Tuesday 31st October 2023 and W.Bro. Andrew J. Brown was on duty as the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the first time. Andrew must have been delighted especially as it was his own Lodge. W.Bro. Mark Kenyon was there as the elected representative of the charity committee.
A great turnout with twenty-six visitors there from thirteen Lodges. The Master W.Bro. Andy Fairbairn opening the Lodge then quickly moving on saw Andy and Mark admitted under the direction of the newly appointed Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W.Bro. Mark Holland. Andy looked fair chuffed to be received into his own Lodge. He was then offered the gavel which he quickly took and even quicker gave back saying he knew Andy Fairburn would do a great job and so he did. The Master working hard to deliver great ritual which, the incoming Master Bro. Malcolm J. Harrison must have been impressed with. Once the inner workings had been completed it was time for the rest of the Brethren to be readmitted. Great search had to be made for them. The acting inner guard W.Bro. John Madigan could be heard shouting out for them in the depths of the building. Someone stated, ‘I wonder if they have taken a trip for a quick look round Andy Thorntons just down the road’. It’s a local furniture and antique warehouse which supplies sets/props amongst other things to theatres and T.V. production companies. Sorry I digress! Once back in the rest of the meeting completed with Andy Brown not only explaining the working tools but addressing the Brethren as well.
A festive board of Black Pudding, the largest Lamb and Potato Pie – a portion could easily have served four dished up with Red Cabbage. Ginger Sponge and Custard just in case you weren’t full enough, super.
On to the toasts with Andy Fairburn referring to Provincial officers using the word Shambles! Going on to explain it being an acronym. And that they were Sympathetic, Humble, had Authority, were Modest, had a Brotherly way, showed Leadership were empathetic and, Sincere. Andy in his response first gave best wishes on behalf of our new Provincial Grand Master J Trevor Bolton. Wishing them success especially with their new candidates coming forward. He talked about the splendid day just last Saturday at Bradford Grammar School and what a marvellous day it had been. The presence of the Pro Grand Master and the Grand Team making it a special day indeed. He gave special thanks to all the secretariat, the D.C. team and social committee for all the hard work they had put in to make it a great day.
Going on to give special thanks to Right Worshipful Brother Jim Steggles for all his work over the previous eleven years as our Provincial Grand Master who had, amongst many things led a magnificent team in bringing in around £1.6 million for the 2023 Festival. Andy went on to talk about the support the Craft and Mark give to each other. We have a great friend and supporter in Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master James Newman in the Craft, a keen and respected Mark and R.A.M Mason. Support goes both ways, let’s work together and grow together. Then going on to talk about our new web page, which is fantastic, easy to use and has lots of information, as is our Facebook page. Please use them to your advantage. Mark Kenyon in the response to toast to the Mark Benevolent Fund and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust thanked Eland for their generosity both now and in the past. The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust really does need our help now after giving generously to the Festival. Please look at what you can do to support it so we can continue to support those in need. W.Bro. Jack Acton responding to the visitor’s toast said it had been a great night and it was wonderful to see so many visitors present. Going on to extol the virtues of our Installed Masters Association who he had no doubt helped bring so many visitors tonight.
Thanks Eland Lodge for a great night. Your visitors will be back.