Pontefract Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 878. 

Scroll night at Pontefract but nonetheless a healthy turn out and a particular delight to see Worshipful Brother John Whitworth present+together with Worshipful Brother Eric Gosnay, both of whom have given sterling service to the Lodge. The Lodge was then opened in due form by Worshipful Brother Robert Patrick, Immediate Past Commander and our  thoughts then turned to Worshipful Brother Peter Higgins who very sadly died in April shortly after the last meeting. W.Bro.Paul Levy gave a short eulogy for a committed and hard working mason who will be sorely missed. The Minutes of the previous meeting  were then confirmed  

A major decision was then required,  that of Electing the Worshipful Commander for the ensuing year and it was declared, there being no other candidates, that Brother Trevor Brown be elected. His Installation will take place on Friday, 13th October so be prepared for some fireworks and attend. I can assure you that laughter will abound as Bro. Trevor is a consummate thespian.

This was followed by the election of Worshipful Brother Brian Smart to the Office of Treasurer,  a  steady hand on the financial tiller. The election of the Warder was then left in the hands of the Commander Elect.  Brother Ian Robertson then received his Grand Lodge Certificate from the hands of Worshipful Brother Gary Parker, a fine piece of work as he  steered Bro. Ian through the important aspects of the document.

W.Bro. Gary continued with a short history of the  Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners emphasising that it emanates from the Great Flood and the life of Noah, building the Ark for the preservation of Mankind. In modern times the order was worked in 1790  but it was on the 13th May 1870 that, after the payment of the sum of twenty five pounds. that the Fraternity came under the umbrella of the Mark Degree. Hence all Royal Ark Mariner Lodges bear the same name and number of their fellow Mark Lodge.

A ballot then took place for Brother Ian Law which proved positive but, as the next meeting is the Installation, it will be January before be he could be elevated, perhaps a special meeting may be considered? W.Bro. John Derwanz then provided  wonderful Almoners report which must have covered every member of the Lodge very comprehensive, congratulations John, a job well done. The remaining items were then discharged and the Lodge closed in due form,

A most pleasurable Festive Board followed and the Toast List was in the very capable direction of W.Bro. Gary. It began with an exchange of Toasts with W.Bro. Bob congratulating Bro. Trevor and wishing him an enjoyable and successful year in Office; Bro. Trevor responded appropriately, looking forward to his period in Office. He then Proposed the Toast to W.Bro. Bob, congratulating him on an interesting year and his manifold oratory talents;  this W.Bro. Bob acknowledged.

The Toast to the visitors, there being three of us , was delivered by W.Bro.Paul thanking them for their presence. Responding W.Bro Lance Milburn remarked upon a  most pleasant evening where friendship and fellowship abounded. Quite true, a time when the ‘Magic of the Royal Ark Mariner Fraternity ‘was on show.

A final note for all to put in your diaries. W.Bro. John Whitworth has done much for raising funds for the Cleeves and Whitehaed Trust, Now , as he recovers from his illness he has reserved the Masonic hall at Pontefract to provide an evening of Musical entertainment, I know that all who read this would be delighted to support him. Saturday the 11th November, DO NOT FORGET!

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith R.A.M.G.R.