Portal Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 127

Another successful excursion by the Portal Press gang brought forward Brother Richard Schofield to join the good ship Portal berthed at the Port of Barnsley. Accordingly the Lodge was opened in fine form, W.Bro. Chris Beaumont at the helm, after which he invested Crew not present at the Installation, they being W.Bro. George Herd as Senior Warden and W.Bro  Jim Reynolds as Warder.

Prior to these events, however,  a surprise when W.Bro. Chris, rummaging around the W.M’s pedestal found an interloper, see the following photo. None of us present recognised him and he most certainly is not a Freemason but he was allowed to remain, quiet throughout and at the close, returned to his quarters. Question, I wonder whether he will return perhaps for the Installation on the 26th June, put it in your diaries? 

Back to the Elevation,assurance received that the Declaration had been signed and appropriate dues paid, Bro Richard, upon an alarm and under the guidance of the Senior Deacon W.Bro. Ray Hooley and Junior Deacon W.Bro. Shaun Keighley, was admitted. The W.Com, W.Bro. Chris obligated Bro. Richard in good form after which the Senior Deacon conducted him to the East  where W.Bro Chris identified the signs and secrets of the Degree  which W.Bro. Charles Lindsay demonstrated where upon his attention turned to the working Tools and the explanation of the history which he delivered in superb fashion;  the  steps were then in the safe hands of W,Bro. Ian Yates. Finally W,Bro Chris pointed out the Warrant of Constitution,  Regulations of the Grand lodge and By-Laws whereupon, Bro. Richard took his seat in the Lodge 

Back to housekeeping matters being the report from the Treasurer which included the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st August 2023 which  were approved subject to the Caveat that W.Bro. Tony Brailsford appends his signature, this to be done by the next meeting in June when they will be confirmed.  The Almoners report was then given by W.Bro. Duncan Smith who apologised for being somewhat remiss in the last two months due to the illness of his closest friend who, sadly, has now died.  It was pleasing to see W,Bro. George Herd present and also to record that Bro. Ian Potter is in good health having just returned from Tenerife,. W.Bro. Ray confirmed that whilst W.Bro. Herbert Wistow was perky, he has mobility issues. Nothing further of note, the Lodge was closed in due form.

All adjourned to the Festive Board which was mackerel, a delicious Steak Pie and ice cream or crumble if you preferred.  The usual mandatory Toasts were given including that to the candidate which  was provided by his proposer, W.Bro.Laurie Wroe who had no qualms about recommending him, confident that he will be a credit to the Lodge. Bro. Richard then set about proving him right. He was known to many of those present in that he had been advanced to Portal Mark in October, That provided the opportunity to both Laurie and Trevor to persuade him in the direction of Portal RAM, a decision, he said, that he is very happy to have made as the welcome he received in Barnsley was the best he had experienced at any Lodge. W.Bro. George gave the Toast to the visitors, thanking them for being present and trusting that we will see again. Responding, W. Bro. Gary Baines, echoed the comments of Bro. Richard, Gary is frequent visitor and congratulated the ‘Team’ on a ceremony very well presented

Another experience I have become accustomed to in my travels, warmth, friendship and fellowship abounding, just as it should be.

A most enjoyable evening, smile, be happy, you are all Royal Ark Mariners.

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