Mirfield Masonic Hall, The House of Oldfield, Wednesday 13th February 2019 and Brethren joined together, fifty four in attendance, for the advancement of Brother John Plachcinski to the honourable Degree of Mark Master Mason. There were many Mark Masons from all comers of the Province with the added bonus of the Assistant Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Stephen Davison who had travelled from Leicestershire; his driver, (R.W.Bro.Stephen had driven the week before), W.Bro. Terry Weston telling me that it had taken over two and one half hours.
Before the Lodge was opened, R.W.Bro.Stephen was announced by the Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies W.Bro. Andrew Brown, and took his seat, he was saluted in due form, no more were given, very sensible as there was a full programme. The Lodge was then opened by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Colin Simmons, this being scroll night, the Senior Warden, Brother Robin Price, who could not be present, was Elected Master for the ensuing year and W.Bro. Chris Oldfield as Treasurer. A ballot was then taken and to the relief of all this proved positive and Bro. John Plachcinski was admitted to be advanced to the Honourable Degree of a Mark Master Mason. He was taken in hand by the Senior Deacon, W.Bro. Rod ’Bob On’ Dyer who, with the assistance of the Junior Deacon , Bro. David Glew, navigated the Candidate skillfully through all the proceedings.
The whole Ceremony was led impeccably by W.Bro.Colin in a very professional manner , not a ritual book in sight. Duly obligated, Bro.John returned to the Lodge, where the Overseers performed their duties admirably, none more so than a substitute who was not a member; Brother John Fitzpatrick, affectionately known as the ‘Provincial Foot-stool’, a reference to his diminutive stature. The high standards were then extended, if that were possible, by the Signs and Secrets in the hands of W.Bro. Tony Mackrell, truly impressive, nothing else to say, and this was maintained by the W.M. with the Address to the Badge and the Deputy Prov. Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan with the working tools and conclusion.
One of the most inspiring ceremonies I have seen for some time, and in their own way; they do things a little differently to the rest of us.
I do not intend to say any more, go along and see for yourself you will not be disappointed.
Time pressing, events move swiftly to the Festive Board in true Fearnley tradition, delicious Meat pie to be followed by the Toasts, the first given by the W.M. to R.W.Bro Stephen. He thanked him for making the long journey and trusted that he had enjoyed himself, then asked him to take one of the Table decorations home to his good lady. In response, R.W.Bro Stephen welcomed Bro. John to the Mark degree , assured that he would feel at home with ‘The Magic of the Mark’. W.Bro. Chris Oldfield then gave a donation of £600 to the Festival , this being achieved due to the efforts of W,Bro.Rod with his two Elvis shows and Burns night, Bob On. Chris then toasted the W.M, who has had problems of late, but is now fully recovered and back to Fell walking. In reply W.Bro. Colin confirmed that he has recovered and thanked the Brethren for their support. The Toast to Bro.John, which had been placed on the back burner, was then taken at the end and given by his proposer, W.Bro. Alan. It transpires that John, who is now a Production Planner, worked as a Press Photographer with the Yorkshire Post. Good news for Tony and myself, when we hang up our boots. At least one of us has an obvious replacement. Responding, John said that he had already been impressed with the friendly nature of the Lodge and was looking forward to a long and happy association.
Don’t you wish we could Bottle the ‘Magic of the Mark’
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.