The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Demonstration of Old Mark Degree Workings, Derbyshire

The success of the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters demonstrations of the old workings of the Mark Masons Degree (1778-1878) continues. Since reforming in January 2010 the team have presented the old ritual workings across the Province, from Sheffield to Leeds, Slaithwaite to Wetherby.

W.Bro Barrie Otter, Master of Round Table Lodge of MMM No. 1644, in the Province of Derbyshire, meeting at Dore contacted the team’s organiser W.Bro Brian Short and a demonstration was arranged for 27 July 2011. It is was a return visit following one in the 1990’s when W.Bro Brian acted as the king and W.Bro Ron Pratt was the candidate.

Since one of the aims of the Association is “to further the interests of Mark Masonry by any means that may be mutually agreed” this was a perfect opportunity to advance Masonic knowledge outside of the Province and meet new friends and rekindle old acquaintances. The team need not have worried for the Lodge’s Junior Warden on the night, covering the indisposed officer, was R.W.Bro James B. Truswell, our own Provincial Grand Master!

The occasion was also honoured by the presence of W.Bro Colin Cantrell, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Derbyshire and several other Grand Lodge Officers. Bro Andy Evans proved an enthusiastic candidate and a most capable ‘stone squarer’ when preparing the ashlar and W.Bro Frank Dewire was an imposing ‘King’. W.Bro Robert Corfield PAPGM. guided the proceedings as Narrator and also delivered a brief history of the evolution of the design of the Mark Tracing Board. W.Bro Richard Puttrell PAGDC organised the workings with his usual efficiency. The whole demonstration was enthusiastically received by all present and many kind words of appreciation expressed.

What was a delightful and enjoyable evening was made more so when at the festive board W.Bro Barrie Otter, WM of Round Table Lodge, generously donated the proceeds of the raffle to The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. The sum of over £150 was gratefully received by W.Bro Brian Short on behalf of the Charity. After which all went on their way rejoicing ……..

Demonstration of the Old York Mark Workings, St. Chads

Follow successful demonstrations of the old workings of the Mark Masons Degree (1778-1878) at Integrity Lodge MMM No110 and Britannia MMM No. 53 the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters demonstration team were invited to the St Chad Lodge of MMM No. 374 on 9th September.

One of the aims of the Association is “to further the interests of Mark Masonry by any means that may be mutually agreed” and Castle Grove proved an excellent occasion to advance Masonic knowledge and the assembled brethren a most appreciative audience. It is believed that this was the first time the old workings had been ‘on show’ outside South Yorkshire since the first re-enactment in 1968. For those unable to attend a further demonstration is scheduled for Ainley MMM Lodge No. 1739, Wetherby on 20 October 2010.

The Worshipful Master of the St Chad Lodge, WBro Richard G. Brown, proved an enthusiastic ‘candidate’ and a most industrious ‘workman’ when preparing the smooth ashlar as those present will vouch! The enactment was performed in the presence of WBro JamesSteggles, DPGM and WBro John Clough APGM. The President of SYAIM, WBro Bill Hartley was the Inner Guard.

To add even more colour to the evening the demonstration team were resplendent in their new replica aprons which are appropriate to the period and displayed all the Masonic symbols of the various degrees being worked at that time.

The team were ably directed by WBro Brian Short and WBro Robert Corfield PAPGM and assisted by WBro Richard Puttrell Prov.GDC

Demonstration of the Old York Workings, Britannia Lodge

When the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters in the Degree of Mark Master Masons was formed one of its objectives was “to further the interests of Mark Masonry by any means that may be mutually agreed”. The first President, Bro. Geoffrey Le Pla, wished to see an old Mark Ritual performed. He had copies of an opening and closing of a MMM Lodge circa 1850 and a copy of a Ceremony of Advancement from the late 18th century. These are used in the demonstration. They highlight the connections which undoubtedly exist between Craft, Mark and the Royal Arch and offers an explanation of them which may have become obscured over the years.

There are some curious anomalies. The early part relates to the rebuilding of the Temple and the latter to the earlier first Temple. It can be assumed that this is due to the early influence of Scottish Royal Arch and the establishment of Mark Degree as a separate order.

Words and phrases from other degrees can be recognised as Mark Masonry in its many workings is almost as ancient as the Craft itself and therefore it is perfectly possible for them to have been absorbed into other orders.

The first demonstration of the old ritual was at the first ordinary meeting of the Association in May 1968 at Britannia Lodge of MMM No 53. After a gap of 15 years it was performed again in June 2010 at Britannia Lodge following a successful outing at Integrity MMM Lodge No 110 in January. Further demonstrations are planned for St Chad‟s MMM Lodge No 374, Castle Grove MH on 9 September and Ainsty MMM Lodge No 1739, at the Masonic Hall, Wetherby on 20 October 2010.

The team perform under the guidance of W.Bro. Brian Short and “candidates” have included W.Bro. Michael Holmes President of SYAIM and W.Bro. Bob Corfield PAPGM.