Recent times have been difficult for both St Hiev Lodge of MMM No. 1079 and White Rose Lodge of MMM No.1067 but not willing to throw in the towel, they decided to come together at the Masonic Hall, Bingley and share the six meeting dates; hence White Rose will meet Jan, Feb, and March, St Hiev Oct. Nov. and December. A most appropriate and innovative solution for both whose members can congregate at all six meetings giving rise, no doubt, to many evenings of Mark Masonic bonhomie.
Unfortunately all the necessary paper work had not been completed for the Installation meeting of White Rose on the 10th Feb, dispensation required. The St Hiev Lodge was opened first, under the stewardship of the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Ian Beardmore, minutes confirmed then the Lodge was promptly called off. The Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Bob Greening Jackson and the Officers of White Rose took post and the Lodge was opened in due form. A number of Agenda administration items were then dealt with culminating in a ballot for six joining members who had come together, with the encouragement of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. Trevor Bolton, to provide some support. The ballot proving positive, W. Brothers Mick Ricketts, Mike Nowell, Jim Stanley, Paul Leach, Alan Corbridge and myself were admitted and took our places.
Upon a report, the Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown was admitted and announced that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. Alan Oldfield was without whereupon an Escort was formed and he entered accompanied by Worshipful Brother Paul Levey, Elected Member of the Charity Committee; salutations followed.
Focus now turned to the Installation of Worshipful Brother David Steel, Secretary of the Lodge for many years who will celebrate Fifty years as a Mark Mason in 2021, a singular honour for him to be in the chair of the Lodge at that time. He was duly obligated by W.Bro. Bob, presented with the collar and jewel of his Office and duly placed in the Chair. The Brethren were then admitted and W,Bro. David was proclaimed the Worshipful Master of the White Rose Lodge of MMM No. 1067 for the ensuing year. The appointment of the Officers then took place, no surprises, all six Joining members put to work but a mention for the Senior Warden, W.Bro. Richard Bleasdale. At present he is the Senior Vice President of the Bradford and Diastrct I.M.A. and, all being well , will be the President this coming May. The Addresses were delivered as follows; to the Worshipful Master by W.Bro. John Brooke, to the Wardens by W.Bro. Keith Grandison, to the Overseers by W.Bro. Sam Cariss and the Brethren by the Asst.Prov.G.M., W.Bro Trevor Bolton, all in fine style. W.Bro. Richard Bleasdale presented W.Bro. Bob with his Past Masters Jewel commenting that he had collared him for White Rose having found that he had been advanced many years earlier but had not been able to attend, good thinking Richard. The remaining agenda items attended, the Lodge was closed. At this juncture W.Bro. Ian resumed his station with his Officers and Brethren, the Lodge was called back on; the outstanding items were despatched and St Hiev Lodge closed in due form.
The Festive board was well received by all and Bro. Howard Thompson, Junior Warden, had the honour of proposing the Toast to Province where he undoubtedly set the right tone. He praised the Provincial officers for the assistance they provide to all on their masonic journey without which it would be a struggle; their support and understanding is very welcome, long may it continue. Responding, W.Bro. Alan congratulated both Lodges upon their collaboration paying particular note to the excellent atmosphere evident, could it be copied elsewhere?. He drew attention to the Sesquicentenary Jewel, meeting to be held in Harrogate 7th August 2021, l which will be available at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting on the 18th April. If not already in your diaries put it there and send in your booking forms for the meal. He had a Jewel with him which was passed around the Festive Board and which, somewhat to my surprise, actually found its way back to him. A reminder was also given in respect of the 4 R’s initiative, all Lodges should have a Co-ordinator
The toast to the Charities was in the hands of the Charity Steward, W.Bro. Sam who paid tribute to the Trustees, the 7 Elected members of the Charity Committee and Officers, a particular mention for Mrs Liz Nowell who is our Welfare Officer. The response was given by W.Bro. Paul who emphasised that the passage of funds to the MBF was not a one way street as during the past year support in excess of two hundred thousand pounds has been directed to worthy causes in West Yorkshire including a Support Vehicle for St. John Ambulance, a rapid response vehicle for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and, in April, a refurbished Barge for the Safe Anchor Trust. Whilst the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust is in good order, meeting all its obligations, donation by Standing order remains stubbornly rooted at 28%, give it some thought , a fiver a month will not be an issue to most, but with gift aid it does mount up! Additionally, any fundraising ideas, please. do not hesitate to contact the Festival Committee.
A wonderful evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all , a happy, smiling, throng of Mark Master Masons
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.