A Great Night at St.Hiev – 50 Years’ Certificates for W. Bro. John Brooke P.G.J.D.

The scene was set. On a dark night in Bingley, the Brethren descended on the St. Hiev Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1079 with high expectations for the night; they would not be disappointed.  Poised like Michael Aspel or Eamonn Andrews for those with a longer memory ready to deliver another riveting evening of ‘This Is Your Life’ was our very own Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful J. Trevor Bolton. The Brethren took their places in the Lodge and the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Ian Beardmore proceeded to open the Lodge. With hopes of having an easy evening, the Worshipful Master proffered the Gavel to the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who said he was more than confident that W. Bro. Beardmore was well placed to remain in the Master’s Chair and to continue in his current station; and a very good job he did too. Salutations were extended to Very Worshipful J. Trevor Bolton and to W. Bro. Edward Wilkinson.

After the Minutes were read, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master called for W. Bro. John Brooke to join him on the floor where the entertainment of the evening was to begin. Born in 1937, W. Bro. Brooke spent his childhood living in Thornton and Heaton; attending Primary School in Heaton before being awarded a scholarship at the prestigious Bradford Grammar School. He left there in 1953 and immediately set to work as a Clerk and Cashier at the Halifax Building Society where he would go on to meet his wife, Kathleen. John completed his National Service, serving in the Royal Air Force as a Ground Wireless Mechanic and seeing tours in both Jordan and Iraq, after which, he would go on to join the National Assistant Board in Keighley, a division within the Ministry of Pensions.

John married Kathleen in 1960 and they went on to have two children: Hazel and Tony. On the 5th January 1967, John took his first Regular Step into Freemasonry, joining the Lodge of Fidelity in Leeds, later becoming its Master in 1984. He joined the order of Mark Master Masons on the 11th January 1971, being Advanced into the St.Hiev Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1079 where he is still an active member. John was installed as Worshipful Master of the St. Hiev Lodge in 1978, gained his Mark Provincial Honour’s in 1983 and was promoted in 1991. 

In 1989, John was Elevated into the Old York Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners T.I. where he was installed as its Commander in 1998, but not before being a founding member of the St. Heiv Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 1079. In the same year that John would take the helm of H.M.S Old York, he was made President of the Bradford and District Installed Masters Association. John received Mark Grand Rank in 1999, being made P.A.G.Std.B. and was promoted to P.G.J.D. in 2011. He was promoted to Prov.R.A.M.G.R.in 2006 before receiving his R.A.M.G.R. in 2016. As well as being a member of the Carl Whitehead Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 110 and the Aries Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 669 (where he occupied the Master’s Chair for two consecutive terms in 2018 and 2019), John has been the Almoner of the St.Hiev Lodge of Mark Master Masons since 2002.  In 2019, he was presented with a Grand Patron award for his continued support of the Mark Benevolent Fund.

The Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary W.Bro. Jason Cunningham, then read out the Grand Certificate and Provincial Certificate for 50 years’ service before the Assistant Provincial Grand Master presented them to W. Bro. Brooke along with the personal congratulations of our Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master James Steggles G.M.R.A.C..W. Bro. Brooke returned to his seat in the West and the Brethren, under the direction of the Prov.A.G.D.C W.Bro Charles Lindsay, extended him Mark Salutations.

The remaining business of the Lodge was concluded and the Brethren retired to the dining hall for a hearty Festive Board where the joviality and laughter continued.  The meal was fabulous and the company even better.

It was a pleasure to attend and witness the presentation of W. Bro. Brooke’s certificates for 50years of continuous service. I’m sure you will all agree that John is a sterling example of what it is to be a Mark Master Mason and a Royal Ark Mariner and wish him well for many more years to come.

Brother Christian Holmes. Junior Warden Old York T.I.

W.Bro. Andrew Johnson, Prov.G.S.W.

Communications Manager