The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

No Hiding place for W.Bro.Steven, he is now firmly up front at Cleeves Lodge of M.M.M. No.618

A most enjoyable meeting at Tapton Hall on Wednesday, 15th May to witness the Installation of Brother Steven Hides, this was in the company of thirty one visitors from fourteen Lodges, yes he is popular. Those present included the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, Worshipful Brother Alan Corbridge, Elected Member of the Charity Committee, Asst.P.G.A,D.C. W.Bro.Craig Kidd and eight attending from Escafeld, five from Vulcan and four from Britannia, excellent support , long may it continue. At this juncture I must also point out that three Masters in the Chair were present, they being, W.Bro.Michael Bunce Danum No. 398, W.Bro.John Smith, Sincerity No.943 and W.Bro.Terry Sweet, Vulcan No.1191, things are definitely on the up.

The Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro.John Hill and events speedily moved to Steven being presented by W.Bro.Michael Holmes, the necessary questions put and duly answered. Those below the rank of an Installed Master then took a short recess, the Installed Board was opened and W.Bro.John obligated his successor, the Signs and Secrets explained by Worshipful Brother Phillip Glover in excellent form, whereupon Worshipful Brother Steven was placed in the Chair of the Lodge. The Brethren then returned and witnessed W.Bro.Phillip present and explain the Working Tools , again in superb fashion. The Officers were Appointed and Invested, no surprises there, with their duties being explained by W.Bro.Steven the delivery of which was a joy to behold, the Dep.P.G.M., W.Bro.Alan actually commented upon it when giving greetings. The Addresses  were given as follows, to the Worshipful Master, W.Bro.John Hill, to the Wardens, W.Bro.Graham Crossland, to the Overseers, W,Bro.David Kirkham and to the Brethren, W.Bro Alan, Dep.P.G.M. The latter will forgive me for singling out W.Bro.Graham who, in his eighty second year, still possess a booming, stentorian delivery in his own inimitable style, truly a gem in the Cleeves firmament.

The business of the Lodge was now very much in the hands of W.Bro.Steven and he firstly called upon W.Bro.Frank Dewire who presented W.Bro.John with a Past Masters Jewel, and in doing so thanked him for ensuring that he had presided over a very happy Lodge;  a testament of which he should be proud. Remaining Agenda items completed, all adjourned for another Festive Board for which the Tapton Caterers are to be congratulated, which included a rather large, succulent Chicken breast, enough on it’s own. The Toast to Province was delivered by W.Bro.Phillip Glover who acknowledged the positive contribution of Provincial Officers particularly in stepping in when the need arises and always being available  with support and guidance, well it is called the crawlers Toast, but he was right. In response, W.Bro.Alan congratulated W.Bro.Steven upon his rapid rise to fame, he has been a Mark Master Mason some five years. He thanked all who had attended the Provincial Meeting for their support of both the Provincial Grand Master but also of the Province. Lessons had been learned in respect of some issues which did not quite go to plan and these will not recur. The Grand Lodge initiative covering  Recruitment, Retention and  Re-invigoration, to which has now been added retrieval will be rolled out in the Province and lodge Secretaries will be informed shortly; this is necessary to stem the downward trend in membership, but do not forget we are still renowned for our spirit of enjoyment, the Magic of the Mark making Better Men of Men and Mark Masons of Mark Masons.

The Toast to the Charities was submitted by W.Bro.John who having now vacated the Chair has picked up the reins as Charity Steward, He was the first to admit that he had a lot to learn and looked forward to hearing what W.Bro.Alan had to impart, Toast given. W.Bro.Alan began by confirming that, despite the income pressure caused by the Festival, the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust continues to meet all it’s obligations, Almoners Luncheon in April with another in November and the Annual Holiday at St Annes in June. His final words were ‘Thank you for all you have done for your Charity, keep it up’, hear hear. The only other comment I would make was the toast to the W.M, Steven given by W.Bro Michael, his proposer, they had originally met through Scouting.  He had found Steven to be a  committed and competent man who could not say no and for that he was very thankful. Steven, replying, thanked Michael from the bottom of his heart for the life changing advice which gave him a new direction culminating in today’, yes  a bit emotional but no apologies, it is what caring Men and Mark Masons do.

Brethren Smile, be happy, we are all Mark Master Masons.

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

Communications Manager

Success breeds Success at Aireferry Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1769, Installation meeting May 2019.

The Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Matthew Brelsford, was Installed for the second time in 2018 and sparked a significant revival in the fortunes of the Lodge. It brought forth three Elevations and two joining members, one after an absence of twenty years. This meeting was then advised that they now have a further four Candidates standing in the wings  one who will probably be held over to next year, success breeds success.

W.Bro.Matt opened the Lodge when V.W.Bro.Robert Corfield  then gave a short eulogy in respect of a titan of Mark Masonry, V.W.Bro.Sidney John Bruton Barlow, a Mark Master Mason of renown and the only one that I am aware of who acted as President for two Installed masters Associations, South Yorkshire and Hudds/Halifax and Districts. He is most certainly, not only missed by the Lodges of which he was a Member but also the West Yorkshire Province. Brethren stood in recognition of departed merit.

A report brought forth the Prov.A.G.D.C., W.Bro.John Gray who advised that the Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W.Bro.Mark Holland, accompanied by W.Bro.Alan Corbridge, Elected member of the Charity Committee, were eager to join the fray, they were promptly admitted. Next on the agenda to Proclaim W.Bro.Matt, Worshipful Master for the ensuing year which was efficiently dispatched by the Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro.Stuart Jobling. The Working Tools were presented and explained in fine style by W.Bro.Ken Beaumont and the Addresses delivered as follows;  Worshipful Master by V.W.Bro.Bob Corfield who also addressed the Overseers, in between, that to the Wardens was in the hands of W.Bro.Stuart and that to the Brethren by W.Bro. Mark, the last time in his year of which he can be very proud. One year I am sure that V.W.Bro.Bob will do all the addresses, that would be a  piece to savour. The remaining business of the evening was then speedily completed and the Festive Board beckoned.

The Toast to the Province was given on this occasion by the W.M., W.Bro.Matt who immediately struck the right note saying that the Province is blessed with Rulers of supreme quality supported by Provincial Grand Lodge Officers, totally committed and eager to be of assistance. W.Bro.Matt is already a Provincial Officer, no crawling necessary but I suppose that he was looking to the future. Responding, W.Bro.Mark thanked all who had attended the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand lodge, a display of the ‘Magic of the Mark’. He also thanked the Almoners, Charity Stewards, Treasurers and Secretaries on behalf of the Provincial Grand master, they ensure that the wheels of Mark Masonry continue to turn. Finally, a reminder, do not forget to use your Mark when signing the Register.

The Toast to the Charities  was in the hands of W.Bro Mick Ricketts who left the detail to W.Bro.Alan, but thanked all the hard working Mark masons giving freely of their time for the benefit of the Charities. W.Bro.Alan emphasised that, despite numerous reminders, only 28% of Brethren contribute by standing order, the most efficient method of giving, perhaps time for each of us to reflect upon the Principles of the Order. The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust  continues to meet its obligations with one hundred and seventy five Brethren, relatives and dependants attending the April Almoners Lunch and forty five will be enjoying the holiday to St Annes in June.

Finally the responder to the Visitors Toast was Worshipful Brother Steven Hides on his first visit having been Installed in the Chair of Cleeves Lodge No.618. He congratulated W.Bro.Mark Holland upon his address to the Brethren saying it was the best that he had ever heard, a quick re-think, whoops it was the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro.Alan who had given-the address at his own Installation two weeks earlier. Do not worry Steven nobody will tell him.

Another joyful Mark Masonic occasion. I keep saying it but we are lucky!!  

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

Communications Manager

Vulcan Lodge of Mark Master Masons, Installation 29th April 2019. At last the tide may be turning?

A special night at Tapton Hall for the Installation of Brother Terry Sweet but also, and supremely welcome, the attendance of four Masters in the Chair. The Provincial Grand Master, his fellow Rulers and Representatives have been encouraging Masters to meet this responsibility of their Office for a long time but it has now borne fruit, please let us have the same at Cleeves No.618 On Wednesday, 15th May, the Master elect, Steven Hides ,was also present.  See photo below, they were as follows;

W.Bro.John Smith​​​, Sincerity Lodge No.943,

W.Bro.Matthew Brelsford​​, Aireferry No.1769,W

W.Bro.Charles Drury​, ​Escafeld No.1139 and

W.Bro.Malcolm Roe​​​, Lascelles No.987.

A young team at the helm at Vulcan, including the Wardens, the Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro.Mark Rothman assisted by his I.P.M., W.Bro. Graham Littlewood, The dispensation in respect of the date change was read and, upon a report, the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother John Vause was admitted and advised that the Provincial Grand Senior Warden, Worshipful Brother Mark Holland, accompanied by W.Bro.Chris Oldfield, Elected member of the Charity Committee, wished to join the party, this was enthusiastically received and they took their places. The W.M. then made the appropriate enquiries of Bro.Terry and receiving satisfactory replies moved on, Brethren below the Rank of a Worshipful Master were asked to leave and an Installed Board opened. Bro.Terry returned and was duly obligated by W.Bro.Mark, the Signs and Secrets of an Installed Master delivered, he was invested with the Collar and Badge of his office and placed in the Chair. The working Tools were then delivered by the Junior Warden, Bro..Steven Stones in a clear and professional manner whereupon W.Bro.Mark concluded with the transfer of the Warrant of the Lodge, Constitutions, Bye Laws, the Keystone Collaret and Lodge Grand Patron Collaret. 

The addresses were then in the hands of the following who can be very proud of a job well done;

Worshipful Master​​, ​​W.Bro.Graham Littlewood

Wardens​​​​​, W.Bro.Alex Geddes,

Overseers​​​, ​​W.Bro.David hayes and

Brethren​​​​​, W.Bro.Mark Holland.

The latter was superb throughout, including the Festive Board and has found the exposure of this high profile office to his liking, he can be very pleased with himself, congratulations Mark.. A surprise to all followed, especially to W.Bro,Graham who found himself conducted to the floor of the Lodge and presented, by W.Bro.Chris, with his personal Grand Patron Collaret, Gold Award beckons.

The Lodge closed, the Festive Board awaited and  did not disappoint, the highlight for me, Lamb Hotpot, worth the wait. The Toast to the Province was in the hands of W.Bro.Graham  who recognised the assistance provided by the Provincial Grand Lodge Officers. They are readily available to step in to any Office and provide advice and direction second to none, a big thank you for all you do. W,Bro,Mark Holland in response congratulated W,Bro.Terry and trusted that he would have a very happy year in Office, and to bear in mind his responsibility to be an ambassador for his Lodge in visiting other Lodges, particularly those in the S.Y.A.I.M. He then thanked all who had attended the Annual Provincial Meeting supporting both the Province and the Provincial Grand Master. It will be held again at Bradford Grammar School in 2020 on Saturday 18th April. At the meeting, V.W.Bro.Edward Patnick was honoured, and very surprised, to receive the Provincial Grand Masters Award, richly deserved. Mark then thanked the D.C.Team for their floor work which he likened to an excerpt from Strictly Come Dancing, choreographic excellence, remember he was a Provincial A.D.C. Finally he thanked all the Officers of the Lodge who give freely and tirelessly of their time both for the Lodges and the Province.

In presenting the Toast to the Charities, W.Bro.Alex correctly made the point we keep both the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and the M.B.F. at the forefront of our minds to ensure support is available when required. W.Bro.Chris confirmed that the C & W continues to meet it’s obligations two Almoners Luncheons will be held this year, one has already taken place, and the Holiday to St Annes is in June. Festivals are, of course, the primary source of income for the M.B.F., please bear that in mind when providing your support for the ‘Perimeter Perambulation’, 231 miles around the boundaries of the Province, which Richard Puttrell and Steven Spooner are doing on our behalf. Chris then encouraged Brethren to use standing orders as a tax efficient, easy way of contributing. He recognised that by and large he was probably speaking to the converted but if there are those out there who have yet to make the step, come and join us NOW!

A wonderful evening of Mark Masonic Magic. 

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

Communications Manager

A Drury Family affair at the Installation of Escafeld Lodge No.1139, Tuesday 9th April 2019

A very well attended Installation at Tapton, many of the glitterati in attendance, principally because ‘mine host’, W.Bro.Philip had invited most of us as his guests and we were delighted to join him. This was a special night where W.Bro.Philip installed his son, Brother Charles Drury in the Chair of Escafeld Lodge , a moment that both have been looking forward to for some time.

Firstly Philip had to work for his supper, the opening procedures were covered , initial agenda items taken, minutes confirmed, two account examiners appointed, two Trustees appointed when there was a report. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother John Vause was admitted and announced that the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles  G.M.R.A.C. was  without and demanded admission. No argument, he duly entered flanked by the Dep.P.G.M. W.Bro.Alan Oldfield, Asst.P.G.M.Trevor Bolton, Past.P.G.M.Jim Truswell and a retinue of other Officers. He was offered the Gavel which he courteously refused saying that, in words we all recognise, use it as not abusing it and maybe we will all go on our way rejoicing.  Salutations followed, by my reckoning six minutes approx., it is at this time you realise just how far down the food chain you are!

Bro.Charles was presented by the D.C. W.Bro. Tony Hobson and the appropriate questions posed by Philip and answered in due from by Charles.; he was then duly obligated , the signs and secrets inculcated and invested with the Collar and Badge of his Office as the Worshipful Master of Escafeld Lodge of M.M.M. No.1139. Truly this was a case of following in Fathers footsteps but let us hope he does not take that literally, we do not need another Provincial Grand Toilet Attendant!. The Working Tools were then well delivered by W.Bro.Cliffiord Watson as were the Warrant, Constitutions and Bye Laws.  by W.Bro,Philip. after a delay when W.Bro.Tony had to seek out copies, after which he also presented the Keystone Collaret. Appointment and Investiture of Officers followed, no surprises, with W.Bro.’Dad’ having been appointed I.P.M.  The Addresses were delivered by;

Worshipful Master​​​​W.Bro.Philip

Wardens​​​​​W.Bro.Brian Richardson,

Overseers​​​​​W.Bro.John Maxwell and

Brethren​​​​​R.W.Bro.Jim,

all of which were beautifully presented but this was where the inevitable occurred. W.Bro.Philip is a very caring and often emotional man and this came through when Bro Dad was addressing Bro.Son, a wonderful moment and one of which they can both have great pride, I was nearly in tears, a superb ceremony, enjoyed by all present,

There then remained two Grand Lodge Certificates to present to Bro.Richard Morley and Bro.John Allsop, both superbly, and very sincerely, handled by the P.G.M., R.W.Bro.Jim, moments that will live with the Brethren concerned for the remainder of their Masonic careers.

Finally I am delighted to report that we had further evidence that the exhortations of our Rulers appear to be having an effect. Two visiting Masters present, W.Bro.Jim Wilson of Eland Lodge No.493 and W.Bro.Stephen Ward of Portal Lodge No.127. A plea to the Tapton Mark Lodges,  a number of Brethren have complained to me about the numbers of visitors at their Lodge,  and yet there were precious few of you at this meeting. Visit one another, it could have an explosive effect!

The Festive Board was well received, not unusual these days at Tapton, a quality repast at a fair price. W.Bro.Charles submitted the toast to R.W.Bro.Jim who always appeared happy and relaxed, giving the impression that it was more a meeting of friends, very true, he was also happy to take part in the ceremony and our P.G.M does have a calm air about him that benefits all. Responding R.W.Bro.Jim reflected upon the wonderful experience of a Father installing his Son, many of us no doubt wish we could be in Philip’s shoes. Good things happening in the Lodge with Grand Patron Gold Award and candidates thanks to the commitment and dedication of the stalwarts of the Lodge. He hoped that they would be able to find a candidate for this year as it does enhance the term of the W.M. In respect of the Festival, the only major event this year is the Perimeter Perambulation involving V.W.Bro.Richard Puttrell and  W.Bro.Steven Spooner over two hundred and thirty miles over thirteen days, well worthy of your support Brethren However it will be the small events which will swell the coffers, coffee mornings, Sunday Lunches etc, more power to your elbow. 

W.Bro.James Reynolds proposed the Toast to the Charities thanking all those involved over the years who had made the Cleeves and Whitehead so successful, recognised as the Jewel in the Crown of mark Master Masonry in West Yorkshire. We are indeed very fortunate. W.Bro.Paul Leach echoed these sentiments in reply bur emphasised once again that only 28% of all those eligible regularly contribute by standing order, the most efficient method of giving. As W.Bro.Paul said ‘when are more of the 72% going to come and join us?’. When I was the Chairman of Trustees I hoped that I would see it over 30%, I am still hoping! The work of the Trust continues undisturbed, an Almoners Lunch has just taken place and the Lytham Holiday is et for the end of June.

What a wonderful Mark Masonic occasion, I cannot wait to go back, that by the way is how I feel after all our meetings. We are lucky, Smile, be happy, you are Mark Master Masons.

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

Communications Manager