You just knew things were all going to plan when the Senior Deacon pulled the drawer front off the ballot box. It wasn’t done intentionally but I think one of the balls got wedged in the box. Anyway, it was a double advancement ceremony for Adoniram Mark Lodge and nothing as simple as a broken ballot box was getting in the way.
Attending the meeting was the Provincial Grand Master RWBro. Alexander Sillars McLaren accompanied by the Provincial Deputy Director of Ceremonies and several acting officers of the year. It was noticed that the ceiling within the lodge had been repaired during the closed season and the lighting had been updated within the lodge. It looked very impressive with the star lights switched on.
It was obvious from the outset that a lot of planning had gone into delivering this ceremony, conducting two candidates around the lodge and performing certain aspects of the ceremonial for instance just wasn’t going to happen. It was decided that both candidates would take their obligations individually and they would be conducted around the lodge with their work to be presented to the overseers individually. It was felt that this delivered the full experience to both candidates without either missing out on any of the rituals.
The Deacons had their work cut out in remembering exactly where they were with the second candidate but I think it was stitched together rather well, you could hardly see the seams, and both Bro. Simon Gilrain and Bro. Ashley Wright finished the ceremony none the wiser. It was later than usual by the time the business on the summons had been completed and the Master closed the lodge, but I don’t think there was a note of complaint from anyone.
The catering at Accrington is excellent, and along with a well-stocked bar with hand-pulled beer what more could you ask for. The brethren suitably refreshed enjoyed a good meal and enjoyed the toast and responses associated with the evening. Both Candidates conducted themselves very well and responded to their toast conjointly. They came across as very confident masons and expressed their delight in joining the Mark Degree.
On the whole a very enjoyable meeting, and if you get the chance to witness a double advancement I recommend it wholeheartedly.