Regalia Sales now £17000 !

It’s now exactly 3 years since I launched this initiative by selling off the old Craft 2015 Festival Ties, the original idea was to raise a couple of hundred quid for the Mark 2021 Festival.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to say a massive –


for all the support I’ve had since then from throughout the Province. I am very pleased to report that, thanks to on-going donations of all types of unwanted regalia, the total raised for the Mark 2021 Festival in 3 years now stands at over £17000 (incl.Gift Aid) !!

Substantial Regalia Donations have been made in the last few months by Roberts 24 TI (Rochdale), Super Moras 1042 (Bolton), Constitution 949 (Manchester) and University of Manchester RAM 1001 (Audenshaw) and I would like to thank these Lodges in particular who have boosted sales by over £2500 !

Some facts and figures:

1. Over 2500 items now donated by YOU and sold – including more “Regalia Sales now £17000 !”

Middleton RAM & Mark 1303 concludes Fellowship Reps Season

WBro Thomas Stewart Mills (TSM to his friends) has certainly had a busy year as one of several of our Mark Fellowhip Reps !

Middleton RAM 1303

This recently concluded with a visit to Middleton RAM 1303, at which 13 brethren were in attendance to witness WBro Rev David Halford being installed into the Chair of the Lodge.

WBro George Scaife RAMGR with WBro Rev David Halford

After a quick turnaround, the Members set up into a short Mark Degree meeting, which was followed by a superb 4 course meal. A pleasant evening was had by all.

One of Stewarts first visits earlier in the season was to Quatuor Legati 1065 at Bolton in Oct. This was followed by – November, Faith RAM/Mark 20 meet at Middleton, Lathom RAM 136 meet at Bury, Goulburn Mark 680 at the Old Bill in Oldham, and Friendship Mark 1459 at Middleton. December saw him attending – Union Mark 32 at Bridge St. January – William Romaine Callender 136 at Bury. February – Lathom RAM 136 again at Bury, Quatuour Legati Mark 1065 at Bolton and Union Mark 32 at Bridge St. A busy March arrived with visits to Faith RAM/Mark at Middleton, WR Callender 136 at Bury, Turton RAM at the Last Drop Inn Bolton and St Johns TI Mark at Bolton. April saw visits to Lathom RAM 136 at Bury, Wike Mark 142 at Radcliffe, Union Mark 32 at Bridge St, Friendship Mark 14509 then Middleton RAM/Mark 1303, both at Middleton.

Hog Roast

Despite the attraction of the England v Panama match (which surprisingly did not seem to concern the PGM), the sunshine at Middleton Masonic Hall yesterday proved a winner as a multitude of Brethren with their Ladies and guests turned up to enjoy the annual Hog Roast.

Enjoying the sunshine !

Entertainment was provided by St John’s Droylsden Brass Band, ably led by Pete Douthwaite (who it is rumoured will be joining the Mark next year !).

St John’s Droylsden Brass Band
Kevin Reaney and Meryvn Wilson prepare the pigs for racing.

The members of the Fellowship managed to extract several hundred pounds from the assembled throng via a raffle, roulette table, tombola, regalia stand, pig racing, play your cards right and lucky dip.

Paul Waring tries his luck with the dice.
John Rimmer relieving George Scaife of cash for the raffle.
Regalia sales yesterday took the total raised to date to £14750.
Stan Bibby and David Greenhalgh at the roulette table.

A glorious afternoon, enjoyed by all (particularly when news of Englands 6-1 victory filtered through !)

East Lancs Mark Provincial Ramble

Sunday 20th May everyone taking part in the East Lancs Mark Provincial Ramble started to gather around 9am at Rochdale Masonic Hall. After checking in with George Scaife’s wife Diane, we set off on the short distance to Rochdale Railway Station to get a train to Littleborough, I don’t think they had seen so many travellers at that time on a Sunday morning.

From Littleborough station we set off on the towpath of the Rochdale canal to our destination at Rochdale Masonic Hall. Some walkers had already started earlier and did the journey both ways, but most of us did the 3.8 mile journey in very warm weather. In total my “fitness” watch indicated 9260 steps and burning up 353 kcal in 90 minutes.

A nice cold drink along with sandwiches and a few chips on our return may have put some of those calories back on. A very enjoyable morning and I’m sure our Provincial Grand Charity Steward, WBro George Scaife will be pleased with the turnout. Our RW Provincial Grand Master Alex McLaren was there to congratulate everyone for taking part and thank them on behalf of the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund.

Report & pics by WBro Steven Boyle ProvGSwdB

Rock Night raises £815 for ELMBF !

Saturday 24th March was the rearranged date for the appearance of the Idol Frets Rock Band at Littleborough Cricket Club.

Some 80 people packed the Club for the concert arranged by George Scaife our Provincial Grand Charity Steward, to raise funds for the East Lancs Mark Benevolent Fund. Respected local rock band the Idol Frets played a sizzling set of rock covers during a fantastic evening of classic tunes.

A curry supper was also provided to keep the customers satisfied and a raffle was held to help relieve pockets, purses and wallets.

Provincial Grand Charity Steward George Scaife AGDC announces the total raised !

George’s efforts managed to raise an amazing total of £815 for the evening !

Rock on Bro !

Pics courtesy of TSM

SPONSORED ARK BUILD AT MOSSLEY

Brethren of the Royal Ark Mariners Lodges based at Westholme, Rose of York 1010 and Mossley 1381 this morning announced their plans to build a life-sized replica of Noahs Ark in the car park at Mossley Masonic Hall. Sponsors are needed to raise funds for the East Lancs Mark 2021 MBF Festival.

The idea is the brainchild of the latest member of Mossley RAM, Bro Olof Pirla who has just relocated to Mossley from Greece. Bro Pirla has 20 years experience working in the wooden shipbuilding boatyards at Piraeus in Greece and has offered to put his expertise to good use!

“I have 20 years experience working in the wooden shipbuilding boatyards at Piraeus in Greece” explained Armenian born Bro Pirla “before that, I was goatherd in mountains of Armenia” he added, “while tending my goats, I had dream of building Ark as tribute to Armenia’s greatest man, Noah. People there say I crazy man, so I move to Greece. In Greece, I tell my colleagues in Piraeus of my dream. They too say I crazy man, so I move to Mossley. Now I feel right at home”

“When I come to Westholme, I see all trees around and think – our building materials! I see large car park, I think – our boatyard!”

Plans were formulated following a recent meeting of the Royal Ark Mariners of 1010 and 1381 and after several bottles of the obligatory rum, all agreed it was a great idea.

Second in command on the build will be aptly named Mariner, WBro Rowe who also has some experience in this area. “I built a model yacht in 5th form woodwork class years ago” he said “unfortunately it sank on it’s maiden voyage at Salford Docks, but I think I know where I went wrong” he went on to explain.

Construction will start during the summer recess and it is hoped the Ark will be complete within 12 months. Disruption will be kept to a minimum (the Ark will be large enough to accommodate cars in the meantime).

Sponsorship forms will be distributed shortly and sponsors will be asked to donate per square cubit completed or by a simple fixed sum. All Sponsors will be guaranteed a place in the Ark for themselves and their partners in the event of the next flood of biblical proportions.

Mossley Ark Build Sponsor Form