The Lodge is not the biggest with 20 Subscribing members of which 10 attended, swelled by 25 visitors, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony and subsequent Festive Board.
This took place at the Masonic Hall, Belgravia, Goole, on Monday, the 15th May. The Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Brian Butterfield opened the lodge in due form handing over to his Acting Director of Ceremonies Worshipful Brother Stephen Kearns who, at very short notice, had to pick up the Baton. He then took care of the salutations to Right Worshipful Brother George Henry Philip Birch, Past Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough, Past Assistant Grand Master and Very Worshipful Brother Derek Cope, followed by the remaining great and good. It was punctuated, however, by several visits to the Acting Master Overseer, Very Worshipful Brother Robert Corfield who had written out the detail for W. Bro. Stephen. In the event he had great difficulty in reading V.W.Bro. Bob’s writing necessitating regular checks. I have had that experience after visiting Lodges; I cannot even read my own writing!!
Upon a report, the Provincial Assistant Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Richard Brown was admitted, escort formed, and Worshipful Brother Michael Holmes, Past Provincial Grand Junior Warden entered for his last Official visit, accompanied by Worshipful Brother Alan Corbridge, Elected member of the Charity committee.
The acting D.C., W. Bro. Stephen then presented the Master Elect, Brother Michael Brearley. W. Bro Brian thanked all his Officers for their support over the past year and then proceeded with the Installation ceremony, somewhat nervous but determined to do his best and he delivered a sincere and moving performance. The officers for the year were then appointed with a number fulfilling dual roles but all enthusiastic and committed. The addresses were competently delivered, particularly that to the Worshipful Master by V. W. Bro. Bob, not forgetting that to the Brethren by W. Bro. Michael who by now had become used to the task. He then, somewhat surprisingly as I have never seen it before, presented the George Grubb Past Masters Jewel to W.Bro. Brian; unusually this Jewel is then worn by the I.P.M. for only one year, when it passes to his successor.
The final act of note under other business was the presentation of a cheque for £500 to the Lodge by Worshipful Brother John Simpson, Immediate Past Master of Integrity Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 110. This was to aid the Lodge in its quest to gain Gold Award status, Integrity having achieved the honour last year, this is the fourth such cheque and there will be others, it is what is called Mark Master Masonry, you help your fellow Brethren.
A delicious Festive Board followed, Prawn Cocktail and next on the Menu, Roast lamb, a very tasty change from the usual, attention then turned to the toasts. Worshipful Brother Matthew Brelsford eloquently proposed the toast to the Province thanking the Officers for their considerable endeavours to help and inform Lodges. Responding, W. Bro. Michael emphasised the importance of visiting in the Mark degree, particularly the Annual Provincial meeting together with Wardens, Association Lodge visits and generally supporting the Lodges in your Association at Installations; this has undoubtedly fallen by the wayside in recent times. Also he reminded the Brethren that it is the wish of the Provincial Grand Master that we use our Marks, primarily when signing the register. Finally he pointed out that our Provincial Grand Master also wishes Brethren to learn ritual as best they can, have a go, the Preceptor is there to help.
Worshipful Brother John Marrison, Acting Provincial Grand Senior Warden, the Charity Steward of the Lodge then delivered the Toast to the Charities and presented a cheque for £500 to the Festival. Whilst thanking the Brethren for their generosity, W. Bro. Alan, Elected member of the charity committee assured the Brethren that the work of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust continues, undiminished, assisting present and past Mark Master Masons, their relatives and dependents. In respect of the M.B.F., he identified the considerable assistance already being given to ‘Hope for Tomorrow, mobile chemotherapy units for rural areas and, recently announced, a commitment to replace ageing St John Ambulance vehicles, both very worthy causes.
An evening in the true spirit of Mark Master Masonry, but only the beginning of something very rare, see Integrity below;