The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Archive November 2019

Wharfedale Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1027, Escorted Visit

November 7th gathering together from across the Province, Mark Master Masons heading for Westbourne House, some quicker than others. The reason, one of the worst days on record for rainfall in the Sheffield/ Doncaster area.. Well I could say so what as I was travelling north from Wakefield away from all the devastation. But unfortunately, W.Bro. Andrew Simpson, Worshipful Master of the Wharfedale Lodge had been working in Sheffield and was stuck.  Then the news, fortunately, that he had extracted himself and, much to the delight of W.Bro. Ian Cotton who already had his book out, had arrived.

Appropriately attired, he took the Chair and the Lodge was duly opened, minutes confirmed and, upon a report, the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro.John Vause was admitted. He advised that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton, was without and demanded admission; Andrew was delighted to confirm. W.Bro. Trevor then entered the Lodge with an escort of eighteen Officers of the year and took his seat. 

The task for the evening was to Demonstrate the Ceremony of Advancement, Brother Carl Woodier, a willing volunteer. Duly admitted he was placed under the care of the Senior Deacon, W.Bro. Andrew Wright who escorted him around the Lodge. Eventually, after the proper steps had been negotiated he was obligated by the WM and sent out to do some work.

Upon his return, he negotiated the Overseers, all performing in fine form, not a book in sight when, after satisfying the WM of his merit was introduced to the Signs and Secrets of the Degree by W.Bro. Andrew Wright. The Badge and Jewel were presented by W.Bro. John Colwell and the explanation by W.Bro. Stuart Prince; the working tools by W.Bro. David Hymas whence W.Bro John Colwell then returned to deal with the Warrant, Constitutions, Regulations  and Bye laws culminating in the Conclusion, one of the most meaningful pieces of Ritual that I have encountered. This reminds us of our Principles, that we must not only adopt but must practice in our daily lives and actions. Deeds Not Words  that is what makes us different All the aforementioned Brethren had dealt with their allotted tasks in exemplary fashion, a delight to behold. Remaining Agenda items concluded, the Lodge was closed.

A delightful festive board followed with yours truly being greedy and having two Mackerel Pate starters, ah but no desert, what a good boy. The Toast to the Province was in the hands of W.Bro. John Colwell, apparently for the fourth time which prompted him to conclude that he must find  an escape route otherwise he could find himself Proposing the toast for evermore. He concluded by saying that the Provincial Officers impressed with their commitment and willingness to support when called upon. In response W.Bro. Trevor  acknowledged W.Bro. John’s and hoped that he would be successful but did not offer any advice as to how it could be achieved. He thanked all the Brethren for the warmth of their welcome for what had been a wonderful ceremony. A special mention for W.Bro. Stuart Prince, D.C> of the Lodge but also President of the Bradford and District I.M.A. where he has been most conscientious in representing the I.M.A. around the Province, a lesson to others. The Almoners Lunch took place at Tapton Hall on Monday 4th November when one hundred and seventy eight Brethren, relatives and dependents attended. Very much enjoyed and confirmation that the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust continues to meet it’s objectives.

He then drew attention to the following:

Masquerade ball at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley on Saturday, 30th November,  now canceled , problems at venue

Annual Carol Service that will again be held at Brighouse Methodist Church on Sunday, 8h December.

Smile, be happy, you are a Mark Master Mason.

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

A Memorable celebration of ‘Sixties Music’ in the company of John Whitworth

As part of his Charitable Fundraising activities, W. Bro. John assisted by his hard- working wife Carol, held two concerts at Pontefract Masonic Hall. These were on the 26th October, when forty-nine attended and the 2nd November when the Hall was virtually full with seventy-eight eager to have a sing along. They included Mark Master Masons and their Ladies but also members of a Choir where John is a member. As usual it began at 7 o’clock ending at 10.40 approx with a break for supper, a delicious Meat Pie, mushy peas and mash – just the right mix for a cold wet evening.

The opening number was “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – give yourself a pat on the back for remembering John Denver, “By Bye Love”, “Calendar Girls” and “Batchelor Boy” followed, Cliff fans giving full voice there. A real classic “California Dreaming” brought back memories of Mamma Cass, whilst the 1962 hit for John Leyton had most of us singing “Johnny Remember Me”, – yes I will always remember that one, couldn’t help myself, finishing with Donovan and “Jennifer Juniper”.

All the activity gave rise to an alcoholic taster and supper before John was hard at work again with part two and the “Streets of London” made famous by Ralph McTell. “Raindrops keep falling on my head” was next, made famous by Sacha Distel but it was written by Burt Bacharach for the film, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid. We then had a Eurovision Song Contest winner, can you remember when we used to have success near the top? “Puppet on a String” by Petula Clark. “Mr Tambourine Man” followed with “Sweet Caroline” – no need to tell you Neil Diamond, brought the evening to a close.

The numbers had been interspersed with some stand-up comedy that was well received and some anecdotes concerning members of the audience. At one stage John urged W.Bro. Ian Lewis, Prov. G.S.W not to say anything about something that had happened in the past, RED RAG; what he was referring to was a Lodge Ladies Night at Castleford that he attended dressed in a Kilt to perform the Ladies song. Unfortunately, as he stood on the table during the singing of the last verse Ian’s wife Mel. looking up. was given quite a shock but after composing herself said “No problem – I do not have a magnifying glass with me!”.

A cheque was presented to the Festival Fund in the sum of £1330, John has now raised over £150,000 for charities in general and £35,000 for Mark Charities. His personal contribution in fundraising for the 2023 MBF festival now stands at £17,000.

What a Star! Now for next year….

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

Installation, James Bramley Morley Lodge of M.M.M. No. 1905

The culmination of a year that the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. John Edward Ryder Davies can be proud of as Brethren gathered at Blenheim House on the 6thNovember. This was to witness him passing the reins to the Senior Warden, Bro. Martin Wallace in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. who, after the opening procedures was, upon a report, admitted accompanied by W.Bro. Sam Carris, Elected member of the Charity Executive.

The main event followed with Bro. Martin presented by W.Bro. Gerald Wilde, the appropriate questions answered.  W.Bro. John then thanked his Officers for all their support, also the visitors who had stepped in the breach when necessary, a nice thoughtful touch . Brethren then withdrew and W.Bro Martin was obligated in his own inimitable style by John. Signs and Secrets communicated, Badge and Collar endowed whereupon he was placed in the Chair of the Lodge and saluted appropriately. 

Brethren then returned and W..Bro. Martin was proclaimed WPM. of the James Brimley Lodge No. 1905 for the ensuing year W. Bro Stephen Wood then provided an explanation of the Working Tools, excellent delivery.  W. Bro. John then completed his task by, entrusting the Warrant of the Lodge to Martin’s safe keeping  and delivered the Constitutions and Regulations together with the Bye laws. The Key Stone Jewel was then explained by W. Bro. Michael Minna, a delight to hear,  and, finally, the R.P.M. passed the Grand Patron Collateral to his successor.

Addresses were then delivered, all in impressive style as follows;

Worshipful Master,​W.Bro. Stepehen Wood,

Wardens,​​​W.Bro. John Davis,​​​

Overseers, ​​​W.Bro. Paul Cooke and

Brethren, ​​​R.W.Bro. James Steggles.

W.Bro. Michael Taylor then  had the pleasure of presenting the Past Masters Jewel to W.Bro. John stressing that John had done himself and the Lodge proud by taking on the duty at eighty eight years of age, and was an example to all.. The remaining agenda items dealt with , the Lodge was closed.

After a most welcome Lunch, the Toast to the PGM was submitted by W.Bro. Martin who expressed pleasure that R.W.Bro Jim  had found the time , in a very bust diary, to be with them. He recalled that the last time was the dedication of the Lodge Banner. Responding R.W.Bro. Jim remembered the Consecration of the Lodge, the first W.M. being R.W.Bro. Philip Birch. It had ben anticipated that members would come from existing Loges but the majority are new members to the Mark Degree We are now moving forward with the 4 R’s initiative and it is vital that all Brethren seize this opportunity to ensure the future prosperity of the Order. The following reminders were then given, please note;

Masquerade ball at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley on Saturday, 30th November, now cancelled, due to a problem at the venue   

Annual Carol Service that will again be held at Brighouse Methodist Church on Sunday, 8h December.

The Toast to the Charities was then provided by W. Bro . John Davis who emphasised that we are fortunate to have our own Charity, the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, unique throughout the country. Responding, W,Bro. Sam confirmed that the Trust is meeting its obligations one hundred and eighty Brethren and dependants at the last almoners Lunch. Additionally, during the last year a total of fifty four thousand pounds has been spent on Brethren and worthy causes. It is also important to note that all our Lodges must pull together and help each other to attain Grand Patron Gold Award which will ensure that the Province qualifies, keep up the good work.

Finally a word of thanks to two Masters in the Chair who took notice of the entreaties of the Provincial Grand Master and met their responsibilities of visiting other Lodges and representing their own Lodge in the process. W.Bro. John Pringle. Legioleum Lodge and W.Bro. John Fitzpatrick, Caldene Lodge, thank you to both., others take note

Smile, be happy, you are a Mark Master Mason

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager