The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Installed Masters AGM, Sept. 2019

The Annual General Meeting of the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters took place on Wednesday, 4th September, at Tapton Masonic Hall. Sadly by its own standards, there was a modest attendance and whilst we did welcome W.Bro.Stuart Prince, the President of the Bradford AIM, other than W.Bro.Les Davy, Treasurer of Leeds IMA, there were  none of the senior figures from the other two  Associations in evidence. . 

The Meeting was formally opened by the President, Worshipful Brother Chris Watson who welcomed the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. together with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master , W.Bro.Trevor Bolton  W. Bro.Chris then delivered his report saying that he had thoroughly enjoyed his year and thanked the Brethren of the Association for their support, particularly the Secretary, Worshipful Brother Mike Nowell and his team. One of the highlights was the Sincerity Combined Sheffield Lodges meeting together with the Tapton Sunday Lunch; on the downside, for other Masonic reasons, he never managed to visit Danum, the only one he missed.

W.Bro.Duncan Smith then gave the Secretary’s report in the absence of Mike Nowell , his flight times back from Florida having been changed. He was very grateful for all the help he had received and pleased with Carvery Sunday lunch at Tapton, He reminded all present that it was his intention to relinquish the appointment upon the completion of 10 years which will occur September 2020, assuming he is returned tonight, (which did happen). He also paid tribute to both W.Bro.Alex Geddes, Past President for all his work with the Combined Lodges initiative and particularly, W.Bro.james Ambler whose brain child it was. Finally a reminder to all Brethren to attend SYAIM Lodge visits, especially the Presidential trio, this to include the AGM’s of the three other Associations, It is a responsibility of the Presidential Team to set the example to the membership  bearing in mind that visiting is the raison d’etre of the  Associations.

The President then invested his successor, wishing him a very happy and successful year in Office, the new Team being; 

President,  W. Bro. Alan Corbridge, Integrity Lodge.

Senior Vice President, W. Bro.David Sunderland, Portal Lodge

Junior Vice President,W.Bro.John Bulliman

W.Bro.Mike Nowell, upon a proposition was duly confirmed as Secretary for another year, with Brother Steven Hides as Treasurer and W.Bro.James Ambler as Assistant Secretary.  A Donation of £5000 was then given by Alan to the PGM who promptly delivered to the V.W.Bro.Richard, Chairman of the Festival Committee.

In his address R.W.Bro.Jim began by congratulating W.Bro. Corbridge and the rest of the team upon their appointments, with a particular reference to the Secretary, W.Bro. Michael Nowell for all his efforts and he wished them all a happy and successful year. He then drew attention to the 4 R’s initiative sponsored by Grand lodge,, Recruitment, Retention, Re-invigoration and Retrieval which has been disseminated to Lodge Secretaries , responsibility for which lies with our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro.Alan Oldfield.  The implementation of this strategy is crucial in ensuring that the ‘Magic of the Mark’ continues to shine brightly in the Masonic firmament, give it your all Brethren. A presentation has already taken place, given by V,W,Bro. Dr.Rod Taylor, seven visitors attended and two have already signed up, more power to his elbow.

Notes for your Diaries;

Friday, 27th September, Hipperholme Lodge of RAM No.71will host the Dedication Ceremony for the Provincial RAM Banner, this is the first, we do not have one at present.

Remembrance Day Sunday Lunch,  10th November at Westbourne House , Otley. 

Centenary meeting for Halifax Lodge of MMM. No.706.

Masquerade ball at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley on Saturday, 30th November, Overnight package selling out fast.

Also mentioned was the Annual Carol Service that will again e held at Brighouse Methodist Church on Sunday, 8h December.

Much to keep you occupied and entertained over the next year, What a joy to be a Mark Master Mason but particularly in West Yorkshire, Smile and be happy. 

W. Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

Bradford and District Installed Masters Association, A.G.M., 8th May 2018

The 37th Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at Westbourne House, Otley in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles,G.M.R.A.C, accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield.

The retiring President, Worshipful Brother Keith Berry opened proceedings  and the early agenda items were swiftly despatched  where upon it was his responsibility to deliver the Presidents address. Despite living in one of the true outposts of our Province, W Bro.Keith represented the Association diligently and played a pivotal role in ensuring that there was greater support for some of the Lodges suffering low numbers. I am thinking particularly of White Rose which, I hope, is now over the worst and an an upward trajectory. 

The W. Bro.Keith then appointed his successor, the full team being;

President, W. .Bro. Stuart Prince of Wharfedale lodge No. 1027.

Senior Vice President, W.Bro.Richard Bleasedale of White Rose Lodge No.1067,

Junior Vice President. W. Bro. Kenneth Hill of St Hiev Lodge No.1079.

The Secretary and Treasurer, Worshipful Brother Tony Breckon, was unable to be present due to illness but I have spoken to him and he is very positive; he told me that he will continue in his joint Roles for another year, the Association are truly fortunate to have him onboard. The 2020 A.G.M. will be held at Westbourne House, Otley on the 13th May and a Sunday Lunch at the same venue on the 29th March.

Dates for your diaries; 

June 11th Communication of Grand lodge, Active and New appointees

Wednesday, 24th July, Combined Mark Lodges in Sheffield, under the banner of Sincerity Lodge of M.M.M. No.943, an advancement when some very special people will be showing us all how it should be done, format as for the inaugural event last year. Well worth seeing! 

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

Communications Manager

Leeds and District Installed Masters Association, A.G.M., July 2018

The hunger pangs dispersed with a delightful Festive Board, appropriate to the hot weather, the President, Worshipful Brother Richard Brown welcomed all present, particularly distinguished guests being the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton and well known bargee, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough. Also in attendance, and something I am delighted to report, were Worshipful Brother Steve Spooner, President of the Huddersfield, Halifax and Districts Installed Masters Association and his predecessor, Worshipful Brother John Davis. There were no representatives from either of the other two Associations and it is appropriate to remind all Officers of the Associations that there raison d’etre is to promote visiting, a good idea therefore to visit sister Associations Annual Meetings, they may reciprocate.

       The initial Agenda items addressed, W. Bro Richard then gave his end of year report.  He had visited most of the Lodges in his area whilst balancing work, family and other commitments, one being his role as an Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, He thanked all for their attendance, including the Social events, being a Luncheon and Gala Dinner and paid particular attention to the support from his Wife, Jayne and the Officers and representatives of the Association. During the year the Association has continued to present the incoming Master with a letter of encouragement urging them to be present at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting, Association visits and to set an example in delivering ritual without books, but always mindful of those Brethren with problems. This is an interesting initiative and one to be applauded, it is however a suggestion and it is up to each Lodge to make their own judgement.

The President then invested his successor wishing him a very happy and successful year in Office, the new Team being;

President,   W. Bro. Brian Smart, Ainsty Lodge.

Senior Vice President,  W. Bro.  David Keith, Castle Lodge.

Junior Vice President,  W. Bro. David Lees, Knaresborough Castle Lodge.

The remaining Officers were then appointed, no changes, Secretary  Worshipful Brother Gerry Barker, W. Bro. Les Davy was re appointed as Treasurer with W. Bro. Ian Tillett continuing as Assistant Secretary and W. Bro. David Todd continuing as Assistant Treasurer.

The President, W. Bro. Brian then thanked the Brethren, it being a privilege and honour to be President and he was looking forward to a most enjoyable year with the support of the Officers and Brethren.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield then addressed the meeting and began by congratulating the President and his newly installed Team; also thanking W. Bro. Richard for all that he had done over the past year. He emphasised that a key objective of the Associations was that of visiting, a fundamental reason behind the original founding of the IMA’s. which were the idea of Worshipful Brother Frank Goodall Whitworth during the time that Right Worshipful Brother Carl Whitehead was Provincial Grand Master. Past Masters charge incoming Worshipful Brethren as ambassador of the Lodge to support IMA visits with Wardens, and brethren, friendships are made  which last a lifetime. The P.G.M. has mentioned in his address at Provincial Grand Lodge that Brethren should try to learn the ritual,  Reading from a book does not give the correct impression to our Candidates who will think they can do the same which is not healthy for our order. We must  remember that, whilst it is the ideal situation to perfect our ritual, we have to recognise that there may be good reasons why a few individuals are unable to learn the words and encourage them to do their best, nothing more.  Unfortunately the proposed Fayre and Barbecue on the 5th August had to be cancelled as contractual complications were arising due to the lack of confirmed numbers. A similar situation was evident in respect of the Variety Show because we, as Freemasons, are habitual late bookers. Unfortunately, in the real world, where contracts are involved decisions regarding the viability of these events have to be made We have several hard-working Provincial and Lodge committees trying to find ways of Fund raising, organising events only to be let down because we didn’t get on and send in the booking. Perhaps we can all try to adjust our thinking during this festival period. If you like the look of it, well get on and book it. Remember Brethren we are all in this together for the fun and enjoyment, we have a wonderful organisation, please remember: Freemasonry makes better men out of men, through the magic of the Mark, Mark Masonry makes better Masons of Masons.

A most enjoyable evening, Smile, be happy and do not forget, Enjoy your Mark Master Masonry.

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

Communications Manager

Bradford and District Installed Masters Association, A.G.M. , 9th May 2018

The 36th Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at Keighley Masonic hall, Cooke Street Keighley in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles,G.M.R.A.C. A total of  21 were present, coincidentally the exact same number as in 2017 and it is appropriate that a further reminder be given that Masters in the Chair should attend and represent their Lodges together with the Lodge Association representative.

The retiring President, Worshipful Brother David Howe opened proceedings  and the early agenda items were swiftly despatched  where upon it was his responsibility to deliver the Presidents address. He had enjoyed a fruitful year visiting every Lodge in the Association at least twice and emphasised that, in his opinion, visiting is at the heart of Freemasonry, especially in the Mark degree, I am sure that we all concur. His Sunday Lunch had proved very successful with thirty nine attendees but he felt that more should be done, especially by Senior Past Masters to encourage younger Brethren and take an interest in their welfare, once again spot on.

The W. Bro. David then appointed his successor, the full team being;

President, W .Bro. Keith Berry

Senior Vice President, W.Bro. Stuart Prince, unfortunately absent with work commitments and

Junior Vice President. W. Bro. Richard Bleasedale

The Secretary and Treasurer, Worshipful Brother Tony Breckon, was once again re-appointed and, surprisingly appointed as Assistant Secretary was Worshipful Brother Edward Wilkinson , sadly absent, and hung out to dry by his friends!! At the A.G.M. in 2017 , W,Bro. Edward had been appointed Honorary Provincial Seconder, but not being present, the void was filled by Worshipful Brother Andrew Jagger who obliged, always on behalf of W.Bro. Edward as seconder or proposer, of virtually all the motions, that for Assistant Secretary by W.Bro. Andrew Johnson and, you guessed it, seconded by W.Bro. Andrew. The  2019 A.G.M. will be held at Westbourne House, Otley  on the 8th May and a Sunday Lunch at the same venue on the 7th April.

The P.G.M. then addressed the meeting beginning by congratulating W. Bro. Keith as President and the rest of the Team. The I.M.A.’s have become pillars of the Province and we must encourage them in their endeavours as they are a key component of the communication channels.  Brethren were reminded of the changes in the June and September meeting=s of Grand Lodge and cautioned that if you wish to attend, notice must be given to Grand Lodge, it will be acknowledged.  R.W.Bro. Jim again stressed that Masters in the Chair have a clear obligation as part of the Role to represent their Lodges in the I.M.A. and wider in the Province, particularly at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge to be held on Saturday 13th April in Bradford. They are ambassadors for the Lodge  and Senior Past Masters should ensure that this is drawn to their attention, Finally, whilst Charity is a most important aspect of our work we must not lose sight of the moral standards that we support thereby seeking to make better ‘Men of Men’.

 Dates for your diaries, 21st June, Provincial Banner dedication at Britannia Lodge of M.M.M.No. 53, Wednesday, 25th July, Combined Mark Lodges in Sheffield, under the banner of Escafeld Lodge of M.M.M. No.1139, an advancement when some very special people will be showing us all how it should be done , both of these at Tapton hall, and on l5th August, a Sunday barbecue organised by the Social Committee at the ‘Mercure’ Hotel, Bingley.

A most enjoyable meeting rounded off, whist driving home,,with the news that Huddersfield Town A.F.C. had preserved their Premiership status, Brethren it does not get better than this.

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