The force was with us when the Sloop, the Claro Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 525 embarked upon its voyage to confirm a new Worshipful, ‘Skipper’, Commander. Crew and visiting matelots all assembled on the quarter deck, the sails set and the lines tight, Worshipful Brother Richard Brown took the helm and began by welcoming the Vice Admiral, Asst.P.G.M. Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton who declined the gavel, happy to pay a watching brief.
His orders of the day were to Install Brother Keith Harmer, affectionately known as ‘Tigger’ and he was his normal , ebullient, enthusiastic, bouncy self throughout. Before proceeding , however, Worshipful Brother Alan Webster gave a very moving eulogy in respect of our departed brother, Worshipful Brother Edward, ‘Ted’ , Franckel, well known and highly regarded throughout the Province, a cheerful helpful man and a keen Freemason.
W.Bro.Richard then obligated, entrusted Bro. Keith with the signs and secrets and invested him with the badge and Collar/Jewel before placing him the Chair as Worshipful Commander. This was a professional, sincere performance, no ritual books throughout other than the occasional prompt from the Preceptor, as it should be. During the Appointment and Investiture of the Officers an hiatus occurred, the waves cascaded over the gunnels, when W,Bro, Gerry Barker was asked by the W.C. to bring forward W.Bro.Mervyn Hughes, oh if it were true, memories galore of Ashes cricket, NO W,Bro.Keith meant W.Bro.Mervyn Skinner. The address to the Worshipful Commander was then delivered in imperious, and precise form by Worshipful Brother Ian Mackenzie rounding off an excellent evening in the Temple.
There was more to come, however, when Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough had the honour of presenting a Grand lodge certificate to their recently elevated brother, Michael Brearley, This he did with his usual style and panache, even to showing of his classic skills by translating the Latin inscriptions, yes I know he had it written down but it sounded good. Only one more comment, when the D.C. asked if there were any other apologies, W.Bro.John Fred gave them on behalf of ‘Patrick’, apparently behind with his dues but I am sure that Clougie will remedy that omission. Who is Patrick, see below… The Festive Board was a delight with succulent Roast Pork and, more importantly, proper cracking and the trimmings.
The Toast to Province was presented by the Senior Warden, Brother Alan Beardmore who thanked the Holders of Provincial Grand rank for all they do for the Lodge. This was echoed by W.Bro.Trevor in his response adding that the ceremony had been exemplary, particularly the Installing commander, W,Bro,Richard He then drew the attention of the Brethren to the Letter on the web site from the PastD.P.G.M., Worshipful Brother Richard Puttrell who, next year will undertake a ‘Perimeter Perambulation’. The route will take in the Masonic Halls at Pontefract, Castleford, Wetherby, Knaresborough, Ripon, Barnoldswick, Bottoms, Uppermill, Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Thorne and Goole, these being those on the periphery of the Province. This will involve thirteen days of walking along footpaths, bridle ways and some roads bringing the total of miles covered to approximately 230 mile. If you are interested in joining him for any part of this mammoth effort, contact details are on he web site. Finally good news that Claro not only have a potential Candidate but also a joining member, excellent news. Another, most pleasant evening with Brother Royal Ark Mariners, I look forward to the next.
Photo of Ptarick if you can Warren
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.