What a wonderful evening at the Old York Lodge of Mark Master Masons Time Immemorial on Tuesday, 28th February. This was an evening of dual import, an Escorted visit by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor and an advancement, the Lodge is one of the most successful at securing candidates, of Brother David Cook, a Master Mason of the Lodge of Hope No.302.
The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Todd and the entertainment began with the reading of the Minutes by the Secretary, Worshipful Brother Edward Wilkinson.At their last meeting, they had received a visit from Aries lodge of M.M.M. No.669 who are thanking Lodges who hosted them when they were homeless. Accordingly, the Old York Lodge was called off, Aries then dealt with their business and Old York were called back on. There then followed a very interesting summary of the history of Aries Lodge which it was intended would be given by Worshipful Brother Andrew Jagger but, in the confusion it was dealt with by Worshipful Brother Michael Holgate. According to the minutes this left W.Bro. Andrew in a state of high dudgeon which W. Bro, Michael disputed and treated us to a lengthy diatribe on the issue, it could only happen at Old York.
Upon a report, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor was admitted escorted by 25 Provincial Grand lodge Officers of the Year, a sight to behold. W. Bro. Todd then turned his attention to the Advancement when, for a short while, it appeared that we might have lost the candidate, he was found, admitted and the ceremony began in earnest. Bro. Cook being presented by his proposer, Bro. Mark Simmons, who also delivered the Signs and Secrets in exemplary form. Additionally Bro. Cook was safely directed through proceedings by the Senior Deacon, Bro. Mark Lawrance. Must also mention the working tools in the safe hands of Worshipful Brother Michael Holgate who had also acted as the welcome mat, well he was outside having a fag. Finally he presented Bro. David with the Centenary Jewel and history of the Lodge, a nice touch and I wish more Lodges did the same. That concluded the advancement of Brother David Cook which at times had been serene, uplifting, amusing and chaotic but always entertaining and well appreciated by the candidate.
Bro. Andrew Johnson gave his report as President of the Bradford and District Installed Masters Association and reminded Brethren that a Sunday Lunch is to be held Cleckheaton Masonic hall on the26th March, please give him your support. Lastly, W. Bro. Alan Pendleton proposed a candidate for Mark Masonry and the Old York Lodge T.I. in particular, that being his Son in Law, Brother Christian Holmes. He stressed that Bro. Christian had already met W.Bro. Andrew Jagger and that he was very clear of that which he was going to face!!
The Festive board was well received particularly the Mackrell, no not the Provincial Photographer W. Bro. Tony Mackrell, but the fish. The Toast to the Province was most ably given by Brother Phil Harrison who had also done a sterling job as Master Overseer. Whilst congratulating the Provincial officers for all they do for the order, he then spent some time debating what collective noun one would use for such a gathering, a compliment, a swarm, group? No Bro. Phil, I just call them a crowd. Responding W. Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor congratulated Bro. David upon becoming a Mark Master Mason and presented him with a copy of the Year Book. He the congratulated members of the Lodge who were to receive preferment at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in April they being; W.Bro Edward Wilkinson as Provincial Grand Junior Warden, W.Bro. Bob Baker as P. Prov. G.J.D and W. Bro. K Watson as P. Prov. G.J.W. Whilst on the subject, he also asked Brethren to attend the Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting at Bradford Grammar School on the 22nd April. This is to recognise that the Provincial Grand Master only has one meeting of his Lodge, spending most of the rest of the year visiting our Lodges; it is only courtesy to respond.
The Toast to the Candidate, Bro. David was with his proposer, Bro. Mark Simmons. He said that he had known him for many years, back when he was in the Prince of Wales Regiment. He left the Army in 1989 and worked abroad for a time, returning to the U.K where he found work as a toilet cleaner but there was a pathway he could follow; he graduated to be a Self Employed Utilities Broker!. Unsurprisingly Bro. David’s repose was measured and thankful that he had made the right decision to be a Mark Master Mason, we all agree.
During the course of proceedings the assembled company had been reminded, many times, that they were at home with the Premier Mark Master Masons Lodge in the Province and very proud they are too, quite rightly. However as I have pointed out before, when drawing these comparisons you have to be clear that you are comparing yourself to the right people. They are a premier Mark Lodge in the Premier Division of the West Yorkshire Province of Mark Master Masons, along with 43 others and that is something of which we all can be proud. On a personal note however, I do thoroughly enjoy my visits to Old York T.I. and I know by the happy smiling faces I see as we leave that I am not on my own, thank you Old York.
Continue smiling and be happy.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.