The Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Stephen Bray was in buoyant mood and all received a hearty welcome at the Masonic Hall, West vale to see a new Master installed. Well, not quite new, as it was Worshipful Brother David Thwaite who had agreed to take the reins for a second time, having previously had the pleasure in 2011.
The Lodge was opened in due form when the minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed,” would you like to sign them now” said W.Bro.Keith Robinson, Secretary. W.Bro.Stephen was about to postpone it until the end of the meeting when the Secretary prevailed, we all know who is really in charge of the Lodge, or is it the Director of Ceremonies, no matter. The Acting Provincial Grand Junior Warden, Worshipful Brother Edward Wilkinson was admitted accompanied by Worshipful Brother Ian Yates, Elected member of the Charity Committee. An additional piece of business then took place before the Installation, that being the presentation of a Grand Lodge Certificate to Brother Robert Lee Wilson. W.Bro.Edward had agreed to undertake the task which he delivered in superb fashion, including a generous explanation of the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners; no surprise that this culminated in Bro.Wilson being exhorted to join Old York T.I., R.A.M.by W.Bro.Edward and then Fearnley No.58 R.A.M. by W. Bro. Stephen., my advice just go over the hill to Peace No. 681 R.A.M., take an unbiased recommendation.
A very smooth and professional transition followed with W.Bro.Stephen, no ritual books in sight, placing his successor in the chair. He was aided and abetted by Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown, Director of Ceremonies for the Lodge, also Provincial Deputy Director of Ceremonies, choreographing proceedings and delivering the working tools. This was followed by W.Bro. Clive Edwards, an explanation of the Keystone Collaret and the addresses, that to the Worshipful Master by W.Bro.Jim Wilson, to the Wardens, W.Bro.Gary Crawford, to the Overseers, W.Bro.Tevor Sykes and the Brethren, by W.Bro. Edward Wilkinson, an evening to be proud of for the Brethren of the Lodge. An excellent meeting though disappointingly witnessed by no Brethren from the Province of West Yorkshire beneath the Rank of Provincial Grand Lodge Officer; not a single Master in the Chair being present. This despite the fact that when a Brother accepts the Duties as Master of his Lodge, one of the key obligations is that to represent the Lodge, firstly within his own I.M.A., area and then in the wider Province; hopefully those who read this reminder will take note and visiting will improve.
The Festive Board was then taken, well not quite true. After the meeting it transpired that there had been a misunderstanding and that the food would not be available or an hour. No problem, the Toasts were taken first, that to the Province by W.Bro.Stephen, I.P.M., and he was complementary in thanking the Senior Lodge members for their advice and assistance, V.W.Bro. Derek Cope for telling them how it was done, W.Bro. Andrew Brown, how it is done and,W.Bro.Keith Robinson how it should be done, there you are Secretaries again. He also had a special mention for the Past Asst.Prov.G.M. Worshipful Brother, Dr.Rod Taylor had been very supportive and helpful during his tenure in the Chair. Responding W.Bro.Edward congratulated all on the quality of the Ceremony and particularly W.Bro.David in taking a second term in the Chair. 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.
W.Bro.Gary Crawford presented a substantial cheque of £1,000 in favour of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival to W.Bro.Ian Yates which was gratefully acknowledged. He the continued saying that the Trustees remain concerned that some of our Brethren in need may be slipping under the radar. It is vital that all Brethren act as Almoners drawing any potential Brethren requiring assistance to the attention of the Lodge Almoner. The Annual Holiday has been arranged for July 2018 but at the Inn on the Prom, St Anne’s, a new venue and Notices have already been sent out for the next Almoners Lunch on Monday, 6th November.
I do enjoy being a Mark Master Mason, another superb evening,
Smile, Be happy and continue to enjoy Mark Masonry.