The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Rugby Football Lodge of RAM No.1965, an excellent touch down at the Installation

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.

The Cleckheaton Mafia voyages to Portal Lodge of RAM No. 127

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!

We have been here before, well almost…..

Bram Morley Lodge of R.A.M. No.1905Wednesday, 3rd July 2019 , Blenheim House, Batley, and the Installation of Worshipful Brother John Edward Ryder Davies. A retired Banker, aged eighty nine years and determined to have very good year, I seem to have said this before but it now changes, as the Worshipful Commander of the Bram Morley Lodge of of Royal Ark Mariners No. 1905; a repeat of last November when he was Installed in the Chair of the James Bramley Morley Lodge of M.M.M. No.1905 which he still occupies.The first business was for the acting Worshipful commander, W.Bro.Tony Llewllyn to explain the absence of the W.C.Craig Kidd, which he did in a quite amusing fashion. W.Bro.Craig was in Birmingham in the hope of fulfilling a lifelong dream to become a Member of Parliament, he has been chosen as a candidate for a Party.. However, as we must eschew any references to Politics or Religion, I can say no more other than it could turn out to be a right ‘farrago’, but all power to his efforts, we may get an invite to No.10. no you fool not Downing Street, Railway Cuttings.. The Lodge was then opened by the W.Bro Tony who welcomed the Past Asst.Prov.G.M., V.W.Bro.John Fred Clough, Personal Representative of the P.G.M also Past Prov.G.M., R.W.Bro.Brian Batty. A successful ballot then followed for W.Bro.Roy Mallinson as a Joining Member and Bro.Mathew Toplis as a Member, both Bram Morley lodges are fully justifying their Consecration.

The focus of all attention then turned to Bro.John Davies and the Installing Commander, W.Bro.Tony. Initial enquiries satisfactorily negotiated, Brethren below the Rank of Installed Commander withdrew, an Assembly of Installed Commanders was formed and W.Bro.John as he had now become, was placed in the Chair, a very smooth and professional Ceremony. Brethren were readmitted and W,Bro.John Appointed and Invested his officers, no surprises and good to see that W.Bro.Stephen Wood, a Founder of the Lodge will, all being well, take the Helm in 2020. The Keystone Collaret, a relatively new addition to the regalia of the Lodge, was then explained in perfect order by W.Bro.John English and presented to the W.C. by W.Bro.Tony. W.Bro.John once again took the floor and, word perfect, Addressed the W.C.; this would take a lot to follow, but he did, R.W.Bro.Brian in a calm, clear and unhurried fashion delivered the Exposition in superb style, a pleasure to witness, congratulations to all for a very fine Ceremony, beautifully choreographed by the D.C. W.Bro.David Staniforth.

Remaining business was then speedily concluded and adjourned to the bar, the whole Ceremony taking a mere ninety minutes. A most welcome Festive Board consumed, the Toast to the Province was submitted Bro.David Howe who began by referring to us all as Sailors on the Sea of Life, wow not heard that before, were we in for a literary masterpiece. Well he did most certainly follow the accepted line, we are very reliant upon our Provincial, and Grand, Lodge Officers who are frequently the backbone of the Lodge and we must offer them our sincere thanks for all they do; this should assure him of preferment in the near future, but he was right and this was echoed by V.W.Bro.John Fred in his response. He then drew attention to Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank and the fact that our Province will reduce from five to three appointments per annum, it will now be calculated on Member numbers not Memberships, and these will largely be taken by those who require it for their Office presumably Rulers. Fortunately we do have the West Yorkshire Royal Ark Mariner Distinguished Service Award to offer some recognition. John finished by reminding us that we are all lucky to be members of the Fraternity and the message for our Mark colleagues, yet to take the step , is Come and Join Us.

Dates for your diaries; 24th July, Combined Sheffield Lodges Meeting at Tapton, the Assistant Grand Master will be joining us.5th October, Provincial Royal Ark Mariner meeting at Tapton where those receiving Provincial Honours will be invested.10th September Grand Mark Lodge Investiture meeting for those receiving Past Grand rank promotion. Another day to be there for our West Yorkshire Brethren.30th November Gala Ball, Mercure Hotel, Bingley, 8th December Carol Service at Brighouse,10th December, Grand assembly of Royal Ark Mariners at Grand Lodge, support our Brethren receiving Grand Rank. A most enjoyable Royal Ark Mariner installation.

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

A new name in the frame at the Installation at Dewsbury Lodge of RAM No.641.

Monday, 17th June 2019 and the decks were scrubbed and cleaned and the Crew, and visiting Matelots from vessels moored in the Dewsbury Harbour, gathered on the foredeck to witness the Installation of the First Lieutenant, the Senior Warden, Brother Nahar Singh Somel as Captain of the good ship Dewbury Lodge of RAM No.641.

Proceedings were commenced by  the current Skipper, W.C.Warren Marsden who also has secretarial duties at the local Admiralty offices and who provided a warm welcome for the eight visitors who attended.  After the Lodge was opened, the first duty was to welcome a visiting Post Captain whose last visit, acting as the representative of PGM ,this was to be, W,.Bro.Robert Corfield, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, a most enthusiastic and committed servant of the Province for almost thirty years, our grateful thanks for all that you have done Bob. Housekeeping issues taken, attention turned to Bro.Nahar and all those below the rank of an Installed Commander were asked to withdraw. This came a little early for the D of C, W.Bro.Andrew Brown who suggested that Warren may wish to address his Officers, Warren agreed and completed with smiles all around and this set the tone, a relaxed and warm atmosphere thoroughly appreciated by all on deck.

Having been duly obligated, the signs and secrets imparted, Badge, Collar and Jewel invested, Worshipful Brother Nahar Somel was placed in the chair and the remaining aspect of the inner workings completed. The Brethren below the rank of an Installed Commander then returned to the Lodge to witness W.Bro.David Taylor explain the Key Stone Collaret in a clear, measured and authoritative style, not a surprise he has done it before and he is a Huddersfield Town fan!. Officers for the coming year were then appointed and invested to be followed by the Address to the Worshipful Commander given, in a most sincere fashion, by W.Bro.Brian Page. That completed the Ceremony of Installation, the next item on the agenda being the presentation of the Past Commanders Jewel. This was in the safe hands of W.Bro.Alan Oldfield, Deputy Provincial Grand Master who drew attention to the fact that Warren had only been a member of the Dewsbury RAM for three years when Installed, at this rate he will be PGM in five years.  Closing formalities duly despatched , all adjourned to the Mess Deck for much needed victuals.

The Toast to the Province was submitted by W.Bro.Brian Page who recalled that in all the years he had known W.Bro.Bob he had always had a smile upon his face and a cheery disposition, so true. Responding, with some emotion, he acknowledged that this was a significant day in his masonic life but we all have to move on. He congratulated W.Bro.Nahar on attaining the Chair, commenting that this Lodge was where a line up of where the Who’s who of the Province can be seen. He finished by encouraging all Royal Ark Mariners to spread the word about this truly wonderful, and enjoyable, Fraternity of ours.

Dates for your diaries; 

24th July, Combined Sheffield Lodges Meeting at Tapton, the Assistant Grand Master will be joining us.

5th October, Provincial Royal Ark Mariner meeting at Tapton where those receiving Provincial Honours will be invested.

10th September Grand Mark Lodge Investiture meeting for those receiving Past Grand rank promotion. Another day to be there for our West Yorkshire Brethren.

30th November Gala Ball, Mercure Hotel, Bingley,

8th December Carol Service at Brighouse,

10th December, Grand assembly of Royal Ark Mariners at Grand Lodge, support our Brethren receiving Grand Rank.

I have to mention that  when presenting the toast to the visitors, Bro.Steven Broadbent  thanked all who had attended, as he put it “a few from several”. The response was in the hands of W.Bro Andrew Jagger, who did not disappoint commenting that the meeting and greeting were superb, a fantastic meal and, in the Temple he had witnessed aspects not seen before.  Laughter followed, what an appropriate way to end a wonderful Royal Ark Mariner evening, this is what it is about;

Smile,  be happy, and enjoy your Royal Ark Mariner Masonry.

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

Communications Manager

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.