First item was to read the Dispensation, the original meeting having been cancelled due to the weather; the Lodge was then opened by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Ron Lewis. The Brethren approved an amendment to the by laws to change the meeting months to January, May and September and to meet on the fourth Wednesday instead of the first Friday. W Bro Lewis, reminded brethren that the Lodge originally met seven times a year, then reduced to five and now to three to better reflect Mark Masonry in Castleford and attract new members.
Upon a report, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, was admitted together with Worshipful Brother John Maxwell , Elected Member of the Charity Committee. Attention then turned to the Installation ceremony and W.Bro.Ron thanked his officers followed by him being well and truly Proclaimed Worshipful Master for a second year by his son, Worshipful Brother Ian Lewis, a feeling of deja vu amongst the Brethren. W Bro Ron Lewis then invested his officers commencing with W Bro John Pringle who he appointed Senior Warden as he had done some 43 years ago! The remaining officers being appointed and invested, W Bro Ian Lewis addressed the Worshipful Master in a most moving way. W Bro Knowles addressed the Wardens and W Bro Pringle addressed the Overseers. The addresses were concluded by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master addressing the brethren.
The usual business was concluded following the Worshipful Master proposing a candidate for Advancement and one for Joining. It looks like a busy year ahead for the Worshipful Master and his officers. New members have been thin on the ground, this was good news and , hopefully, a good attendance can be encouraged to welcome the new Brother.
The Festive Board then beckoned, but a surprise, Mrs Dot Cox, who had provided catering at Castleford for 23 years, had reluctantly retired on health grounds but Marie, who had helped Dot for many years, provided a meal appreciated by all. A collection was taken which raised over £100 from those who had enjoyed Dot’s cooking over the years.
Following the meal, the toasts were honoured in the usual way. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, in his reply congratulated those members present who were to be appointed or promoted in Provincial Grand Lodge at the April meeting. He reminded all brethren that they could attend and asked for support for the Provincial Grand Master. He also commended the 2nd Northern Variety Show to any brethren who had not yet been able to book a ticket. Finally, he referred to a meeting of the Mark Lodges meeting at Tapton arranged to promote interest in the Order. Referring to the threat of snow he concluded his response!
W Bro John Maxwell outlined some of the many good things that the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust were doing throughout the Province emphasising the rapid response that could be given to brethren and their dependents when in need.
The toast to the Worshipful Master was proposed by W Bro Ian Lewis who also sang “The Master’s Song” unaccompanied. In his response, W Bro Ron Lewis thanked all present for making this rearranged meeting so enjoyable and thanked W Bro Ian Lewis for his kind words in proposing the toast to his health and for his singing.
The health of the visiting brethren was proposed by the new Junior Warden, Bro Mick Brennan, in a most appropriate and amusing way. W Bro Tom Wise responded on behalf of all the visitors, thanking the members of Legiolium Lodge for their kind reception and for the enjoyable Festive Board.
The Tyler’s Toast was proposed just on 10.00pm and the brethren retired from the warmth of the Masonic Hall to a cold, snowy evening after a great evening of Mark Masonry, friendship and fellowship.
Regrettably I could not be present and my grateful thanks go to the Lodge Secretary, Worshipful Brother Tony Williams who prepared this report.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.