Dartmouth Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 545

A most enjoyable evening at Slaithwaite where the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother John Todd was proclaimed as Worshipful Master for another year. Somewhat lacking in numbers but not in enthusiasm, the Lodge was opened in due form by W.Bro. John and Salutations were taken. Minutes of the previous in March were approved which was followed by the Treasurer, Worshipful Brother Alan Hines providing his report covering the payment of Grand and Provincial Grand Lodge dues, which the Brethren duly confirmed, they did not have a choice!

A report then brought forward the Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies,  Worshipful Brother Edward Wilkinson who announced that the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, his Boss, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown, Assistant Provincial Grand Master designate, accompanied by Worshipful Brother Keith Bradley, Elected Member of the Charity Committee, were without and requested admission. This was agreed and they both entered and took their seats after which Salutations were given.

As W.Bro. John had been elected it was sufficient for him to be proclaimed which Worshipful Brother Trevor Kinvig undertook in fine form leading  appropriate Salutations. He was then reminded that the Warrant of the Lodge remained within his responsibility as was the Constitutions and Regulations of the Order and the enforcement of the Byelaws. W.Bro. John Madigan presented and explained the Working Tools of a Mark Master Mason. The Officers all having agreed to remain in situ, only one change was required, that of W.Bro. Alan Hines taking back the reins as Secretary, much to the relief of W.Bro. Ken Wootton, a Dispensation was read in view of his responsibilities, viz Secretary and Treasurer.  In addition it is worthy of note that W.Bro. John Madigan continued as Lodge Representative for the Huddersfield Halifax and District Assoc. of Installed Masters, no on would dare challenge him! He did appear again however as an Auditor with Worshipful Brother Alan Morson. All that remained was the Almoners report that the W.M. John,  assumed a year ago and continued. A comprehensive report, particularly in respect of Widows and a reminder abut the death of W.Bro. Brian Garside who I recall with affection some forty yeas ago when I was advanced into Dartmouth, happy memories.

The Festive Board beckoned and was eagerly consumed when the Toast List was commenced. Worshipful Brother Ken Wootton delivered that to the Province beginning by congratulating W.Bro. Andy Brown on his up and coming promotion, good thinking , could be a feather in his cap in the future. In response W.Bro. Andy first thanked, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. all for their efforts throughout the Festival, second largest total ever and the only Province to achieve Grand Patron Diamond Award for the Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners. He went on to mention the Special Meeting at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday 28th October when both W.Bro Andy and Very Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton will rise to higher Office, the latter as our Provincial Grand Master.  Also other dates for your diaries, Family carol service, Brighouse Methodist Church, 10th December and the  Annual Provincial General Meeting, Saturday 6th April 2024.

The Toast to the Charities fell to W.Bro. Alan Hines stressed the need for us all turn our attention to supporting the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust; a message that the P.G.M. has emphasised recently. This message was shared when W.Bro Keith responded but he was delighted to confirm that despite a reduced income stream, the Charity has 

maintained its obligations to care for Brethren, their Relatives and Dependents. Never forget, it is the Jewel in the Crown of Mark Masonry in the Province of West Yorkshire. The Holiday in Lytham went well  and superb feedback was received from those who attended, the same applied to the Almoners Luncheon, the next one is due on Monday, the 7th November. 

W.Bro. John, Madigan that is, gave the Toast to W.Bro. John, Todd that is, delighted that now our meetings have begun again so has the health of the W.M.,long may it continue; the W.M. thanked him most warmly. Lastly that to the Visitors W.Bro. John, Madigan that is again, very grateful for the visitors who had attended particularly those who had stood in as Officers. The responder was Worshipful Brother Richard Brooke, Truth Lodge who thanked the Brethren the warmth of their welcome and the friendly atmosphere in the Lodge, not forgetting a typical Colne Valley repast. They will return, as will I. 

Do not forget, Smile Be Happy You are a Mark Master Mason.

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