cooke in the very safe hands of the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Christopher Allen. A recognised ritualist, W. Bro. Chris surpassed himself on this occasion, tall, imposing with authoritative diction and virtually word perfect; he also supplemented a little unscripted humour on one occasion.

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This all came to pass after the Lodge was opened and the usual formalities attended which heralded the entrance of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, G.M.R.A.C.  accompanied by Worshipful Brother Stephen ‘Sam’ Cariss, Elected member of the Charity Committee. W. Bro. Chris dutifully offered the gavel which was unsurprisingly returned with thanks but not until R.W. Bro. Jim had asked other Right Worshipful Brethren present if they were interested, just carry on was the message.

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The Secretary’s report for the past year, for the first time in the hands of Worshipful Brother John Beaven , was then presented The Lodge had experienced a successful year with two new candidates, Brothers John Simpson and David Stapleton and a most interesting Lecture by Worshipful Brother John English, entitled ‘Masons Marks, both speculative and operative’. Membership now stands at 44 with 6 honorary members, there having been 3 departures in the year, two to live abroad.

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All now settled, the Installation commenced, an exemplary display as indicated earlier, a delight to be there, supreme quality throughout, this extended to the addresses to the Worshipful Master by W. Bro. Chris, the Wardens Very Worshipful Brother John Morgan, Overseers by Worshipful Brother Michael Speight and the Brethren, the Provincial Grand Master. Nor do I forget the Tools in the safe hands of Worshipful Brother Terry Roebuck and the Keystone Collarette by Worshipful Brother Roy Bury. All who took part can be justly proud of a job well done, one of the best I have ever witnessed.

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The remaining business was then in the hands of the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Ronald Cooke and there was a lot of it, 13 items!! The highlights being the presentation of a Grand Lodge Certificate to Brother John Simpson, something he told me he will never forget and he has a photograph to prove it; that being because it was presented by the Provincial Grand Master The South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters report by Worshipful Brother Bill Hartley provided two dates for your diaries, Sunday lunch on the14th May and  Presidents Summer Ball on the 23rd June, both at the Consort Suite but the latter coinciding with the Golden Wedding Celebration of the President, Worshipful Brother Alex Geddes and the 50th anniversary of the Association.

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At the Festive Board, well received by all, the Toast to the Provincial Grand Master was competently delivered by W. Bro. Cooke, R.W.Bro. James Steggles responding, by congratulating W. Bro. Ron upon his preferment. He then drew attention to the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of M.M.M. West Yorkshire, hoping that, as many as can, will 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

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Bro. Roy Bury, the Charity Steward, then proposed the Toast to the Charities whilst presenting a cheque or £500, gratefully received by W. Bro. Sam, and which will be faithfully applied, Responding, W. Bro. Sam confirmed that despite the reduced income for the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, a consequence of the Festival, their work continues unabated. There will be two Almoners Luncheons this year, the first April 3rd at the Cedar Court Hotel, Huddersfield, then at Tapton Hall on the 6th November. The holiday to Llandudno will be at the Chatsworth House Hotel from the 3rd to the 10th June. There does, however, remain a concern that we are not identifying all the Brethren in need and it is suggested that, when any Brother is missing from Lodge for a period of time a visit is arranged, not just a phone call. Many of our Brethren remain too proud to ask for help and it is incumbent upon us to bridge the gap and be there for them; the help that they need may not be of a monetary nature, quite often it is a more valuable gift that they require, your time, please bear this in mind.

Another magical evening with Mark Masonic friends, we are lucky.

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager