A night to remember for all present at the Especial Meeting of Integrity Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 110 held, by dispensation, at the Masonic Hall Wetherby on 27 November, but particularly for the Members of Integrity Lodge of Mark master Masons No. 110 and Brighouse Lodge of Mark Master Masons no. 753. This being the fact that the Meeting was held to Install W.Bro. Richard Boswell Puttrell, a member of Integrity Lodge, as the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and W.Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor, a member of Brighouse Lodge, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
The opening formalities were duly despatched by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Frank Lefley when, upon a report, the Past Rulers of the Provinces of West Yorkshire and North and East Yorkshire were admitted to appropriate approbation. Upon a further report the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. entered to warm applause, accompanied by an escort of Provincial Grand Lodge officers of the year. R.W.Bro. Steggles then accepted the gavel and the acting Provincial Officers took their respective posts.
The Provincial Grand Master began by thanking the retiring Rulers, V.W.Bro. Robert Corfield and V.W.Bro. John Fred Clough. Both had given exemplary service over a number of years and the Province cannot thank them enough for their hard work and dedication. He emphasised that their work had not ended as both were now to be involved in other projects. V.W.Bro. Bob in response said that he had thoroughly enjoyed the experience and looked forward to helping in any way possible in the future.
The appointment of the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master was then announced, an escort was formed and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Designate was admitted. The Patent of Appointment was then read by the Provincial Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Alan Oldfield after which the Provincial Grand Master then explained the nature and Duties of the office. The Provincial Grand Chaplain, V.W.Bro. Edward Patnick then offered Prayer. W.Bro Puttrell was then obligated and invested by the Provincial Grand Master and took his seat in the Lodge. The same procedure then took place for W.Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master Designate who, after being obligated and installed by the Provincial Grand Master took his seat in the Lodge.
R.W. Bro. James Steggles also announced the appointment of W.Bro. John Vause as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and W.Bro. Andrew Brown as Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, both richly merited.
The remaining items on the Agenda were then dealt with under the guidance of the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Frank Lefley which included the presentation of a cheque, for £1000 from Integrity Lodge in favour of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023, to R.W.Bro. Steggles. Upon receiving the Cheque, he explained that a Committee had now been appointed, under the Chairmanship of the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master, which also included V.W.Bro Bob Corfield – a short retirement period for V.W.Bro Bob then! He also asked that all the Brethren gave thought to the Festival and the fund raising activities, any ideas welcome. Hearty Greetings having been proposed, the Provincial Grand Master and Past Rulers then retired in procession with an escort of acting Provincial Grand Lodge Officers.
The Festive Board was a veritable six course extravaganza prepared by W.Bro. Bob Sowden, highlighted by a menu card in French prepared by W.Bro. Mike Nowell, Secretary of Integrity Lodge. The Toast to our new Rulers and the rest of the Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge, present and past, was in the safe hands of W.Bro. Ian Storey. He stressed the hard work undertaken by Provincial Grand Lodge Officers and particularly W.Bro. Richard Puttrell and W.Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor. In response the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Puttrell thanked all the Brethren for the support they give to the Province, particularly the Directors of Ceremonies, a group close to his heart. Unfortunately, R.W.Bro. Brian Emmett was unable to attend but had written to him stressing the nature of the Province and pointing out that, ’the Brethren in the Mark degree wished to spend their time there and you must ensure this continues’, how true and perfectly in accord with the thoughts of our Provincial Grand Master.
The Toast to the visitors was proffered by W. Bro. Victor Shaffiee, Past Master of Integrity Lodge. He was delighted to see 88 visitors and trusted that they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves. In glancing around the room he had noticed many happy, smiling faces and much laughter, a superb example of Mark Masonry. W.Bro. Philip Drury, in response, commented upon a wonderful Ceremony in which all who participated could be very proud, together with an excellent Festive Board. He congratulated the new Rulers upon their preferment whilst, at the same time, thanking the previous incumbents for all their dedication and hard work. He felt, as did all the visitors, very privileged to have been present concluding ‘If you have enjoyed it half as much as us, then we have enjoyed it twice as much as you’. W.Bro Philip has a way with words, Ruth Drury will be very proud.
I cannot conclude my deliberations without reporting a very unusual incident. An Order of Proceedings is prepared by the Provincial Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Alan Oldfield, which details the process from the entrance of the Provincial Grand Master and the conclusion of the Appointments. This, as on every other occasion of which I am aware, had been error free in respect of the Ceremonial. Regrettably, the opening page referred to an Especial Meeting of Integrity Lodge of M.M.M. No. 768 not 110, a shock to we members of Integrity, does the Ceremony have to be repeated? Rest easy, No, but will we ever let W. Bro. Alan forget this? – NO Chance
As ever, smile, be happy and enjoy your Mark Masonry, we are a very privileged group.
W.Bro. D. Smith P.G.S.D., P.Prov.G.J.W.