A most pleasurable evening was enjoyed by the Brethren and four visitors at the Installation of Brother David Kenyon into the Commanders Chair at Hipperholme Lodge of RAM No.715 on Friday , 26th April 2009. The proceedings were graced by the attendance of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield who was offered the Sceptre by the Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother Andrew Beardsall but courteously declined.
The first item was not on the Agenda, it being a eulogy in respect of, recently departed, Brother Lawrence Crabtree. This was in the very safe hands of Past Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Brian Batty who reminded all that Bro.Lawrence only joined the Lodge some two years ago but was a keen and committed Freemason, a competent ritualist who delivered from the heart, I doubt you can pay a higher tribute than that to anyone. The Brethren stood to order in respect of departed merit.
The stage was then set and W.Bro.Michael Bastow presented the Commander Elect who dutifully answered the questions posed. He was then obligated in fine form by W.Bro.Andrew, in excellent fashion, the Signs and Secrets were explained and he was presented with the Badge and Collar of his Office by W.Bro.Andrew who then placed him in the Chair of the Lodge. The Assembly of Royal Ark Mariners was closed and the Brethren admitted, saluted the newly Installed Commander and took their seats. The final detail was then despatched with the Warrant entrusted to the care of W.Bro.David together with the Constitutions and regulations, Bye laws and the Key stone Collaret which he is to wear on all Royal Ark Mariner occasions, one of those being next years Provincial Grand lodge at Bradford where he will represent Hipperholme RAM in the delegation of R.A.M.Lodges. The Address to the Worshipful Commander then fell to W.Bro.David Leach who, effectively at a moments notice, conveyed the piece, word perfect; I was not surprised , he is a member of Peace RAM No.681, I also, and he could probably do the whole Ceremony himself in the same fashion, very talented.
The Past Commanders Jewel was then delivered to W.Bro.Andrew by R.W.Bro.Brian, they do work their Past Commanders hard at this Lodge. It transpired that Brian had known Andrew when he became a Freemason some ten years ago during which time he has been through the Chair in Craft, Mark and now Royal Ark Mariner, both of the latter where Brian was his proposer, Chapter must be just around the corner. Actually I lie, he is going in the Craft Chair again! A committed and determined Mason, he had fully discharged the duties of his Office and was a fine ambassador for the Lodge. Andrew responded appropriately. The remaining agenda items dealt with, the Lodge was closed and the Festive Board was eagerly anticipated. This lived up to expectation with a main course of Gammon , Egg , pineapple and chips, no need for any more..
The toast to the Province was given by W.Bro.David, effectively formal in nature, to which W.Bro.Alan responded. He began by congratulating W.Bro.David in attaining the Chair only some two years plus after having been elevated, and no that is not the fastest I have ever known! Alan then grasped the nettle and spoke to David and Andrew about the possibility of them both joining, probably the largest Lodge, in the North of England. I refer, of course, to the Carl Whitehead Lodge of installed Commanders No.110 for which they both qualify. Only two meetings a year and truly a day out with friends, both meetings are on a Saturday. Alan also drew attention to the Gala Christmas Ball which will be held again at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley on Saturday 30th November, the Carol Service which occurs on Sunday 8th December.
In respect of the Festival, the only major event this year is the Perimeter Perambulation, involving V.W.Bro.Richard Puttrell and W.Bro.Steven Spooner, over two hundred and thirty miles over thirteen days, well worthy of your support Finally, again for your diaries, the Consecration of a new Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge and the Dedication of a Provincial Royal Royal Ark Mariner Banner; dates for these will be announced shortly. There will also be a meeting of the joint Sheffield Lodges which will take place on 24th July where the P.G.M. will be doing the Secrets, he is quite good, you should be there!
The Junior Warden, Bro.Denis Habergham dealt comfortably with the Toast to the four visitors, the response being in the hands of the Provincial Photographer, W.Bro.Tony Mackrell aka David Bailey. Having congratulated David on attaining the Chair he mentioned the Cheese Boards that appeared a truly varied selection to suit any taste and a supreme exercise in artistic presentation, this Lodge is worth a visit just for that, you have been told, GO! The piece de resistance was when he congratulated all on dispensing with ritual books and relying on prompts. This had worked and, whilst not perfect, reminded him that Ark, which was built by Amateurs, survived, the Titanic was built by experts, enough said.
A lovely atmosphere with special people, what more do you want, get out and visit and that is a particular message to Commanders in the Chair, none of whom were present, the area usually reserved for their attendance, totally bare
Saluting the Quarter Deck upon departure, all safely navigated to their home Ports after another special evening of Royal Ark Mariner Masonry, Smile, Be happy.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.