Banner Dedication for Gilkirke Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.812 Tuesday 21st November 2023 

The Provincial Team had travelled the furthest West it’s possible to go in our Province to perform a banner dedication.  The Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. J. Trevor Bolton and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Andrew J. Brown both in attendance.  There was a total of 23 visitors which shows what numbers such events can generate and, the reason why visiting is so important to support all the Lodges within our Province. W.Bro. Philip Beaumont even daring to cross the border from the Province of East Lancashire.  He had just finished his year in office as Worshipful Master of Darwen Lodge of M.M.M. No. 1327 and stood in as Junior Warden for Gilkirke for the night. 

Once the Lodge was opened the Prov. G.M. and A.Prov. G.M. entered with a delegation of Grand and Provincial Grand Officers.  Trevor was warmly greeted and offered the gavel which on this occasion he took thanking the Worshipful Master W.Bro. Patrick Biston for his welcome and kind words.  Trevor then appointed his own officers and salutations were given.  Trevor firstly gave a short explanation as regards why we were all here this evening and the dedication began.  

It is a really interesting piece of ceremonial and not often seen.  First an escort was formed and the banner which was covered was paraded in.  The W.M. then asked the Prov.G.M. if he would receive it and, it was then uncovered but, facing away from the Lodge and couldn’t be seen.  The Prov.G.Chap. W.Bro. Roger Quick then gave a prayer and delivered a fantastic oration about the beautiful banner which was very kindly made by Mrs Eleanor Berry the wife of W.Bro. Keith Berry who was W.M. in 2008 and is their current Junior Deacon. 

Roger really is a great ‘story teller’.  He talked about the trouble we get into for flying the Union jack upside down, the American flag never dips in salute and must never touch the ground.  The Royal Standard is never flown at half-mast, for the sovereign is succeeded immediately.  He talked about the church of Mary-Le-Gill, symbolism, Ghyll Church, the Three swords on the banner and its links to the Monastic community which began its life in Barnoldswick then moving to Kirkstall, wondering if the monks would regret it now!  He talked about the colours Gold and Blue a major part of the banner.  Did you know just an ounce of Gold can be hammered so thin it can cover an area of over 100 sq. ft.  Or that blue was originally made from marine mollusc or the skins of pomegranate.  I wonder if our Fathers of old were just bored one day and decided to mash up marine mollusc to see what happened! Roger was given a rousing round of applause.  To read the oration in full please click hereIt really is worth a read – just brilliant, thanks Roger.  The banner was then paraded around the Lodge for all to see.  Trevor then presented the banner to Patrick both exchanging suitable words.  The Lodge was then given back to Patrick and business as normal continued.

A fantastic Festive board with Soup, Gammon, Apple Crumble and Cheese & Biscuits.  During the speeches Patrick thanked Trevor for being here on their special night and for bringing along his team to perform the marvellous ceremony.  In response Trevor said it had been a most enjoyable meeting and gave his best wishes, nearly going on to bring the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master but said it was perhaps the shock of W.Bro. Sam Cariss asking him for four £5 notes in exchange for a £20 note, which he wasn’t sure when he might see that £20 again!  He talked about the carol service to be held at Brighouse Methodist Church, Brighouse at 2 p.m. on Sunday 10th December.  A great start to Christmas.  Please come along and join us and bring along family, friends and neighbours.  Going on to promote the Provincial Meeting at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday 6th April 2024, a great occasion and one not to be missed.  Finally thanking all his team of officers for their support tonight. 

The toast to the visitors was given by Sam Cariss and the response came from W.Bro. Stuart Prince of Wharfedale No.1027.  Sam said tonight’s meeting reminded him of a BBC sports presenter talking about a very one-sided game of Rugby with the visitors overwhelming the home side by a big winning score.  Saying we certainly couldn’t have done it without you.  Responding Stuart said their numbers may have been small but their welcome big.  He knew they had some trepidation about the evening especially with some of the floor work that had to be done but, they had come through it splendidly and, should rightly be very proud.  He talked about Rogers wonderful oration the hours of work that must have gone into it and the fabulous way it was delivered.  It was interesting, informative and delivered with sincerity, fun and humour.  He commended Gilkirke for their Festive board, their camaraderie and friendship closing by saying we had all had a wonderful time.  Please come again.  Were his last words that of a visitor or a member?  No, just the words of a great supporter of visiting, the I.M.As in general and in particular the B.D.I.M.A.

Andrew Johnson

Communications Manager