The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

What a lovely way to spend an evening, Thorne Lodge of R.A.M. No.1004

Well, nothing better than in the company of Fellow Mark Master Masons who are also members of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner. 

A message to those of you still to take this step, it is not a giant leap of faith as, first and foremost, it is only available to Mark Master Masons.  It is based upon the story, known to all, of Noah building the Ark for the preservation of mankind from the Great Flood; the ceremony is different, stimulating and rewarding, Most of you who have not taken this step will have seen the Rainbow Jewels and the Rainbow Collarets worn by Holders of Royal Ark Mariner Grand and Provincial Grand Rank; any one of them will be delighted to  answer any questions you may have. 

And so it came to pass at Thorne Masonic Hall on Thursday 23rd May 2019, that Brother Michael Richardson of Thorne Lodge of M.M.M. No.1004 took the step having had already concluded that this was for him.  The ballot proved positive he was admitted and Elevated by the Worshipful Commander, W.Bro.Alan Corbridge and his Team. This was  a team event in the truest form as, initially nerves were in evidence but this soon passed and all witnessed a ceremony of supreme quality. Throughout Bro.Michael was under the careful guidance of the Senior Deacon, Bro.John Brandon aided by the Junior Deacon Bro.Tony Ibbetson. The Signs and Secrets were delivered in imperious style by W.Bro.Andrew Close and, if that was not spellbinding enough, along came Brother, not a Past Master, Harry Richards to enunciate the Working Tools and explain the Triangular perambulation. These are complicated pieces of Ritual which I have seldom seen delivered better. This phase of the Ceremony was then concluded by W.Bro.Bob Corfield, P.Dep.P.G.M. maintaining the very high standards set by his colleagues, no surprise there.

Having been invested with the Badge and Jewel of a Royal Ark Mariner, Bro.Michael took his seat in the Lodge. A moment of light relief in the Almoners report given by W.Bro.John English, apparently W.Bro.Mick Ricketts had been under the weather recently which John immediately dismissed as ‘Old Age’.

The Festive Board was then well received which W.Bro.Bob Winterflood, the Worshipful Commander of the Carl Whitehead Lodge No.110, described as one of the best roast beef dinners he had ever enjoyed. The Toast to the Worshipful Commander was in the hands of the S.W., Bro.Martin Corfield who thanked Alan for his leadership of the Lodge since his Installation particularly for his steady hand on the tiller, responding W.Bro.Alan warmly thanked all who had taken part emphasising , it was a Team effort. The most important Toast of the evening, that to the candidate , was submitted by his Proposer, Bro. John Brandon who advised that Michael was involved in dealing with Adults who have learning difficulties, a most rewarding task but where patience is undoubtedly a virtue. He is a good ritualist and will prove an asset to the Lodge. Bro.Michael responded appropriately but made particular mention of the Warder, Worshipful Brother Malcom Boyle who had kept him entertained until his admission, there you are Brethren all the offices have their uses. 

Dates for your Diaries;

Grand Lodge of M.M.M. Communication 11th June. Acting and First Appointments Honours.

Charity, Annual Holiday at St Annes, June 23rd. To the 29th.

Sheffield Combined Lodges Meeting, Wednesday 24th July 

Finally, the evening began in sombre mood whilst W.Bro.Ian Smith spoke movingly about the death of Worshipful Brother Stuart Grantham who had died recently. Whilst he rose to become the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Craft Province of Yorkshire West Riding, he was also a very keen Mark Mason and Royal Ark Mariner who had attended the practice whilst battling his condition. Ian concluded by reminding all that if Stuart were present he would have said, have a dram and move on, a lovely Man and Freemason.

Hipperholme Lodge of R.A.M. No.715, Installation 26th April 2019

A most pleasurable evening was enjoyed by the Brethren and four visitors at the Installation of Brother David Kenyon into the Commanders Chair at Hipperholme Lodge of RAM No.715 on Friday , 26th April 2009. The proceedings were graced by the attendance of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield who was offered the Sceptre by the Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother Andrew Beardsall but courteously declined.

The first item was not on the Agenda, it being a eulogy in respect of, recently departed, Brother Lawrence Crabtree. This was in the very safe hands of Past Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Brian Batty who reminded all that Bro.Lawrence only joined the Lodge some two years ago but was a keen and committed Freemason, a competent ritualist who delivered from the heart, I doubt you can pay a higher tribute than that to anyone. The Brethren stood to order in respect of departed merit.

The stage was then set and W.Bro.Michael Bastow presented the Commander Elect who dutifully answered the questions posed. He was then obligated in fine form by W.Bro.Andrew, in excellent fashion, the Signs and Secrets were explained and he was presented with the Badge and Collar of his Office by W.Bro.Andrew who then placed him in the Chair of the Lodge. The Assembly of Royal Ark Mariners was closed and the Brethren admitted, saluted the newly Installed Commander and took their seats. The final detail was then despatched with the Warrant entrusted to the care of W.Bro.David together with the Constitutions and regulations, Bye laws and the Key stone Collaret which he is to wear on all Royal Ark Mariner occasions, one of those being next years Provincial Grand lodge  at Bradford where he will represent Hipperholme RAM in the delegation of R.A.M.Lodges. The Address to the Worshipful Commander then fell to W.Bro.David Leach who, effectively at a moments notice, conveyed the piece, word perfect; I was not surprised , he is a member of Peace RAM No.681, I also, and he could probably do the whole Ceremony himself in the same fashion, very talented.

The Past Commanders Jewel was then delivered to W.Bro.Andrew by R.W.Bro.Brian, they do work their Past Commanders hard at this Lodge. It transpired that Brian had known Andrew when he became a Freemason some ten years ago  during which time he has been through the Chair in Craft, Mark and now Royal Ark Mariner, both of the latter where Brian was his proposer, Chapter must be just around the corner. Actually I lie, he is going in the Craft Chair again! A  committed and determined Mason, he had fully discharged the duties of his Office and was a fine ambassador for the Lodge. Andrew responded appropriately. The remaining agenda items dealt with, the Lodge was closed and the Festive Board was eagerly anticipated. This lived up to expectation with a main course of Gammon , Egg , pineapple and chips, no need for any more..

The toast to the Province was given by W.Bro.David, effectively formal in nature, to which W.Bro.Alan responded. He began by congratulating W.Bro.David in attaining the Chair only some two years plus after having been elevated, and no that is not the fastest I have ever known! Alan then grasped the nettle and spoke to David and Andrew about the possibility of them both joining, probably the largest Lodge, in the North of England. I refer, of course, to the Carl Whitehead Lodge of installed Commanders No.110 for which they both qualify. Only two meetings a year and truly a day out with friends, both meetings are on a Saturday. Alan also drew attention to the Gala Christmas Ball which will be held again at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley on Saturday 30th November, the Carol Service which occurs on Sunday 8th December.

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   Finally, again for your diaries, the Consecration of a new Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge and the Dedication of a Provincial Royal Royal Ark Mariner Banner; dates for these will be announced shortly. There will also be a meeting of the joint Sheffield Lodges which will take place on 24th July where the P.G.M. will be doing the Secrets, he is quite good, you should be there! 

The Junior Warden, Bro.Denis Habergham dealt comfortably with the Toast to the four visitors, the response being in the hands of the Provincial Photographer, W.Bro.Tony Mackrell aka David Bailey.  Having congratulated David on attaining the Chair he mentioned the Cheese Boards that appeared a truly varied selection to suit any taste and a supreme exercise in artistic presentation, this Lodge is worth a visit just for that, you have been told, GO!   The piece de resistance was when he congratulated all on dispensing with ritual books and relying on prompts. This had worked and, whilst not perfect, reminded him that Ark, which was built by Amateurs,  survived, the Titanic was built by experts, enough said.

A lovely atmosphere with special people, what more do you want, get out and visit and that is a particular message to Commanders in the Chair, none of whom were present, the area usually reserved for their attendance, totally bare


Saluting the Quarter Deck upon departure, all safely navigated to their home Ports after another special evening of Royal Ark Mariner Masonry, Smile, Be happy.

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

Communications Manager

You are never too old to take another Step in Freemasonry

So said Brother Malcolm Knowles and on Friday 25th January 2019 he was present at Hipperholme Lodge of Royal Ark Mariner No.715 to fulfil that step and become a Royal Ark Mariner. Malcolm had been initiated into Freemasonry at Clifton Lodge No.7112, thought about the next move for a while and was Advanced into Brighouse Mark Lodge No.753 in January 1978, considered again and there he was, as W.Bro. Vic Smith would have said, now on the brink of becoming a member of the ‘Creme de la Creme’.

In the company of the the Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother Andrew Beardsell, his Lieutenants, Crew and visiting Mariners from vessels moored nearby, the Lodge was opened in due form. whereupon the first matter was in the hands of Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Brian Batty. He presented a eulogy following the sad death of W.Bro.John Whitehead, son of a revered Past Provincial Grand Master of thirty plus years, R.W.Bro.Carl Whitehead. John had enjoyed a distinguished career in his private life as well as his Masonic interests and was a highly respected and well liked Brother who has been, and will continue to be missed by all ,who had the pleasure of his company., At the same time, R.W.Bro. Brian mentioned W.Bro. Ashley Barker and, as we only learned on the day of the meeting, the death of W.Bro. Sidney John Bruton Barlow, an ebullient and enthusiastic individual you could not miss or ignore!

Attention then turned to the Ceremony of Elevation, a short hiccough at the outset but that was soon put to bed and the WC, W.Bro.Andrew put the ship back on course obligating Bro.Malcolm in fine form, A smooth transition saw the signs despatched in an excellent manner by W.Bro. John McRiner, the Working Tools explained in similar order by W.Bro.Martin Scott and the Ceremony neatly concluded by W.Bro.David Leach, a shipmate from Peace RAM No.681, who explained the relevance of the Triangular form of the Lodge and the significance of the Steps, from where I sat word perfect. As a member of Peace myself, I think it might be  a good idea to rent David out. Nothing of note remaining the Lodge was closed and all adjourned to the Mess for a well earned festive board, the latter dutifully consumed.

The Toasts were then submitted, under the direction of the Acting D.C.,  W.Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor, Past.Asst.Prov.G.M.  The Toast to the Candidate was given by R.W.Bro. Brian, his proposer who pointed ot that this wast he month of his fort first anniversary as a Mark Mason, some fifty three years after he entered the Craft. He trusted that he would enjoy this new journey, in his ninetieth year and also for many more years to come. In response Bro. Malcolm thanked all for a wonderful evening, he was looking forward to learning more about the Fraternity, most certainly to see the Ceremony of Elevation again to take it all in. 

In passing, some notes for your diaries: 

Saturday 5th October at Tapton Hall, the Provincial Assembly of Royal Ark Mariners; Note that a  a new Provincial Royal Ark Mariner banner will be unveiled this year, date to come and a Gala Christmas Ball will be held, again at the Bankfield Mercure Hotel, Bingley, on the 30th November, Last, but not least put, Saturday 13th April at Bradford Grammar School in now, Annual ,,, meeting of the Province  Grand lodge of MMM of West Yorkshire, one not to miss.. Also Masters and Wardens please note that it is a responsibility of your Office to represent your Lodge around the Association and at the Provincial meeting, look forward to seeing you there.  bear in mind it is the only day of the year that most of you can support R.W.Bro. Jim at his Lodge, do not let him down.

Do not forget, Smile, be happy, you are all Royal Ark Mariner Masons

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

Communications Manager

Are you a Royal Ark Mariner? THEN READ THIS

The Worshipful Commander and Brethren, i.e.the Crew, of Portal Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 127 would like the pleasure of the company, of any Royal Ark Mariner in the Province of West Yorkshire to their next meeting at the Masonic Hall, Eastgate, Barnsley. This will be held on Wednesday, 27th February commencing at 6.30 p.m.

Why should you consider this a meeting worthy of your attendance, firstly because it is entitled, A History of the Royal Ark Mariner Degree. All well and good you are thinking, that does sound a bit interesting in furthering my Masonic knowledge and, with those whose company I know I will enjoy.  What else can I tell you, well the Presentation is in the very capable hands of probably the finest speaker in the Province, someone renowned for his research, knowledge superb wit and delivery . I do not think I have to say any more but it is Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor

Look forward to seeing you

W.Bro.Duncan Smith

Communications Manager

A new Skipper in post at the Good Ship Peace Lodge of RAM No.681 18th January 2018

The weather worsening and snow showers coming from the western approaches, the Commander and Crew of the Peace Lodge of RAM .together with shipmates from other vessels from the West Yorkshire Fleet and other navies, fought the conditions to reach a safe harbour at Uppermill. Unfortunately the Captain of Peace, W,Bro, David Key, was unable to attend and his predecessor, W.Bro. Alan Corbridge stood in, having only found out a few hours earlier, he convened all present to the Quarter Deck and dealt with the early business for which we had met, this included two dispensations for the day.

The first item of note was the presentation of a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro. Stuart Burrows , this in the hands of Vice Admiral, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Much to the amusement of all the Acting DC, W.Bro. Mike Jessop, had announced that  Bro Stuart was not present when a voice was heard to mutter’ well I was when I came In’. W.Bro. Alan dealt with it in a polished professional manner other than when he faltered very slightly, afterwards commenting that he would have welcomed a prompt when someone was heard to reply, we would have had we known what to say!

The Commander Elect, W.Bro. Warren Marsden was then presented by W.Bro. Mike and the short form ceremony despatched with skill and ease, W.Bro. Warren was then placed in the Chair. The Officers who would then support the Skipper to navigate the Peace Lodge through the ensuing year were appointed and Invested. The Working Tools were then explained by W.Bro. Michael Nowell, the Keystone Collaret by W.Bro. David Leach, a most accomplished ritualist. This brought us to the Exposition delivered by W. Bro Bev Heywood, not the first time and again without hesitation. He does have his own inimitable style which prompted W.Bro.Chris Oldfield when responding to the Visitors Toast, to comment that he thought that he was about to be regaled with a Stanley Holloway monologue, Albert and the Lion, a roar went up when that was mentioned. The Ceremony then concluded with the Address to the WC by W.Bro. Andrew Daly, congratulations to all who took part on a task well done, perhaps not the most polished ritualistic performance but what it lacked there it more than made up for in sincerity and brotherly love demonstrated

All Hands summoned to the Mess Deck where, true to form delicious soup to start, more a meal in itself, Braised Steak, Treacle Sponge, cheese and biscuits, excellent value at thirteen pounds per head.. The Toast List then proceeded with that to the Province efficiently dealt with by the SW, Bro. Terry Kinvig. Responding W.Bro.Alan, reminded us that it is the responsibility of the Secretariat to ensure that any Ruler or Representative is advised in writing and receives an Invitation from the Lodge. This Alan said he received on a scrappy piece of paper, which he held aloft, when he arrived at the Lodge from, you guessed it, the newly Installed Commander, but also the Dep.Prov.G.Sec, W,Bro Warren, oh dear things are on the slide! He then congratulated the WC upon attaining the Chair which he now holds in addition to being Commander of Dewsbury Lodge of RAM No.641, a dispensation required when in the chair of two lodges in the same year, and Caldene Lodge of MMM No,501..  Watch out he may come to your next Installation and surprise you. W.Bro Alan emphasised that  it was the responsibility of W.Bro. Warren, in all three of his various guises, to represent the Lodge around the Province and Installed Masters Association, whilst his name is at the head of the Summons.

W.Bro.Alan then provided the following Notes for your Diaries; Provincial Assembly of RAM, Saturday 5th October at Tapton Hall,  a new Provincial Royal Ark Mariner banner will be unveiled this year, date to come and a Gala Christmas Ball will be held, again at the Bankfield Mercure Hotel, Bingley, on the 30th November, Last but not least put Saturday 13th April at Bradford Grammar School in now, Annual Provincial meeting of the Province of West Yorkshire, one not to miss.

The gangplank lowered, Commander, Crew and shipmates disembarked and sailed home to their respective Cabins after a most enjoyable Royal Ark Mariner installation.

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

Communications Manager