‘And the light of his countenance spread amongst us’

And it did at the Installation of Brother, the Reverend, Michael Taylor at Blenheim House on Wednesday, 1st November. The Lodge was in the capable custody of the Immediate Past Master, Worshipful Brother James, ‘Jim’, Stanley, this being due to the indisposition of the Master, Worshipful Brother Grant Martin, for work commitments.

The Lodge being duly opened, upon a report, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield was admitted accompanied by Worshipful Brother Paul Leach, elected member of the Charity Committee, all under the direction of the Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Richard Brown.

The Installation then began and it is to the credit of all concerned that some careful thought had been given to proceedings to ensure that Bro. Michael was not inconvenienced. He has a genetic, debilitating condition that affects his balance and mobility, also his Brother and probably other family members. He is ,nonetheless, a cheerful , stoic individual  with an engaging sense of humour, probably because he knows a lot more about where we are all ultimately going than we do!!. W. Bro.Jim obligated, explained the signs’ and secrets, and then placed Worshipful Brother Michael in the Chair of the Lodge to the delight of all present, a very moving ceremony and a credit to W.Bro.Jim, a superb performance.

W.Bro.Rev.Michael was obviously now well at ease because almost immediately his voice took on the tones that we expect from a Preacher in the Pulpit, no surprise there then. The Working Tools were swiftly despatched by Worshipful Brother Stephen Wood, the Keystone Collaret deferred to another occasion. The Appointment and Investiture of the Officers for the year gave rise to no surprises, a very experienced group of Mark Master Masons. W.Bro.Jim then proceeded to deliver the address to the Worshipful Master, that to the Wardens by Very Worshipful Brother John Morgan, to the Overseers by a visitor, Worshipful Brother Tom Pickard, the Director of Ceremonies at Worth Lodge no.727, and finally, that to the Brethren by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro.Alan, still with the smile upon his face that he had at his Investiture; all of them were excellent, they could not have been better.

The remaining business was then in the hands of W.Bro.Rev.Michael, this smoothly progressed and he did like the reference to collections for Charities, well the word collections, it is one he knows well. In any other business, however, W.Bro.Alan intervened to advise the Lodge that, bearing in mind it was only consecrated in 2009, it did not enjoy the status of the older Lodges at the previous Festival. Notwithstanding they have managed to attain Grand Patron and he was delighted to present the Button and certificate to W.Bro.Rev.Michael.

All then adjourned for a very welcome luncheon whereupon the Toast to the Province as proposed by Bro.John Davies, the Senior Warden, appropriately solicitous and very appreciative of the advice and experience that the Provincial Officers bring to the Lodge. This was welcomed by W.Bro.Alan in his response and he congratulated both W.Bro.Michael upon attaining the Chair and W.Bro.Jim on his excellent performance in the ceremony. He then drew attention to the Annual Provincial Meeting which will take place on Saturday, 7th April 2018 at Bradford Grammar School. We are all invited by the P.G.M. to his Lodge, he visits us, and courtesy dictates that as many of us as possible return the favour. W.M’s should consider asking their Wardens to join them and take some Junior Brethren for the experience, put it in your diaries now. In addition, the Christmas Fayre will be held at Greenhead Masonic Hall on Sunday 26th November and the Annual Carol service at Brighouse Methodist Church, Sunday 10th December.  A reminder also for the Second Northern Masonic Variety Show, booking forms for tickets are now available from the Provincial web site and a flyer will be included with the Year Book which should be sent out shortly.

The Toast to the Charities was given by W.Bro.Stephen Wood, the other side this time as he is a member of the ‘Magnificent 7,’ Cognisant of this he kept it very short, not taking way any key points that the responder may have. This thoughtfulness was appreciated by W.Bro.Paul who then went on to confirm that the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust continues in good heart. The focus remains the core objectives of the relief of past and present Mark Master Masons of West Yorkshire, their relatives and dependants. In this regard an Almoners Luncheon is to be held on the 6th November at Tapton Hall and the Annual Holiday will be held in Lytham St Anne’s at the Inn on the Prom in July 2018. A final plea, do consider your contributions to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. The percentage is still around 30%, somewhat disappointing for an organisation that prides itself on its charitable values.

This was a meeting which will live in my memory for a long time and in no small way for the smiling countenances of both W.Bro. Rev. Michael and W.Bro. Alan, both of whom shone a light upon us. Whoops I might be getting soppy in my old age!