‘Christmas Cometh’ and it starts at Portal Lodge of MMM No,127, 19th December 2019.

Yes, for me the absolute truth and I have been visiting Portal for around about 33 years to start the festivities singing Carols with the Brethren. Not just Carols as we also sing the Holmfirth Anthem, ‘Abroad for Pleasure’, not heard it, go to Barnsley next December and be enlightened. Another delight is ‘While Shepherds watched’ to the tune of Ikley Moor Bahtat’, or as W.Bro. David Sunderaland informed me , Cranbrook, yes that was the hymn to which it was originally sung.  

An excellent attendance, the Lodge was opened in fine style by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Tim Westlake and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield,  now well on the road to recovery after his second bout of knee surgery, was welcomed and received appropriate salutations. At this juncture the Treasurer, Worshipful Brother Roger Harvey woke up and the Accounts for the year ended 31st August 2019 were received but later, he gave notice that he would propose an increase in subscriptions from fifty five pounds to sixty pounds, still relatively modes in the light of some being seen in the Province. 

Remaining agenda items swiftly despatched. Any other business and W. Bro. Alan intervened and asked that W.Bro. Ralph Thornton be escorted to the floor, a visibly surprised Ralph I may add, He was then presented with the West Yorkshire Royal Ark Mariner Distinguished Service Award. A very singular honour, list of recipients in the Year Book, and undoubtedly well merited. Unusual for an honour in the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners to be awarded at a Mark meeting but perfectly in order and appropriate, Ralph is a longstanding Past Master of Portal Mark.  Brethren of Portal , why not follow Ralph’s lead have a word with one of the members of Portal RAM at your next meeting, we would be delighted to welcome you to the Fraternity.  

The Lodge was then closed and all adjourned to a most welcome festive Board and to set the seal on a superb evening by singing a number of carols and the Holmfirth anthem previously referred to, I was now ready for Christmas. The Toasts were smoothly and professionally expedited by the Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Ian Schofield to facilitate time for the carols. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master , W.Bro. Alan circulated details of the Provincial Sesquicentenary Jewel, the celebrations to take place in August 2021. It is requested that all should wear the Jewel at the event and they will be available at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in April 2020, cost £25.00. To ensure that none are disappointed, perhaps it would be sensible for Lodges to take orders from their Brethren, those at the meeting receive them at the time, remainder to be distributed.  Finally arrangements have been made with Crest Regalia for them to supply West Yorkshire Brethren at a discount of 20% which will be passed on to the Festival, look no further, details on the web site under the heading ‘Store’. The remaining Toasts completed, the raffle was drawn with W.Bro. Ian Booth taking first prize and choosing a golf item but he does not play golf! no matter he had decided that it was a cheap way of giving someone a Xmas present, Good thinking Boothy.

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

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith, PGSD.

Communications Manager.