Many of you are aware that Worshipful Brother John Whitworth holds a concerts at the Masonic hall, Pontefract where he provides excellent entertainment for the giveaway price of £14.50, including supper. Herewith is a flyer to cover the next two Concerts featuring Groups from the Sixties, need I say more. For most of us this is the era we treasure and I have no doubt that it will be a resounding success..John has undertaken numerous charitable functions, for the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund and, undoubtedly this will not disappoint- BOOK YOUR SEAT NOW..
Oh yes, as I indicated in the January News letter, the Lodge has been having some tough times over the past few years, membership declining and poor attendances. Well not so on Monday,11th February when thirty five attended including twenty two visitors, happy faces amongst the Brethren.
This was to witness the Proclamation of Worshipful Brother Robert Greening Jackson as Worshipful Master for a second term. Before that could proceed he opened the Lodge, dealt with housekeeping issues and then welcomed the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton accompanied by Worshipful Brother Alan Corbridge, Elected member of the Charity committee, all carefully choreographed by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown. Worshipful Brother Alan Griffin then took the chair, an Installed Board was opened and W.Bro.Bob was obligated and retuned to the Chair of the Lodge, in truth, very shortly after it was vacated. Then followed the Appointment and Investiture of the officers with a number holding down two posts and dispensations required.
The address to the Worshipful Master was presented in a sincere, measured fashion by W.Bro.David Steel, the Address to the Wardens in fine form by W.Bro Keith Grandison who also did a superb job as Director of Ceremonies throughout. That left the Overseers which W.Bro.Keith initially announced as to the Brethren, shock on two fronts , W.Bro.Sam Cariss who thought that he was addressing the Overseers and W.Bro.Trevor who thought he might have to go first. No matter, they took them in the right order and in good form. The remaining Agenda items brought forward some interesting additions. Firstly, W.Bro Paul Leach who, in April, will take the Office of Provincial Almoner advised them that he would now relinquish his post as their Charity Representative, He thanked them for many happy hours in their company and assured that he would still be visiting. W Bro Jed Stone then drew attention to the 250 Club , particularly that prise money is now three thousand pounds, same amount going to the Festival. He pointed out that Wives and Partners can now purchase tickets as can Lodges and Associations. For a moment I felt that he was going to tell that I could buy them at Asda, no way, well not yet. Finally W.Bro. Trevor took the floor with W.Bro.Robert and presented him with the Lodge Grand Patron Collaret, an excellent end to a superb evening in the Temple.
The Festive Board beckoned, Soup, more a vegetable broth, delicious Cottage pie followed by Sultana Sponge and Cheese and biscuits, no on could wish for more. The Toast to the Province was in the hands of W,Bro,Robert who praised the Provincial Officers for all they do, particularly that of standing in at the last moment. It is undoubtedly true that they are the back bone of Freemasonry and particularly of the White Rose Lodge. He then added that perhaps some would interpret his comments as ‘toadying’, no way. W.Bro. Trevor thanked him for his Toast and hoped that the WM and the Lodge enjoyed a more fulfilling year., reminding them that, at the moment, there are a number of Lodges in the same boat, throughout Freemasonry. He then provided a date for your diaries, the Provincial Meeting of the Province of West Yorkshire, which will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 13th April. It is a responsibility of all Worshipful Masters to attend and represent their Lodges, hopefully accompanied by their Wardens and, perhaps, some Brethren. Finally the Perimeter Perambulation; a walk around the perimeter Lodges of our Province of West Yorkshire, the idea of V.W.Bro. Richard Puttrell who is now in training, it’s only 230 miles!! Details are on the web site, please sponsor generously.
The Toast to the Charities was given by W.Bro. Sam who left W.Bro.Alan to fill in the gaps after he had pointed out that our own Cleeves and Whitehead Trust was the jewel in the Provincial Crown. This was supported by W.Bro.Alan in his response, it is unique the only one in the country and it is OUR CHARITY.. Whilst its income has suffered due to the demands of the Festival, it continues to fulfil its obligations, Almoners Luncheon Monday 1st April at the Cedar Court, Ainley Top, Huddersfield and the annual Holiday at the Inn on the Prom Hotel, St Anne’s. 23rd to 29th June. He said that the Festival was on track and that it was expected that all Lodges would qualify as Grand patron Gold Award by the conclusion.
A humorous, but also moving story to end. When proposing the health of the WM, W.Bro Robert, W.Bro.Alan Griffin, IPM, said that he had been inspired by the work of Robert which reminded him of a song. He than read out the words of ‘he ain’t heavy’ by the Hollies, just one thing, he should have sung it, we would have all joined in and brought the house down.
If we could bottle the ‘Magic Dust’ which makes our Order so special, we could make a fortune.
A very good turn out at Ripon Masonic Hall to join Worshipful Brother Alan Donald Hopwood in reminiscing his fifty years as a Mark Master Mason, This was in the company of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton who, after the Lodge had been duly opened by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro Jim Millington, and early housekeeping matters concluded, took the floor with Alan to guide all through the story.
Alan is a Scotsman, something you detect rather quickly when in his company and it was on the 13th October 1965 that he was Initiated into Randolph Craft Lodge No.1434 as a Lewis having been proposed by his Father. As is the custom he then became a member of the Mark in the same Lodge, on the 20th April 1966. On the day he was joined by others who had similarly progressed in the year as Advancement is completed on only one day in the year, all candidates at the same time.
His profession was agriculture, to be precise ‘Potatoes’ being a Storage Manager for West Cumberland Farmers. Whilst it may not sound thrilling it actually took him, in the seventies, to Iran, before and during the revolution, He was tasked with establishing five storage depots which, together, held 26.5 thousand tons of potatoes, and I thought that we liked spuds in this country!! It was in 1973 that his job brought Alan to Boroughbridge and where he met his wife Brenda with whom he has enjoyed forty five years of marriage in a few weeks, Congratulations to you both. This is when Freemasonry took a stronger place in his life meeting W.Brother Bernard Porter who introduced him to a number of Craft Lodges, joining Minster in 1980 then moving to Falcon 1416 Craft lodge in Thirsk after moving house to Boroughbridge.
After his return from Iran, Mark Masonry beckoned in West Yorkshire and he joined Prince Leopold No.352 in1984, Worshipful Master in 1994 and again in 2008. As present Senior Warden he is intent upon trying for a third time and, as he said’ do you think that I will ever get it right’, cannot say Alan but I can assure you that a number of us will return to check.
Outside Brenda and Freemasonry, Alan is a model engineer, a past chairman of York City and District Society of Model Engineers and is a camera collector, having a store of over one hundred of one breed. The one that raised the most interest however, was that of being a ‘Fluff chucker’, yes that is right but do not get excited , it is another name for Fly Fishing! Holidays take up much of their time with daughter Kate in Australia and Brenda’s two sisters both living in Cape Town. What a wonderful story, together with Brenda we trust that Alan will enjoy many more trips around the globe.
The Lodge was then closed and all enjoyed a delicious Festive board, beef casserole, just right for a cold February evening. The Toast to the Province was sincerely delivered by W.Bro.Jim. W.Bro. Trevor then confirmed what all present were thinking, it had been a night to remember, an absolute pleasure, particularly for himself in researching Alan’s Masonic career, some moments to treasure. The remaining Toasts quickly despatched, all wound their way home.A gentle reminder to all, the Provincial Meeting of the Province of West Yorkshire will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 13th April. It is a responsibility of all Worshipful Masters to attend and represent their Lodges, hopefully accompanied by their Wardens and, perhaps, Brethren. This is your opportunity to visit the Lodge of R.W.Bro. James Steggles G.M.R.A.C, our Provincial Grand Master, let us not let him down.
No doubt the more preceptive of you are wondering, as I was, why did Alan have to wait three years to receive his certificate. Simples! Alan confirms that the confusion on the dates was caused by him agreeing to act as a candidate for an advancement ceremony at Prince Leopold when he joined officially. He had been in the habit of visiting as a Scottish Mark Mason prior to that. Be sure your sins will catch you out. There you go.
A wonderful evening in Mark Masonic company
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.
NB sadly found a crack in my mobile phone screen which is the source of the focus issues, I have used the only two that are any good and will endeavour to replace them in the future, In the off chance that someone else took any on the night, can you please let me have them. Yes the phone is going to the mobile phone clinic!
Desert Island Discs with the Provincial Grand Master
Congratulations to Danum Lodge for one of the most innovative Fund raising events of the Festival, I trust that it will be a roaring success. Undoubtedly it should be interesting, maybe a bit revealing but certainly amusing when R.W.Bro Jim is interviewed about his choices in Music by The Inquisitor General, V.W.Bro. Bob Corfield ,need I say more.Details as follows: