The Flag Ship of the Fleet berthed at Tapton Hall, the West Yorkshire seafaring community came together almost one hundred attended the Meeting on Saturday, 6thOctober, hardly surprising as it is one of the largest Lodges in the country with 165 matelots at the last count and five more joining members at this meeting; it is also when the Lodge acts as host for the Provincial Grand Assembly. All assembled upon the foredeck, the Skipper, Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother John English opened proceedings and the early items of business were completed, including the admission of the new members.
Upon a report, Prov. D.C., W.Bro. John Vause was admitted, this was the prelude to the Admiral of the Fleet, Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. being admitted together with an escort which included the D.P..G.M., W.Bro. Alan Oldfield, A.P.G.M. W.Bro. Trevor Bolton. R.W.Bro. Jim was offered the helm (sceptre) which, on this occasion, he accepted and began by placing his team of officers in position. The main business was to Appoint and Invest the newly crowned Holders of Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank being as follow;
W.Bro. Richard Brown, Pudsey 658
W.Bro. Chris Oldfield, Dewsbury 641
W.Bro. Alex Steele, Elmeete 111
W.Bro. Maurice Warner, Portal 127
W.Bro. Martyn Hudson, Bronte 535
W.Bro. Philip Drury, Prince Edward 14
W.Bro. Les davy, Abbey 768
W.Bro. Martyn Millward , Pontefract 878
W.Bro. Ronald Oldfield, Thorne 1004
W.Bro. John Madigan, Fearnley 58
W.Bro. David Key, Caldene 501
W.Bro. Geoff Kendall, Welcome 651
W.Bro. Alan Pendleton, Old York TI
W.Bro. Adrian Unsworth, Hipperholme 715
W.Bro. Andrew Brown, Dewsbury 641
The Provincial Grand Master in his address to the Brethren said that first of all it was pleasure it is to be with everyone and he thanked the Worshipful Commander and Brethren of the Carl Whitehead Lodge for once again hosting the Assembly. He then gave notice of the names of the Brethren who will receive Royal Ark mariner Grand Rank at the Annual Assembly to take place on December 11th, they are as follows:
W.Bro.David Spivey of Thorne 1004
W. Bro.Gerry Barker of Pudsey 658
W.Bro,Jack Acton of St Hiev 1079
W.Bro.Bolton of Elmete 111
W.Bro.Fraser McPherson of Truth 137
Congratulations to them all, and I hope that as many of you as possible can be with them in London on the 11th December to help them celebrate their achievements.
He then reminded the Brethren, that it had been another busy year for the Order, Consecration of the Rugby Football Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No 1965 in May, dedication a new Provincial Banner in June and Welcome Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No 651 celebrated its Centenary just over a week ago. We have also had a full Social Calendar this year, with several events still to come. Neil Diamond Tributes by John Whitworth on 27th October and 3rd November, with seats still available for both shows. Our Christmas Ball on 1st December which promises to be a spectacular event, with over 150 tickets and 67 rooms already booked at the Hotel. Tickets are still available for that brethren. And our Carol Service will once again be held at Brighouse on 9th December this year
We will be having another sponsored event next year, when our Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Richard Puttrell, attempts to walk the perimeter of the Province. It’s about 230 miles brethren, so please sponsor him, and his blisters, as generously as you can. Brethren, it is the fundraising in our Lodges, over the next 4 years, which will guarantee the success, or otherwise, of our Festival in 2023. So please look at organising those small events in your Lodges, the Race Nights, Afternoon Teas, Canal Walks, Treasure Hunts, Pig Races etc. – which together will bring in much more than the Province can between now and 2023. Your help in your Lodges is critical to our success.
Individual Standing Orders to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust have noticeably increased over the last 2 years, but we still have only about a third of brethren in the Province giving regularly. So, whilst you should only give what you can, brethren, and I cannot stress that enough, I also ask you to consider again your personal donations to the Trust. I can also announce for the first time that we are looking at the design and manufacture of a Royal Ark Mariner Banner for the Province, which we hope to be ready in time to Dedicate it before the end of next year. In addition, I can also announce that we are looking at the formation of a new Mark Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge next year, to help provide Stewards for the Festival, as well as for future Provincial Meetings and other Major Events.
Finally it is good to see the Travelling Porphyry Stone here safely with us today brethren, although it took some finding from under the rubbish this year. Bob Corfield did eventually find it, but if your Lodge receives it this year, brethren, please make sure you follow the instructions which go with it, which includes letting Bob know where it is; that will ensure it returns again safely to this meeting next year.
May Wisdom, Strength and Beauty continue to guide all your footsteps; and may God bless you all.
W.Bro. John having re-occupied the Chair, one major item of business remained, to declare the Senior Warden, W.Bro. Robert Winterflood, Commander Elect for the ensuing which was done. and received with acclamation. The remaining detail completed the Lodge was closed in due form with all adjourning for the Festive Board held on the Mess Deck
This took place in the presence of the Ladies which added much colour to the occasion and, different conversation topics, yes I doubt that Masonic promotions were hardly mentioned!!. All then wended their way down the gang plank and a pleasant return voyage to their home Port.
It is a joy to be a member of his Wonderful Fraternity, if you are not look into it NOW.