Sunday 20th May everyone taking part in the East Lancs Mark Provincial Ramble started to gather around 9am at Rochdale Masonic Hall. After checking in with George Scaife’s wife Diane, we set off on the short distance to Rochdale Railway Station to get a train to Littleborough, I don’t think they had seen so many travellers at that time on a Sunday morning.
From Littleborough station we set off on the towpath of the Rochdale canal to our destination at Rochdale Masonic Hall. Some walkers had already started earlier and did the journey both ways, but most of us did the 3.8 mile journey in very warm weather. In total my “fitness” watch indicated 9260 steps and burning up 353 kcal in 90 minutes.
A nice cold drink along with sandwiches and a few chips on our return may have put some of those calories back on. A very enjoyable morning and I’m sure our Provincial Grand Charity Steward, WBro George Scaife will be pleased with the turnout. Our RW Provincial Grand Master Alex McLaren was there to congratulate everyone for taking part and thank them on behalf of the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund.
On Saturday 7th April myself and a delegation from East Lancashire attended the Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting of West Yorkshire. The Meeting is held at the Bradford Grammar School, which is a wonderful venue, and it is always a most enjoyable occasion.
I was accompanied by the Deputy, WBro John Smith and both Assistants, WBros Tony Davies and Gerry Young as well as VWBro Jeff Huddart and WBros David Rainford and Simon Archer.
There are several Brethren in East Lancashire who are also members in West Yorkshire so it always nice for us to meet and chat with them on the day, especially if they are receiving Honours.
You can see from the attached photograph, taken after the Meeting but before the meal, that a good time was being had by all.
None of us were to know that it would be the last Provincial Meeting that our dear friend Tony would attend……
Mossley is a town built on three borders Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. On Monday the 9th of April, Mark Masons gathered to celebrate the installation of John Wilson as Worshipful Master.
As Mossley has a Shengen agreement, no passports were necessary on the night. This resulted in the attendance of envoys from Cheshire and West Yorkshire Provinces, whilst East Lancashire Province provided a fine body of men all of whom were Acting Officers of the year, led by WBro Tony Davies APGM. A number of the team were first time visitors to the extremities of the Province, some arriving late after discovering that in “Mossleyworld” Satnav does not work. In fact some Brethren resorted to asking directions, which all added to the fun of the evening.
Our Provincial Senior Warden almost had a stand in part as acting Warden, when out of the blue the Lodge Senior Warden arrived just in time for the start. Once the stragglers from far and wide were seated, the Installation commenced. The Installation was conducted in a unique Mossley style, with a number of Officers taking part in the ceremony. All done in fine form, with donations made to various charities all of which were gratefully received.
The social board was preceeded with a little light libation provided by the new Worshipful Master, gin & tonics or whisky being the order of the day. The new Worshipful Master was toasted and we all sat down to a fine meal.
Afterwards, John spoke about his time in Mossley Lodge saying he was proud to once again take the Chair. When he first joined the Lodge it was the biggest in the Province. He complemented the strong team he had around him. Looking around the room, he commented on the fact that a number of the present members had followed their fathers into the Lodge. John pledged to do all he could to promote Mossley Mark and bring in some new candidates.
Tony Davies APGM congratulated the new Worshipful Master and said he was glad to see so many friends and guests supporting John with over 30 Brethren in the room. The Province would do all it could to support the Lodge as could be seen in the fantastic turn out of Provincial Officers. Tony said some of the first time visitors had noted on arrival it was raining, Tony had visited a number of times each time it had rained on the one occasion it did not it snowed. Tony thanked the Lodge for the charity donations and wished the Lodge well.
So if you are a Craft Mason and are thinking about joining Mark Masonry, contact the Provincial Office or better still contact Mossley Mark Lodge I am sure John and the Lodge will give you a warm and friendlyMark welcome. Details are on this website.
Every picture tells a story. Wednesday the 9th of May saw another visit by the Provincial Team this time to support Brethren of Stanley Lodge Number 1454. Stanley Lodge is based in Audenshaw and on a hot steamy night we all gathered for the installation of the Master Elect Bro Stephen Lambert.
In attendance was our own Deputy Prov Grand Master W Bro John Smith PGJD he was accompanied by a small delegation of provincial officers. With work to be done and the temperature rising the Provincial Team volunteered to help out with some of the jobs ensuring a full complement of Officers on the floor. Hence the Provincial Team refrain – “Where there is work to be done, that’s where you’ll find us”.
The ceremony was conducted in an excellent manner by WBro Brian Grove with other Officers of the Lodge taking part during the proceedings. Even the Provincial Officers supporting were word perfect on the night. The work being finished everyone came together for the Lodge picture in full battle dress. Where John took the opportunity to congratulate the new Worshipful Master, if you look closely you can see the Warrant.
And so it was off to the social board. WBro Smith complemented the Lodge on a fine ceremony and he thanked the Brethren for some generous donations including donations from Brethren not present due to other circumstances. He also congratulated those members of the Lodge who will receive honours this year; it was a fine effort all round.
The social board continued with some good banter and very nice food, before it was off home with the temperature slowly going down and the warrant safely in the new WMs hands.
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 more “Rhubarb – Final visit for 2017 Acting Officers”…
Having managed to visit 42 Mark Lodges in 2017 out of a possible 50 in East Lancashire on my sponsorship attempt, I give a heartfelt thank you to all the Lodges and individual Mark Masons who sponsored me. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Mark Masons who I had not already met before, and feel most grateful for the warm and friendly reception that was given to me. I also give a special thank you to my Brother Mark Masons in Joey Dunlop Lodge No. 1881 which is in Leicestershire and Rutland who also sponsored me. The total sponsorship money raised for the festival was £3672.
I was most grateful and surprised to receive a Grand Patron Gold Award Certificate, Collarette and Jewel from the Mark Benevolent Fund, presented to me by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, Worshipful Brother John Hartley Smith.