Rother Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 651 Installation Meeting

A typically warm and enthusiastic welcome greeted the Brethren to Rotherham Golf Club at Thrybergh, one of the most well appointed venues in the Province. Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Michael Speight, together with his Wardens, opened  the Lodge in immaculate style   Salutations were then given commencing with Right Worshipful Brother James Truswell, Past Provincial Grand Master and others according to Rank.

A Report then brought forth the Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Clive Hawkins who advised that the Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Gary Parker and Worshipful Brother Alex Geddes, Elected Member of the Charity Executive  was without, and that they wished to be present, agreed and they entered, took their seats and received Salutation. Then followed a comprehensive Report on the past year for the Lodge in the capable hands of the Secretary, Worshipful Brother John Beaven  which included two Presentations and two Candidates with more to come in the year ahead.

Attention then turned to the Installation of Worshipful Brother Chris Hamer as Worshipful Master , R.W.Bro. Jim presented him to the WM who was the asked to to sit in as Senior Warden for the remainder of the evening. After W.Bro. Chris had duly answered the necessary questions., all below the Rank of an Installed Master left the Lodge for a short period. An Installed Board was then opened and W.Bro Chris recited his obligation, was invested with the Collar of his Office and placed in the Chair of Adoniram and saluted from the assembled Installed Masters. The Installed Board was then closed, the Brethren re-admitted,  W.Bro. Chris proclaimed and received salutations from the Brethren.

Worshipful Brother Jim Reid explained the Working Tools in fine style after which W.Bro Michael transferred the Warrant to the hands of W,Bro. Chris together with the Constitutions and Bye Laws.   Worshipful Brother Roy Bury  explained the Key Stone Collarette, a most important part of the Lodge furniture ; finally W.Bro. Mike presented the Grand Patron Diamond Collarette of the Lodge. Officers for the ensuing year were then Appointed and Invested , a number of junior Brethren bodes well for the future. Amusing touch, W.Bro Chris calling the Deacons Wands a ‘stick’

The Addresses were the delivered in superb fashion as follows

Worshipful Master W.Bro.Michael Speight

Wardens W.Bro. John Morgan

Overseers W,Bro. Roy Bury

Brethren W.Bro. Gary Parker.

The Installation complete, W.Bro. Michael declared that the Lodge was now well and truly in the hands of W.Bro. Chris; Both W,Bro Michael and the Director of Ceremonies W.Bro.Chris Allen can be justly proud of a job well done with Bro. Michael receiving a Past Masters Jewel and bar some seventeen years after his first. Several administration items were then despatched which included W.Bro. Chris Allen. in respect of the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters when he announced that, because of other commitments he could not continue. Surprise surprise, W.Bro. Michael Speight had already agreed to fill the breach  He confirmed that he was delighted to step in and then gave a most informative Almoners report. The remaining items were then concluded and the Lodge closed in due form.

All then partook of a sumptious four course Festive Board with dessert being Vanilla Creme Brulee, one of the very few that I will indulge, delicious!.The Toast List was very capably directed and despatched with that to the Province submitted from the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Chris who posed the question, what does the Province do? amongst other things provides leadership and communication. The latter very important in a busy, changing world where there are numerous avenues,  particularly the Communication Manager, Worshipful Brother Andy Johnson and, to this end, keep  up to date with the information on the web site.  W.Bro. Gary Parker, Provincial Grand Secretary in response, congratulated W.Bro.Chris in taking the Chair for the second time, the first at Escafeld Lodge No 1139. The Festival is now looming closer and he encouraged all, who had not already put their names down, to avail themselves of the web site facility to make reservations.  Brethren, support the Provincial Grand Master and YOUR Province, you have until the end of April. He also drew attention to the Xmas Carol Concert will again be held at Brighouse  on the 10th of December.

The Toast to the Charities was in the hands of W.Bro Chris Allen who emphasised the need to support the Festival celebrations which was covered in the response of  W.Bro. Alex. He also reminded all that the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust will still be looking for our support after the Festival. However it does continue to meet its objectives being the relief of present and past Mark Master Masons, their relatives and dependants who are in need, hardship and distress,  something of which we all can remain very proud. W, Bro. David Bacon provided the Toast to the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Chris whom he has known since he became a Freemason, knowing full well that he would do the Lodge proud in his year. W.Bro. Chris assured all that he would endeavour to ensure that the Lodge continued to prosper. The Toast to the Visitors was in the hands Brother David Taylor, Junior Warden, thanking 18 visitors from 11 Lodges for their attendance which had enhanced proceedings. The response was short and sharp with W.Bro. James Ambler saying that he felt that everything appropriate had already been said!

A wonderful evening and especially so to see W.Bro. Chris in rejuvenated form given his health issues over the past few years, I am certain new candidates will be seen and I am sure that, a number of

 the visitors will be back to give their support, me for one.

Smile, Be happy, we are all Mark Master Masons.

V.W.Bro. Duncan Smith. P.G.J.O