It was a cold, wet and windy outside, but a great deal of warmth and affection emanated from the Lodge Rooms of Lightcliffe Masonic Hall, as Mark Masons from across the Province gathered to celebrate W.Bro. Bob Andrew’s 60 years in Mark Masonry.
The date was 18th November 2016 and the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles was in attendance to lead the celebration and present Bob with his certificates. This turned out to be three certificates in total, one from the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland, one from the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons and one from the Mark Province of West Yorkshire. The Mark Degree is conferred as part of the Craft north of the border.
The Provincial Grand Master informed the Brethren that Bob joined the Craft in 1955, when he was Initiated into Lodge Union and Crown in Barrhead near Glasgow, and was Advanced into the Mark Degree in the same Lodge on 30th October the following year. Moving south he joined Lightcliffe Craft Lodge in 1980 and later St Johns Craft Lodge in Halifax.
He joined Lightcliffe Mark in 1984, taking the Chair in 1991, and was appointed to Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 1996. He received Grand Rank in 2012. He was Elevated into Hipperholme Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners in 1986 and holds Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank. He was also the Worshipful Commander of the Carl Whitehead Lodge of Installed Commanders in 2002 and is a holder of the prestigious Provincial Grand Master’s Award.
The Provincial Grand Master then put 60 years in perspective informing the brethren that 1956 was the year of the Sues Crisis, petrol rationing in the UK and the height of the Cold War. Premium Bonds went on sale, the first computer hard drive was invented (5Mb), and the first transatlantic telephone cable was laid. Petrol cost 4/6d per gallon, a pint of beer 9d and the average house price was just over £2,000. How times have changed.
W.Bro. Bob then joined the P.G.M. on the floor of the Lodge and spoke about some of his early recollections in Freemasonry, his love for his work and family, and events which had shaped his love for our Orders over the last 60 years. The certificates were then read out and presented.
At an excellent Festive Board, W.Bro. Stephen Wood proposed a toast to W.Bro. Bob, and he was also presented with a ‘Pathe News’ DVD of events taking place in 1956, completing a truly re-Mark-able evening for everyone present.