A double celebration for the Bronte Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No.535

A fabulous night at Bronte R.A.M, Thursday 19th May 2022. The meeting was to celebrate not only the Lodge being consecrated 50 years ago, the actual date being the 10th of September 1971 but, also to celebrate and present Worshipful Brother Keith Hardwick Trott certificates for 50 years being a Royal Ark Mariner, actually being Elevated on the 29th of October 1971. The Lodge was opened in the usual manner after which the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro.James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. entered and was offered the gavel naturally in Italian the Worshipful Commander W.Bro. Enrico A. Venettuoli! R.W.Bro. Jim clearly understood what W.Bro. Enrico had said as he briefly took the gavel and quickly returned it saying in perfect English he really was looking forward to an excellent evening.


Worshipful Brother John Sharman then read the minutes of the consecration meeting from 1971. The then Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Carl Whitehead performed the consecration and the then Assistant Provincial Grand Master Worshipful Brother John Stanley Richardson installed the commander designate Worshipful Brother Albert Connelly. W.Bro. Keith who was a very young founding member then gave a short history of the Lodge. R.W.Bro.Jim then presented a 50-year Celebratory Warrant to W.Bro. Enrico and gave his many congratulations to the Lodge.


R.W.Bro.Jim then stood and gave a brief background to life in 1970/71. Edward Heath was the Prime minister, Richard Nixon the President of the U.S.A., The Boeing 747 Jumbo jet took its first maiden flight, the Twin Towers were completed, petrol at 33p a gallon, a pint of beer just 20p and the average price of a house being £5000 to name but a few.


W.Bro. Keith then joined him on the floor, and they talked about his very busy life and the love and respect that people had for him. He had been initiated into the craft in 1963 and, held high rank in Craft, Chapter and many other orders. He had also been a founding member and President of the B&D.I.M.A. He had trained as an electrical engineer but actually worked in mechanical design and eventually became sales and marketing director of the Rustless Iron Co.Ltd. in Keighley. They talked about his wife Pat who he married in 1955 and had been together for 47 years and the wonderful support she had given him. Other things they talked about were his membership of Keighley Lions for over 60 years where he had been President twice. And him being appointed director of Keighley and District Association for the Blind now called Sight Airedale. A very busy man to say the least!


W. Bro.Keith was then presented with a Grand Lodge certificate his very close friend Worshipful Brother John Boocock and then being presented with a Provincial Grand Lodge certificate R.W.Bro.Jim.


All business being dealt with the Lodge was closed and the Brethren retired to a fabulous festive board. Various toasts were given with Bro.Billy Light leading the way, liking R.W.Bro.Jim to Roy Castle in that he had dedication and was a record breaker! R.W.Bro. Jim responded saying Bro. Billy would indeed go far! Going on to talk about the Festival and the final push needed. Tickets for the Festival Finale Saturday 1st July 2023 would go on sale this coming 4th July 2022. Brethren it will be a fabulous event. Book early!
The toast to the founding members was of course given W.Bro. Keith who mentioned those wonderful founders – 17 in total and how far Bronte had come in that time. Worshipful Brother Stephen Wood as is tradition as the Commander of The Carl Whitehead Lodge No.110 gave a toast to R.W.Bro. Carl Whitehead. W.Bro. Steve of course supplying the port.


A fabulous evening and as Bro.Billy said in his toast to the visitors, Bronte Lodge look forward to and always welcome visitors both old and new.

W.Bro. Andrew Johnson
Communications Manager