A gloomy, miserable Monday night, 27th February 2017 at Tapton Hall Sheffield even a threat of snow, but the clouds dispersed when the 19 Brethren and 3 visitors came together in the Temple, the warmth of Mark Masonic Masonry. Yes, sadly only three visitors but what they lacked in volume they more than compensated for in quality, a surprise visit by our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor, Worshipful Brother Nick Jacques, Past Master at Britannia Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 57, good to see someone else from a Sheffield Mark lodge and then the tone lowered, you guessed it, I was the third!!
The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Graham Littlewood and a Ballot proved favourable for the candidate Brother Keith Heppenstall of Hadassah Lodge No.4871. His Proposer Worshipful Brother Peter Riggall and his Seconder, Very Worshipful Brother Edward Patnick were both present to ensure a smooth passage for their man. This proved to be the case under the guidance of W. Bro. Graham ably assisted by Worshipful Brother Alex Geddes who had only been told the night before that he was Director of Ceremonies in addition to which he also presented the Signs and Secrets in very competent fashion. Congratulations to all who took part as a number had to stand in at the very last moment, notably Brother Steven Stones as Senior Deacon, he performed admirably. It was evident that Brother Keith had thoroughly enjoyed the Ceremony and is now looking forward to many years of Mark Masonry.
This being Scroll night, W. Bro. Graham then declared himself Master, and W. Bro. Peter, Treasurer, for the ensuing year, this is becoming more common, the second scroll night in succession for me that the Master has continued for a further year. In his report for the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters, the President, W. Bro. Alex drew attention to the Jubilee Dinner Dance, together with a singer, at the Consort Suite which takes place on the 23rd June. W.Bro. Alex was too modest to mention that it also coincides with his Golden Wedding anniversary, come along and join them in their celebration.
The Lodge closed, all adjourned to the Festive Board. W. Bro. Rod gave a short response to the Toast to the Province stressing the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire at Bradford Grammar School, Saturday 22nd April. This is an opportunity to all Brethren to reciprocate and visit the Provincial Grand Masters Lodge which only has one meeting per annum; you will not be able to attend again until April 2018 if you miss next month. Additionally Masters should consider not only asking their Wardens to join them but some of the Junior Brethren also, an experience they will treasure.
Finally a plea to all Mark Master Masons at Tapton Hall, you are aware that a number of Lodges are going through difficult times; in the spirit of Brotherly love, can I suggest that you give priority in the next year or two to visiting the sister Lodges at Tapton. This will not only enhance the atmosphere but also give a lift to the Brethren of the Lodge that you visit.
And as ever, do not forget to smile, be happy, we are Mark Master Masons.
Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.