New Commander Installed at Old York Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners T.I.

On Thursday 29th February 2024 Old York held its installation meeting in the free port of Cleckheaton, many say it’s a place where the sun never sets.  It is designated T.I. for a reason and, claims quite rightly some might say to be the premier RAM Lodge in the Province.  Although no doubt this is strongly disputed by the twenty-one other fine RAM Lodges in our Province.  

Vice Admiral W.Bro. Andrew Brown A.Prov.G.M. in attendance.  A total of 28 Royal Ark Mariners attended the meeting, well supported by a good number of visiting commanders and crew.  

Andy was warmly welcomed by the commander W.Bro. Mark Simmons who offered the gavel saying it was tradition in Old York that the gavel be accepted, and the recipient continue for the rest of the evening.  Old York is good at inventing traditions and, ritual but this one was certainly a new one.  Andy did take it but, said as he would be attending Marks proclamation at Aries mark Lodge No.669 in a few weeks’ time thought it best Mark take it back this evening as he would have nothing to do at Aries and, didn’t want to deprive him of this evenings installation as well!  

Various salutations were given during which, one of the visiting Past Commanders was surprised as he seemed to be promoted to Prov. R.A.M.G.R. by W.Bro. Edward Wilkinson the D.C.  Edward quickly realizing the mix up sought out W.Bro. Kevin Lloyd who was pleased to respond it being his first opportunity after receiving his honours.  Great practice for Kevin who will be appointed as Prov. G.J.W. in April, many congratulations Kevin.

On to a first-class ceremony with not a book in sight, the work being shared amongst the Brethren who performed in an exemplary manner.   W.Bro. Philip Harrison now W.C.N. then invested his officers, quickly reminding his great friend and Brother Junior Warden Rod Fraser that standards at Old York and the order in general were high and that perhaps whilst on duty he should perhaps tuck his shirt in before returning to the poop deck!  A sincere ceremony delivered in style but with a bit of Old York humour thrown in.  

Mark was presented with a Past Commanders Jewel by W. Bro Michael Holgate whospoke of Marks time as W.C.N.  A total of 28 months on the Old York calendar or three years using Grand Lodge calendar.  Either way Mark had held a steady ship during his tenure and was to be congratulated.  

Time to retire to the officer’s mess.  A great three course menu and a nice touch from the new commander Philip who supplied port to go with the cheese.  Big smiles all around.  

W. Bro Andy addressing the Brethren spoke of the planned changes in the Province which included increasing the escorted visits to nine, three of which would be to RAM Lodges and, of course the forth coming Provincial meeting Saturday 6th April.  Please look to book in and support our new Provincial Grand Master.  If you don’t have the time to for both the meeting and Festive board then why not come along and just enjoy the meeting.  A great chance to catch up with friends old and new, it really is a special occasion and, a great day.  

Congratulations to W. Bro. Philip Harrison and his Officers for the ensuing year. A great ceremony, great food, and, great company.  The sun still shining brightly over Cleckheaton the Brethren said farewell and sailed of over the horizon to where perhaps the sun does set!

With thanks to

W. Bro John M. Fitzpatrick

Andrew Johnson

Communications Manager