Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, West Yorkshire – Annual Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting 2022.

Saturday, 23rd April 2022 and an excellent turn out the Brethren and Guests saw the first Annual Provincial Meeting since 2019.  After the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown inculcated a few parish notices viz, turn off your mobile phone, proceedings begun firstly, with the receiving of the Distinguished Guests from a goodly number of fellow Provinces.

Past Rulers of the Province of West Yorkshire then gained admittance led Past Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Jim Truswell, accompanied Past Deputy Provincial Grand Masters, Very Worshipful Brethren Bob Corfield and Richard Puttrell and Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Very Worshipful Brethren Dr. Rod Taylor and Trevor Bolton. Finally, the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C., accompanied the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother John Vause together with an Escort of the Provincial Grand lodge Officers.

R.W.Bro. Jim then welcomed all present, particularly the distinguished visiting Brethren and advised that our past Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Brian Batty recently had surgery but is recovering and sends his good wishes to all, he was missed. Equally so was the Assistant Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Stephen Davison, a regular visitor to the Province and Honorary Member of two Lodges. Very sadly he had passed away earlier in the week and will most certainly be missed all who knew him, most admired and respected, one who manifestly espoused and showed the precepts of the order in his daily life and actions, a tragedy.

Provincial Grand Lodge was then opened, and the next item of business was to receive a Deputation consisting of all the Royal Ark Mariner Lodges in the Province to the tune of ‘A Life on the Ocean waves’ very appropriate. V.W.Bro. John Vause, Asst.Prov.G.M. then paid tribute to thirty-three departed Brethren, including R.W.Bro. Stephen and Very Worshipful Brother Robbie Scorer. The Brethren stood to order in respect to departed merit. The Roll of all the Mark Lodges was then read, and apologies noted. Whereupon the Minutes of the last meeting, a virtual gathering, were approved.

In the absence due to illness of Very Worshipful Brother John Morgan, Provincial Grand Registrar, his report was delivered the Provincial Grand Secretary, Worshipful Brother Gary Parker. The Mark Degree and Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners have endured a trying period in the year to September 2021 due to the impact of the covid pandemic with one thousand and forty-eight members and six hundred and forty-two members respectively at the end of August last. However, things have definitely turned the corner and a significant improvement will be seen at the end of August 2022. The Treasurer, Worshipful Brother Alan Hines then presented his report showing, as expected, reduced revenues but also reduced expenditure giving rise to a surplus of one thousand nine hundred and forty-four pounds. The next item on the agenda was the appointment of the Treasurer where W,Bro. Alan was duly confirmed for a further year as was Worshipful Brother John Mitchell as Provincial Auditor.

The newly Appointed Provincial Grand Lodge Officers were then Invested with Worshipful Brother Richard Brown as Senior Warden, unfortunately absent due to illness, and Worshipful Brother John Madigan as Junior Warden upon completion they received appropriate Salutations.

TO READ THE PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTERS ADDRESS IS FULL PLEASE CLICK HERE

At the end of his address, the Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, Right Worshipful Brother James Newman stepped forward and presented a further cheque for twenty-five thousand pounds in respect of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival, making a total of one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds. As R.W.Bro. Jim commented further evidence of the excellent relationship which exists between the Masonic Orders in the Province. The final item was a thank you to all those who had made the day possible, particularly the ‘Host’ Lodges. This was in the hands of the Dep.Prov. G.M., V.W.Bro. Alan who confirmed that we meet again on the 15th April 2023. Provincial Grand Lodge was closed.

Over two hundred Brethren sat down in what has affectionately become known as ‘Hogwarts’ to dine and enjoy each other’s company. A remarkably busy, noisy, and enjoyable atmosphere as Brethren chatted away between bouts of taking turns to serve each other.

Toasts to The Queen and then The Grand Master Most Worshipful Brother His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent G.C.V.O. were given R.W.Bro.Jim.

it was then the turn of W.Bro. John the Junior Warden to give the to toast to R.W.Bro.Jim. He did a fabulous job with only a small amount of notice given just days before.  This was the first such toast in 3 years and he firstly wished a speedy recovery to W.Bro. Richard the Senior Warden.  He thanked R.W.Bro. Jim on behalf of all the promoted and acting officers appointed today and hoped they could live up to the dynamic inspirational leadership shown him. He said that he had led the way using such technology as zoom to keep us all afloat and in touch. Although he did remark that his microphone did not support such technology as he did occasional bouts of Norman Collier! And although many of us had a bit of Luddite running through their veins, we had all moved on and embraced things such as T@3 and Facebook during these covid times. The achievement of all Mark Lodges achieving Diamond award was remarkable and he was looking forward to all the forthcoming planned events.

He was glad both R.W. Bro. Jim and his wife Joan had managed to finally get to Tenerife this year for some sun and relaxation but said that since their departure the sun had been lacking. Finishing thanking him for all the challenging work, tremendous enthusiasm, and dedication he extended to our Province.

In his response R.W.Bro.Jim thanked W.Bro.John for his kind toast and wished W.Bro. Richard a speedy recovery and knew they would support each other along the way. He congratulated all on their appointments and said it would be a busy year ahead. But to make the most of it.  Enjoy it because it would go extremely fast. He thanked our distinguished guests for their support as they had certainly enhanced our proceedings and hoped they would come again. He particularly thanked West riding Masonic Charities Ltd and Right Worshipful Brother James Newman for his support and the excellent relationship he shared with this Province. He also thanked all members of the Province for their support and asked for a final push for the Festival to make us all proud in 2023. He announced all the lucky winners of the 250 club and gave a final reminder of the MC2 cycle challenge and assorted items for sale on the website such as the hard back book charting the history of the Province.  Closing saying he hoped everyone had enjoyed a wonderful day out and wished all a safe journey home.

What a most enjoyable day and in the words of the late R.W.Bro. Stephen, more evidence of the ‘Magic of the Mark.’

W. Bro. Andrew Johnson P.Prov.G.S.W.

Communications Manager.

V.W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.J.O