Saturday 14th of May 2022 and, after three years Worshipful Brother Bob Winterflood finally got to install his successor Worshipful Brother Stephen Wood. An 11.00 a.m. start and the Brethren eagerly took their seats. The dispensation read and the Lodge quickly opened. Various business dealt with including a ballot for nine joining members this was quickly and eagerly confirmed.
Next a report and Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown entered and announced that the Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. together with Very Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and a plethora of Grand and Provincial officers were outside and demanded admission. This of course was quickly done and to a round of applause. W.Bro. Bob then proffered the gavel to R.W.Bro. Jim who quickly took it, thanked him for the welcome and courtesy saying that quite rightly the procession was two at a time in true Ark Mariner style, except for himself and V.W.Bro. Alan. He hoped this didn’t herald the extinction of Provincial Rulers! The gavel then quickly returned. A total of six lots of salutations were then given. The loudest response of all of course being given Worshipful Brother ‘whispering’ Keith Trott. How good to see him in such good form. The Installation then took place in orderly fashion.
Worshipful Brother Bev Heywood presented the keystone collarette in a superb manner. W. Bro.Steve then appointed and invested his officers. Some slight confusion as the Junior Warden appeared to be ‘missing’ but this was later put right, and Worshipful Brother Alex Steele was appointed and invested with his collar. Some might say leaving the best till last!
Very Worshipful Brother Richard Puttrell Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master delivered the exposition again in a first-class manner. All other Lodge business was quickly dealt with, greetings given, and the Lodge closed.
Soup, Steak and Ale Pie followed Cheese and Biscuits was the festive board. W.Bro. Steve in his toast spoke about R.W.Bro. Jim saying he had served the Province so well during the last ten years guiding and moving things forward, even through the pandemic he had led and encouraged us all to stay in touch through zoom and other media. Closing saying it was a delight to see him here today.
In his response R.W.Bro.Jim said he was humbled W. Bro.Steve’s words and that it was certainly about time he was in the chair. Referring to W.Bro. Bob, he said it was probable he would go down in history as the longest serving commander of the Carl Whitehead Lodge. He also mentioned the confusion between Worshipful Brother Alex Geddes and Worshipful Brother Alex Steele. Perhaps it was that old adage that all Scotsmen looked alike! The Carl Whitehead Lodge was now a Grand Patron Lodge and had got there under its own steam. Finishing with information regards the Festival finale in Harrogate at the end of June/beginning of July 2023 and what a wonderful finale it would be. Also mentioning the MC2 cycle challenge in just a few weeks’ time and the Stewards Jewel which if bought would go towards your own personal honorifics.
It had been a fabulous day and all the Brethren there had enjoyed themselves. Certainly going home happy.
W.Bro. Clive Hawkins Prov. A.G.D.C.
W.Bro. Andrew Johnson P.Prov.G.S.W.