The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons West Yorkshire Golf Tournament

The morning of 5 May 2016 dawned to perfect blue skies, with a warm gentle breeze to herald the 34 Mark Masons of the Province assembled at the Low Laithes Golf Club, near Ossett. They were greeted with coffee and bacon butties on arrival and a course which was in beautiful condition. Unfortunately the very slick greens proved a downfall for some, including the writer of this report.

The day had been organised by W.Bro Graham Bailey in conjunction with W.Bro Alex Steele a member at the Club. The day went without a hitch with a halfway house contributing to the total of over £1,000.00 to be donated to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023.

After a few well earned drinks, an excellent two course meal was served, and enjoyed by all, including our Rulers, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles; the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell, and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor, all of whom had kindly arrived to support the day and present the prizes.

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They were awarded as follows:

The Carl Whitehead Trophy for the overall winner: to Bro. Arthur Leach, Danum Lodge No. 398.

The Frank Whitworth Rose Bowl for the Best Past Master to W.Bro. Phil Ireland, Haywra Lodge No. 525.

The P G M Trophy for Best Veteran: to W.Bro. G Wood, St Chad Lodge No. 374.

The Ryburn Trophy for the Best Gross score: to W.Bro. Graham Bailey, Danum Lodge No. 398.

The Jack Senior Cup for the Team Prize, best 3 scores: to Danum Lodge No. 398 (95 pts.) Bro. Arthur Leach. Bro. Mike Bunce, and Bro. Andy Evans.

The John Fox Trophy for Nearest the pin: to W.Bro. Martin Hughes, Legiolium No. 457.

 

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Finally a new Trophy was presented this year by W.Bro Barrie Fothergill in memory of W.Bro David Fisher of St. Chad Lodge, who had been a big supporter of the competition for many years. This was given in respect of the Longest Drive and was won by W.Bro. Phil Ireland of Haywra Lodge No. 525.

The Provincial Grand Master rounded of the proceedings by thanking the organisers, and Low Laithes Golf Club, for making such a wonderful wonderful day.

Next year’s Golf will be held on 4 May, again at Low Laithes Golf Club.

 

Very Worshipful Brother Robert Corfield, P.G.J.O., P.D.P.G.M.

A Special Night at Vulcan Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1191

Special Yes, because it was the Installation of Brother Graham S Littlewood, but all Installations are special. This was more so in that he was taking the Chair of a Lodge previously occupied by both his Great Grandfather and his Father. The majority of those present remembered W.Bro. Graham Littlewood, a stalwart of the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters and provider of whisky marmalade, jams and pickles which he sold at Lodges, proceeds to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.  I am sure that they, together with his Uncle Sam Littlewood, Past Master at Integrity Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 110 would have been looking down on the proceedings with great pride.

The Lodge was opened in perfect form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Roy Edwards and the usual formalities despatched. Upon a report the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell was admitted accompanied by Worshipful Brother John Wilberforce Ashcroft, Elected member of the Charity Committee, both being duly acknowledged with appropriate salutations.

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The Installation then commenced with W.Bro. Roy firmly in charge of the reins. He was ably supported by a number of Past Masters and the Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Geoff Kendall, and I must also mention a Junior Brother, Terence Sweet for his explanation of the Tools. Most of the accolades, however, go to W.Bro. Roy who was faultless, a wonderful ceremony and one that W.Bro. Graham S Littlewood will treasure for the rest of his days. The officers for the year were then appointed and invested, the only point of note being a demonstration of flying gavels by the D.C. W. Bro. Geoff, very novel.

At this juncture, I will mention that in his report about the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters, W. Bro. Alex Geddes mentioned events that some may wish to put in their diaries viz: Friday 24 June at Tapton Hall, a Mid Summer Social; Association Visit to Lascelles No. 887, 5 July and, Annual General Meeting at Tapton Hall 7 September, incidentally this is the meeting where W. Bro. Alex will become President.

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The Festive Board was well received and the dining problems at Tapton Hall now appear to be well behind them so no excuse for not being there, the tomato soup was delicious, at least I thought so!  The toast to the Province was brilliantly delivered by Worshipful Brother Peter Riggall, just the right balance of effusive compliments and modest ingratiation, a talented young man who is going far. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Puttrell began his response by reminding W.Bro. Graham that he was now the face of Vulcan Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1191 and that he had a responsibility, which all Masters in the Chair inherit, that of representing their Lodge in their Association and throughout the Province. This should include attendance at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire which will be held at Bradford on the 22 April 2017. Thought should also be given to inviting their Senior and Junior Wardens to accompany them. Comment was also passed regarding the Mark 250 Club which, whilst being a most useful fund raising tool to facilitate the refurbishment and replacement of P.G.L. Regalia, the banner will be dealt with in the next year, also provides a chance to win cash prizes.  Cost a modest £10 p.a., you can have as many as you want, give it a try.  I have 3 and have yet to win anything but it is a good cause Brethren. Finally he reminded Brethren of the Provincial Demonstration Teams and the Old Mark Workings Team, both of which are available to visit Lodges which I know, from my own experience, Lodges will find both interesting and informative.

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The response to the Charity Toast was in the hands of Worshipful Brother John Wilberforce Ashcroft who began by drawing attention to the work that the Mark Benevolent Fund undertakes in the wider community such as the provision of Life boats, help to many Hospices and, at the moment, ‘Hope for Tomorrow’, which provides mobile Chemotherapy units at a cost of circa, £250, 000 each. In respect of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund festival, he explained that all Mark Master Masons Lodges in the Province in 1988 are Patron lodges. To achieve Grand patron status they need to reach £1000 and Gold Award, £2500, donations direct to the Festival account. Individuals, Patron £500, Grand Patron £1000 and Gold award £2500, donations to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust who can recover the gift aid tax.

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A wonderful meeting was underlined by the prescience of no less than 5, yes FIVE visiting Master of which 4 were from Tapton, I hope this message permeates around the Province.

For the record they were;

  1. Bro Norman Oakes, Britannia No. 53
  2. Bro. Pete Eville, Lascelles No. 887
  3. Bro. Tom McDougall, Sincerity No. 943
  4. Bro. James Ambler, Escafeld No. 1139 and last but by no means least
  5. Bro. Tony McVeigh, Chesterfield No. 1472

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Another WOW of a Mark Master Masons meeting, smile and be very happy.

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

A Proclamation at Copley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 111

The Installation of Worshipful Brother David M. Wadeley took place on 15 March at The Allerton by way of Proclamation as he is to undertake another year. Nothing new there I hear you say but this was the first time many of us had seen the suggested ritual, provided by the Province, executed; copies can be obtained from the Provincial Grand Secretary.

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The Worshipful Master had professionally dealt with the opening procedures, including a ballot for a new Member, when a report was taken. This was to admit the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell, accompanied by Worshipful Brother John Wilberforce, he prefers me using his full name, Ashcroft, Representative of the Charity Committee.

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The Proclamation was very smoothly and effortlessly undertaken under the control of the Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother C. John Mitchell. It was clear from the outset that a deal of effort had been put in to practicing the procedure which appeared flawless, congratulations to all involved. W.Bro. Wadeley then appointed and invested his Officers for the next year where it was a delight to see two ‘junior’ brethren take on significant roles. Firstly Brother Lewis Sandler became Chaplain, replacing his father, W.Bro. John Sadler followed by Brother Lance Johnson, a Chartered Accountant, as Treasurer, both have been Mark Masons for a very short time.

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The Festive Board was a credit to the catering staff and enjoyed by all. Brother John Crutcher proposed the toast to the Province in a very sincere fashion and this was acknowledged by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in his response. W.Bro. Puttrell emphasised that it was a responsibility for Masters in the Chair to visit their sister Lodges in their Installed Masters Association. Hopefully this will not fall upon deaf ears but I have to report that once again I have been present at an Installation where not a single visiting Master attended!  In respect of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival, he provided some clarity in respect of Donations. Personal Donations which can attract Gift Aid, must be made to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust who can reclaim the tax portion, 25% of the amount you donate, this equates to 20% tax back on the gross donation. Lodge donations, from fund raising events, collections, sale of goods etc., go directly to the Festival account.

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In respect of Charity, the Lodge made a significant donation on the night which was gratefully received by W. Bro. Ashcroft. He reminded Brethren that we are all Almoners and have a duty to be mindful of our Brethren, Whilst the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust continues to respond very swiftly, in a number of instances it would have been very beneficial if the information had come forward much earlier. Many of our Brethren are proud people and shy away from asking. it is incumbent upon all of us to be aware and, in any doubt, call in the Almoner or visit yourself. The Llandudno Holiday will again take place this year but at a new venue. This holiday is only available to Brethren and dependants who are physically independent. Those who do not fall within that category are not ignored and can be provided for at a more appropriate facility in Bridlington. If in doubt consult the Provincial Almoner whose number is on the Summons, or should be, it is 01924 363361

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Another excellent Mark evening, I seem to be saying that a lot at present.
W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.S.G.D.

Prince Leopold Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 352

An excellent attendance at the Masonic Hall in Ripon for the advancement of Brother Peter James Dale, and an escorted visit by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell with 23 visitors, including 13 members of the Provincial escort.

All assembled and raring to go, the strains of the opening ode rang out and the Brethren sang with gusto. That was until the dulcet melodies were interrupted by that odious sound of a mobile telephone. All eyes scanned the room for the culprit, who had dared to let the side down, feverishly the Brother tried to turn it off, eventually succeeding much to his relief. A lesson learned, but you do feel a bit of a numpty when this happens and I have determined that it will never happen to ME again!

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The opening formality concluded, upon a report the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Richard Boswell Puttrell was admitted, flanked by his Escort, and attention turned to the Candidate. His proposer was the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Martin Bean who most assuredly led from the front, no notes or ritual book in sight, a polished performance throughout. In this he was very ably supported by his Officers, notably the Senior Deacon, Brother Stephen Hall and the Secretary, Worshipful Brother John Gibbons with the Signs and Secrets word perfect. I also have to report that I was impressed by the Chaplain throughout the proceedings, a man of impeccable bearing and manner, totally at ease with his duties, hardly surprising when I noted that he was W.Bro. Reverend Ken Crossley.

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A very pleasant surprise under any business when, Worshipful Brother Paul Leach, an Elected Member of the Charity committee presented Worshipful Brother David Todd with a Patrons Charity Collaret in recognition of his support for Mark Masonic Charities. This, I think, will become a more regular event in Lodges as Brethren experience the journey through the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund festival 2023.

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At the Festive Board which was thoroughly enjoyable, W.Bro Puttrell in responding to the Toast to the Province reminded Brethren that in the Province we have a Lodge that only meets once a year. It is, of course, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire whose ‘Worshipful Master’ is Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles and he encouraged all who could to attend the meeting on the2 April at Bradford Grammar School, it will be our turn to reciprocate. At this meeting W.Bro. Mark Kenyon and W.Bro. Michael Holmes will be promoted to Provincial Grand Senior Warden and Provincial Grand Junior Warden respectively, this being pointed out by W.Bro. Puttrell as both were present.

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Another superb Mark Masonic occasion, aren’t we lucky, enjoy.
W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Thank You

Since the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. announced that, on 27 November 2014, he was going to appoint a new Deputy and Assistant Provincial Grand Master. V.W. Bro. Robert Corfield, P.G.J.O. and l, whenever possible, took the opportunity to tell the Brethren of the Province just how much we both appreciated the support given to us during our terms of Office, every single one of you deserves our sincere thanks.

However, there are many whom we were unable to talk to in person and we hope that this short message will convey our regards and thanks, to them and to our friends in other Provinces.

Change is a necessary thing in a busy vibrant Province like ours and we now all have the chance to give that same support to our new Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Richard Puttrell, P.G.S.D. and to our new Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Dr Rod Taylor, P.G.J.D. Both Bob and l hope they enjoy the years to come and that they too play their part in taking our Province forward.

Our thanks also go to the Officers and Brethren of all the individual Lodges who made our visits so memorable, not forgetting the Secretariat and D.C. teams for all their help and assistance.

It has been a wonderful journey for both of us and we thank you all for making it possible.

Our very best fraternal regards

V.W.Bro. John F Clough
V.W.Bro. Robert Corfield