Probably the final Provincial Deputation visit of 2017 took place at Fabric Mark Lodge on Tuesday 19th December. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master John Smith along with 8 provincial officers of the year enjoyed the friendly meeting at Rochdale Masonic Hall. The weather was a bit poor and the journey over the tops to Rochdale was clouded in fog and mist. Nevertheless, a goodly number were in attendance.
The meeting was focused on a lecture, ably delivered by Bro. Joe Galvin of Temperance Lodge in Todmorden. The title was “Tracing Board” according to the summons, but it developed into far more than just that. Joe expanded on almost all of the tools and symbols in the degree as he walked around the lodge room pointing out various features and explaining them as he went along. It was a very interesting lecture and one that Joe gave so well, without any hesitation and with so much sincerity. He was applauded by the brethren for his work.
This left us with plenty of time to enjoy the social board and discuss many of the things talked about in the lecture upstairs. I do like Rochdale Masonic hall, as is has a well-stocked bar, and the food is presented and served very well. We enjoyed a three-course dinner including cheese and biscuits plus mince pies and Coffee. Not good for the long-term waistline. There were two bottles of Whisky in the raffle which was conducted in the Chorley Swindle style. The magnificent sum of £126.00 was raised accordingly, and finally, W.Bro Ron Coucill who had pledged to visit every single Mark Degree Installation in the province, in a bid to raise even further funds for the 2021 festival, made his final appearance for 2017. The last few names and donations were collected, and Ron announced that the brethren of the province had donated the sum of £3658.00 in aid of the festival. Congratulations to Ron for sticking to his plans and visiting every Mark lodge. I seem to have seen him on several occasions.
Seasons greetings and Christmas wishes were exchanged, and the meeting ended in what can only be described as a very convivial and educational evening with the brethren and visitors of Fabric Mark Lodge.