The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Provincial Officers of the Year Sunday Lunch, June 5th 2016

The Masonic Hall, King Street, Mirfield and, at the invitation of the Provincial Grand Master, Right  Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C, a goodly number of the Provincial Officers of the year and their Ladies, attended an excellent Sunday Lunch.

Prov Sun Lunch A

This was the 23rd event since the Provincial Grand Lodge Officers’ Luncheons were established by Right Worshipful Brother George Henry Philip Birch, during his period of stewardship of the Province.  They have since been thought of by Provincial Grand Lodge Officers of the Year as one of the highlights of their term and this was no exception. Formalities are kept to a minimum, with the purpose of the event to bring the Officers together as a precursor to them enjoying numerous Lodge visits together to enhance their year.

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It has been very professionally hosted for a number of years, by Fearnley Mark Lodge No. 58 and this day was no exception.  A five course meal was provided, being of the usual high standard that we have become used to and delivered by a goodly number of Stewards, wives and partners, supplied by the Lodge.  After the meal, they all gathered in the Hall and were warmly thanked for their efforts by the Provincial Grand Master, R. W. Bro. James Steggles.  In acknowledgement, W. Bro. Keith Bradley, Immediate Past Master said it had been a pleasure and invited the Provincial Team to return in 2017. I just feel that probably will be the case!!

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An excellent event enjoyed by all, Smile, Be happy and enjoy your summer, if it arrives!

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An absolute belter from Worshipful Brother Beardsell and his boys

Brighouse Masonic Hall, Monday 11 January 2016, and a wonderful evening at Brighouse Lodge of Mark Master Masons, No. 753.  This was despite the floods which had rendered the boilers in the basement unworkable, electric heaters had to suffice on what was a very cold evening. This did not permeate to the Lodge where the warmth of Mark Master Masonry abounded but it did affect the electric sockets which gave rise to ‘virtual’ candles.

Brighouse EV Jan 16 A

The Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Andrew Beardsell, smoothly cruised through the opening and the Agenda up to, and including, item No. 6. The latter covered the declaration of Brother Noel Moroney as Master Elect, he was congratulated by all present, and the Installation is on Monday, 8 February, take my advice and go, you will have a very enjoyable evening.  This was followed by the admission of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, G.M.R.A.C., together with his escort of Provincial Grand Lodge Officers, this being an Escorted Visit. In total there were 55 Brethren present of which 38 were visitors with 21 in the Escort, W. Bro. Beardsell was delighted to see the Lodge relatively full, and long may it continue.

Brighouse EV Jan 16 B

Attention then focussed on the Advancement of Brother Richard Haigh, consternation initially as he could not be found, no worries the doors being secured, he was located and the ceremony commenced. W.Bro. Beardsell and his team are to be congratulated upon an inspiring, and beautifully choreographed, demonstration of the Advancement Ceremony which was undoubtedly appreciated by the Candidate. Occasional prompts were provided but there were no ritual books, cribs, notes of any kind evident, very unusual in present times and testament to the hard work and practice put in by the Brethren, it does not happen by chance but by a dint of hard work.

Brighouse EV Jan 16 C

The evening appeared to be winding towards the inevitable conclusion when the Provincial Grand Master took the floor. What did this herald? The promotion to Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden of two stalwarts of the Lodge namely, Worshipful Brother Tony Etherington, Chaplain and Almoner and, Worshipful Brother Laurence Crabtree, Charity Steward. These were received with acclamation and pleasure at their reward for many years of service to Brighouse Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 753.

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A most welcome, winter warming Festive Board then followed, particularly the Steak pie. In response to his Toast, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles confirmed that the previous Escorted visit to the Lodge had taken place some 8 years ago; with the number of Lodges in the Province this is about the general rule. He then announced that both the Wardens for the year 2016/2017 were present and announced Worshipful Brother Mark Kenyon, Fearnley Lodge No. 58 will be Provincial Grand Senior Warden and Worshipful Brother Michael Holmes Cleeves Lodge No. 618 to be Provincial Grand Junior Warden, hearty applause for both. R.W.Bro. Steggles then went on to explain some of the contribution details surrounding the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023, particularly as relates to individual contributions, these should continue to be made to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, gift aid can then be claimed, payment would then be made to the Mark Benevolent Fund in respect of Charity Collaret’s which he ask that every Brother wears. Regrettably, as I know from my own experience with the Trust, this will not be many, as the Provincial Grand Master confirmed that only 28% of the Brethren contribute, virtually identical to what it was 5 years ago.

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A night to remember, smile, be happy and enjoy your Mark Master Masonry, whilst giving a thought to charitable contributions.

 

W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Provincial Officers of the Year, 2015 Sunday Lunch

The Sunday lunch for the Provincial Officers appointed in the current year, together with their Ladies, was again held at Mirfield Masonic Hall on Sunday, 18 October. Thanks go to the Worshipful Master and Brethren of Fearnley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 58 and their Ladies not only for hosting the event, but also for providing a delicious meal.

These events have been running for some years, being established to allow Acting Provincial Grand Lodge Officers who received preferment at the Annual Meeting of the Province Grand Lodge of West Yorkshire to meet, and as I know myself, to make friendships that endure. Many of these longstanding friendships involved Brethren from all points of the Province. There are many of note, V.W.Bro. John Fred Clough and W.Bro. Keith Robinson, recently W.Bro. Philip Drury and W.Bro John Maxwell, long may it continue. There are no speeches and only the Loyal toast, but some photographs were taken by a photographic incompetent viz me.  Sadly, therefore, a number are not of the quality to include, but some passed muster, enjoy.

W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

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A new chapter opens in the life of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons West Yorkshire

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Escorted visit to Ainsty Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1739

A very wet Wednesday evening in Wetherby, the date 16 October 2013, and time for the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V. W. Bro. Robert Corfield, P.G.J.O. and his Escort of Provincial Officers of the year to visit Ainsty Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1739.

After the usual opening formalities, the minutes of the previous meeting held on, Wednesday the 17 April 2013 were approved and confirmed.  Following the appropriate propositions, ballots took place which proved favourable.  W. Bro. Ian Forster, P. Prov. A.G.D.C. (Derbyshire), having been confirmed a Joining Member was then admitted to the Lodge and congratulated by the Worshipful Master.

The Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Alan Robinson, then welcomed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V. W. Bro. Robert Corfield P.G.J.O together with a veritable ‘posse’ of 29 Provincial Officers in the escort team.  This was an excellent turn out, especially given the appalling weather conditions, and a delight for Bro. Paul Ambler, a Master Mason of Tectonic Lodge no.9407, who was to be advanced.

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The ceremony that followed was a credit to W. Bro. Robinson and his team and was thoroughly enjoyed by the candidate, Bro.Ambler, who had been proposed by W. Bro. Ian Tillett and seconded by W. Bro. Cliff Lloyd.  A mention must be made of W. Bro. Gerry Barker who undertook the duties of Senior Deacon, navigating the candidate in a commendable fashion – I think he might have done it before!

 

An excellent Festive Board followed, when the toast to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V. W. Bro. Robert Corfield, P.G.J.O. was given by W. Bro. Alan Crusher.  He thanked the Deputy Provincial Grand Master for coming and being accompanied by such a ‘plethora’ of Officers.  This quickly descended into a debate about the ‘collective name’ for Provincial Officers.  A number were proffered including ‘participation’ but the eagle eyed reader will have noticed that I have settled on ‘posse’.  However, if you have a better suggestion let me know?
V. W. Bro. Bob responded appropriately, during the course of which he reminded all present of the Provincial Grand lodge Meeting which will take place on the 26 April 2014 at Bradford.  Make sure it is in your diaries Brethren.

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He also alluded to the last Escorted visit to Ainsty Lodge which took place in 2007 led by the then, Deputy Provincial Grand Master R. W. Bro. J. B. Truswell.  Also present were the then Deputy Provincial Grand Secretary, W. Bro. James Steggles and Provincial Grand Steward, W. Bro. Bob Snowden.  Finally, having congratulated Bro. Ambler, he presented him with a Provincial year book to facilitate his visits in the Mark degree.

An excellent evening enjoyed by all.

 W. Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.