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.
On the 26th June the Commander of Old York lodge of RAM T.I. W.Bro Keith Watson and three of the crew, W.Bros Jagger ,Johnson and Wilkinson, cruised into the south of the Province in order to dock at Portal Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 127. What a day to arrive, not only was it the installation but also the 30th anniversary of its consecration. With the presence of the Admiral of the Fleet, R.W.Bro.James Steggles,G.M.R.A.C. and Rear Admiral Brian Batty PProv.GM ,both welcoming the visiting crewmen aboard it looked like it was going to be a good night .
After a necessary explanation of the means of retreat in case of fire given by the scribe, W.Bro.Ian Yates, the Lodge was opened in due form by the Commander W.Bro.Shaun Keighley. Those who know Shaun are aware that, during his tenure of office in the last two years, he has been a regular visitor to Royal Ark Mariner Lodges throughout the Province and it was nice, in some part, to repay him by visiting on his last night .
The Main business was to install Bro.Trevor Hurd as Commander for the ensuing year, this was done in an exemplary fashion by W.Bro.Shaun. The brethren were called back into the lodge and after acknowledging W.Bro. Trevor as Commander showed us a demonstration of how, in the south of the Province, the brethren do the Hokey Cokey round the triangle; with W.Bro. Duncan Smith being the DC in charge it promised to be a night of fun and frolics .
Having brought the junior crewmen under control W.Bro.Duncan Smith gave the address to the Worshipful Commander in an exemplary manner as did W.Bro.Charles Lindsay as he explained the Keystone Jewel. The exposition was given by W.Bro.Ian Yates, a brilliant performance that impressed W.Bro R.E Wilkinson so much that he decided to approach him and suggested that if he ever jumps ship he will be welcome at Old York RAM. W.Bro.George Herd was then welcomed as a re-joining member.
An Excellent ceremony well worth the voyage to the south and, In the mess below decks, we were amply fed and watered as is the custom at Barnsley Docks.
With the Admiral of the Fleet, the PGM responding to his toast, he informed us that henceforth only three recommendations for RAMGR will be available for the Province, however with this Province he is able to give the West Yorkshire Royal Ark Mariner Distinguished Service Award and he congratulated the Lodge on attaining 30 years with some of the Founders still attending .
With the Commander and Immediate Past Commander both giving speeches about each others virtue in the role, the toast to the visitors was proposed by Bro Roger B Harvey Junior Warden and ably responded to by W.Bro Phillip Holmes (not Michael ) of Wentworth Lodge of RAM No53. The raffle, which raised £93.00, was then drawn by the Admiral, of the Fleet, the PGM who promptly drew himself the winning ticket !!
All in all a very good night and well worth visiting in the future, the brethren of Portal Lodge made all the visitors very welcome. The Cleckheaton Mafia renewed old friendships and retired home happy .No wonder visiting is at the heart of our order.
This article is courtesy of the Old York Mafia, W,Bro.Keith Watson W.Bro.Andrew Jagger aka ‘Dame Evadne Hinge, W.Bro.Ed Wilkinso, aka ‘Ant’ and W.Bro.Andrew Johnson aka ‘Dec’, sadly ‘Hilda Bracket’, W.Bro. Mike Holgate not in attendance. Absolutely delighted to receive this from them, particularly as I was involved, no way I could do a report. I now look forward to more of you following this LEAD, I HOPE!