A modest attendance, in line with what I have become used to of late, the lingering effects of Covid I suspect, hope fully Brethren will return in greater numbers in 2024. Those of us who did can assure you that you missed a most enjoyable Ark Mariner Installation of Brother Robert Bachelor in the hands of Worshipful Brother Gil Stross. He had opened the Lodge in due form after which the Minutes of the previous meeting in May were confirmed and Correspondence attended and confirmed.
A Report then brought forward the Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Edward Wilkinson, who announced that the Grand Junior Overseer, Very Worshipful Brother Philip Oldfield was about, accompanied by Worshipful Brother Keith Bradley, Elected member of the Charity Executive, could they join the fray? which W.Bro. Gil warmly confirmed. All admitted and welcomed, Salutations given and acknowledged, attendance turned to the most important part and Worshipful Brother David Blackburn presented the Master Elect. The usual questions posed and correctly acknowledged, Brethren below the Rank of an Installed Master retired. An Installed Board was convened, Bro.Robert duly obligated, signs and Secrets communicated, received the Collar, Jewel and Badge of his Office whereupon he was placed in the Chair of Adoniram and Saluted by the Worshipful Brethren.
The Installed Board was closed, Brethren admitted, the W.M. proclaimed and received salutations from the Brethren. This brought forward W. Bro. David Blackburn who presented and explained the Working Tools, W.Bro.Gil followed with the transfer of the Lodge Warrant also the Constitutions and Regulations of the Order, Provincial Byelaws and Lodge Byelaws. Worshipful Brother David Taylor, as he normally does, took responsibility to present and explain the Keystone Collarette and Jewel which W.Bro. Gil then endowed upon his successor. W.Bro. Robert, as he now was confidently took the reins to Appoint and Invest his Officers, as regards the progressive Officers, a young group which bodes well for the future. The next appointment of note was the Auditors, W.Bro. David Taylor and W.Bro. David Blackburn unanimously approved, this being followed by Worshipful Brother John Davis as Representative for the Hudds, Halifax I.M.A, The Addresses were then given as follows;
Worshipful Master W.Bro. David Blackburn
Wardens W.Bro. Edward Wilkinson
Overseers W.Bro. David Taylor and
Brethren V.W.Bro. Philip Oldfield
Installation complete, the Almoner, W.Bro. Alan Winder, gave a detailed report, well received, W.Bro, John on the activities of the I.M.A., very little to say at this stage. Propositions there were none, Alms collected, the Lodge was closed in due form.
The Festive Board beckoned, but first, Very Worshipful Brother Michel Littlewood had announced in Lodge that he passed his 92nd birthday, an event he wished to share with us, which he did treating us all to a drink of our choice, Happy Birthday Michael. Toasts were taken under the direction of the D. of C, W.Bro. David, that to the Province in the safe hands of Worshipful Brother Matthew Oldroyd, himself now a Provincial officer, who thanked his colleagues for all the support that they give to Brethren, long may that continue. In response V.W.Bro. Philip conveyed the thanks of Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, Provincial Grand Master, for everyone’s efforts in support of the Festival, a most successful period for the Province despite Covid. A reminder was given in respect of the special meeting on the 28that Bradford Grammar School for the Investiture of Very Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton as our Prov.G.M., no dining places available but Brethren can still attend the event. Finally, a word about ritual, R.W.Bro. Jim is firm in the requirement that we should all try to perform ritual without books or any aid whatsoever, please bear that in mind.
The Toast to the Charities featured W.Bro. John Davis whose message was clear, do anything you can to raise funds for ‘OUR CHARITY’, spot on. This was echoed in response from W.Bro. Keith but he confirmed that throughout the period of the Festival the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust had continued to meet its obligations as defined by the Trust Deed; much of that down to the efforts of the Provincial Almoner Worshipful Brother Paul Leach. Standing order income still wallows at 20% of the membership, somewhat disappointing my friends as it was 18% when I was Chairman of Trustees in 2009!!, give it some thought please.
Bro. David Bachelor then presented the Toast to W.Bro. Robert, someone he knows rather well, apparently he has installed him in another order. No doubt about the leadership, attitude and commitment of W.Bro. Robert, the Lodge is in good hands. W. Bro. John Davis delivered the Toast to the visitors, there in good numbers,, the response in the hands of the Worshipful Master of Fearnley Lodge, W.Bro. Keith Cockerham. He praised visiting as it provided the opportunity to cement relationships with old friends and develop new ones, yes so true and that is truly where the ‘Magic of the Mark’ is seen. He finished with positive words for the Festive Board, particularly the Pudding!
Smile Be Happy You are Mark Master Masons.
V.W.Bro. Duncan Smith. PGJO