Following the great success of last year’s Sunday Lunch held at Westbourne House, Otley, in aid of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023 our Provincial Grand Master has asked that we repeat the occasion this year.
Please find attached below the booking form for what will be a fantastic event.
The Inaugural Meeting of the Combined Sheffield Mark Lodges
This meeting was featured in the last News Letter but a reminder is appropriate for the event, which takes place at Tapton Masonic Hall on Wednesday, 25th July.
Representatives from all the Tapton Mark Lodges will take part and several distinguished guests will attend and some take part, for example, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. will deliver the Signs and Secrets, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, the Tools and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton, not yet decided, could be a surprise! The event is also to be graced by the presence of our Assistant Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Stephen Davison which certainly puts the seal on what will be an evening not to be missed, a night to remember for the candidate, Brother Richard Morley. A meal, together with entertainment is also available for the Ladies organised by Mrs Ruth Drury.
Please find attached flyer/ booking form at the bottom of the page, which I urge you to complete and send now, be one of those who in years to come will be able to say, ‘ YES I WAS THERE’
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith, PGSD.
Wednesday, 16th May ,and the Lodge was opened in due form by the Immediate Past Master, Worshipful Brother Phillip Howell. Why the I.P.M. I hear you cry, because the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Walker, who had completed two consecutive years in charge, was away on holiday, which Mrs walker had arranged with a another Brothers wife,that is a neat way to get out of the job. The usual business despatched, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother John Grey announced that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton demanded admission and he dutifully entered accompanied by Worshipful Brother Sam Cariss, Elected member of the Charity committee and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, together with escort.
The Master Elect , Worshipful Brother Gary Milnes, previously in the Chair in 2014, was then obligated and installed in a relatively short ceremony, whereupon, the Working Tools were delivered by Worshipful Brother Fraser McPherson and the Keystone Collarette, explained and presented by Very Worshipful Brother John Barlow, delighted to see him present and on good form, both in superb fashion and no surprise, they have done it before. The appointment and investiture of the Officers then followed with W.Bro. Fraser relinquishing the Secretary’s function and taking the position of Senior Warden and Brother Jonathan Cole , Inner Guard, going to the stratosphere as Junior Warden, no guesses as to where he will be in 2020, if not before.The Addresses were then very competently despatched as follows; Commander, V.W.Bro. John Barlow, Wardens, W.Bro. Gary Milnes, Overseers, W.Bro. Fraser McPherson and to the Brethren by the Asst.P.G.M, W.Bro. Trevor Bolton.
Under the heading of other business, it was announced that they will be reducing their meetings to three per annum, no longer a January date. A point to note , they do have a candidate who, hopefully, will be admitted in July, that is not a busy Masonic month so why not put the date in your diaries and come along to Prince Edward to support the Lodge and the Candidate.
The Festive Board eagerly consumed, the Toast to the Province was submitted by W.Bro. Gary, himself an Acting Officer as Assistant Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, who swiftly handed over to W.Bro. Trevor to respond. Having congratulated W.Bro. Gary upon occupying the Chair for the second time, he thanked all the Brethren for their support for the Provincial events over the past month and added a few more for the future. These include, 21st June, Provincial Banner dedication at Britannia Lodge of M.M.M. No. 53; Wednesday, 25th July, Combined Mark Lodges in Sheffield, under the banner of Escafeld Lodge of M.M.M. No.1139, an advancement when some very special people will be showing us all how it should be done, both of these at Tapton Hall; and on l5th August, a Sunday barbecue organised by the Social Committee at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley.
There was no topping W.Bro.Gary now and he duly submitted the Toast to the Charities, again swiftly passing the baton to W.Bro. Sam. He assured the brethren that whilst the income for the Trust has reduced because of the support for the Festival, its work continues as before, Almoners luncheon well attended in April, the second set for the Autumn and the annual holiday in July at St. Annes. Closer to home, the Charity, ‘Hope for Tomorrow, supported by the M.B.F. is to provide a mobile chemotherapy unit to the Airedale hospital which will service the rural communities of West and North Yorkshire. He emphasised that we are fortunate in our Province to have our own dedicated Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and this will never be put at risk, its response is immediate, the Jewel in our Crown.
Whilst only twenty four were present, eleven visitors and thirteen Brethren, we were the lucky ones, try visiting it is truly at the heart of Mark Masonry.
Smile, be happy!!
Whilst Worshipful Brother Matthew Brelsford was very happy to be Installed once more in the Chair of this fine Lodge, dreams came true when, under propositions, a joining Brother was proposed and then four for advancement; there will be another later in the year as a Brother is to be Raised in the Craft in the Autumn and will then join Aireferry. After a dearth of candidates in the recent past, all their numbers have come up at once, doesn’t it make you feel envious, well done W,Bro. Matthew.
The meeting had commenced at 5 p.m. and the Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Michael Brearley, who then expeditiously dealt with the opening procedures and agenda items. At this point, Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother John Gray was admitted and very shortly afterwards escorted Very Worshipful Brother Richard Puttrell, the Representative of the Provincial Grand Master and Worshipful Brother Chris Oldfield, Elected member of the Charity Committee, into the Lodge. W.Bro. Richard then presented W.Bro. Michael with a Patrons Collarette for the Lodge. The vast majority of Lodges in the Province had qualified when the last festival took place but this Lodge was not then in existence and had to start from scratch.
Attention then turned to the Installation Ceremony which was of short form and was warmly and sincerely accomplished. The Working tools were presented and explained in fine style by Worshipful Brother Ken Beaumont and the Keystone Collarette superbly entrusted to the W.M. by Very Worshipful Brother John Barlow,as he had done some five years previous when W.Bro Matthew took the chair for the first time and, just as he had done the previous week at Prince Edward. W.Bro. Matthew having appointed and invested his team for the ensuing year, the Addresses were delivered in excellent form, that to the W.M. by Very Worshipful Brother Robert Corfield followed by that to the Wardens by V.W.Bro. Bob again, we waited in anticipation , would he also deal with that to the overseers, the answer no, this was in the hands of Worshipful Brother, Reverend Brian Instone; whilst it would have been a first to do all three, V.W.Bro. Bob was feeling quite unwell and had to leave the Festive Board early, we trust that he is now fully recovered. I have already covered the excellent memberships news but W.Bro. Matt also told me that there are two others in the wings, if all came to pass the, membership would increase by a third, we wait and see.
The assembled company having seen off the pangs of hunger, the Toast to the Province was proposed by W.Bro. Matt, himself a Provincial Grand Lodge Officer, praised the commitment and enthusiasm of his Colleagues in the assistance that they provide around the Lodges. This was echoed by V.W.Bro. Richard in his response. He then reminded Brethren that it is the wish of the Provincial Grand Master that Brethren attempt to learn the ritual, not read it, to provide the right impression to candidates and demonstrate the moral standards that we follow. He also emphasised that Masters in the Chair have to accept that they are the face of the Lodge and have a responsibility to represent their Lodge around the I,M,A, and wider in the Province. Some dates for your diaries 25th July, Combined Mark Lodges in Sheffield, under the banner of Escafeld Lodge of M.M.M. No.1139, an advancement when some very special people will be showing us all how it should be done , both of these at Tapton hall; on l5th August, a Sunday barbecue organised by the Social Committee at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley, and upcoming musical delights, an Evening with John Fitzpatrick at Greenhead in Huddersfield, 29th September and two offerings from John Whitworth at Pontefract Masonic Hall on October 27th and November 3rd.
The Toast to the Charities was delivered by Worshipful Brother Mick Ricketts having only been appointed earlier to the Office which he has never held before, a first. He presented a cheque for £550 and awaited news from W.Bro. Chris upon the activities of the organisations. W. Bro Chris began by thanking the Lodge for the generous donation and said that rather than generalise in his response, he would specialise and talk about individual giving by standing order. The percentage of those who contribute in this manner stands at 28% approx, a figure that has remained unchanged from when I was Chairman of Trustees back in 2010 which, given our desire to demonstrate our charitable nature, is something of which we should be ashamed, caveat no one should give more than they can afford. We have about 1300 members, of which, about 360 have s/o’s now. If 200 Brethren started to give £10 per month, with gift aid , that would amount to £30, 000 in a full year, it includes £6000 from the tax man . Give it a thought.
Finally, a delight to see three Masters in the Chair present. I trust that others will take note of the lead by W.Bro. Neil Park, Gothic No. 1018 and W.Bro. Colin Middleton, Thorne No.1004 who were , of course, visitors. The third?, W.Bro. Mike Brearley, unusually in two Chairs at the same time, the other being Integrity No. 110. A bit more complicated for W.Bro. Michael in September as the Master Elect is Brother Alex Baskeyfield and a full Installation Ceremony will be required. Start swotting up now Mike!!
Another wonderful Mark Masonic evening, I feel very lucky to be a Mark Master Mason.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.