The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

The Cleeves & Whitehead Trust Holiday to Llandudno: Sunday 3-10th July 2016

What a joy it was to be accepted and to enjoy one week in North Wales, funded by The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. My wife Sylvia and I were very pleased to have been included.

We all congregated opposite the Brighouse Masonic Hall, to board our coach to Llandudno. The baggage was taken care of, and it was lovely to see so many of our Rulers helping to organise in the crowd of well wishers, to wave farewell.

Our driver was Richard Sheppard, from National Coaches, and this new Portuguese built vehicle also had a toilet facility on board. He was also an excellent guide, offering some very interesting information wherever we travelled during our stay.

The central position of the hotel could not have been better, as it is situated on the promenade of Llandudno, within only a few minutes walk to the Pier. Breakfast was either a full English or Continental. The selection of food was generous, as we had three choices of each of the three courses to choose from for dinner each evening.

We were all briefed on the itinerary for the week, and asked to be in the dining room for 6 pm each evening for dinner.

My wife Sylvia and I chose a table, at which Mrs Kathleen French of Barnsley and also Mrs Jean Twinham from Harrogate, shared with us during all our meals for the week.

Our itinerary for the week was shown on the hotel notice board. This gave information on the three coach trips which had been arranged during our stay. These had been prepared by Phillip and Judith Mann, and we found out later that their daughter Sarah and her husband Justin were also in the party, to assist all the guests and ensure that everyone was cared for. Wonderfully organised !!

The entertainment in Llandudno centre was excellent, and the hotel were also presenting entertainment each evening, from 8 30 till late!

We all assembled at 6 pm for our first evening meal, and were delighted to find that RW Bro Jim Steggles and his wife, Joan, had joined the party for dinner that evening.

Everyone was given raffle tickets for a draw to be made later in the evening and, to our surprise, everyone received a small prize.

We had a free day on Monday to view the local sights and on the Tuesday morning we were picked up by coach at 10.15. We drove into Snowdonia, through the Llanberis Pass, and stopped at an excellent Slate Museum. We crossed over to have lunch on the Isle of Anglesey, in the village with the longest name in Britain, known as Lanfair PG. and shopped and viewed the local sights, before returning to our hotel for dinner

Following two free days to view the local sights, we embarked on another well organised trip on the Thursday to visit Betws-y-coed
When we arrived we had a snack lunch that had been arranged in a delightful little hotel on the edge of town. We wandered the streets, parks and shops all afternoon, and enjoyed the tumbling waterfall on the river, before returning to our hotel for dinner.

On the Friday morning we were away by 10 am to Blaenau Festiniog.
This was a lovely run through the Welsh countryside, but the visit to the Llechwedd, Slate Cavern was comparatively disappointing, as the planned ‘Slate Splitting Demonstration’ had been cancelled. We enjoyed lunch in a local café in the centre of the town and, on the way back to our hotel, we were driven along the coast road which eventually gave us a splendid view of the castle at Caernarfon.

After dinner that evening we were all asked to assemble in the lounge. Philip and Judith, ably assisted by Sarah and Justin, brought everyone a spirit of their choice to enable us all to toast Philip on his forthcoming 80th birthday! After running The Cleeves and Whitehead Masonic Holiday for 20 years they were stepping down to enjoy their retirement.

A Raffle had been organised with a large selection of prizes.

Interestingly we found that during the Second World War, London had been so heavily bombed that the organisation of the war effort was being affected by the loss of Civil Servants, their premises and their records. An urgent solution was found by transferring a huge number of them to Llandudno. It was far enough away from Germany, had no armament production so the enemy would not bomb the area, and it had sufficient accommodation to house the 10,000 Civil Servants.

The BBC were also faced with losing their facilities in the centre of London, and again they moved their studios to Llandudno to continue broadcasting their popular shows to the nation, in an attempt to support and keep up the spirits of the British people. So most of the major shows, including ‘ITMA’ with Tommy Handley, were all broadcast from the theatres in Llandudno throughout the war years!

Sadly Sunday came too soon and we climbed onto our coach, at 10.15 for our return to Brighouse, arriving back in time for lunch. What a wonderful holiday it has been for us all.

Thank you so much to The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and Mark Masonry.

Noel & Sylvia Moroney

 

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An Insight into the workings of The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust

We are all justifiably very proud of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust; many of us regard it as the jewel in the Crown of the Province of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire. It was created in 2006 from an amalgamation of the Cleeves Memorial Fund and the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund. Much of the work to achieve this milestone was undertaken by R.W.Bro. Brian Emmett and V.W.Bro, Brian Addy, the latter sadly no longer with us. And we are eternally grateful to both and everyone else who contributed to the process.

The Objects of newly named Charity, reg. No. 223903 are, (1) the relief of past and Present Mark Master Mason of West Yorkshire and their relatives and dependants who are in need, hardship and distress or, (2) for the benefit of such charities, charitable institutions and charitable purposes as the Trustees think fit. In this regard Brethren may like to know that during the year ended 31 August 2015, £5,9487 was distributed to Individuals and families in West Yorkshire, keep in mind this does include the holiday and Almoners Luncheons.  During the same period the Mark Benevolent Fund distributed a total £6,1420 to the remainder of the country.

The Trustees held their inaugural meeting on 4 March 2006, 8 Trustees  each of whom can serve for a maximum of 3 years before being re-appointed with a maximum of 9 years after which they cannot continue until 1 further year has elapsed. They elect their own Chairman who has to be re-elected every year for a maximum term of 3 years.

A minimum of 2 meetings must be held each year but your Trustees meet at least 4 times a year and I was privileged to attend the 43rd meeting of Trustees on 7 May 2016. The present Trustees are: W. Bro. Dr. Andrew Wright, Chairman; V.W. Bro. John Fred Clough and W. Bro’s David Hymas, Philip Drury, Geoffrey Kendall, Alan Pendleton, Jim Stanley and Trevor Bolton.

They are supported by a Secretary, W.Bro. Jim Reynolds and a Treasurer, W.Bro. Philip Taylor, additionally the Provincial Almoner. W.Bro. Alec Steele is also in attendance.

The Trustees prime responsibility is to ensure that at all times they act in strict accordance with the Charity Deed which is supported by an agreed Code of Practice. In addition they have two sub committees, Finance and Grants, both of which have delegated powers enshrined in Terms of reference.  Every meeting has a detailed Agenda and Reports are always received from the Secretary, Treasurer, Finance Comm., Grants Comm. and Provincial Almoner. Whilst present they also were considering the annual holiday to Llandudno and the Almoners Luncheons, key events in the calendar.

Further support is given by the ‘Magnificent 7’, viz, the Elected Members of the Charity Committee who are seen at Installations reporting on the up to date position of the trust, the events and issues of topical interest, a key responsibility going forward being the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023.  Full details of the ‘7’ are in the Provincial Year Book and I, therefore, will not repeat them here.

Acting on behalf of the Brethren of the Province of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire, your Trustees do hold a significant personal responsibility which we must all acknowledge and thank them for their commitment.

A Snappy performance by the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust

With the economic gloom over the Country for the majority of the past seven years, there has been little, if no, scope for the Trustees of the charity to entertain any requests for outside assistance. Given the improving situation over the past two years, they have continued to evaluate proposals and found the SNAPS Charity worthy of assistance.

Snaps  was formed in March 2004 with the objective of providing information, support and learning resources for children and adults with special needs , their parents and carers in the Yorkshire area. Originally 6 families were involved, this has now risen to 200 and numerous projects and services are now being undertaken. They run hydrotherapy and swimming lessons, dance and movement with a number of one off sessions such as sing and sign, details can be found on their web site, www.snaps-vol.org.uk. Obviously this requires a deal of money and Fund raising is paramount; especially as they now employ their own Physiotherapists, swim instructor, life guard, dance instructor, all supervised by a Manager and an Assistant.

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After due consideration, the Trustees agreed to provide a donation of £2000 which was presented by the Provincial Grand charity Steward and a Trustee, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton to Anne Gait, the instigator of Snaps. Please see Photo above, W. Bro. Trevor is the one with the beard dressed in his work clothes

The Mark and the Craft work together to help Flood victims in the Province

On 14 January, the Craft Province of Yorkshire West Riding and the Mark Province of West Yorkshire were pleased to make a joint presentation of £5,000 each to the Bradford District Community Foundation flood relief appeal, to help those most affected by the recent unprecedented floods in the area.

This is the third such joint donation made by the Craft and the Mark. Two other donations of the same amount from West Riding Masonic Charities Limited and the Mark Benevolent Fund have already been given to The Community Foundation for Calderdale and The Leeds Community Foundation.

The Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles, accompanied by W.Bro. Trevor Bolton, a Trustee of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, made the joint presentation on 14 January with W.Bro. Roger Newhouse, Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Craft.

The photograph shows the presentations being made to David Forrest and his team from the Bradford District Community Foundation. David said that these donations would make a tremendous difference to their flood relief efforts.

Joint Presentation

The Floods in West Yorkshire – The Mark joins the fight in the big clean-up operation

Following the devastating flooding across Northern England during the Festive Season, the Mark Province, the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and the Mark Benevolent Fund have been working together to identify Mark Masons who have been affected and to provide assistance in local communities for the big cleanup operation.

The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust initially donated £5,000 to the Mark Province of Cumberland and Westmoreland, when many parts of that Province were flooded before Christmas, but it soon became apparent that much of our own Province would be affected by the appalling and unprecedented weather conditions which were to follow.

Many parts of the Calder Valley, Leeds, Bradford and Tadcaster were soon under water as well as York in our sister Province of North and East Yorkshire. Harrowing scenes appeared on our television screens as the weather conditions worsened and the floods became increasingly widespread.

All Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Lodge Secretaries were contacted and asked to work with their Lodge Almoners to confirm that all our own members were safe and well and to identify if any immediate help was needed. The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and the Provincial Grand Almoner were on standby to help and the Mark Benevolent Fund was contacted, resulting in an immediate donation to the Province from the MBF of £25,000.

Thankfully, only a few of our Mark members were personally affected and these were already being dealt with by CHOICES, the newly established branch of WRMCL designed to provide aid and assistance to Yorkshire West Riding Craft Freemasons who are in need. This has left the Mark more able to help out in the local communities.

We have, therefore, agreed to match Craft donations of £5,000 each to the Community Foundation for Calderdale, the Leeds Community Foundation and the Bradford District Community Fund, which are charities orchestrating emergency relief throughout the towns and villages most seriously affected. They provide relief grants to people whose homes have been flooded to meet the immediate financial burdens associated with temporary accommodation, pumping, drying and emergency repairs. They also provide cleaning up materials such as mops, buckets and disinfectant. These first three donations may be followed by additional donations to other parts of the Province affected by the floods.

The Province and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust are acutely aware of the devastation created by the appalling weather conditions and the unimaginable damage it has caused in many of our communities. Jointly we will continue to monitor the situation and do anything possible to provide assistance where appropriate.

In the meantime if you know of any Mark Master Mason who has been personally affected by the floods, please advise them to contact both their Craft and Mark Lodge Almoners as soon as possible.