The ground in sparkling condition, the turnstiles closed and an excellent crowd assembled, the current skipper, W.Bro.John Fred Clough opened proceeding. He began by welcoming the Representative of R.W.Bro.James Steggles G.M.R.A.C, the leader of the West Yorkshire branch of the Rugby Football League, W.Bro. Dr.Rod Taylor, Past.Asst.PGM, a keen observer but not renowned for his sporting pursuits, who was looking forward to a quality encounter.
Attention turned to the main business, the Installation of a new Skipper. W.Bro.John pointed out that when they met a year ago they had twenty eight members, now risen to thirty eight and he was sure that W.Bro. Warren would prove a very safe pair of hands and not drop the ball too much! W.Bro.Warren was now ready to take a RAM Chair for the third time in two years, a short form ceremony, he recited his obligation, received the Collar and Jewel of his Office and was placed in the Chair by W,Bro.John in fine form and a credit to all. The Assembly of Installed Commanders was closed and the Brethren admitted following which Officers for the ensuing year were then appointed and Invested. The exposition was in the hands of R W..Bro.Bob Clancey whose presentation was moving and gave full meaning to the text; finally, W.Bro. Edward Wilkinson, member of the ‘Cleckheaton Mafia’ gave the Address to the Worshipful Commander, maintaining the high standard that had gone before.
W.Bro. John Vause then took the floor to present a Past Commanders jewel to W.Bro. John, the first in the Lodge which was consecrated one year ago, who was one of the prime movers in establishing the Lodge. A ballot was then taken for a new member who will be elevated in June 2020 and a joining member, anyone else out there who wishes to pick up the ball and run with it? The remaining formalities despatched, the Lodge was closed and all adjourned.
The Toast to the Province was enthusiastically proposed by Bro. Rod Dyer, succinct and pertinent, ‘Bob On Rod’. Responding W,Bro, Dr.Rod congratulated all upon an excellent Ceremony, a true team effort. He then explained changes in the number of Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank awards available annually Heretofore numbers have been calculated on membership numbers which will now change to Members resulting in a reduction from five to three. It is the intention of the PGM to increase the number of West Yorkshire Royal Ark Mariner Distinguished Service Awards accordingly.
During the meeting, there was a proposal in Lodge that, if enough funds were raised they should purchase a 150th Anniversary Keystone Collaret. The raffle was successful, the monetary target achieved so after a year they have the necessary £1000 approx required. Great achievement.
I should record that during the Ceremony a mobile phone uttered it’s dulcet tones, who could that be? None other than the Provincial Photographer, W.Bro. Tony Mackrell. He was immediately shown a red card by the DC, W.Bro. Mark Holland but did not return to the dressing room? Perhaps they do not have any yellow cards and it was also a surprise that the Referee is a member of the Home team!!
As the legendary Eddie Waring would have said, ‘twere a reight good do’, not a single Up and Under in sight.