Temperance Mark Lodge No.56 and Jamie Beninson – Provincial Grand Charity Steward

One of the great things about being on the Provincial Deputation is visiting new places or ones you haven’t been to for a while and then realising what a beautiful part of the world we actually live in. Such a place is Todmorden, where last night a 34 strong Deputation visited Temperance Mark 56. “Tod” is a town which doesn’t know whether it’s in Lancashire or Yorkshire, but a lovely old town with bags of character.

One of the other great things about the Deputation is the new people you meet and I haven’t known him long, but Provincial Grand Charity Steward Jamie Beninson is the reason for our visit to his Lodge. This was the final “Full” Deputation of the 2016/17 season prior to the Provincial Meeting (each year the PGM makes such visits to the mother Lodges of his Wardens and Charity Steward).

The PGM, RWBro Alexander Sillars McLaren with the Provincial Grand Charity Steward WBro Jamie Beninson - both members of Temperance Mark Lodge No.56.
The PGM, RWBro Alexander Sillars McLaren with the Provincial Grand Charity Steward WBro Jamie Beninson – both members of Temperance Mark Lodge No.56.

Temperance 56 is also the Mother Lodge ofur PGM RWBro Alexander Sillars McLaren into which he processed with the Deputation following the opening of the Lodge. As this was a short business meeting only, after introducing the Provincial Team the PGM thanked them all profusely for the support the Acting Officers had given to not only him but his Deputy and Assistant PGMs throughout the year on their numerous visits. He also made a point of congratulating WBro Beninson for all his efforts and the enthusiasm he had shown in his role as ProvGChStwd.

WBro Beninson is an expert at extracting money from Brethren as he went on to prove at the subsequent Social Board – “Simply fold your donations before you put them in the envelopes before you” etc. But this formula has worked at the various events he has organised during his year – a Sportsmans Evening which raised over £5500, a Race Night which raised over £700 and the latest the Comedy Night (see previous website post) which raised over £3100….and he’s still got a month to go he reminds us.

Not for Jamie is wandering around with a book of raffle tickets, oh no sirree ! Last night he was more of a game show host entertaining us with a mixture of Play Your Cards Right, Wheel of Fortune and Open The Box, morphing from Nicholas Parsons (Tonight ! Live from Todmorden – COME ON DOWN!) to Jim Bowen (Here’s what you COULD have won!) as a succession of “winners” returned sullenly to their seats empty handed. (must remember that one Jamie – Open The Box where NONE of the keys fit). Never mind he assured us, all these prizes will go to his next event. (I’m sure some of these prizes have been around for years – I noticed an original price sticker on one of the bottles of whisky – 19s 11d). But of course I jest – there were plenty of prizes to be had in the subsequent raffle which raised £565 !

In conclusion, a fantastic evening in a great venue at one of the Provinces oldest Lodges. But later, when you get home and look in your empty wallet your first thought is my god, I’ve been mugged ! But then you smile and think “Jamie”.

Garry Errock.

Regalia Sales hit £10000 !

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 just over 2 years now stands at over £10000 (incl.Gift Aid).

Some facts and figures:

1. 1500 items now donated by YOU and sold – including more “Regalia Sales hit £10000 !”

Oldham – when it was a Seaport…

Some interesting facts about Mark Masonry during Oldham’s Maritime Heyday…

When Oldham Was A Seaport Town by Cliff Murphy*
When Oldham Was A Seaport Town
by Cliff Murphy*

It was about this time of year, 144 years ago in 1873 that Mark Masonry first came to Oldham with the formation of the Union Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.171. Formed mainly by members of Craft Lodge of Friendship 277 (now sadly no longer with us), additional Members joined from the many Seafarers who visited Oldham when it more “Oldham – when it was a Seaport…”