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.