Thorne Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1004.

A very warm welcome upon arrival and that was evident throughout the evening. Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Ron Oldfield opened the Lodge in exemplary form with the assistance of an enthusiastic and largely, young team of Officers. Attention then turned to the Business for which we had met, minutes of the previous meeting confirmed, correspondence delivered and Auditors together with two new Members of the Lodge Committee appointed. Next an unusual event, that of the presentation of a cheque for £1000 to the 2023Mark Benevolent Fund on behalf of the Thorne Royal Ark Mariners Lodge No. 1004, gratefully received.

A report was taken and the Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Charles Lindsay entered to announce that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother John Vause, together with the Representative of the Charity Committee, W.Bro. Paul Levy, was without and would love to be within. This was agreed, and dutifully followed, with an Escort of Grand Lodge Officers. V.W.Bro. John was given a greeting from W.Bro. Ron, offered the gavel which he courteously returned, and was then given Salutations according to his Rank.

Installing Officers then occupied their positions and W.Bro. Jason Figgett presented the Master Elect, Brother Matthew Dunstan, W.Bro. Ron put the necessary questions to Bro. Matt, all answered appropriately, whereupon, after thanking the Officers for their endeavours over the past year, those below the Rank of Worshipful Brother exited for a short while and an Installed Board was established. Bro. Matt then recited his obligation in excellent form with the Signs and Secrets in the hands of W.Bro. Ron who also invested the Collar and Jewel and placed him in the Chair of the Lodge, congratulations Worship Brother Matthew Dunstan The remaining procedural requirements fulfilled, the Installed Board was closed and the Brethren admitted and W.Bro. Matthew was proclaimed the newly installed Worshipful Master for the ensuing year. W.Bro. Brian Booth then provided the explanation of the Working Tools. Finally W.Bro. Matt received the Keystone Collarette and Diamond Charity Collar from his predecessor after each had been explained in fine style in the hands of Very Worshipful Brother Bob Corfield, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master. The Warrant of the Lodge, Constitutions and Regulations and the regulations of the Lodge and those of the Province of West Yorkshire were also presented.

Time for the Officers for the ensuing year to be appointed and Invested under the direction of W.Bro. Colin Middleton, Director of Ceremonies, no surprises. The Addresses were then delivered in superb fashion as follows;

Worshipful Commander V.W.Bro. Bob Corfield

Wardens W.Bro. David Carter

Overseers ​​​ W.Bro. David Spivey.

Installation complete which prompted W.Bro. Ron to say ‘that is it then’, Yes it was, and a Ceremony of which he, and the Officers, can be justly proud, glad that I was present.

The assembled company then adjourned for a well-earned Festive Board, delightful fare, enthusiastically despatched. W.Bro Jason then submitted the Toast to the Province,   they worked him hard on the night, which he kept short and sweet but stressed the commitment and support that the Provincial Officers provide. V.W.Bro. John in response pointed out that the West Yorkshire Mark 2023 Festival Weekend, Friday 30th June/ Saturday 1st July, was looming nearer and emphasised it is a unique opportunity for Brethren, the next Festival will be in 35 years or so when sadly a significant number of us will not be around!! 

Attendees have already reserved their places from outside our Province, 400 approx. but only 140 from West Yorkshire, need we say more. Details are on the Provincial Web site support both our Provincial Grand Master and YOUR Province. Before that the Annual General Meeting of the West Yorkshire Province will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday 15th April, full details on the web site.

W.Bro. Jason then proposed the Toast to the Charities, he is the Charity Steward, where the Charity Representative, W.Bro. Paul Levy then reminded all that our Charitable endeavours can return to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust after the Festival.  Bearing in mind that the present economic situation is afflicting many of our Brethren who will increasingly require our support. W.Bro Ron led the toast to W.Bro. Matt whose heart is in Freemasonry and, despite many years over the top in the west, was born in Yorkshire, we forgive a lot for fellow Tykes. W.Bro. Jonathan Armstrong led the overtures to the Installing Master, W.Bro. Ron who was suitably modest in his reply. Finally the Senior Warden, Brother Paul Crow thanked all the visitors for attending followed the plea, please come again, I do not think that he will be disappointed. Brother David Harness from St Swithuns Lodge No. 445 congratulated all on a wonderful ceremony, although he had missed some of it, particularly as four Officers had given apologies on the day.  He also confirmed that he would return.

The Magic of the Mark, Smile, Be Happy, You are a Mark Master Mason.

V.W.Bro. Duncan Smith. PGJO