Another example of what comes around, goes around, the current Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Graham Littlewood having completed two successive tours handing over to his compatriot and good friend, Worshipful Brother Mark Rothman to undertake his second tour; begs the question who will be the first to three?.
This all took place in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles, G.M.R.A.C., who, having being announced by Worshipful Brother John Vause, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, also Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, entered with an escort, including Worshipful Brother Chris Oldfield, Elected Member of the Charity Executive, all warmly welcomed by W.Bro. Graham. W.Bro. Mark already a Worshipful Brother, the Ceremony was in short form and undertaken in a most competent and sincere fashion, good to see others involved particularly Brother Steven Stone who provided an explanation of the Working Tools.
This was followed by the Appointment and Investiture of Officers, no surprises there and the addressees were given by:, to the Worshipful Master by W.Bro. Mark, the Wardens by W.Bro, Alex Geddes , the Overseers by W.Bro. David Hayes and the Brethren by R.W.Bro. Jim, all very professionally delivered. The remaining agenda items were attended upon but under any other business, a brief interlude when W,Bro. Chris Oldfield presented a Grand Patrons Collarette to Worshipful Brother David Smith , Secretary and stalwart of the Vulcan Lodge.
A very palatable Festive Board was then consumed, the catering has most definitely improved at Tapton and they are to be commended on both the service and quality of the fare, attention turned to the Toasts. That to the Provincial Grand Master was given by the I.P.M., W.Bro. Graham saying that we are fortunate in having a leader who is so sincere, friendly and approachable, agreed, and a surprise to see this read from his telephone. In response R.W.Bro. Jim said that he had never received a Toast delivered in this fashion before, watch this space Boss we are in the 21st Century. Special mention was made of the fact that three visiting Masters in the Chair were present, W.Bro. Philip Drury, Escafeld, W.Bro. Richard Foster of Britannia and W.Bro. Steven Ward of Portal, that is the most that we have seen for some time, the message is getting through. R.W.ro. Jim also reminded Brethren wishing to attend the Grand Lodge meeting in June that they must register their intention beforehand and emphasised his wish that we all use our best endeavours to learn the ritual especially for an Advancement , it is the Candidates night and we should not disappoint.
The Toast to the Charities was ably delivered by W.Bro. Alex Geddes, the response in the hands of W.Bro. Chris Oldfield, Elected Member of the Charity Committee. He stressed that, whilst the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust has seen a reduction in income as all Lodge contributions now go direct to the Festival, it still retains ample resources to meet its obligations, principally because of the investment policies pursued when the present Charity was formed. An excellent Almoners Luncheon took place in early April, another will follow in the autumn and the Annual holiday will take place at the Inn on the Prom at St Annes in July. The M.B.F. continues its support for regional worthy causes having granted £107k to St Oswalds Hospice in the North East to refurbish its kitchens.
Another excellent evening of Mark Masonry, do not forget, Smile, Be Happy, we are Mark Masons.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.