Cheese & Onion, Black & White, Morecambe & Wise.

All combinations that sit comfortably on the tongue, eye and in the memory. 

The Rugby Football Lodge of Mark Master Masons held its latest meeting and installation ceremony on Thursday the 30th May at Rochdale Masonic Hall. The combination of Rugby Football and Mark Masonry is not as immediately recognisable as the above but somehow it works, and it works really well. The Mark Masonry is very much the standard protocol with exceptional ritual and a great membership of Mark Masons whose hobbies and interests also encompass Rugby Football, even the Summons lists Fixtures rather than masonic meetings. One of the differences in the Lodge room can be seen in the many Rugby club ties that adorn the members;  not an East Lancashire Provincial tie in sight.

Rochdale Masonic Hall is a rather grand building with a magnificent lodge room, which was comfortably filled with visitors and members for the evening’s Installation ceremony and proceedings. The Provincial Grand Master, Alexander Sillas McLaren was admitted along with other officers of the Province.  The business on the summons included W.Bro Barry Heal the Rugby Lodge Treasurer having the task of proposing several donations to charities including the sum of £1,250.00 in aid of the 2021 Mark Benevolent Fund Festival. W.Bro Graham Rawlinson W.M. then presented three cheques to the Provincial Grand Master encompassing the 2021 Festival, £100.00 to the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund and a further £100.00 to the cost of running the Provincial meeting.

The installing Worshipful Master W.Bro Graham Rawlinson then proceeded to install his successor W.Bro Steven Graham SW into the chair, who then ably appointed his officers of the year. 

The move from the Lodge room into the social board is where the Rugby Football side of the lodge comes into its own. The toasts and proceedings are totally recognisable but the DC carries the role of referee and uses a whistle to exercise authority over the members, and on many occasions, the whistle is used with a red or yellow card often displayed to indicate the severity of the infraction and even the Provincial Grand Master is not immune from it. The social board is a very sporting affair and is enjoyed to the fullest by everyone attending.

It can only be said that The Rugby Football Lodge No 1965 is a unique collection of Mark Masonry and Rugby which its members and many visitors enjoy. If you get the chance I recommend a visit or if you are a fan, well you know the rest.   

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