W. Bro.Graham Ramsden, P.G.S.D.  50 years a Mark Master Mason in West Yorkshire

Thursday 9th November 2023 and members of St. Chad Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.374 together with visitors gathered to celebrate Graham’s time in Mark Masonry. The presentation and the ‘this is your life’ chat all done by Grahams great and long- term friend R.W.Bro. James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. P.Prov.G.M.  It was a great privilege for both Jim and Graham for this to happen.  Jim had the blessing and permission of R.W.Bro. J. Trevor Bolton the Provincial Grand Master for this special occasion. The 50-year club is an elite club with less than 25 members. 

Graham joined the Mark on the 8th of November 1973 not long at all after being initiated in to Adel Craft Lodge No. 6250 in 1972.  He took the chair of St. Chad in 1979.  His first Provincial appointment was to Prov. A.G.Sec in 1983.  Graham’s first Grand Rank was to P.A.G.D.C. in 1997 and he is currently P.G.S.D. appointed in 2008.  Graham has served under seven P.G.M’s.

Jim gave us a reminder of those days just fifty years ago.  The U.K. joined the then E.E.C.  – a good idea at the time!  Rail workers were on strike as were the coal miners.  Leading to a 3-day working week.  The stock market crashed, £4 billion dropped in just a day.  Inflation running at 8.4% but, then that’s nothing new is it.  We were in the middle of the Cod War and the IRA bombed the Old Bailey.  Difficult days but surely not all Grahams fault!

Graham and Jim had been friends long before this going back to the 1960’s where they were initially work colleagues and quickly becoming friends.  Indeed, Graham was Jims proposer both in the Craft and Mark and led them both to where they are today.  Graham going on to say he proposed Jim into Freemasonry because he was the right type of person. 

They both worked for the Post office as planning officers and quickly got to talk about frying sausages, dripping cakes and working Saturdays as the money was good, true Yorkshiremen!  They continued to talk about the wonderful times and great friends they had made over the years.  Names such as Ted King, John Bell, David Michaelson, Eric Fraser, Ian Lane. 

St. Chad had initially met at Great George Street but eventually moving to Mirfield as the time was felt to be right and changes needed.  It perhaps didn’t work as they planned.  Eventually ending up at their current home Castle Grove, Headingley, Leeds where they have been very happy indeed.  Both Graham and Jim were founding members of Ainsty Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1739 in Wetherby.  St. Chad was a strong Lodge and so helped with the founding of Ainsty, a great success.

Graham is a true family man.  He and his wife Margaret have two children Darren and Michelle and have both Grand Children and Great Grand Children.  They loved entertaining and remembered fondly the wonderful parties they had which, went on well into the early hours.  W.Bro. Gary Parker Provincial Grand Secretary together with Jim and W.Bro. Paul Leach Worshipful Master of St. Chad presented Graham with both Grand and Provincial Grand Certificates together with a lapel pin badge.

The celebrations went on at the Festive board where many more great compliments were paid to Graham.  Jim closing saying to Graham ‘a colleague, Brother and Friend.  I wish you good health’.  Graham responded and was very emotional on this very special occasion to him reminiscing about the wonderful Ladies evenings and great friends they had made over the years. Great and fabulous memories which will not ever be forgotten.

Andrew Johnson 

Communications Manager