Worshipful Brother Richard Lowe, Worshipful Master of the Halifax Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 706 handed the reins over at Southwood Masonic Hall for the second time. This time the beneficiary was Worshipful Brother D Alan Fisher who was taking the Chair for the 3rd time at Halifax, the fourth in total as he is a Past Master of Dartmouth Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 545.
Before the ceremony of Installation began, however, it was the duty of W. Bro. Richard to welcome the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Dr. Rod Taylor for his very last official duty in that capacity. He commented that he had on 2 previous occasions welcomed W. Bro. Rod and thanked him for his support. Then he welcomed Worshipful Brother Chris Oldfield, Elected Member of the Charity Committee; also present were Right Worshipful Brother Brian Morris Batty and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master designate, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield, only a week to go before we drop the designate.
Bro. Alan already a Past Master, the short form ceremony took place which was dealt with in exceedingly good fashion, hardly surprising given the experience and talent of the two central players. Salutations were given to W. Bro. Alan when I was reminded of how difficult it can be to salute and count at the same time! Two of the visitors then provided assistance, Worshipful Brother Andrew Brown, Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies with the explanation of the Tools and Worshipful Brother Bev Heywood with the presentation of the Keystone collaret, both a delight to witness.
No surprises in the Appointment and Investiture of the officers, a nice touch when W. Bro. Alan appointed himself Almoner again. I must also record that, at short notice, Worshipful Brother Graham Pearce had to stand in as Director of Ceremonies and did a sterling job, He was of course re-appointed Secretary and Lodge Representative for the Huddersfield & Halifax installed Masters Association, the comment being that if you are given the latter, it means that you have won the former.
This was followed at the risings W. Bro. Rod congratulating the W. M. with ‘the Lodge are in for a remarkable year’ and R.W. Bro. Brian’ a unique year, certainly different’; both probably true so put a date in your diary to visit them, I promise that you will enjoy yourself and that is what we are about. After the festive board, heartily received and devoured, the Toast to the Province was eloquently proposed in rhyme the Senior Warden, W. Bro. Graham Mallinson. Responding, at his swan song, W. Bro. Dr. Rod reminded Brethren that in W. Bro. Alan they had a Worshipful Master who had been Almoner for many years and that was the measure of the man, a sentiment well received.
Very Worshipful Brother Sam Kilburn proposed the toast to the Charities, the response in the hands of W. Bro Chris Oldfield who emphasised the need for all Lodges to be vigilant and not let anyone in need slip under the radar, this applies particularly to those not attending, visit and find out why.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.