Pontefract Masonic hall and the Charity Representatives and Almoners of the Province gathered together, with the Trustees and Elected members, to receive an up to date report upon the situation of the ‘jewel in the Crown’ of the West Yorkshire Province. Well that is what it should have been but a poor attendance, apparently fifteen Lodges were not represented at all, is something we should be less than than happy with. If you accept the Office of Charity Steward or Almoner, being at the Annual and Half Yearly meeting are a responsibility of the Office, I hope that it strikes a chord and that attendance will be much higher in 2020.
The Meeting was opened the Vice President, Bro,Trevor Bolton who welcomed all present.The initial procedural Agenda items were completed including, sadly, a roll call of sixteen Brethren who had passed to the Grand lodge above.. The Chairman of Trustees, Bro. Jim Stanley then gave an informative and detailed analysis of the past six months. This is attached, click here to view, or go to the web site of the Charity where it can be viewed. Financially, despite the reduced income due to the Festival demands, the Trust is financially very happy and the Trustees have approved several Grants to outside bodies, below I give details of two. I will give details of others in the future when reporting on Lodge activities.
Safe Anchor Trust: £2,000
Formed in 1995, this local charity based in Mirfield, is dedicated to providing therapeutic boat trips to those who are disadvantaged virtue of physical or mental disabilities, poor health, social isolation, age or deprivation from within their local communities – primarily in Kirklees and Calderdale. The charity also works with local youth groups such as Brownies, Beavers, Guides, Scouts and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme as well as providing a work boat and volunteers to work in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and other local groups to clean and care for the local environment. The boats are also hired out for functions – including to St Chad’s Mark Lodge which is hiring three of the boats this year!
Brighouse Methodist Church: £13,440
This is the church where the Mark Masons of West Yorkshire have held their Christmas Carol Service for many years and where we have been made to feel very much welcome and at home. The roof of the church is in urgent need of repair as the its covering has failed. The situation was classified the Inspection Architectsas ‘Of Utmost Urgency’; however, the funds were not available to allow this vital repair work to be carried out. The C&WT was delighted to assist.
Bro. Mick Ricketts , Social Committee Chairman then confirmed that a Masquerade ball will be held at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley on Saturday, 30th November, overnight packages are selling out fast.
An open forum then took place where it was almost totally focussed on the demands of Charity Stewards being unable to find out who was donating standing order to the Trust. Brethren, do as I did a long time ago and tell your Charity Steward if you are donating as such, he then knows not to approach you and all this confusion will disappear.
Finally, Bro. Ian Wolstencroft gave an outline of the progress of the Festival, all Mark Lodges have achieved Grand Patron Status with thirteen at Gold Award level, given the time we have in hand the Province should also achieve Gold Award but we must not rest upon our laurels, much remains to be done. Finally next year’s major event is a cycle ride around the Province visiting all bordering Provinces. It will involve 400 miles of riding over five days, starting on June 20th 2020, W Bro Rod Dyer of Fearnley No.58 is looking for volunteers and not just for cycling. If riding isn’t your thing, there are a few logistic issues he will need a hand with. Please get in touch to sign up and offer your services.
Notes for your Diaries;
Almoners Luncheon Monday4th Nov. at Tapton hall and Monday, 6th April 2020 Cedar Court, Ainley Top.
Annual Carol Service at Brighouse Methodist Church on Sunday, 8h December.
Annual Meeting 7th March 2020 at Otley.