Well nothing new about that you might say and you would be correct. It was the nature of the visitors that made it special, there being eight; yes EIGHT, Master in the Chair from as far afield as Derbyshire. For the record they were:
W.Bro. James Ambler Escafeld No. 1139.
W.Bro. Peter Eville Lascelles No. 887.
W.Bro. Graham Littlewood Vulcan No.1191.
W.Bro. Jim Smith ` Scarsdale No. 259 in the Province of Derbyshire.
W. Bro. Frank Milner Integrity No.110.
W. Bro. Terry Worthington Danum No.398.
W. Bro. Chris Herrett Sincerity No. 943 and last, but no means least,
W. Bro. John Pease Gothic No. 1018.
What a gallery and all credit to them for flying the Mark Masonic flag in representing their Lodges, a total of NINE Masters in the Chair under one roof, in all there were 23 visitors from 13 Lodges, surely a tribute to W. Bro. Mick Ricketts culinary skills as well! Particular credit to W. Bro. James Ambler who fired up the initiative which I am confident will be sustained. That will be at Gothic Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1018, on the 7th March for their Installation. If you can, be there it will be an evening to remember. The evening had begun with the usual warm Mark welcome to everyone, Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother David Spivey reminding us all to turn off our mobiles. This was accompanied the threat that if there was an interruption, the culprit would have to lavish drams to all in penance, this being the evening of their Burns night. One was heard to comment, ‘aye and if it were David tha would all get a cheap blend’!!
After the usual formalities we were treated to a Lecture Worshipful Brother John English explaining the history of the Degree and the origins of our ceremonies and signs. This should of course be given to all those advanced but is normally postponed. It is very rarely heard; perhaps it should be given greater priority and heard at least once every two years, together with the Tracing Board, in all Lodges. This was communicated in modern parlance and in W. Bro. John’s own, ubiquitous style, pointing out at one juncture that the erring Mark Master Mason would then receive a right rollicking!
The remaining business consisted primarily of Brother David Carter MBE being declared Master Elect for the ensuing year, Installation Thursday March 2nd suitably acknowledged the Brethren. This was followed the declaration of Worshipful Brother Ian Croft being entrusted with the purse strings as Treasurer for another year.
The Brethren then adjourned for a Burns supper commencing with the Toast superbly delivered Brother John Brandon, and we understood every word, or at least I think that we did, or did we? This was followed delicious Haggis, neeps and tatties, all washed down with the amber nectar. A wonderful evening of Mark Master masonry, Smile and be happy.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.