A warm welcome at the Allerton for a goodly number of visitors but not quite as warm as it could have been. Virtually upon arrival a member, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton, with a cheery greeting said ‘do you fancy a coffee’, when I responded in the affirmative, he replied ‘well if you can find one, can you get one for me as well’, got a good sense of humour has Trevor,
Proceedings commenced and after a short duration, the Asst.Prov.G.D.C., Worshipful Brother Richard Brown was admitted, received the assurance that he required, and the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, accompanied by Worshipful Brother Chris Oldfield, Elected Member of the Charity Committee, together with Escort, were admitted. The Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Hirst welcomed R.W.Bro.Jim and asked if he would accept the gavel and take the ceremony, he was very quickly disabused of the idea and the Installation commenced. Bro.John was presented by W.Bro. Bob Winterflood, whereupon Worshipful Brother Keith Derry took charge, obligating and inculcating the Signs and Secrets in good fashion with the odd prompt, but Keith had received only two weeks notice of his involvement, very well done.
The Lodge D.C., Worshipful Brother David Wadeley then stepped up to the plate proclaiming W.Bro.John to the Brethren, presenting the Warrant and the book of Constitutions and, with the assistance of W.Bro.Richard Brown, attended to the Appointment and Investiture of the Officers for the ensuing year.. W.Bro. Bob then presented and explained the Working Tools and Worshipful Brother John Hendry the Keystone Collaret, both very well done. The presentation of the Past Masters Jewel was in the hands of W.Bro.Trevor who thanked W.Bro.Richard for a successful year but reminded him that he was another Baker on the role of Copley who had failed to deliver even a crumb of their talent to the Members, W.Bro,Richard apologised but acknowledged the excellent support that he had received from his Officers. The addresses were then superbly delivered as follows; Worshipful Master by W.Bro. John Hendry, the Wardens by W.Bro.Trevor, the Overseers by W.Bro.David Wadeley and the Brethren by R.W.Bro.Jim.
At this juncture, and I suspect to the surprise of all present bar the P.G.M, W.Bro. John as he now was presented fifteen hundred pounds in notes to R.W.Bro. Jim for the Festival which he calculated would qualify him for Grand Patron Gold Award status. This was gratefully received by Jim who looked forward to presenting him with his Gold Award in due course. This was followed by W.Bro.Trevor Dickinson presenting a cheque for £125 from a social event, a ‘Thai night’ held at Sandmoor Golf Club, to which was added a further £500 from the Lodge, total £625 to W.Bro.Chris; a most successful evening for the Festival. The remaining agenda items despatched , the Lodge was duly closed and all retired to the Festive Board where W.Bro.John had not only provided wine for all on the table but also a celebratory glass of Port, well received and gratefully acknowledged.
The Toast to the Provincial Grand Master, coupled with Provincial Grand Lodge was, in the hands of a Brother the Senior Warden Bro.Lance Johnson,a rare occurrence but one of which he can be proud. He dutifully followed convention thanking the Officers for their assistance and support. R.W.Bro.Jim, in reply, reminded the Brethren that it was 2014 since he last visited Copley and he is now in his seventh year as P.G.M. In this regard he asked for the support of the W.M., Wardens and Brethren in attending the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Bradford on the 13th April. It is a key responsibility of the Worshipful Master to be the Ambassador for his Lodge not only at this meeting but also around the Leeds and District I.M.A and elsewhere. There are now sufficient Founders to establish a Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge which will be consecrated later in the year, full details to follow.
Brother Nigel Norris rose to propose the Toast to the Charities which he accomplished in a refreshingly expeditious manner leaving the detail to the Elected member of the Charity Committee, W.Bro.Chris to expand upon. He began by confirming that the M.B.F. is essentially supported by the Festivals, where Provinces take their turn. However, in the case of the West Yorkshire Province, we have an additional string to our bow, the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust with a much tighter remit. The major event in the Province this year, commencing 12th May, is the Perimeter Perambulation involving 230 mile around the boundary of our Province. This is the idea of the Festival Chairman, V,W.Bro.Richard Puttrell who will be accompanied by W.Bro.Stephen Spooner, others are welcome to join them for all, or part, of a day and to provide support. If interested details are on the web site but Richard is to issue a more detailed itinerary in the next week or two. Finally, it is still a relatively low number who support by way of standing order, This is the most efficient and reliable course to follow especially if you are a tax payer and gift aid can be claimed. Please consider your present level of support and if possible increase but only give what you can afford.
Smile and be happy, you are all Mark Master Masons
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.