Oh yes, as I indicated in the January News letter, the Lodge has been having some tough times over the past few years, membership declining and poor attendances. Well not so on Monday,11th February when thirty five attended including twenty two visitors, happy faces amongst the Brethren.
This was to witness the Proclamation of Worshipful Brother Robert Greening Jackson as Worshipful Master for a second term. Before that could proceed he opened the Lodge, dealt with housekeeping issues and then welcomed the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton accompanied by Worshipful Brother Alan Corbridge, Elected member of the Charity committee, all carefully choreographed by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown. Worshipful Brother Alan Griffin then took the chair, an Installed Board was opened and W.Bro.Bob was obligated and retuned to the Chair of the Lodge, in truth, very shortly after it was vacated. Then followed the Appointment and Investiture of the officers with a number holding down two posts and dispensations required.
The address to the Worshipful Master was presented in a sincere, measured fashion by W.Bro.David Steel, the Address to the Wardens in fine form by W.Bro Keith Grandison who also did a superb job as Director of Ceremonies throughout. That left the Overseers which W.Bro.Keith initially announced as to the Brethren, shock on two fronts , W.Bro.Sam Cariss who thought that he was addressing the Overseers and W.Bro.Trevor who thought he might have to go first. No matter, they took them in the right order and in good form. The remaining Agenda items brought forward some interesting additions. Firstly, W.Bro Paul Leach who, in April, will take the Office of Provincial Almoner advised them that he would now relinquish his post as their Charity Representative, He thanked them for many happy hours in their company and assured that he would still be visiting. W Bro Jed Stone then drew attention to the 250 Club , particularly that prise money is now three thousand pounds, same amount going to the Festival. He pointed out that Wives and Partners can now purchase tickets as can Lodges and Associations. For a moment I felt that he was going to tell that I could buy them at Asda, no way, well not yet. Finally W.Bro. Trevor took the floor with W.Bro.Robert and presented him with the Lodge Grand Patron Collaret, an excellent end to a superb evening in the Temple.
The Festive Board beckoned, Soup, more a vegetable broth, delicious Cottage pie followed by Sultana Sponge and Cheese and biscuits, no on could wish for more. The Toast to the Province was in the hands of W,Bro,Robert who praised the Provincial Officers for all they do, particularly that of standing in at the last moment. It is undoubtedly true that they are the back bone of Freemasonry and particularly of the White Rose Lodge. He then added that perhaps some would interpret his comments as ‘toadying’, no way. W.Bro. Trevor thanked him for his Toast and hoped that the WM and the Lodge enjoyed a more fulfilling year., reminding them that, at the moment, there are a number of Lodges in the same boat, throughout Freemasonry. He then provided a date for your diaries, the Provincial Meeting of the Province of West Yorkshire, which will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 13th April. It is a responsibility of all Worshipful Masters to attend and represent their Lodges, hopefully accompanied by their Wardens and, perhaps, some Brethren. Finally the Perimeter Perambulation; a walk around the perimeter Lodges of our Province of West Yorkshire, the idea of V.W.Bro. Richard Puttrell who is now in training, it’s only 230 miles!! Details are on the web site, please sponsor generously.
The Toast to the Charities was given by W.Bro. Sam who left W.Bro.Alan to fill in the gaps after he had pointed out that our own Cleeves and Whitehead Trust was the jewel in the Provincial Crown. This was supported by W.Bro.Alan in his response, it is unique the only one in the country and it is OUR CHARITY.. Whilst its income has suffered due to the demands of the Festival, it continues to fulfil its obligations, Almoners Luncheon Monday 1st April at the Cedar Court, Ainley Top, Huddersfield and the annual Holiday at the Inn on the Prom Hotel, St Anne’s. 23rd to 29th June. He said that the Festival was on track and that it was expected that all Lodges would qualify as Grand patron Gold Award by the conclusion.
A humorous, but also moving story to end. When proposing the health of the WM, W.Bro Robert, W.Bro.Alan Griffin, IPM, said that he had been inspired by the work of Robert which reminded him of a song. He than read out the words of ‘he ain’t heavy’ by the Hollies, just one thing, he should have sung it, we would have all joined in and brought the house down.
If we could bottle the ‘Magic Dust’ which makes our Order so special, we could make a fortune.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.