A Touch of Class at Wharfedale Lodge of M.M.M. No. 1027

Another professional display at the Installation of Worshipful Brother Andrew Coutts, Worshipful Master in 2011, for a second term. This took place at Westbourne House, Otley on Thursday, 4th May.

The Worshipful, and Installing Master, Worshipful Brother Tom Woodley, having despatched the opening formalities, then welcomed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell. He was accompanied by Worshipful Brother Ian Yates, Elected Representative of the Charity Committee, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough and the Provincial Junior Warden, Worshipful Brother Edward Wilkinson.

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Bro. Tom commenced the Installation ceremony which, despite obvious nerves and an admission that nowadays he found Ritual difficult, was dealt with in a praiseworthy and sincere manner. In this regard he was aided by the Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Stuart Prince, a perfect explanation of the Key Stone Collaret and conducting proceedings as if it were a Brahms symphony. The Lodge also benefits from two Deacons, who have performed these duties for a year or two and are well qualified. I refer to two Past Provincial Grand Senior Wardens, Worshipful Brothers David Hymas and Dr. Andrew Wright, and David is continuing for another year. It is worth noting that they also respectively did the explanation of the Tools and Address to the Worshipful Master. The other addresses were also superbly delivered by W. Bro. John Colwell to the Wardens, W. Bro. Andrew Simpson to the Overseers W. Bro. Peter Smith to the Brethren. All of this accomplished without a ritual book in sight, yes the occasional prompt but we all need that on occasion.

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The Officers of the Lodge being appointed and invested, the remainder of the Agenda items were expedited. However, under any other business, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master requested a moment to address the Lodge, whereupon he then presented a Grand Patrons Collaret to the Lodge.  This was appropriate as W. Bro. Richard is the Chairman of the Festival committee, onwards and upwards to Gold Award status.

All then adjourned for the Festive Board, an interesting choice but very much enjoyed, Broccoli and Stilton soup no surprise there, followed by Meat lasagne, chips and Peas, a nice change from Roast Beef etc. The Toast to the Province was proposed by Worshipful Brother Ian Cotton who expressed the grateful thanks for all the help and guidance provided by Provincial Grand Lodge officers, particularly those in his own Lodge, where they are fortunate to have some quality players. Finally he congratulated W. Bro. Richard upon his coming preferment as Past Grand Junior Overseer, a Very Worshipful Brother; nice touch should stand him in good stead for future honours.

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In his response, W. Bro. Richard thanked all who had attended the Annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, pointing out that next year it will be held on Saturday, 7th April, He emphasised that the Worshipful Master is the face of the Lodge and that it incumbent upon him to represent his Lodge around the I.M.A., the Province and particularly the Provincial meeting, if possible accompanied by his Wardens and some Brethren. He further stressed the wish of the Provincial Grand Master that Brethren should attempt to learn the ritual, accepting a prompt if necessary, no books evident; also when signing the Register to use their Mark, chosen at their Advancement, after signature. A number of dates for diaries were provided as follows:

20th September at Fearnley Lodge of M.M.M., Investiture of new Rulers, by invitation only.

29th October, Festival Sunday Lunch at Greenhead Masonic Hall.

26th November, Xmas Fayre at Greenhead Masonic hall.

10th December, Xmas Carol Concert, Brighouse,

Finally  he did refer to events and detail relating to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival, adding the rider that he hoped he was not treading on the ground of the Elected Charity Committee Member, Worshipful Brother Ian Yates, who could clearly be observed striking out items in his proposed response.

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This led to the Toast to the Charities,   superbly articulated by W. Bro. David Hymas who had the assembled company in tears of laughter suggesting that he would have mentioned a number of issues related to the Charities, as would W. Bro. Ian but they have already been said. Nonetheless W. Bro. Ian commenced by saying he would deal with what was left!! That said he thanked W. Bro. David for his toast and sat down!!!; to immediately stand up again and continue. In summary, he said that the Cleaves and Whitehead Trust was in good heart, sufficient resources to discharge all it’s obligations in the foreseeable future. Two Almoners Luncheons will be held again this year with the holiday to Llandudno also in place and respite care is available for those who are unable to be considered for the Holiday, any potential cases should be referred to the Provincial Almoner, Worshipful Brother Alex Steele, telephone number on Lodge Summons. There remains a concern that a number of needy cases continue to be overlooked. Brethren, we are all Almoners and in any case of doubt refer concerns to your Lodge Almoner for investigation; it only takes a phone call.

Another superb evening of Mark Masonry.

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

Communications Manager