Wednesday 15th November 2023 and W.Bro. Andrew Brown A.Prov.G.M. headed up a Provincial visit of sixteen acting officers. The meeting opened and a eulogy was given by W.Bro. Trevor Hurd about W.Bro. Maurice Warner, followed by a few moments of silence.
It was a fabulous night with Cleeves giving a demonstration of the Advancement Ceremony and what a great ceremony it was. There were a few super subs with W.Bros. Alex Geddes of Vulcan and Charles Lindsay of Gothic filling in as inner Guard and Junior Deacon. There was some good ritual heard as well. With the W.M. Rowland Thurston leading a good team with great pieces from W.Bros. Trevor Hurd, Brian Short and Steve Hides. The star it has to be said was Bro. Alan Hides obviously a very experienced Mason but, only joining the Mark a little over 18 months ago. Not a word out of place (well I think so!) performed with elegance and style. The ‘candidate’ W.Bro. Philip Drury also a super sub did look a little nervous but, as he later said himself, he would probably do rather well in the order!
A busy Festive Board with over 35 sat down to dine. The food came hot was good and of course this being Sheffield the tables adorned with bottles of ‘Hendos’.
W.Bro. Michael Holmes gave the toast to the Province. Michael saying it was commonly know as the ‘crawlers toast’ this he disagreed with as he said Provincial officers work hard, contribute and, are always happy to help. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master responded firstly by bringing the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. Trevor Bolton and giving his own at the same time. Andrew then went on to explain that these Provincial visits began back in 1999 and were introduced by the then Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. Brian Morris Batty, the first one being to St. Chad No. 374. Back in those days there were just three a year and now six, but it does mean they are still only seen in each Lodge perhaps every six or seven years. The idea being to support Lodges boost attendance and encourage visiting which really does bring enjoyment.
He then talked about the recent especial meeting at Bradford Grammar School saying what a great day it had been giving thanks to all who made it happen such as the secretariat, D.C. team and social committee. Going on to pay respect to R.W.Bro. James Steggles and his wife Joan for everything they had done over the last eleven years. He talked about the Mark Carol Service to be held at Brighouse Methodist Church at 2.p.m on Sunday 10th December, a lovely afternoon and a great start to Christmas. The next Provincial meeting will be held again at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday 6th April 2024 with dining again at The Midland Hotel. The dining was so successful last year, and the buses laid on really did make it very easy for all. Help is always needed at such events and if you would like to get involved, please get in touch. Your support would really be appreciated. It’s also a great time to support our new Prov.G.M. and of course support your friends and all those receiving Provincial appointments. He told us the new website is now up and running and is fantastic easy to navigate and contains lots of news and useful information. Please have a look if you haven’t already.
The toast to the visitors was given by W.Bro. Frank Dewire who said Cleeves was a happy Lodge but made much happier by its visitors and trusted they had enjoyed the meeting the company and the Festive Board. In responding W.Bro. Terry Sweet W. M of Vulcan Lodge No.1191 said it had been a great night, a great demonstration with good food and good company. Really showing how much fun visiting is. Closing by telling his King Arthur Joke! Want to hear the punch line? Then go visit Vulcan Lodge you will be most warmly welcomed.