The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

W. Bro. Alex Muirhead Caldwell P.A.G.St.B.

60 years celebration in the Mark Degree

On the evening of Thursday 3 November 2011 the Right Worshipful Brother James Bennett Truswell, Provincial Grand Master of West Yorkshire, assisted by V. W. Bro. Brian Addy P.P.Deputy G.M., presented W. Bro. Alex Muirhead Caldwell with his 60 year certificates from both the Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge.

The event took place at the Beaumont Mark Lodge No.1523 at Kirkburton and was well supported with a great attendance which included 16 acting Provincial Officers.

W. Bro. Alex was born in Glasgow in 1926. On leaving school at the age of 17, in 1943, he joined the RAF. Posted to Bomber Command he became a Tail Gunner in Lancaster bombers. Later he joined 617 Dam Buster Squadron. This was after the famous raid but, as W. Bro Alex remarked, “they were still talking about it”. During the war he completed 32 missions over enemy territory for which he received the Distinguished Flying Medal. At the end of the war he obtained a short service commission and was involved with the Berlin airlift until its conclusion in 1949.

He met his wife, Irene, on his return to Glasgow and they have been married for 59 years. They have a son and a daughter and twin grandchildren.

Alex’s career in Freemasonry started in 1950 when he was initiated in the Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 (becoming Master in 1957). He subsequently joined the Mark Degree in that Lodge the following year.

His profession in the tobacco industry brought him to Huddersfield in 1960 where he joined Unity Craft Lodge No. 3930 and Truth Mark Lodge No. 137, later joining Brooke Lodge. He was a founder member of the Beaumont Mark Lodge No.1523 in 1979 and was its first Senior Warden becoming the Master in 1980.

In August 1996 Alex was out engaged in his passion for golf at Woodsome Hall Golf Club with a friend, Gordon Hirst. They reached the 5th tee when a freak storm swept across Huddersfield. Taking shelter under an umbrella near a tree, they were struck by a bolt of lightning. The lightening hit the umbrella and the two golf trolleys which were wrecked. Both men were knocked unconscious but escaped with slight burns and bruising.

Alex received Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank in 2005, and received Mark Grand Lodge honours in 2009 when he became Past Assistant Grand Standard Bearer.

At the festive board the brethren presented W. Bro. Alex with framed, mounted and inscribed photographs of his visit this summer to RAF Coningsby with W. Bro. Kenneth Gilling, the current Worshipful Master of Beaumont Mark Lodge. There they had been allowed full access to the last flying Lancaster Bomber. This had been a very memorable and emotional visit, but a wonderful day.

A Mark Masonic Milestone for Lightcliffe

Lightcliffe Mark Lodge was full on Friday 17th September. The Emergency Meeting was held to celebrate a Mark Masonic milestone for one of its stalwart members. V.W. Bro. James Paterson Greenwood, who had earlier that day flown in from his home in Cyprus, was the guest of honour. Many of his old friends were there with the Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. James Bennett Truswell, and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. John Fred Clough, and a Provincial team, to mark V.W. Bro. Jim’s 60th year in Mark Masonry.

The PGM took V.W. Bro. Jim back to the time he joined the Mark Order in a light-hearted trip down memory lane and in doing so got a couple of dates wrong, picked up very quickly by V.W.Bro. Jim, much to the amusement of those listening.

The PGM requested one of V.W. Bro. Jim’s oldest colleagues to present him with his Certificate from Grand Lodge. R.W. Bro. James Bramley Morley did so in his usual quiet manner, and it was plain to see by all present that this sincere, moving presentation was greatly appreciated by V.W. Bro. Jim.

The PGM then presented the Certificate from Provincial Grand Lodge and in doing so thanked V.W. Bro. Jim for his past service to the Province, which was acclaimed by all those in the temple.

The evening was marred at the close of the Festive Board when V.W. Bro. Jim was suddenly taken ill and had to be transported to hospital, where he stayed for several days for tests. Happily he is now back home in Cyprus where he is still very much involved in Masonry.

Here’s wishing you good health Jim and thanks for all you have done in West Yorkshire.