At the Installation Meeting held at Blenheim House, Batley on Wednesday 4 November the proposition that the Morley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1905 change its name to the James Bramley Morley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1905 was confirmed, and a new era began.
Unfortunately the Secretary, Worshipful Brother David Howe could not be present and the thoughts of all were with David and we trust that he is soon recovered and back in the Mark Masonic fold. This resulted in Worshipful Brother Tom Wise taking the Secretary reins, well we all know that in life you win some, and lose others! Seriously, W.Bro. Tom had dealt with all the necessary formalities despite some serious time constraints, well done W.Bro. Tom.
Following the usual opening formalities, the Personal Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, the Provincial Junior Warden, Worshipful Brother Michael Nowell was admitted, together with the Charity Representative, Worshipful Brother John Maxwell.
The main business then followed, the Installation of Worshipful Brother James Stanley the Installing Master, Worshipful Brother George Herd which was executed in a professional and seamless fashion all concerned; particular mention for the Director of Ceremonies W.Bro. David Staniforth, well orchestrated. The Appointment and Investiture of the Officers provided some light relief as whilst appointing W.Bro. Tom as Secretary, W.Bro. Jim reminded him to be quiet whenever possible, a most unusual state for W.Bro. Tom. Similarly, Worshipful Brother Lawrie Wroe, Junior Deacon, was reminded that it was a non speaking part, this prompted a verbal response whereupon the Worshipful Master reminded him again, a non speaking part!
The opportunity was taken to present Grand Lodge Certificates to two Brethren, one Brother Peter Longbottom, a joining member, the other a new member Bro. Stephen Oakden. These were superbly despatched, in his own inimitable style, Worshipful Brother Michael Minns. W.Bro. Michael was only requested to undertake the task shortly before the Lodge was opened, congratulations to W. Bro. Michael, the Brethren were fortunate that he was attending.
The Festive Board was in line with the whole day, a perfect example of the warmth and fellowship that characterises Mark Masonic meetings. Worshipful Brother Michel Nowell, Provincial Grand Junior Warden, responding to the toast to the Province reminded us all that we must work with our Craft Lodges to ensure that they prosper for, without a stream of new Masons, there will ultimately be a reckoning for ourselves in the Mark Degree. He provided some dates for your diaries being the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons West Yorkshire which will take place at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 2 April. The Xmas Fayre to be held at Greenhead Masonic hall on Sunday 29 November and the Annual Xmas Carol Service at Brighouse Central Methodist Church, Sunday 13 December.
Worshipful Brother John Maxwell, Charity Representative, in his response to the toast to the Mark Benevolent Fund and Cleeves and Whitehead Trust advised that 180 Brethren, Widows and dependents had attended that last Almoners Lunch. These functions are extraordinarily important in keeping , particularly Widows, in touch with their friends around the Province, a truly worthwhile event He also emphasised the need for all Brethren to remain vigilant and, particularly where a Brother stops coming to Lodge to follow it up advising his Almoner but, if necessary , checking upon the Brother himself. I know it has been said before but it is worth repeating, we are all Almoners if required.
An important footnote. The Provincial Grand Master has commented quite widely around the Province regarding the lack of visiting Masters in the Chair, I consider from talking to others that this is a problem not unique to Mark Master Masonry. In Worshipful Brother James Stanley, however, the James Bramley Morley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1905 has a Master who will travel widely showing the flag, I hope that is example will encourage others to follow.
A lovely day, smile, be happy and enjoy your Mark Masonry.
W.Bro. Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.