An excellent attendance of fifty five Mark Master Masons from our Province and others from East Lancashire, a wonderful atmosphere in the Temple. The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother David Thwaite when, upon a report, the Prov, A.G.D.C., Worshipful Brother Richard Brown was admitted and announced that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield was in attendance and demanded admission. This was swiftly acknowledged and W.Bro.Alan entered together with Worshipful Brother Peter Riggall, Elected member of the Charity Committee. In accordance with custom, W.Bro. Alan was offered the gavel but advised that he was aware that the gavel had been made of a particular wood which had boomerang qualities so felt he had to decline.
The Master Elect, Worshipful Brother James Wilson was then presented by the D.C. Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown, also the Prov.Dep.G.D.C., I will not go further, Andrew has so many titles I could use half a page. This is the third time that W.Bro.Jim has taken the Chair and became necessary when a gap appeared in the succession ladder, ergo he will be doing two years after which he is confident that he will have polished it to a fine art. The Installation ceremony was then in the hands of W.Bro.David who obligated, explained the signs and secrets presented the Warrant and books of constitution etc, having placed W.Bro.Jim in the chair; during which time W.Bro.Andrew had explained the Working Tools and W.Bro. Clive Edwards the Keystone Collaret. The Addresses were then delivered by W.Bro. David to the W.M., W.Bro. Gary Crawford to the Wardens, W.Bro.Trevor Sykes to the Overseers and W.Bro.Alan to the Brethren. A most impressive performance by all who took part, a joy to behold.
The remaining agenda items despatched, the Secretary, Worshipful Brother Keith Robinson arose to announce that he had been contacted by the Provincial Secretary of the Province of Devon who had in his possession a Past Masters Jewel, in solid gold, from1969. This belonged to W.Bro. Victor E R Appleton whose Great Granddaughter wished it to be returned to the Lodge and used by a Past Master for all time; this was presented to the W.M. by W.Bro. Keith. Interesting twist, W.Bro. Appletons initials spell VERA, his Mothers christian name, not a coincidence methinks; also W.Bro Appleton took W.Bro. Trevor Sykes into Freemasonry.
The Festive Board beckoned and was gratefully received, to be followed by the Toasts, that to the Province in the hands of Worshipful Brother Stephen Bray. He began by thanking the many holders of Provincial Grand. present for attending and swelling the numbers, particularly a plethora of Oldfields. He had been surprised to be asked to Propose the Toast to Province at this time as his honours are some two years away, no thatcould be a minimum Stephen it may be longer, He felt that his own experience mirrored that of many others in the advice and assistance that he had received both before, and after taking the chair, a point well made. In response, W.Bro Alan congratulated W.Bro Jim on taking the chair for the third time ad also to W.Bro. David for a job very well done. He then reminded that the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand lodge will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 13th April 2019. it is expected, and is a responsibility of the Office, that all Masters in the chair attend accompanied , if possible , by their Wardens and some Brethren. The Provincial Grand Master supports you, now time to reciprocate. An important issue is the protection of Data and Lodges would do well to consider using the corporate address of the Province, speak to the Secretariat. Finally, a plug, Sunday 2nd December, Elvis Tribute act at Fearnley Lodge No. 58, no not as a member but a singer , well worth a visit, I will be taking photos, oh dear
W.Bro. Gary Crawford proposed the Toast to the Charities which was acknowledged by W,.Bro. Peter Riggall who emphasised that we are fortunate in West Yorkshire to have the Jewel in the Crown, the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, it is unique. Personal Donations continue to be made to the C & W, gift aid can be recovered, but the percentage of Brethren using standing orders is still stubbornly at 28%, please consider your present position but do not commit to more than you can afford. Almoners Luncheons with are to be held on 5th November and then 2nd April 2019, to be followed by the Annual Holiday to St Annes.
In his closing remarks, W.Bro Jim pointed out that as the W.M., when the calendar is produced for the following year he puts the dates for all Eland Mark meetings in his diary; this you must certainly do if you are an Officer which should ensure your attendance. Another wonderful evening of Mark Masonry, Smile and be happy.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.