Friday, 29th September and a goodly number of Royal Ark Mariners boarded the good ship ‘Abbey’, moored at Knaresborough. The purpose was to Instal a new Commander to replace Worshipful Brother Paul Ambler. Upon arrival, all were treated to Tea/Coffee and a delicious pork pie, necessary supplement for those who had weathered the storms on the journey from other Ports.
The Lodge was opened in due form by Worshipful Commander Paul whereupon he welcomed Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, representative of the Provincial Grand Master. Salutations followed, and the Minutes of the previous meeting were duly confirmed. The Treasurer, Brother Jack Wilson, presented the Accounts, duly examined, which disclosed a very healthy financial situation, hence Bro. Jack was happy to confirm that subscription would remain unchanged.
W.Bro. Paul then addressed his Officers thanking them for their invaluable support during his term of Office.
Attention then turned to the main event, the Installation of the Commander Elect Brother David Todd who W.Bro. Les Davy presented. W.Bro. Paul then posed the necessary questions and the correct response received, at which point all those below the Rank of an Installed Commander withdrew for a short time
An Installed Board was then convened and Worshipful Commander David was duly installed receiving the Signs and Secrets together with the Collar and Jewel and Badge of his Office, He was then placed in the Chair by W.Bro Paul and Saluted as Installed Commander by all the Worship Brethren present. At this juncture the Brethren were re-admitted and W.Bro. David was proclaimed Worshipful Commander and saluted accordingly by all the Brethren who then returned to their seats.
Some excellent work followed in the hands of W.Bro. John Maxwell presenting the Keystone Collaret and Jewel and W.Bro. Les Davy, , word perfect, the Exposition. This is rarely seen these days but is a wonderful piece of ritual, any volunteers? Finally W. Bro. Kevin Lloyd addressed the newly Installed Commander, A bit of a tongue twister but he persevered, well done W.Bro. Kevin.
The officers for the ensuing year were then appointed, no surprises but some confusion when Brother Frank Barker was appointed as Assistant Secretary. something of a surprise to him but nonetheless accepted with both hands, I have no doubt that he will do a superb job. The Warrant of the Lodge was conveyed to the tender care of the W.C. David together with the Lodge Bye Laws
The Installation complete, W.Bro. Richard Hall presented the Past Commanders Jewel to W,Bro. Paul thanking him for a job well done over the past year, particularly that of installing his successor. Finally excellent news for the Lodge, two new Members for the next year, need to get the ritual books out Brethren and W.Bro. John Maxwell proposing a new Honorary Member, R.W.Bro. James Steggles, well received.
Time to adjourn to the Quarter Deck for well earned refreshments excellent fare. The Toast List then progressed smoothly to that to the Province, Formal in nature, with the response in the very capable hands of W.Bro. John Fred Clough. Firstly, many thanks to all the Brethren for a superb effort in the achievement of almost £1.6 million, second highest on record and that with the interruption of two years of Covid. He then introduced the new Ties for both the Mark and Royal Ark Mariners , available from Elected Members of the Charity Committee and others
The Toast to the W.C, W.Bro David was in the hands of his successor, W.Bro. Paul who emphasised the new candidates and wished him every success for the future. In response, W.Bro David delivered the message, ‘we have candidates, get out your books and learn what is required of you’, nothing more to say. Finally Brother David Coverdale gave a short but appropriate Toast to the visitors which W.Bro. Keith Derry followed in similar vein.
A most enjoyable evening, smile , be happy, you are all Royal Ark Mariners.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith R.A.M.G.R.