Times they are changing at White Rose Lodge of MMM No,1067

Oh yes, as I indicated in the January News letter, the Lodge has been having some tough times over the past few years, membership declining and poor attendances. Well not so on Monday,11th February when thirty five attended including twenty two visitors, happy faces amongst the Brethren.

This was to witness the Proclamation of Worshipful Brother Robert Greening Jackson as Worshipful Master for a second term. Before that could proceed he opened the Lodge, dealt with housekeeping issues and then welcomed the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton accompanied by Worshipful Brother Alan Corbridge, Elected member of the Charity committee, all carefully choreographed by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown. Worshipful Brother Alan Griffin then took the chair, an Installed Board was opened and W.Bro.Bob was obligated and retuned to the Chair of the Lodge, in truth, very shortly after it was vacated.  Then followed the Appointment and Investiture of the officers with a number holding down two posts and dispensations required.

The address to the Worshipful Master was presented in a sincere, measured fashion  by W.Bro.David Steel, the Address to the Wardens in fine form by W.Bro Keith Grandison who also did a superb job as Director of Ceremonies throughout. That left the Overseers which W.Bro.Keith initially announced as to the Brethren, shock on two fronts , W.Bro.Sam Cariss who thought that he was addressing the Overseers and W.Bro.Trevor who thought he might have to go first. No matter, they took them in the right order and in good form. The remaining Agenda items  brought forward some interesting additions. Firstly, W.Bro Paul Leach who, in April, will take the Office of Provincial Almoner advised them that he would now relinquish his post as their Charity Representative, He thanked them for many happy hours in their company and assured that he would still be visiting. W Bro Jed Stone then drew attention to the 250 Club , particularly that prise money is now three thousand pounds, same amount going to the Festival. He pointed out that Wives and Partners can now purchase tickets as can Lodges and Associations. For a moment I felt that he was going to tell that I could buy them at Asda, no way, well not yet. Finally W.Bro. Trevor took the floor with W.Bro.Robert and presented him with the Lodge Grand Patron Collaret, an excellent end to  a superb evening in the Temple.

The Festive Board beckoned, Soup, more a vegetable broth,  delicious Cottage pie followed by Sultana Sponge and Cheese and biscuits, no on could wish for more. The Toast to the Province was in the hands of W,Bro,Robert who praised the Provincial Officers for all they do, particularly that of standing in at the last moment. It is undoubtedly true that they are the back bone of Freemasonry and particularly of the White Rose Lodge. He then added that perhaps some would interpret his comments as ‘toadying’, no way.  W.Bro. Trevor thanked him for his Toast and hoped that the WM and the Lodge enjoyed a more fulfilling year., reminding them that, at the moment, there are a number of Lodges in the same boat, throughout Freemasonry. He then provided a date for your diaries, the Provincial Meeting of the Province of West Yorkshire, which will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 13th April. It is a responsibility of all Worshipful Masters to attend and represent their Lodges, hopefully accompanied by their Wardens and, perhaps, some Brethren. Finally the Perimeter Perambulation; a walk around the perimeter Lodges of our Province of West Yorkshire, the idea of V.W.Bro. Richard Puttrell who is now in training, it’s only 230 miles!! Details are on the web site, please sponsor generously.

The Toast to the Charities was given by W.Bro. Sam who left W.Bro.Alan to fill in the gaps after he had pointed out that our own Cleeves and Whitehead Trust was the jewel in the Provincial Crown. This was supported by W.Bro.Alan in his response, it is unique the only one in the country and it is OUR CHARITY.. Whilst its income has suffered due to the demands of the Festival, it continues to fulfil its obligations, Almoners Luncheon Monday 1st April at the Cedar Court, Ainley Top, Huddersfield and the annual Holiday at the Inn on the Prom Hotel, St Anne’s. 23rd to 29th June. He said that the Festival was on track and that it was expected that all Lodges would qualify as Grand patron Gold Award by the conclusion.

A humorous, but also moving story to end. When proposing the health of the WM, W.Bro Robert, W.Bro.Alan Griffin, IPM, said that he had been inspired by the work of Robert which reminded him of a song. He than read out the words of ‘he ain’t heavy’ by the Hollies, just one thing, he should have sung it, we would have all joined in and brought the house down.

If we could bottle the ‘Magic Dust’ which makes our Order so special, we could make a fortune.

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

Prince Leopold Lodge of MMM No.352 celebrate 50 years of Mark Masonry with W.Bro. Alan Hopwoood, 8th February 2019

A very good turn out at Ripon Masonic Hall to join Worshipful Brother Alan Donald Hopwood in reminiscing his fifty years as a Mark Master Mason, This was in the company of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton who, after the Lodge had been duly opened by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro Jim Millington, and early housekeeping matters concluded, took the floor with Alan to guide all through the story.

Alan is a Scotsman, something you detect rather quickly when in his company and it was on the 13th October 1965 that he was Initiated into Randolph Craft Lodge No.1434 as a Lewis having been proposed by his Father. As is the custom he then became a member of the Mark in the same Lodge, on the 20th April 1966. On the day he was joined by others who had similarly progressed in the year as Advancement is completed on only one day in the year, all candidates at the same time.

His profession was agriculture, to be precise ‘Potatoes’ being a Storage Manager for West Cumberland Farmers. Whilst it may not sound thrilling it actually took him, in the seventies, to Iran, before and during the revolution, He was tasked with establishing five storage depots which, together, held 26.5 thousand tons of potatoes, and I thought that we liked spuds in this country!! It was in 1973 that his job brought Alan to Boroughbridge and where he met his wife Brenda with whom he has enjoyed forty five years of marriage in a few weeks, Congratulations to you both. This is when Freemasonry took a stronger place in his life meeting W.Brother Bernard Porter who introduced him to a number of Craft Lodges, joining Minster in 1980 then moving to Falcon 1416 Craft lodge in Thirsk after moving house to Boroughbridge.

After his return from Iran, Mark Masonry beckoned in West Yorkshire and he joined Prince Leopold No.352 in1984, Worshipful Master in 1994 and again in 2008. As present Senior Warden he is intent upon trying for a third time and, as he said’ do you think that I will ever get it right’, cannot say Alan but I can assure you that a number of us will return to check.

Outside Brenda and Freemasonry, Alan is a model engineer, a past chairman of York City and District Society of Model Engineers and is a camera collector, having a store of over one hundred of one breed. The one that raised the most interest however, was that of being a ‘Fluff chucker’, yes that is right but do not get excited , it is another name for Fly Fishing! Holidays take up much of their time with daughter Kate in Australia  and Brenda’s two sisters both living in Cape Town. What a wonderful story, together with Brenda we trust that Alan will enjoy many more trips around the globe.

The Lodge was then closed and all enjoyed a delicious Festive board, beef casserole, just right for a cold February evening. The Toast to the Province was sincerely delivered by W.Bro.Jim. W.Bro. Trevor then confirmed what all present were thinking, it had been a night to remember, an absolute pleasure, particularly for himself in researching Alan’s Masonic career, some moments to treasure. The remaining Toasts quickly despatched, all wound their way home.A gentle reminder to all, the Provincial Meeting of the Province of West Yorkshire will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 13th April. It is a responsibility of all Worshipful Masters to attend and represent their Lodges, hopefully accompanied by their Wardens and, perhaps, Brethren. This is your opportunity to visit the Lodge of R.W.Bro. James Steggles G.M.R.A.C, our Provincial Grand Master, let us not let him down.

No doubt the more preceptive of you are wondering, as I was, why  did Alan have to wait three years to receive his certificate. Simples!   Alan confirms that the confusion on the dates was caused by him agreeing to act as a candidate for an advancement ceremony at Prince Leopold when he joined officially. He had been in the habit of visiting as a Scottish Mark Mason prior to that. Be sure your sins will catch you out. There you go.

A wonderful evening in Mark Masonic company

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

NB sadly found a crack in my mobile phone screen which is the source of the focus issues, I have used the only two that are any good and will endeavour to replace them in the future, In the off chance that someone else took any on the night, can you please let me have them. Yes the phone is going to the mobile phone clinic!

Danum Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 398

Desert Island Discs with the Provincial Grand Master

Congratulations to Danum Lodge for one of the most innovative Fund raising events of the Festival, I trust that it will be a roaring success. Undoubtedly it should be interesting, maybe a bit revealing but certainly amusing when R.W.Bro Jim is interviewed about his choices in Music by The Inquisitor General, V.W.Bro. Bob Corfield ,need I say more. Details as follows:

Desert Island Discs (3)

V.W.Bro.Jack Pigott receiving his 50th Certificate in the Craft

For those of us who were neither aware or present, here is a picture of V.W.Bro. Jack Pigott together with Joanna receiving his certificate of Fifty Years membership of the Craft. Not only a wonderful moment for Jack but also a beautiful touch to have Joanna present, looking radiant, that is Joanna not Jacks bald patch. The presentation was made at Tapton hall by the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. David S Pratt, before a full house.

I know that many of us who have come to know Jack well through Freemasonry congratulate him on his achievement, not only a most competent, dedicated Freemason but also a delightful man.

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

Castle Lodge of MMM No.1257, an Advancement to celebrate

Unfortunately, despite my exhortations to you all to attend and support the Lodge, I was unable to be present but have been assisted in this report by the Minutes of the meeting prepared by W.Bro.David Readshaw to whom I am very grateful. The attendance was better than the norm and thank you to all who heeded the request, others will follow I am sure.

The Worshipful Master, W.Bro.Trevor Jones opened the Lodge in due form, an item on the Agenda was the Election of the Master for the ensuing year, congratulations to Trevor who was Elected for a further term..  Before commencing the formal business, however, W.Bro.Roger Ehrlich gave a very sincere and moving eulogy for W.Bro.Michael Singer who had passed to the Grand Lodge above in December, all stood to order in recognition of departed merit. W.Bro. John Clayton, Past.Prov.G.M. in the Province of Yorkshire West Riding was also included in the tribute.

Attention then turned to the major purpose, the Advancement of Brother Stephen Barry Mason, two candidates in five months as Bro. David Dutton was advanced in September last. The Ceremony began and Bro.Mason was duly obligated by the WM, W.Bro,Trevor, the working tools ably despatched by Bro. Lawson, Junior Deacon and a special mention for W.Bro. Jules Boyeldieu, a most competent performance as Senior Deacon. An unusual event then took place with the Signs and Secrets being double handed,  the WM and W.Bro Richard Aldridge, seen before but rarely, and the Conclusion by W.Bro.Roger Ehrlich.

The Election of Treasurer saw W.Bro.Phlip Taylor again holding the Financial reins, the remaining housekeeping items then completed the Lodge was closed and all adjourned to a well earned Festive Board. During the risings,V.W.Bro.Tony Parker gave hearty greetings and thanked the WM and Brethren for the warmth of their welcome although that did not extend to the Temple, it appears that perhaps the thermostat was too low!!

Brother Barry in response to his Toast at the Festive Board told how he had recently persuaded his son to become a Mason saying to him “you will meet many good and honourable men” He added that his experience of the ceremony and festivities this evening was a perfect illustration of that and in particular, with the friendship throughout. Methinks that they have a good one there.

A gentle reminder to all, the Provincial Meeting of the Province of West Yorkshire will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 13th April. It is a responsibility of all Worshipful Masters to attend and represent their Lodges, hopefully accompanied by their Wardens and, perhaps, Brethren. This is your opportunity to visit the Lodge of R.W.Bro. James Steggles G.M.R.A.C, our Provincial Grand Master, let us not let him down. Also, those of you who joined Castle Lodge for this meeting , may like to repeat the experience on Tuesday 23rd April, their Installation Meeting.

Keep happy, you are all Mark Master Masons

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

Mark Caravan Weekend “Only 4 Places Left”

Mark Caravan Weekend 2

Two APGM’s in the Craft

Just in case some of the Brethren of the West Yorkshire Province of Mark Master Masons had missed these very significant events, please see the following photos:

They represent the preferment in the Craft of two of two our own Brethren to the position of Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Province of Yorkshire West Riding They are , of course, Worshipful Brother Dr.Andrew Wright Past Chairman of Trustees  at the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, and Worshipful Brother Ian Norman Elliott Lewis. The latter is ,of course, not only an Assistant Provincial Director of Ceremonies in the Mark Degree but will also be Installed and Invested as the Provincial Grand Senior Warden at our Provincial Meeting on Saturday 13th April at Bradford Grammar School. This has happened before when W.Bro. Paul Clarke was similarly recognised.

Congratulations to both and thoroughly well merited, bear in mind that in respect of Ian  there is a very proud ‘W.Bro.Dad’ in the background.

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

Perimeter Perambulation details and Sponsorship Form


You are never too old to take another Step in Freemasonry

So said Brother Malcolm Knowles and on Friday 25th January 2019 he was present at Hipperholme Lodge of Royal Ark Mariner No.715 to fulfil that step and become a Royal Ark Mariner. Malcolm had been initiated into Freemasonry at Clifton Lodge No.7112, thought about the next move for a while and was Advanced into Brighouse Mark Lodge No.753 in January 1978, considered again and there he was, as W.Bro. Vic Smith would have said, now on the brink of becoming a member of the ‘Creme de la Creme’.

In the company of the the Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother Andrew Beardsell, his Lieutenants, Crew and visiting Mariners from vessels moored nearby, the Lodge was opened in due form. whereupon the first matter was in the hands of Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Brian Batty. He presented a eulogy following the sad death of W.Bro.John Whitehead, son of a revered Past Provincial Grand Master of thirty plus years, R.W.Bro.Carl Whitehead. John had enjoyed a distinguished career in his private life as well as his Masonic interests and was a highly respected and well liked Brother who has been, and will continue to be missed by all ,who had the pleasure of his company., At the same time, R.W.Bro. Brian mentioned W.Bro. Ashley Barker and, as we only learned on the day of the meeting, the death of W.Bro. Sidney John Bruton Barlow, an ebullient and enthusiastic individual you could not miss or ignore!

Attention then turned to the Ceremony of Elevation, a short hiccough at the outset but that was soon put to bed and the WC, W.Bro.Andrew put the ship back on course obligating Bro.Malcolm in fine form, A smooth transition saw the signs despatched in an excellent manner by W.Bro. John McRiner, the Working Tools explained in similar order by W.Bro.Martin Scott and the Ceremony neatly concluded by W.Bro.David Leach, a shipmate from Peace RAM No.681, who explained the relevance of the Triangular form of the Lodge and the significance of the Steps, from where I sat word perfect. As a member of Peace myself, I think it might be  a good idea to rent David out. Nothing of note remaining the Lodge was closed and all adjourned to the Mess for a well earned festive board, the latter dutifully consumed.

The Toasts were then submitted, under the direction of the Acting D.C.,  W.Bro. Dr. Rod Taylor, Past.Asst.Prov.G.M.  The Toast to the Candidate was given by R.W.Bro. Brian, his proposer who pointed ot that this wast he month of his fort first anniversary as a Mark Mason, some fifty three years after he entered the Craft. He trusted that he would enjoy this new journey, in his ninetieth year and also for many more years to come. In response Bro. Malcolm thanked all for a wonderful evening, he was looking forward to learning more about the Fraternity, most certainly to see the Ceremony of Elevation again to take it all in. 

In passing, some notes for your diaries: 

Saturday 5th October at Tapton Hall, the Provincial Assembly of Royal Ark Mariners; Note that a  a new Provincial Royal Ark Mariner banner will be unveiled this year, date to come and a Gala Christmas Ball will be held, again at the Bankfield Mercure Hotel, Bingley, on the 30th November, Last, but not least put, Saturday 13th April at Bradford Grammar School in now, Annual ,,, meeting of the Province  Grand lodge of MMM of West Yorkshire, one not to miss.. Also Masters and Wardens please note that it is a responsibility of your Office to represent your Lodge around the Association and at the Provincial meeting, look forward to seeing you there.  bear in mind it is the only day of the year that most of you can support R.W.Bro. Jim at his Lodge, do not let him down.

Do not forget, Smile, be happy, you are all Royal Ark Mariner Masons

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

Are you a Royal Ark Mariner? THEN READ THIS

The Worshipful Commander and Brethren, i.e.the Crew, of Portal Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 127 would like the pleasure of the company, of any Royal Ark Mariner in the Province of West Yorkshire to their next meeting at the Masonic Hall, Eastgate, Barnsley. This will be held on Wednesday, 27th February commencing at 6.30 p.m.

Why should you consider this a meeting worthy of your attendance, firstly because it is entitled, A History of the Royal Ark Mariner Degree. All well and good you are thinking, that does sound a bit interesting in furthering my Masonic knowledge and, with those whose company I know I will enjoy.  What else can I tell you, well the Presentation is in the very capable hands of probably the finest speaker in the Province, someone renowned for his research, knowledge superb wit and delivery . I do not think I have to say any more but it is Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor

Look forward to seeing you

W.Bro.Duncan Smith

Communications Manager

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