Especial Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, Saturday 28th October 2023.  The Installation of V.W.Bro. John Trevor Bolton, P.G.J.O.

As the saying goes poor planning makes for a poor performance.  Saturday was certainly not that, in fact it was Magnificent.  The Secretariat, D.C. Teams and the Social Committee all pulling in the same direction to make a most wonderful and memorable day for all concerned.  Price Hall at Bradford Grammar School or Hogwarts as it seems to now be affectionately known really does lend itself to such an occasion.  

The Presiding officer was R.W.Bro. Brian Morris Batty, P.Prov.G.M., the (Acting) Deputy Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Bennett Truswell P.Prov.G.M. and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, V.W.Bro. John Edward Vause, P.G.J.O.  We were really well supported by distinguished guests from both Grand Lodge and other Provinces.  Ten other Provinces in total together with R.W.Bro.James Henry Newman O.B.E. Provincial Grand Master & Grand Superintendent (Province of Yorkshire West Riding).  The salutations were many.  After a warm welcome from The Presiding Officer the next business was to receive The Installing Officer, M.W. Bro. John Herbert Prizeman, Pro Grand Master who of course demanded admission.  He was accompanied by eleven Grand officers.  The Pro Grand Master was saluted with Eleven.   

He then informed us as to the purpose of the meeting which, was to install V.W.Bro. John Trevor Bolton, P.G.J.O. as Provincial Grand Master.  It really is a fascinating watch and the ceremonial just wonderful.  The patent of appointments has to be produced and examined and various escorts formed with cushion bearers in attendance, prayers given, and obligations given.  V.W.Bro. John Trevor Bolton now the Provincial Grand Master was saluted with seven.

The Provincial Grand Master then announced the appointment of Very Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, P.G.J.O. as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.  The ceremony continues with the similar patents being produced and obligations given.  The Deputy Provincial Grand Master then taking his seat and looking as though he had done the job before!  Salutations of five were given.

Next came the Appointment of Worshipful Brother Andrew James Brown, Dep.G.D.C. as Assistant Provincial Grand Master.  The ceremonial continuing in great style.  The Assistant Provincial Grand Master took his seat and salutations of five given.

The Provincial Grand Master then gave a short address to the installing officer who then accompanied by his assisting officers retired in procession. 

And relax!  The Provincial Team once again taking over the proceedings.  The Prov.G.M. confirmed the current Provincial Officers would continue in office with the following changes and appointments – 

Provincial Grand Director of ceremonies.  Mark Neville Holland, Haywra 525

Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. Clive Hawkins, Bronte 535 

Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. Robert Darren Barton, Lightcliffe 715

The Provincial Grand Master then gave an address:

“Brethren, I now have the opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to all of you for attending today. Also, publicly, to thank you for the many cards, letters, emails, and telephone calls expressing congratulations, not only to me personally, but also to my Deputy and Assistant. It really has been a humbling experience for us all.

May I also now, somewhat belatedly, extend on your behalf, a very warm welcome to our Distinguished Guests in attendance today. Regretfully, time is not available, on this occasion, to introduce them all individually to you, but as always Brethren, you are most welcome to West Yorkshire.

During my time as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, and as a member of the Provincial Executive, I visited all of the Northern Provinces and several others. During that time, I have formed many valued friendships amongst colleagues from other Mark Provinces. I thank these Right Worshipful, Very Worshipful and Worshipful Brethren, not only for their friendship, and presence here today, but also for the tremendous support they continue to give to this Province.

Likewise, we are privileged to have the support of many present and past Rulers of the Craft Province of Yorkshire West Riding, and I am delighted to say that R.W.Bro. James Newman, the Provincial Grand Master, and several other members of his executive are here with us today. This support by the Craft is greatly valued and can only enhance the excellent relationships forged between the Craft and Mark by my predecessors. I thank these worthy Brethren for their attendance. It is so much appreciated.

Past and present Rulers of the Royal Arch, and many other Orders and Degrees in Freemasonry, are also with us today. We thank them and extend to them our very best wishes for the continued success of their Orders.

I offer my thanks to W.Bro. Gerry Barker, and his team for organising and running this meeting today. Also, to all the Brethren and Ladies, under the direction of W.Bro. Mike Noel, who are looking after our refreshment needs.

To the Escort and Cushion Bearers, and the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Mark Holland, and his team – I thank you.

And I particularly thank the Provincial Grand Secretary W.Bro. Gary Parker, his Deputy, W.Bro. Warren Marsden, and rest of the Secretarial team, for the truly tremendous amount of work they have undertaken to make today such a success.

Brethren of West Yorkshire, I am proud to have been appointed your Provincial Grand Master. I have the honour of succeeding fifteen worthy and illustrious former holders of this Office, no less than 2 of whom are still active in our Province today.

It’s good to see them both here today and taking part in our Proceedings. I don’t think I am going to be short of advice from that direction Brethren!

Brethren I do, once more, thank you all for your attendance at this Especial Meeting today, for your magnificent support, and for the enjoyment and happiness you bring to Mark Masonry in West Yorkshire.

I pledge that I will use my best endeavours to maintain that happiness – and to take this wonderful Province of ours forward for the benefit of all future Mark Master Masons and their dependants.

Brethren – God bless you all – and Mark Well.

Provincial Grand Lodge was then closed.

Dining on this occasion was held in the school refectory.  Really well organised, with plenty of space to enjoy Lunch which was very good indeed.  Brethren moving easily between tables to chat with other friends from their own and other Provinces.

R.W. Bro. Trevor gave the toast to The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master, John Herbert Prizeman which was a simple formal toast, but he did add that he was very proud and honoured by his presence today and wished him well.  In his response The Pro Grand Master said it had been a great pleasure to invest Trevor today and thanked everyone for the warm welcome he had received He also gave thanks to the Secretariat and D.C. teams for all their wonderful efforts and of course his own Grand Team for their help and contribution.  He went on to talk about ‘that lot from London’ as he said they were commonly referred to.  In fact, quite the opposite was true they came from all over.  Giving a few examples of Northumberland, Norfolk, Gloustershire and even the Isle of Wight where they might even speak a different language!  He mentioned R.W.Bro.James Newman our Provincial Grand Master in the Craft.  We must continue to support them.  If they are successful, then we are all successful.  He talked about R.W.Bro. Jim Steggles and that he would be a hard act to follow.  Your P.G.M. will have many miles to travel, many visits to make.  Please support him and help him so we can all embrace the order and so promote enjoyment.

Closing R.W.Bro. Trevor said he was so proud to be the Provincial Grand Master.  He thanked all that were here today and mentioned R.W.Bro. Brian Morris Batty R.W.Bro. James Bennett Truswell both P.Prov.G.M.  And of course, R.W.Bro. Jim Steggles who had guided us through the last eleven years.  Please continue to enjoy our order.  Finally presenting gifts to The Pro Grand Master and the Grand officers.  The Pro Grand Master thanked him very kindly for the gin but, doubted very much it would last until Monday!  With that The Provincial Grand Master together with the Pro Grand Master retired.   A really fabulous day, one not often seem which was done with style.  Making us all proud to be Masons and of course Mark Master Masons.

Andrew Johnson

Communications Manager