The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Climbing to the ‘roof of Africa’

W. Bro Steven Spooner Prov. G.M.O. of Brighouse Lodge of MMM No. 753 is about to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The trek takes place between September 30th and October 8th. Kilimanjaro is the “roof of Africa”, the highest free-standing mountain in the world and is situated in Tanzania. 5,895 metres (19,650 ft).

It is a spectacular trek, culminating in an arduous climb to the summit, starting at midnight and arriving at the rim of the volcanic crater at dawn, followed by further climbing to the final summit. Then he’s got to get back!

W. Bro Steven has offered to donate his sponsorship to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023. Sponsorship forms are available from your Charity Steward or Provincial Charity Rep or here on the Web site.

Please help W. Bro Steve make this a worthwhile event by sponsoring him. Why not ask your partners, family and friends to sponsor W. Bro Steven.

As gift aid can be reclaimed, please make cheques payable to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.

Let’s all wish W. Bro Steve a wonderful climb and support him in his endeavours.

Richard B. Puttrell
Deputy Provincial Grand Master
Festival Chairman

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A Display of Talent at White Rose Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1067

An excellent attendance at the Masonic hall, Hoyle Court on Monday 11 April to witness the advancement of Brother Howard Henry Thompson and the presentation of two Grand Lodge Certificates, not that exceptional you may say, but read on.

The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Michael John Kingdon after which, upon  a report, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. was admitted together with an appropriate escort. W.Bro. Kingdon very courteously offered the gavel only to be told some of us have our bit to do, this is yours!

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Brother Thomson was then admitted and the Advancement team commenced their duties, starting with W.Bro. Kingdom who then passed the baton to Worshipful Brother Richard Bleasdale who delivered the obligation. The Overseers then dutifully despatched their tasks and attention turned to the communication of the signs and secrets, these were in the hands of the Provincial Grand  Master, a most  cool, calm and professional delivery, a pleasure to witness (oh yes I know how to ingratiate myself as well as the best!). The baton was then passed to the Secretary, Worshipful Brother David Steel who gave the explanation of the Badge and Jewel in perfect form to pass it on to another aspiring young Mark Master Mason, well perhaps not too young!  This was the Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough who skilfully articulated the Constitutions and bye-laws followed by a sincere rendition of the Conclusion, in my opinion one of the most meaningful pieces of Ritual in Freemasonry.

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The Provincial Grand Master had, however, more to do and presented Grand Lodge certificates to Brother David Grant Marshall and Brother Paul John Tayler, a moment I judge that they will remember for some time. I did note that promotion at White Rose Lodge of Mark Master Masons can be swift; Bro. Marshall is already Master Overseer.

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The remaining items on the Agenda were then completed and the Lodge closed in due form. With a packed evening of business, time moved on and all enjoyed a very pleasant Festive Board with the Toasts curtailed to effect a reasonable departure time.

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Another Mark evening to savour.


Smile, be happy and enjoy your Mark Masonry.
W.Bro. D. Smith, P.S.G.D.

Pudsey Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 658 Centenary Celebrations

Monday evening, 9 May 2016 and over 80 Brethren gathered together in Pudsey Masonic Hall to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Pudsey Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 658. This special celebratory evening was further enhanced with the presence of the Pro. Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Richard Victor Wallace and our Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. together with the Grand Director of Ceremonies Right Worshipful Brother Kessick Jones and many other distinguished guests including all our Past Rulers.

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On entering the Lodge, the M.W. Pro Grand Master was given a ‘right rousing Yorkshire welcome’ by the Brethren to which the Provincial Grand Master added that, on him taking the chair he would become an ‘Honorary Yorkshireman’, the M.W. Pro Grand Master cheerfully accepted and greeted the Brethren by saying “Good Afternoon Brethren, Good Afternoon Pudsey.”

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He then addressed the meeting updating us on the latest developments and news from Grand Lodge, and gave brief histories of the Province of West Yorkshire and Pudsey Lodge of MMM No. 658, and added it was the first time he could remember a Pro Grand Master presenting a Centenary Warrant, a rare privilege for him, which was heartily received by the Brethren.

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R.W. Bro Jones then read the Centenary Warrant to the Lodge, which the Pro Grand Master then presented to the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. David R. Wight. The Pro Grand Master and Provincial Grand Master then presented the Centenary Jewels to members of the Pudsey Lodge of MMM No.658.

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The Provincial Grand Chaplain, Very Worshipful Brother Edward Patnick then presented an Oration which has become one of the highlights of Celebrations of this nature. This was no exception and he took his inspiration from the Lodge Banner where the All Seeing Eye is depicted looking down on the Keystone where the Hebrew characters are clearly defined. Research had identified that the three word sentence, when translated from Hebrew, read ‘from God Comes Three’.

Freemasonry has many Threes, notably; THE THREE GRAND PRICIPLES;

  1. Brotherly Love or Love thy Neighbour
  2. Relief or Charity
  3. Truth or a belief in a Supreme Being.

In reference to the Tracing Board he had also notice the Hebrew characters on the rungs relating to Jacobs Ladder who saw this in a dream when resting on Mount Moriah, which later became the permanent site for the Temples. The dream foretold the destruction of the First and Second Temple and the building of the Third and Final Temple, by the Messiah, when the world was at peace. The dream was also of Angels climbing the ladder towards Heaven where, going up the rungs the Hebrew characters read, Faith, Hope and Charity.  Much to reflect upon.

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The Festive Board was a splendid affair, the WM presenting gifts on the table of cufflinks and miniature bottles of gin a most ‘gin-erous’ gesture from the WM who incidentally is the Co-owner of Strathearn Distillery in Scotland where the Gin originated.

An excellent evening which will be long remembered by all who attended, with the Pro Grand Masters comment to W.Bro. Wight “Not a Bad Year to be Worshipful Master.”


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.

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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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Thank you from the victims of the York and Tadcaster Floods

On the 10 June 2016, the Two Ridings Community Foundation organised a thank you meeting for the donors to the York Flood Appeal, at Brew York, Walmgate, York.  Brew York was an embryonic business that had just started when the Boxing Day floods hit the area.

The purpose of the meeting was to allow the victims of the floods to thank some of the main donors to the York Floods Relief Fund, which also included flood relief for Tadcaster within the Masonic Province of Yorkshire West Riding. The organisations which attended included Nestle, the Rotarians and, of course, the Freemasons of North and East Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

Nestle had donated £100,000 which started the fund off. This was quickly followed by the Craft Freemasons Grand Charity donating £100,000 to the flood appeals for Cumbria, West Yorkshire and York.  The Craft Freemasons of Yorkshire North & East Ridings donated another £25,000 to the Two Ridings Flood Appeal, to be used for the needs of those victims in York.

At the same time, the Mark Master Masons of North & East Yorkshire donated £25,000 for the flood victims in York and the Mark Master Masons of West Yorkshire a further £5,000 ring fenced for use in Tadcaster, where a road bridge had collapsed causing havoc to transport. West Yorkshire Mark also made similar donations to Community Foundations in Calderdale, Leeds and Bradford and donated £3,000 to the Tadcaster Emergency Action Group via the Tadcaster Community Charity ‘i2i’. All Mark donations were financed from the Mark Benevolent Fund.

The Communications Officer for Yorkshire North & East Ridings Craft Freemasons, W.Bro. Tony Burke, represented the Craft. The Mark Master Masons of North & East Yorkshire and West Yorkshire were represented by their respective Provincial Grand Masters, R.W.Bro. Bob Clancy (North and East Yorkshire) and  R.W.Bro. Jim Steggles (West Yorkshire) together with their wives.

Provincial Grand Masters Jim Steggles (West Yorkshire) and Bob Clancy (North and East Yorkshire) with Jan Garrill, the Chief Executive Officer for the Two Ridings Community Foundation

Provincial Grand Masters Jim Steggles (West Yorkshire) and Bob Clancy (North and East Yorkshire) with Jan Garrill, the Chief Executive Officer for the Two Ridings Community Foundation

The afternoon was a wonderful opportunity to talk to some of the victims, one of whom told all present that he was so humbled by the response from people whom he had never met. He was actually in Scotland when the floods hit York.  He saw the reports on television and cut short his trip to return home.  On his return, he found his house under 4 feet of water.  When he eventually managed to get into his house, he discovered that most of his treasured possessions, his photographs of his Mum and Dad and his daughter growing up, had all been lost.  His passport and personal papers were also a soggy mess.

His house was uninhabitable and he was told that it may be months before anyone could live there. He had contacted his landlord, who couldn’t offer him alternative accommodation.  He was desperate for help and had to move in with his daughter, sleeping on her sofa while her family made room for him.

He then made an approach to the Two Ridings Community Foundation, who sorted out accommodation for him and gave him some short-term financial support to allow him to re-build his life.  As the time went on, they supported him not only physically but also mentally to overcome this tragic event in his life. He could not thank the donors enough and in his last sentence to the gathering he said, “It really does restore your faith in humanity.”