Wednesday, 16th May ,and the Lodge was opened in due form by the Immediate Past Master, Worshipful Brother Phillip Howell. Why the I.P.M. I hear you cry, because the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Walker, who had completed two consecutive years in charge, was away on holiday, which Mrs walker had arranged with a another Brothers wife,that is a neat way to get out of the job. The usual business despatched, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother John Grey announced that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton demanded admission and he dutifully entered accompanied by Worshipful Brother Sam Cariss, Elected member of the Charity committee and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, together with escort.
The Master Elect , Worshipful Brother Gary Milnes, previously in the Chair in 2014, was then obligated and installed in a relatively short ceremony, whereupon, the Working Tools were delivered by Worshipful Brother Fraser McPherson and the Keystone Collarette, explained and presented by Very Worshipful Brother John Barlow, delighted to see him present and on good form, both in superb fashion and no surprise, they have done it before. The appointment and investiture of the Officers then followed with W.Bro. Fraser relinquishing the Secretary’s function and taking the position of Senior Warden and Brother Jonathan Cole , Inner Guard, going to the stratosphere as Junior Warden, no guesses as to where he will be in 2020, if not before.The Addresses were then very competently despatched as follows; Commander, V.W.Bro. John Barlow, Wardens, W.Bro. Gary Milnes, Overseers, W.Bro. Fraser McPherson and to the Brethren by the Asst.P.G.M, W.Bro. Trevor Bolton.
Under the heading of other business, it was announced that they will be reducing their meetings to three per annum, no longer a January date. A point to note , they do have a candidate who, hopefully, will be admitted in July, that is not a busy Masonic month so why not put the date in your diaries and come along to Prince Edward to support the Lodge and the Candidate.
The Festive Board eagerly consumed, the Toast to the Province was submitted by W.Bro. Gary, himself an Acting Officer as Assistant Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, who swiftly handed over to W.Bro. Trevor to respond. Having congratulated W.Bro. Gary upon occupying the Chair for the second time, he thanked all the Brethren for their support for the Provincial events over the past month and added a few more for the future. These include, 21st June, Provincial Banner dedication at Britannia Lodge of M.M.M. No. 53; Wednesday, 25th July, Combined Mark Lodges in Sheffield, under the banner of Escafeld Lodge of M.M.M. No.1139, an advancement when some very special people will be showing us all how it should be done, both of these at Tapton Hall; and on l5th August, a Sunday barbecue organised by the Social Committee at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley.
There was no topping W.Bro.Gary now and he duly submitted the Toast to the Charities, again swiftly passing the baton to W.Bro. Sam. He assured the brethren that whilst the income for the Trust has reduced because of the support for the Festival, its work continues as before, Almoners luncheon well attended in April, the second set for the Autumn and the annual holiday in July at St. Annes. Closer to home, the Charity, ‘Hope for Tomorrow, supported by the M.B.F. is to provide a mobile chemotherapy unit to the Airedale hospital which will service the rural communities of West and North Yorkshire. He emphasised that we are fortunate in our Province to have our own dedicated Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and this will never be put at risk, its response is immediate, the Jewel in our Crown.
Whilst only twenty four were present, eleven visitors and thirteen Brethren, we were the lucky ones, try visiting it is truly at the heart of Mark Masonry.
Smile, be happy!!