Friendship Mark Lodge held their 170th regular meeting at Middleton Masonic Hall on 26th November at 6:00 pm. The usual traffic around Manchester held up a few brethren, but they all managed to arrive in time for the pre-meeting practice to test themselves against the Director of Ceremonies. The practice all went well and the meeting went ahead at the scheduled time.
The WM Dr Wallace Fraser was in the chair along with his officers for their first outing of the season. It didn’t show, as everyone was relaxed and performed their office without hesitation or prompt from the DC.
The business of the summons was conducted with the investiture of officers not present at the Installation and Bro. Sony Welsh received an explanation and was presented with his Mark Grand Lodge Certificate.
A proposal to donate sums of monies to various charities was made by the immediate past master WBro Peter Faulkner, which was passed by the brethren. It was encouraging to hear that East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund, the 2021 Mark Benevolent Fund Festival, Bolton Sea Cadets, Ecclesholme and Greater Manchester Magistrates Association, which is an organisation against Knife Crime, all received a princely donation.
The brethren then had the opportunity to receive a presentation about the MBF 2021 Festival and learn more about how they could get involved and also how Friendship Mark was progressing with the festival total. The presentation was given by WBro Bob Summers who had made the easier journey from Burnley to be there. The lecture covered the main features of the Festival and focused on some of the smaller grants and methods of support received by the widows and dependents of East Lancashire Brethren. It was very close to home and certainly had the brethren thinking about the actions and support that is provided by the MBF.
The positive news identified in the presentation was that Friendship Mark had already achieved the status of Grand Patron of the MBF and that further donations of only £131.50 would take them to Grand Patron Gold. They had already surpassed that earlier in the meeting with their proposal, so congratulations all round for this fabulous achievement.
The WM concluded the business on the summons and retired to the social board.
Friendship Mark Lodge certainly know how to dine and entertain their visitors. The first course was served buffet style adjacent to the bar so that the brethren could relax with a drink. The main meal followed in the dining room, which consisted of three more courses including cheese and biscuits then Coffee and mints. During the entire evening, stewards came round with red or white wine, but the most impressive part in my eyes was the port or brandy in beautiful Crystal decanters that came round with the cheese. Now that’s how to do it.
Friendship Mark Lodge certainly have a great team of brethren who organise the lodge very well, and I will certainly be making a further visit to Middleton.
The brethren will be delighted to welcome you to their 171st meeting on Tuesday 28th January 2020.