R.W.Bro. James Bramley Morley, Provincial Grand Master for West Yorkshire from 1989 to 1994, celebrated 50 years as a Mark Master Mason on 19th March 2008, when his Mark Lodge (Halifax 706) rearranged the date of its Regular Meeting to coincide with the exact anniversary of his Advancement into Mark Masonry on 19th March 1958.
R.W.Bro. Morley, affectionately known throughout the Province as ‘Bram’ was visibly taken aback the surprise arrangements which had been prepared for him at Southwood Masonic Hall on that evening, to help him celebrate such a significant achievement. These arrangements, co-ordinated locally V.W.Bro. Vic Smith, included the attendance of the Assistant Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Benjamin Addy, the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Bennett Truswell, all other Rulers and Past Rulers of this Province and the P.G.M.’s and Past Rulers of several other Provinces who were in Office at the same time as R.W.Bro. Bram. Well over 100 Brethren crammed into Southwood Masonic Hall on 19th March to celebrate the event.
The Lodge meeting included a full Advancement Ceremony, as well as the presentation of 50 year Certificates the Assistant Grand Master (on behalf of Grand Lodge) and the Provincial Grand Master (on behalf of Provincial Grand Lodge) to R.W.Bro. Morley. The Provincial Grand Master gave us some interesting memories of the ’50’s’ as well as a potted history of Bram which included his Royal Navy service, Golfing abilities, Charitable work undertaken on behalf of the Province (including Chairmanship of the West Yorkshire Mark Charity Committee) and a resume of his Masonic career. In congratulating R.W.Bro. Morley on his achievements, he said that Bram had set standards which the rest of us struggle to achieve and that he was an inspiration to us all.
Everyone present was then deeply moved when the Provincial Grand Master called upon the newest member of the Province, Bro. Tobias Alexander Reece, who had been Advanced into Mark Masonry earlier in the evening (and who was therefore the ‘Son’ of the Province) to present the Provincial 50 year Certificate on his behalf to the ‘Father’ of the Province, R.W.Bro. James Bramley Morley, a task which 23 year old Bro. Reece carried out with great confidence and pride.
The Mark Province of West Yorkshire is currently in the almost unique position of being able to boast no less than three subscribing Past Provincial Grand Masters, R.W.Bro. James Bramley Morley (1989 to 1994), R.W.Bro. George Henry Philip Birch (1994 to 1999) and R.W.Bro. Brian Morris Batty (1999 to 2007). Long may that most joyful situation continue.