A very well attended Installation at Tapton, many of the glitterati in attendance, principally because ‘mine host’, W.Bro.Philip had invited most of us as his guests and we were delighted to join him. This was a special night where W.Bro.Philip installed his son, Brother Charles Drury in the Chair of Escafeld Lodge , a moment that both have been looking forward to for some time.
Firstly Philip had to work for his supper, the opening procedures were covered , initial agenda items taken, minutes confirmed, two account examiners appointed, two Trustees appointed when there was a report. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother John Vause was admitted and announced that the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. was without and demanded admission. No argument, he duly entered flanked the Dep.P.G.M. W.Bro.Alan Oldfield, Asst.P.G.M.Trevor Bolton, Past.P.G.M.Jim Truswell and a retinue of other Officers. He was offered the Gavel which he courteously refused saying that, in words we all recognise, use it as not abusing it and maybe we will all go on our way rejoicing. Salutations followed, my reckoning six minutes approx., it is at this time you realise just how far down the food chain you are!
Bro.Charles was presented the D.C. W.Bro. Tony Hobson and the appropriate questions posed Philip and answered in due from Charles.; he was then duly obligated , the signs and secrets inculcated and invested with the Collar and Badge of his Office as the Worshipful Master of Escafeld Lodge of M.M.M. No.1139. Truly this was a case of following in Fathers footsteps but let us hope he does not take that literally, we do not need another Provincial Grand Toilet Attendant!. The Working Tools were then well delivered W.Bro.Cliffiord Watson as were the Warrant, Constitutions and Bye Laws. W.Bro,Philip. after a delay when W.Bro.Tony had to seek out copies, after which he also presented the Keystone Collaret. Appointment and Investiture of Officers followed, no surprises, with W.Bro.’Dad’ having been appointed I.P.M. The Addresses were delivered by;
OverseersW.Bro.John Maxwell and
all of which were beautifully presented but this was where the inevitable occurred. W.Bro.Philip is a very caring and often emotional man and this came through when Bro Dad was addressing Bro.Son, a wonderful moment and one of which they can both have great pride, I was nearly in tears, a superb ceremony, enjoyed all present,
There then remained two Grand Lodge Certificates to present to Bro.Richard Morley and Bro.John Allsop, both superbly, and very sincerely, handled the P.G.M., R.W.Bro.Jim, moments that will live with the Brethren concerned for the remainder of their Masonic careers.
Finally I am delighted to report that we had further evidence that the exhortations of our Rulers appear to be having an effect. Two visiting Masters present, W.Bro.Jim Wilson of Eland Lodge No.493 and W.Bro.Stephen Ward of Portal Lodge No.127. A plea to the Tapton Mark Lodges, a number of Brethren have complained to me about the numbers of visitors at their Lodge, and yet there were precious few of you at this meeting. Visit one another, it could have an explosive effect!
The Festive Board was well received, not unusual these days at Tapton, a quality repast at a fair price. W.Bro.Charles submitted the toast to R.W.Bro.Jim who always appeared happy and relaxed, giving the impression that it was more a meeting of friends, very true, he was also happy to take part in the ceremony and our P.G.M does have a calm air about him that benefits all. Responding R.W.Bro.Jim reflected upon the wonderful experience of a Father installing his Son, many of us no doubt wish we could be in Philip’s shoes. Good things happening in the Lodge with Grand Patron Gold Award and candidates thanks to the commitment and dedication of the stalwarts of the Lodge. He hoped that they would be able to find a candidate for this year as it does enhance the term of the W.M. In respect of the Festival, the only major event this year is the Perimeter Perambulation involving V.W.Bro.Richard Puttrell and W.Bro.Steven Spooner over two hundred and thirty miles over thirteen days, well worthy of your support Brethren However it will be the small events which will swell the coffers, coffee mornings, Sunday Lunches etc, more power to your elbow.
W.Bro.James Reynolds proposed the Toast to the Charities thanking all those involved over the years who had made the Cleeves and Whitehead so successful, recognised as the Jewel in the Crown of mark Master Masonry in West Yorkshire. We are indeed very fortunate. W.Bro.Paul Leach echoed these sentiments in reply bur emphasised once again that only 28% of all those eligible regularly contribute standing order, the most efficient method of giving. As W.Bro.Paul said ‘when are more of the 72% going to come and join us?’. When I was the Chairman of Trustees I hoped that I would see it over 30%, I am still hoping! The work of the Trust continues undisturbed, an Almoners Lunch has just taken place and the Lytham Holiday is et for the end of June.
What a wonderful Mark Masonic occasion, I cannot wait to go back, that the way is how I feel after all our meetings. We are lucky, Smile, be happy, you are Mark Master Masons.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.