Big can be beautiful and so it was at the largest Lodge in the Province for the Installation of the new Commander , Worshipful Brother John English, The Lodge had been opened by the outgoing Commander, Worshipful Brother Andrew Jagger and he dealt with the opening procedures in his own inimitable style, This included the admission of five new members, the ballot having been proved positive, three were admitted, two could not attend, they being W.Bro. Chris Hawkins, W.Bro. Andrew Taylor and W.Bro. Kelsall Nunn No doubt we will see W.Bro. Stuart Lines and W.Bro. Howard Shoesmith at the next meeting in October.
Upon a report the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown was admitted and advised that the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. was without and demanded admisson. He was then admitted accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Worshipful, Brother Alan Oldfield, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master,. Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton plus a number of the great and good from the Province of West Yorkshire and North and East. W.Bro. Andrew duly offered the gavel to W.Bro. Jim adding that he thought that he would do it better and that he did not want to embarrass and look a fool. The response, well I am afraid that it is your job so if you want to look a fool get on with it, which he did.
W.Bro. John already an Installed Commander, a short, but professional ceremony, was then conducted culminating in W,Bro. John being placed in the Chair by his predecessor. The presentation of the Key Stone Collarette was once again undertaken by Worshipful Brother Bev Heywood, it is now becoming very much his party piece, and one which he executed authoritatively and in a most expressive manner, quite a moving experience. The exposition was equally delivered in imperious style by Worshipful Brother Richard Brown. I recall some famous exponents of this particular piece, W.Bro. Vic Smith and W.Bro. George Quinn and they would have been impressed. The appointment and investiture of the Officers then took place. The only progressive Offices are those of the Wardens, W.Bro. Bob Winterflood being appointed Senior Warden and W.Bro. Steven Wood as Junior Warden, unfortunately he could not be present; the Junior Warden is chosen by the P.G.M. The address to the new Commander was then delivered, in an exemplary style, by W.Bro. Andrew and as the P.G.M. commented later, he had not embarrassed anyone, quite the opposite.
The new caterers at Westbourne House certainly started well with a sumptuous festive board, traditional roast beef, and a high standard of service. The Toast to the P.G.M. was summarily despatched by the W.C., W.Bro. John and in his response W.Bro Jim congratulated both main participants on a job well done. This also applied to W.Bro. Derek Cope retiring as Scribe after seven years and W.Bro. John Morgan, Assistant Scribe for fifteen years, a life sentence that is Brethren. Several dates for your diaries were provided being as follows;
Provincial Banner dedication at Britannia Lodge, Tapton, on 21st June.
Family-barbecue at the Mercure Hotel Bingley, 5th August.
R.A.M. Provincial Assembly, under the auspices of the Carl Whitehead Lodge, 6th October, Tapton.
Carvery Sunday Lunch, Carl Whitehead Lodge, Westbourne House, 19th August.
At this juncture Worshipful Brother Les Davy rose to make a presentation of cheque for £100 in favour of the Festival.The donation came from the Classics on the Square which is the classic car club, for the Province who meet several times a year. At their last meeting in Penistone, at the house of a well known South Yorkshire Mason W.Bro.Barry Orr, they had breakfast and then a 50 mile run into Derbyshire and Chatsworth Park finishing at Dore Masonic Hall for a late Lunch.Their next outing will be to the Summer Fair at Connaught Court on the 16th June where they will have a number of old vehicles present and will be running a raffle to guess the purchase price of a 1975 Chevrolet Corvette and the proceeds will go to the Friends of Connaught Court.For the last few years they have supported the Craft Festival but as that has now finished have decided to support the Mark Festival for the next five years.
An informal evening with John Fitzpatrick, Greenhead, 29th September. Whilst the Festive board was being consumed, John gave a taster of what he will be doing on the night, superb, cultured tones, 50’s style ballads and swing plus well known 60’s numbers. We are lucky to have entertainers such as the ‘Johns’. Fitzpatrick and Whitworth
The Toast to the Visitors was given by the acting Junior Warden, W.Bro. Keith Robinson who had been approached by W.Bro. Andrew Brown earlier in the week. He agreed to step in but only if W.Bro. Andrew agreed to purchase two, 250 Club tickets, £20 changed hands and W.Bro. Keith delivered. Oh yes we can be mercenary in Freemasonry when the situation demands. Responding was W.Bro. Ian Smith, Past Commander Noah of St. Swithins Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 445 in Lincolnshire. In the main meeting he had been proposed as a member so this would be the first, and the last time that he could respond. He had been impressed by the membership of the Carl Whitehead Lodge over time, particularly the manner in which it acts as a centre of excellence within the Province promoting the principles and ideals of this wonderful Fraternity; with ingratiation of that quality he will go far.
One of my favourite Lodges of the year, what a glorious day.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.