Special Yes, because it was the Installation of Brother Graham S Littlewood, but all Installations are special. This was more so in that he was taking the Chair of a Lodge previously occupied both his Great Grandfather and his Father. The majority of those present remembered W.Bro. Graham Littlewood, a stalwart of the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters and provider of whisky marmalade, jams and pickles which he sold at Lodges, proceeds to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. I am sure that they, together with his Uncle Sam Littlewood, Past Master at Integrity Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 110 would have been looking down on the proceedings with great pride.
The Lodge was opened in perfect form the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Roy Edwards and the usual formalities despatched. Upon a report the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Richard Boswell Puttrell was admitted accompanied Worshipful Brother John Wilberforce Ashcroft, Elected member of the Charity Committee, both being duly acknowledged with appropriate salutations.
The Installation then commenced with W.Bro. Roy firmly in charge of the reins. He was ably supported a number of Past Masters and the Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Geoff Kendall, and I must also mention a Junior Brother, Terence Sweet for his explanation of the Tools. Most of the accolades, however, go to W.Bro. Roy who was faultless, a wonderful ceremony and one that W.Bro. Graham S Littlewood will treasure for the rest of his days. The officers for the year were then appointed and invested, the only point of note being a demonstration of flying gavels the D.C. W. Bro. Geoff, very novel.
At this juncture, I will mention that in his report about the South Yorkshire Association of Installed Masters, W. Bro. Alex Geddes mentioned events that some may wish to put in their diaries viz: Friday 24 June at Tapton Hall, a Mid Summer Social; Association Visit to Lascelles No. 887, 5 July and, Annual General Meeting at Tapton Hall 7 September, incidentally this is the meeting where W. Bro. Alex will become President.
The Festive Board was well received and the dining problems at Tapton Hall now appear to be well behind them so no excuse for not being there, the tomato soup was delicious, at least I thought so! The toast to the Province was brilliantly delivered Worshipful Brother Peter Riggall, just the right balance of effusive compliments and modest ingratiation, a talented young man who is going far. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Puttrell began his response reminding W.Bro. Graham that he was now the face of Vulcan Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1191 and that he had a responsibility, which all Masters in the Chair inherit, that of representing their Lodge in their Association and throughout the Province. This should include attendance at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire which will be held at Bradford on the 22 April 2017. Thought should also be given to inviting their Senior and Junior Wardens to accompany them. Comment was also passed regarding the Mark 250 Club which, whilst being a most useful fund raising tool to facilitate the refurbishment and replacement of P.G.L. Regalia, the banner will be dealt with in the next year, also provides a chance to win cash prizes. Cost a modest £10 p.a., you can have as many as you want, give it a try. I have 3 and have yet to win anything but it is a good cause Brethren. Finally he reminded Brethren of the Provincial Demonstration Teams and the Old Mark Workings Team, both of which are available to visit Lodges which I know, from my own experience, Lodges will find both interesting and informative.
The response to the Charity Toast was in the hands of Worshipful Brother John Wilberforce Ashcroft who began drawing attention to the work that the Mark Benevolent Fund undertakes in the wider community such as the provision of Life boats, help to many Hospices and, at the moment, ‘Hope for Tomorrow’, which provides mobile Chemotherapy units at a cost of circa, £250, 000 each. In respect of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund festival, he explained that all Mark Master Masons Lodges in the Province in 1988 are Patron lodges. To achieve Grand patron status they need to reach £1000 and Gold Award, £2500, donations direct to the Festival account. Individuals, Patron £500, Grand Patron £1000 and Gold award £2500, donations to the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust who can recover the gift aid tax.
A wonderful meeting was underlined the prescience of no less than 5, yes FIVE visiting Master of which 4 were from Tapton, I hope this message permeates around the Province.
For the record they were;
- Bro Norman Oakes, Britannia No. 53
- Bro. Pete Eville, Lascelles No. 887
- Bro. Tom McDougall, Sincerity No. 943
- Bro. James Ambler, Escafeld No. 1139 and last but no means least
- Bro. Tony McVeigh, Chesterfield No. 1472
Another WOW of a Mark Master Masons meeting, smile and be very happy.
W.Bro. D. Smith P.S.G.D.