The almost final Mark Provincial Deputation visit took place at Skelmersdale Mark Lodge 141 on Tuesday 15th May at Ashton under Lyne Masonic Hall. It was a first-time visit to the magnificent building for many of the team. There would be two meetings on the night, one in the Royal Ark Mariner Degree and the later meeting in the Mark Degree. Both meetings were a little under subscribed which gave several members of the Deputation the opportunity to stand in as Officers of the Lodge. Seeing as there were twenty or so Provincial Officers to choose from, it was no major task for the DC to fill the empty chairs.
The reason for the visit was to thank W.Bro George Scaife, the Provincial Charity Steward, for his work in raising the profile and funds of the East Lancs Mark Benevolent Fund. The Provincial Grand Master thanked George kindly in the Lodge meeting and again at some length at the Festive Board.
The meeting was tinged with a little sadness as it was the final Provincial team visit for most of the Acting Officers invested at the 2017 Mark Provincial Lodge meeting. Many of the Acting Officers had been out supporting the Degree and the PGM, his Deputy and Assistant PGMs on many many occasions throughout the year, and we all agreed this had been a terrific year of Mark Degree Masonry. Poor ProvAGSec Garry Errock, who was responsible for collecting the Acting Officer collar jewels, took a real bashing from the team as they handed over their coveted jewels of Office.
The Festive Board commenced with a lot of enthusiasm and frivolity, especially when the gluten-free whole chicken in a basket arrived for the ProvGSW Steven Lord; many envious eyes focused in his direction. The whole affair climaxed with a healthy man-sized portion of rhubarb crumble and custard.
For those taking acting Rank next week at the Mark Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting, I hope you have as good a year as the 2017 team. I can only recommend you attend as many of the Provincial team visits as you can. That way you will certainly have an enjoyable and memorable year.