August is a quiet month in the annual discharge of Masonic duties leading to a higher than normal attendance at those Lodges who meet. This was no exception at Aries lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 669 held at the Midland Hotel in Bradford on Thursday, 10th August with a goodly number present.
This was to witness the Advancement of Brother Benjamin Simmons, a member of the Lodge of Hope No. 302, proposed his father, Brother Mark Simmons, Senior Deacon, and seconded Worshipful Brother Jason Cunningham, the Worshipful Master. The latter is the Son of Brother Terence Cunningham, Junior Warden and it will not end there. There is an obvious history of Father/ Son at Aries which will be further enhanced as, per the Summons, a ballot was taken for Worshipful Brother Kenneth Wilson of Peace Lodge No. 3988, proposed his Son, Brother Chris Wilson. This is to take place on Thursday, 21st September, join me to witness this trend setting process to acquire new members that Aries have pioneered.
The Ceremony was of the quality both W. Bro. Jason and all his team can be justly proud, no ritual books in sight, well done. Particularly Bro. Mark, Senior Deacon, who certainly set an example of how it should be done including the signs and secrets, word perfect. Ceremonies at Aries are never short of an humorous touch, during the examination of materials there was much booing and dismay prompting one visitor to say, ‘ the Pantomime season has started early this year’, more laughter. Order was restored excellent delivery of the Woking Tools Worshipful Brother John Brooke and the Conclusion, surely one of the most moving pieces of ritual in Freemasonry, Worshipful Brother Andrew Johnson. I must also mention Worshipful Brother Eric Gosnay who, despite poor eyesight, efficiently dealt with his duties of Chaplain, aged 96!!, an example to us all.
The Festive Board was well received and the Toasts were dutifully and sincerely delivered, that to the Candidate, Brother, ‘Son’ Ben delivered his father. Bro. Mark informed us that Bro. Ben was well travelled having served in the Army in places as far afield as Germany and Halifax! Both are members of Hope Craft Lodge where they are differentiated as Simmons major and minor, a more obvious distinction would be, the one with no hair is the Dad. In response Bro. Ben emphasised his pleasure at the warmth of his welcome to the Lodge before the ceremony and confirmed that he had thoroughly enjoyed the proceedings and particularly the performance of the Senior Deacon, Brother Dad, well said.
Mark meetings never fail to impress, this was no exception.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.