With the Portal Dreadnought safely berthed at Eastgate Masonic Hall, it was time to welcome, and Install, the new Skipper who had agreed to take on this motley crew and navigate them through the next 12 months. Who was willing to take on this arduous task, none other than the much travelled Provincial Grand Master Overseer for 2015/2016 in the Province of Mark Master Masons West Yorkshire, Brother Charles David Lindsay, not a happy soul after he had to hand in his Acting Officers Jewel.
An excellent attendance of 47 that included 22 visitors, of which 3 were Commanders in the Chair, was perhaps a reflection on the visiting that the Commander Elect has undertaken in his Masonic career. They were joined Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Robert Corfield, the Personal Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C.; Past Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother George Henry Philip Birch and Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Brian Emmett. The Worshipful Commander, Worshipful Brother Russel Jones opened the Lodge in due form and events progressed smoothly to the Installation. This was very capably and sincerely despatched W.Bro. Jones, a smooth transition with Worshipful Brother Lindsay secure on the poop deck, the Captain of all he surveyed.
The Appointment and Investiture of his Officers then followed; sadly a number had not yet returned from leave and will be invested on a future voyage. Unfortunately, therefore, they could not witness two of the highlights of the evening, the first being the Address to the Worshipful Commander given R.W.Bro. Birch, in superb fashion. He had given me the ritual to prompt him if necessary, no need. The Exposition was then in the hands of Worshipful Brother Peter Brindley, another excellent performance, no requirement for any outside assistance and that was in addition to the explanation of the Keystone Collaret that W.Bro. Peter had dealt with in perfect fashion earlier in the Ceremony.
The Captain and crew then adjourned to the Mess where victuals were provided, notably a delicious Steak Pie, followed Treacle Sponge with Ice cream, yes you read it correctly, the Skipper prefers Ice Cream to Custard. The Toast to the Province was very capably delivered Worshipful Brother Rodney Tolson, the response in the hands of W.Bro. Robert Corfield, the Personal Representative of the Provincial Grand Master. He stressed that we must continue to support our Craft Lodges to ensure a steady stream of potential candidates to the Mark, and thereafter, the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners. He further reminded Brethren that as the West Riding Craft Festival comes to its conclusion later this year, efforts must the turn to our own Festival, the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023, and to this end he had been pleased to have received a donation from the Portal Lodge.
The atmosphere throughout had been convivial, one Brother describing it as entertaining, undoubtedly it reflected the nature of the Fraternity, also our Skipper, Worshipful Commander, W.Bro. Charles Lindsay will, see photo below now a very happy bunny, I have no doubt, be seen regularly at Royal Ark Mariner Lodges throughout his year representing the good ship, Portal Lodge. The Crew saluted and were dismissed.
Smile, be happy and enjoy your Royal Ark Mariner Masonry.
W.Bro. Duncan Smith, P.G.J.D.