Master and Commander

I suppose the question is who played Russel Crowe, was it W.Bro. Philip Harrison the Commander of Old York Lodge of R.A.M. T.I. or, was it W.Bro. Christian Holmes the Master of Old York Lodge of M.M.M. T.I.? 

Thursday 30th May 2024 and a shared meeting for the members of Old York Ram and Mark.  RAM had not much on, and so Philip offered to share the meeting with the Mark.  Matthew certainly had a lot of friends there to support him.  A good number coming along from the Leeds Light Blues which, many of you will know is a group of new and young masons in and around the Yorkshire West Riding.  A great example of the Craft coming to support the Mark and Ram and, another reason why we need to support the Craft, strength in unity.  Also present at both meetings was V.W.Bro. Alan Oldfield Deputy Provincial Grand Master.  The delight on Alans face to be out and about was plain to see.  Alan is an honorary member of Old York Mark and was a little surprised to get an escort into the meeting but love and respect needs to be shown.  Again, Alan was delighted.  It really was a first-class Advancement with not a single book in sight.  The work shared out amongst a lot of the Brethren bringing interest to both the Lodge and visitors.  Matthew certainly enjoyed the meeting.  His face telling a lot, was it fear, trepidation or excitement he showed?  Perhaps all three.  A word he used later at the festive board was Wow! And it was Wow!  Christian can be justly proud of himself and all his team. 

As it was the RAM meeting it was run as a RAM festive board but, with both the Commander and Master sharing the top table with Alan.  Philip gave the toast to Alan, W.Bro. Andrew James Brown and all holders of Provincial RAMGR.  Firstly, saying it was a pleasure and an honour for him and the Lodge that Alan was here with us tonight and, trusted he had enjoyed the joint venture and a meeting with a twist.  Finally, and with a grin expressing his slight disappointment he hadn’t taken the gavel when offered.  In response Alan first of all brought the good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. J. Trevor Bolton who was away on holiday.  He said to Philip that he should certainly persevere with offering the gavel as it may one day be taken.  One member here present who shall remain nameless (let’s just call him Fitzy) did once offer the gavel and yes Alan kept it! you never know.  Alan said he was blown away by his honorary membership and would attend when he could.  He had earlier said in the meeting that it had been many years since he had seen an Advancement where every officer had learnt their ritual so well and delivered it with sincerity.  Certainly, the best ceremony he had seen in years.  Mike Lawrance spoke highly of Matthew in welcoming him at the festive board.  Mike first met Matthew in 2017 when he joined Pilgrim Lodge No.7728.  He told us of Matthew’s involvement and commitment in Pilgrim his involvement with the Leeds Light blues and that this enthusiasm would certainly be brought to Old York and the Mark.  Matthew in response said he was excited to start his next masonic journey and was honoured to join such an historic Lodge and would eventually understand the meaning and lessons of the ceremony he had undertaken.  He did mention in closing an axe but perhaps that’s for another time!

Welcome Bro. Matthew Peter Wharton now a Mark Master Mason.  Old York trust you enjoyed the three raffle prizes you won!  To be fair Mathew did ask that two be re drawn.  I am sure from your words and actions you will Mark well.

Andrew Johnson

Communications Manager