Wednesday 24th of January 2024 and what a super night. A very warm welcome and an even warmer temple and dining room saw W.Bro. Paul Levey Installed as Master of Legiolium Lodge. There were lots of visitors including representation from our friends from North and East Yorkshire. On duty was the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. J. Trevor Bolton and what a night he was about to have! Also, on duty W.Bro. Keith Bradley elected representative of the charity committee and, W.Bro. Mark Holland Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Once the lodge was opened Trevor was escorted into the meeting by both Grand and Provincial Grand officers and was warmly welcomed and offered the gavel. Trevor of course took it but, not for long just enough time to thank the Worshipful Master W.Bro. Harry Stogdale for the courtesy.
Various business then completed the dispensation was read allowing Paul to occupy the chair of two Lodges, Paul already W.M. of Aireferry Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1769. On with the ceremony which was well supported by various visitors who did several of the addresses, Mark Master Masons at their best. Paul now the immensely proud Master of Legiolium then went on to appoint and invest his officers. Several of the Brethren being appointed being junior Brethren a sign of a strong Lodge moving forward. Various other business quickly completed. Then up stepped W.Bro. Ian Lewis their charity steward who announced he had a small amount of business he would like to attend to! He then asked for R.W.Bro. J. Trevor Bolton to be escorted to him. A look of surprise, or was it panic that appeared on Trevor’s face? Much more likely to be immense pride as Ian in his role as Deputy Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch Province of Yorkshire West Riding announced the appointment of Trevor to Past Provincial Grand Deputy Sword Bearer and presented him with his certificate. Great news indeed confirming the growing friendship and closeness of our wonderful orders. Trevor a little lost for words said he was totally shocked, surprised but, delighted at such an appointment.
On to the Festive board. A full dining room and the banter between the Brethren was fantastic. Indeed, Trevor in his response to his toast mentioned the noisy chatter going on all around as Brethren happily ate, a sure sign Trevor said of a great night and what Masonry was all about. Paul Levey in his toast to Trevor paid great compliment to both Trevor and the Provincial officers saying their contribution was immense and that they showed leadership and commitment. Likening the attitude, they showed similar to that of Brian Clough! In as much as teamwork was the key with everyone working and pulling in the right direction. Trevor responding said it had been a great night, thanked Paul for his kind words and complimented the Installing Master W.Bro. Harry Stogdale on not only his hard work this evening but for his thirty-seven years of hard work in Mark Masonry and, Legiolium being their W.M. three times and, treasurer for sixteen years. Closing by mentioning the forthcoming Provincial meeting on Saturday 6th April 2024 which will be a wonderful day and he hoped we would support him and the Province in their endeavours. Finally thanking Mark Holland his Prov. D.C. for the help, he had given him at the meeting.
In response to the toast to the Mark Benevolent Fund and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust Keith Bradley spoke of the great deal of good they do, contributing around £370,000 to our recent successful Festival. It was now time to build back up those funds to continue the splendid work that they do. They support National and International charities as well as looking after our own Brethren with things like stair lifts so people can continue to live their lives unsupported. None of this work stopped during covid it continued very much as normal. Just imagine he said if EVERY Brother just gave just one pound a month by standing order, that would result in nearly an additional ten thousand pounds a year to our charities. The work they do in the background is phenomenal. Craft, Chapter and Mark are working closely together to get better and quicker support out there. With their joint resources nearly one million pounds in three years will have been generated, approx. £860,000 year to date. This is not our money but, money from government acquired by the knowledge and resources of a skilled team. Times are difficult for many of us but, please try to support these very worthwhile charities if you can.
It really was a fantastic night and typical of the joy, fun and fulfilment Mark Masonry brings.