The hunger pangs dispersed with a delightful Festive Board, appropriate to the hot weather, the President, Worshipful Brother Richard Brown welcomed all present, particularly distinguished guests being the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Trevor Bolton and well known bargee, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother John Fred Clough. Also in attendance, and something I am delighted to report, were Worshipful Brother Steve Spooner, President of the Huddersfield, Halifax and Districts Installed Masters Association and his predecessor, Worshipful Brother John Davis. There were no representatives from either of the other two Associations and it is appropriate to remind all Officers of the Associations that there raison d’etre is to promote visiting, a good idea therefore to visit sister Associations Annual Meetings, they may reciprocate.
The initial Agenda items addressed, W. Bro Richard then gave his end of year report. He had visited most of the Lodges in his area whilst balancing work, family and other commitments, one being his role as an Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, He thanked all for their attendance, including the Social events, being a Luncheon and Gala Dinner and paid particular attention to the support from his Wife, Jayne and the Officers and representatives of the Association. During the year the Association has continued to present the incoming Master with a letter of encouragement urging them to be present at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting, Association visits and to set an example in delivering ritual without books, but always mindful of those Brethren with problems. This is an interesting initiative and one to be applauded, it is however a suggestion and it is up to each Lodge to make their own judgement.
The President then invested his successor wishing him a very happy and successful year in Office, the new Team being;
President, W. Bro. Brian Smart, Ainsty Lodge.
Senior Vice President, W. Bro. David Keith, Castle Lodge.
Junior Vice President, W. Bro. David Lees, Knaresborough Castle Lodge.
The remaining Officers were then appointed, no changes, Secretary Worshipful Brother Gerry Barker, W. Bro. Les Davy was re appointed as Treasurer with W. Bro. Ian Tillett continuing as Assistant Secretary and W. Bro. David Todd continuing as Assistant Treasurer.
The President, W. Bro. Brian then thanked the Brethren, it being a privilege and honour to be President and he was looking forward to a most enjoyable year with the support of the Officers and Brethren.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield then addressed the meeting and began congratulating the President and his newly installed Team; also thanking W. Bro. Richard for all that he had done over the past year. He emphasised that a key objective of the Associations was that of visiting, a fundamental reason behind the original founding of the IMA’s. which were the idea of Worshipful Brother Frank Goodall Whitworth during the time that Right Worshipful Brother Carl Whitehead was Provincial Grand Master. Past Masters charge incoming Worshipful Brethren as ambassador of the Lodge to support IMA visits with Wardens, and brethren, friendships are made which last a lifetime. The P.G.M. has mentioned in his address at Provincial Grand Lodge that Brethren should try to learn the ritual, Reading from a book does not give the correct impression to our Candidates who will think they can do the same which is not healthy for our order. We must remember that, whilst it is the ideal situation to perfect our ritual, we have to recognise that there may be good reasons why a few individuals are unable to learn the words and encourage them to do their best, nothing more. Unfortunately the proposed Fayre and Barbecue on the 5th August had to be cancelled as contractual complications were arising due to the lack of confirmed numbers. A similar situation was evident in respect of the Variety Show because we, as Freemasons, are habitual late bookers. Unfortunately, in the real world, where contracts are involved decisions regarding the viability of these events have to be made We have several hard-working Provincial and Lodge committees trying to find ways of Fund raising, organising events only to be let down because we didn’t get on and send in the booking. Perhaps we can all try to adjust our thinking during this festival period. If you like the look of it, well get on and book it. Remember Brethren we are all in this together for the fun and enjoyment, we have a wonderful organisation, please remember: Freemasonry makes better men out of men, through the magic of the Mark, Mark Masonry makes better Masons of Masons.
A most enjoyable evening, Smile, be happy and do not forget, Enjoy your Mark Master Masonry.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.