Only the cricket score can spoil this day!
On Wednesday, 24th February 2021, Eric Gosnay celebrated his 100th birthday quietly with his family.
He was absolutely overwhelmed with the cards from the numerous Orders he is in and from individual Masons, which took him several days to open.
I have been asked by the Gosnay family in general and by Eric, in particular, to write and thank you for the tremendous kindness you have shown him in celebrating his 100th birthday.
I have spoken with his son this evening, who informs me his dad has retired to bed because he is exhausted and disappointed with England's first innings test score in India.
If you are the secretary/recorder of an Order, please convey Erics thanks to your rulers, and if you are an individual secretaryrecorder, please thank all your members for taking the time to make Eric's day so special for him.
I appreciate that some of your members may receive this notification from several sources but hopefully not 100.
Best Wishes and Stay Safe
Lodge of Unanimity No 154
Eric, surrounded by his 108 cards, including a much prized one from Her Majesty the Queen.
On 28th January Cambodunum Lodge No 3953 opened their monthly Zoom meeting with 16 Brethren present including our Liaison Officer.
But this was no ordinary meeting as W Bro. John Warden was celebrating his 50th Masonic Birthday.
Unfortunately, due to the restrictions caused by the Covid Virus John’s certificate from the Provincial Grand Master had to be sent to him by post. John was delighted to receive this and told all the Brethren how pleased he was, mentioning a lovely letter, also received, from W Bro. Robert Cole, APGM for Area 2, in which the APGM promises to visit the Lodge to meet John when circumstances are permitted.
John was initiated into Cambodunum Lodge on 28th January 1971 and was Passed and Raised the same year.
Due to work commitments, John had to move away from Huddersfield first to Keighley then to County Durham where he joined The Rose of Raby Lodge No 1650.
Eventually, in 1977 John re-joined Cambodunum and progressed through various Offices to be Worshipful Master in 1985.
John is not one to relax, and after going through the Chair, he continued to take offices within the Lodge and is currently the Lodge Chaplain.
We also had two other Brethren celebrating a Masonic Birthday on 28th January - W. Bro. Howard Habron, IPM - 22 years and Bro Arthur Wainwright, SW - seven years
- raising a glass for Brother Warden
From W. Bro David Walker,
On January 22nd 2021, my blood Brother, W. Bro. H.B. Walker (Brian), will have been a member of Kirklees Lodge for 70 years.
His 21st birthday was on January 6th, 1951.
Our father, W. Bro. Herbert H. Walker was a founder member of Clifton Lodge at Brighouse and a very enthusiastic Mason, also a member of The Royal Arch and The Knights Templars.
He was in the Chair as Master, and he Initiated Brian (a Lewis) on the January 26th 1951.
Brian was Passed on February 23rd, Raised on March 30th and Exalted into the Holy Royal Arch on January 1st 1954.
Brian took to his Freemasonry with great enthusiasm and joined Mirfield Chapter. Becoming Z in Mirfield Chapter No.1102 in 1995. He has now attained the Provincial Rank of PPGSN.
He was a founder member of Woodsmoke Lodge, also meeting in King Street, Mirfield.
He was Master of Kirklees Lodge 4710 twice, firstly in 1985-86 and secondly 1989-90, He has been Director of Ceremonies for 2 years and Master of Woodsmoke Lodge 9317 in 1985.
He donated to the Lodge a large handmade wooden banner which is mounted on the wall behind the Worshipful Master's Chair in the dining room and is shown behind Brian in the photograph below.
THEN and NOW - from 70 years ago, to the present day a member of Kirklees Lodge.
There was a 'live in' Steward and his wife at the Lodge rooms at King Street.
Only Past Masters were allowed in the Bar Lounge, Junior Brethren had to consume their drinks in the entrance Lobby.
If any Junior Brethren set foot in the Past Masters' Room, it was extremely frowned upon and robustly challenged.
There was a full-size Snooker table in the Dining Room.
The WM had his own private reserved Car Parking Space.
At the Children's Christmas Party, which was free to attend, 30 to 40 children would be present, the WM provided all the savoury food with the sweet course donated by the Lodge Wives. All the Christmas presents were paid for by the W. M., a costly affair.
Ritual books were not allowed in the Temple even on Practice nights.
You were expected to learn the ritual.
The Master Elect was never allowed to sit in the Master's chair until the day of their Installation. A chair was placed on the floor of the Lodge where the incoming Master could practice.
As a mark of his outstanding achievement of 70 years in Freemasonry, Brian has been promoted to PPSGW.
This is no more than he deserves.
As your Brother, and on behalf of the Brethren of Kirklees Lodge, I congratulate you on a remarkable Masonic career.
Sunday the 8th November saw the actual date that Knaresborough Priory Lodge no 4171 was consecrated 100 years ago.
Obviously due to the times that we are living in the official celebrations of this milestone has had to be cancelled however, the Brethren of the Lodge felt that this momentous event couldn't be just ignored so a special Zoom meeting was held on that date at which many of the Brethren and Honorary Members were in attendance.During this get together a brief history of the Lodge was given and then many memories of the Lodge were exchanged.
At 4pm (time of the consecration meeting) all raised glasses to the Lodge.
Even though the Lodge currently is unable to celebrate on a face to face basis plans are now been put in place to arrange for a full celebration to held in 2021 and further details are to follow.
Last night, 13th October 2020 we hosted our usual weekly Lockdown Zoom Lodge, with 31 brethren in attendance, along with two guests.
However this wasn’t a normai, well at least not ‘New Normal’ normal, weekly meeting.
We were all delighted to attend a very special occassion. We were all there as Brother David Goldsbrough received his 50 year certificate EXACTLY 50 years to the day since he was initiated into Freemasonry.
It was lovely that the Master for the night, Brother Christian Higgins, is a personal friend of Bro. Goldsborough going back many, many years, and he was able to deliver a warm and very personal ‘toast’ to David. In return Bro David spoke about some of his time in The Craft and how much he has enjoyed from it.
Whilst not the ideal ceremony for such a wonderful achievement, it was definitely a special night.
Congrats, Bro David.
A very early abiding memory is while wearing short trousers, sliding down the staircase bannister at Willow Royd Masonic Hall, West Vale, Halifax, at Savile Lodge Children’s Christmas parties.
Dad had followed his dad Arthur into Savile Lodge. Arthur had died in his year of acting office as PrAGDC in 1948 shortly before I was born – my lack of a grandad was to be somewhat compensated by senior brethren of the Lodge whom I looked to as surrogate grandfathers. An early lesson learnt that still holds true is that there are old men of 30, and young men of 70 – it’s all a question of attitude.
Following positive encouragement from beyond either family or Savile Lodge, I went through the membership application process and was initiated into The SAVILE LODGE 1231 on Thursday, 6 August 1970 by my father, W Bro Jack Priestley, during his year of office as WM; I was subsequently to be passed on 4 February 1971; and raised on 6 January 1972.
With the exception of Inner Guard, but including Organist when I couldn’t play a note, I served in the progressive offices of the Lodge culminating in INSTALLATION as MASTER on 3 December, 1981, a ceremony attended by RW Bros Norman H Fowler PrGM, and Fred Crosland PPGM.
I was appointed DC of the Lodge in December 1984, a position to be held for 8 years, including acting as Installing DC on the occasions of his 2 visits to The SAVILE LODGE as Provincial Grand Master by RW Bro. J Trevor Broadley.
I was invested as Grand Pursuivant in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, in May 1990, fulfilling the duties as Inner Guard previously missed in Lodge. RW Bro David Welch PrGM observed that my stentorian voice was suited to the Royal Hall, Harrogate – the Pursuivant was not then provided with a microphone! During that year the Acting Officers would be involved in consecrating a new Lodge at Otley, and the dedication of Masonic Halls at Southwood, Halifax, and The Allerton, Leeds.
Invested as Junior Grand Warden in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, in May 1994, being promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in May 1995; from 1994 to 2000, I formally attended 59 Installation Ceremonies across the Province as the Personal Representative of the Provincial Grand Master.
In April 1996, I was invested as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the United Grand Lodge of England at Great Queen Street, London, by the MW Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent.
Consequently was appointed as Secretary of the Halifax Grand Officers’ Panel in succession to W Bro. John Burnham upon his Installation as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. When W Bro. John was succeeded by W Bro. Robert Scorer, the Secretary’s remit was expanded to include Huddersfield and District, and Uppermill, the whole being designated as the Pennine Area of the Province. This appointment continued in total for some 10 years, latterly during the appointment of W Bro. Maurice Bendig as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. This period coincided with visiting VICTORY LODGE, RYBURN LODGE and MEXBOROUGH LODGE, as Liaison Officer, services of 10 and 11 years to the latter two culminating in my election to Honorary Memberships.
I served on the Formation Committee of the WEST RIDING ACTING OFFICERS LODGE 9645, being inducted as its Founding Senior Warden at the Consecration and Installation Ceremonies at the Connaught Rooms, Bradford, in April 1997.
In 2013, I was inducted as Junior Warden of Mother Lodge, SAVILE; serving as Senior Warden for 2015, and being installed as Master of The SAVILE LODGE 1231 for a second term of office in December 2015. This ceremony was attended by W Bro. D Stuart Cummins PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, a courtesy returned as I had attended W Bro. Cummins’ installation as Master of the LODGE of CHARITY 4105 in October 1994 as Personal Representative of the Provincial Grand Master. In December 2016, having installed my successor, I was invested as Secretary of the Lodge in which office I served for 2 years, moving to Charity Steward in December 2019, my current office.
A highlight of The Savile Lodge’s recent years, actively promoted by this third-generation member, was to be its Sesquicentenary, joyously celebrated in 2018. Maybe we can look forward to acknowledging Willow Royd’s century of use as a masonic hall come 2026.
With the encouragement of my father, I was to be exalted into the Royal Arch CHAPTER of PROSPERITY 290, meeting at Greenhead, Huddersfield, on 20 December 1972. Service in the progressive offices culminated in my Installation as First Principal in March 1990. My later term of appointment as DC of the CHAPTER included the celebration of the Chapter’s Bi-Centenary in 1998 attended by MEComp The Lord Farnham, Pro First GP, and EComp. J Trevor Broadley, MEGSupt.
Interwoven with my early Masonic career were my studies at the School of Architecture at the Manchester College of Art and Design, which would continue with periodic block releases until 1973. During one such interlude, while working in Huddersfield, I met Jenny: we became engaged in 1970 and were married in August 1971. Temporary residence in Manchester would cease in 1972 when we found we were to expect a baby in the October – we decided to return to Huddersfield to set up home. Emma duly arrived to be followed 2 years later by Hannah. The dynasty has since increased by 2 granddaughters and 2 grandsons, ages ranging from 9 to 21.
I secured employment in Halifax in 1973, finally qualifying in 1974 with election to corporate membership of the RIBA. I established my own practice in 1979, which would continue until my retirement in 2009.
As our children grew up, I found I could resume my interest in golf. I joined Elland Golf Club in 1978, was its Rabbits Captain for 1985, twice Captain in 1993 and 2002, and President for 2007-9. I was Chair of its Centenary Committee from 2003 to and through the celebrations in 2010 and served as Captain of Captains of the Halifax and District Past Captains Golfing Asociation for 2015.
Is there time for anything else? Reading, country walking, historic buildings and industrial archaeology, DIY, selective gardening, rail and street transport (steam railways - full size and OO gauge – trams and trolleybuses), warships, travel at home and abroad…...
JKB Masonic resume?
It all started in 1969 with a gentleman walking into a bank, an insurance policy tucked under his arm and with a request for an overdraft.
It transpired he was the JW of a masonic Lodge and was to be fast tracked to WM as the current SW had decided not to proceed. That had thrown his financial planning into disarray as his policy, taken out to provide funds for his ‘year’, was not due to mature until 1971 and cashing it in early would have meant the loss of significant bonuses due on maturity. That, it was explained, was a normal way of funding ones term back in the day. The application was considered and approved and so began a long association with his eventual proposer into Scarborough Lodge No 1214 on 21 July 1970.
W Bro Jim says he had no prior knowledge of the craft, Scarborough Lodge or Blenheim House. Only visiting the latter once before his initiation and that was to attend his enquiry meeting. He does recall his mother, when he was 12 years old, pointing to a gable end wall and saying ‘If you want to get on in life you need to join them’ – the advert was for a monumental mason so not quite what she had in mind but it did show even back in 1952 public opinions of the order might have been somewhat misguided.
Cometh the day some 50 brethren attended his initiation, including W Bro Frank Harrison who was then an APGM (which meant nothing to Jim at the time). His two overriding memories are of the sea of dark and light blue that suddenly sprung before him as he was returned to the light and the dawning, half way through the Ancient Charge delivered by his proposer (who was then the WM), that he was delivering it from memory!
Early memories as he progressed were almost a fear and awe of the senior brethren and their almost autocratic nature. Most were brilliant, prepared to talk and encourage but some much less so. Many were the times when he wondered what he had got into but here he is 50 years on with many, many good experiences to reflect on, many wonderful friendships made, and that goes for his wife Judith too, and an absolute truth that his life has been enriched in so many ways. The camaraderie, particularly amongst the junior brethren in the early years, was a joy to experience and as he keeps repeating formed lasting friendships which still endure.
Progress through the formative years were in the main uneventful and he found himself as Master Elect in December 1981 when the meeting was quorate by the skin of its teeth due to severe snow.
A very enjoyable year in the chair was encountered. Ceremonies each month and with a still fairly strong social calendar. In the mid/late 70’s the Lodge had dropped, over time, the dinner dances held in September, October and November but still had very well supported events on New Year’s Eve and Mothering Sunday plus the annual Ladies Evening, together with the annual Children’s Christmas party and a Lodge Weekend, usually to the east coast. The first two are no more and although the Children’s Party is still active the Ladies Night and Lodge Weekend are spasmodically held at best.
After the obligatory year as IPM W Bro Jim acted as ADC for a couple of years and then took on the role of Secretary for a number of years. The most challenging task arose when it was decreed that the penalties should be removed from the obligations and rituals changed accordingly. Computer and spreadsheet use were in their infancy and 1214 had only recently invested in new bespoke ritual books, prior to which manual amendments by the hundred had to be made to Emulation ritual books in circulation. It was a difficult exercise to produce ritual which satisfied both the hierarchy and the brethren and also the get the same reduced and printed on to about 12 gummed pages for insertion into the ritual book stock.
At the Lodge Installation in 1990 it was W Bro Jim’s privilege to propose the ‘Crawlers Toast’ when one W Bro J Trevor Broadley was in attendance as Provincial Registrar. Jim did refer to the Provincial Grand Officers, jocularly using a sweetshop analogy, as ‘the old humbugs on the top shelf’. Fortunately, whilst threatening that any forthcoming provincial appointment had just been jeopardised, JTB did take it in the spirit in which it was intended and the rank of Acting Steward was offered and accepted a few weeks later.
Prior to the Provincial meeting commencing the brother seated to W Bro Jim’s left ‘advised’ him that the Steward from the oldest Lodge was usually ‘requested’ to organise the dining arrangements for the Provincial functions throughout the year. But he happened to know that the absent brother to W Bro Jim’s right would not be taking up that offer so it would fall to him! Thankfully it did not. Of course, and sadly, Stewards did not act throughout their term of office at that time so it transpired to be a quiet first year as a Provincial Officer.
As was the custom he took the rank of PPDGReg when his term as an acting Steward came to an end. He then became involved as a co-opted member of the Charity Committee which involved visiting lodges on scroll night and delivering an address to the Lodge on all aspects of Masonic Charity. To mark this appointment he was promoted to the rank PPGSwdB in 1992. This somewhat curbed attendance at 1214 meetings as, with a wife and young family he always tried to balance fairly his evenings away from home. It was a most enjoyable and satisfying time and role within the Province.
It was around this time that he was called on to make his biggest decision to date. He was asked if he would consider taking on the role of an elected member of the WRMCL team. In simple terms it meant an extended commitment of anything up to 12 years culminating with election as the Chairman for the last two years. He spent day after day pondering on this but when Judith his wife said ‘I don’t know what’s bugging you but whatever it is sort it out, you’re upsetting everyone’. He knew what was right for him, his family and his career and he very reluctantly turned the position down. He says had he been asked annually to do another year he probably would have done so but to commit to such a long term he felt would be unfair to his family.
Again, as was custom, when he retired from his role within WRMCL in 1994 he was promoted to the rank of PPJGW and also, much to his surprise, he was appointed to the rank of PAGDC within UGLE. Only the second Grand Officer from the ranks of 1214 in 135 years.
His only other involvement outside the craft has been with the Royal Arch. He was exalted into Scarborough Chapter in 1974, taking the three chairs in 1988-90. He was appointed to the rank of PPGScribeN in 1996 and then PGStB in 2001 following which he acted as a Personal Representative to the Grand Superintendent for a number of years.
Despite the desire to extend his masonic involvement he always felt that too much pressure would be placed on his family time so expansion of his memberships was never progressed.
In the mid 90’s he acted for the PGM as one of his Personal Representatives for a number of years and on occasion acted as part of an investigating team when problems within Lodges arose. He also assisted the editorial staff with the production of the Newsletter for four years and took over the Lodge Liaison officer duties for Wakefield 495, Sincerity 1542 and Rectitude 4393, which roles he held until his appointment as an APGM in July 2004. It was in 2000 that he agreed to take the office of JW in the lodge, having bypassed this office the first time round, in the firm belief that would be able to convince/coerce one of a few past SW’s to come back on to the ladder. He failed and as a result took the Masters chair for a second time in January 2002. Having another enjoyable and successful year although he feels Judith might baulk if a third term was ever proposed!
He considered it a real honour and privilege to be appointed an APGM and was installed by the PGM, W Bro J Trevor Broadley, at the regular meeting of Scarborough Lodge on 20 July 2004. There followed a delightful period of over five years, firstly supporting W Bro Trevor Broadley and subsequently W Bro John Clayton in the ruling and governing of the Province and where he was given the responsibility for the ongoing development and operation of the Education and Training programme. Thankfully ably supported by W Bro’s David Jackson and Alan Hurdley.
There was a memorable visit to Scarborough Lodge by W Bro Clayton and his team in November 2009 to witness W Bro Jim initiate his son Nicholas into the Lodge and who was master of the Lodge in 2018 when the Sesquicentennial celebrations were held. As he retired as an APGM he was appointed a Steward in 1214, a position he held for 5 years before being ‘promoted’ to Purveyor.
He has witnessed many changes within the order, less formality, and expresses concern over the future of the order as social and working practices, which have changed massively, continue to impact on many groups and organisations. Individuals seem to be less and less prepared to participate and accept roles requiring commitment and responsibility.
That said he says he has long and happy memories of his time as a member and will continue to actively support Scarborough Lodge particularly and Freemasonry generally as required.
He said that this milestone has seemed to take an age to arrive and now it has, all he wanted was a nice meal with as many of his Masonic friends as possible, no fuss. Well the coronavirus pandemic has sorted that out for him he fully expects to take the toast to absent with the 1214 zoom team on the actual anniversary date, in isolation in his study, with just his old mate Elvis’s picture watching over him!
On the 17th July, when the original Masonic Suspension ruling expired, it was not extended. This meant that the regular meeting of Scarborough Lodge due on the 21st July had to be held, unless certain criteria could not be met. Fortunately, due to the hard work of a few, the masonic hall at Blenheim House was deemed Covid secure and it was agreed that we could be quorate so the meeting went ahead. This was very fortuitous as within a matter of days Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council area was placed into lockdown due to rising new cases of the virus. This of course meant that any local masonic activities were again suspended. The Lodge meeting was held, 50 years to the day that W Bro Jim was initiated. Seventeen brethren were in attendance, including three visiting brethren. Not what was planned but a goodly number under the circumstances prevailing. The normal business of the Lodge was conducted plus on this special occasion, the minutes for the meeting held on Tuesday 21st July 1970 were read by the Secretary, WBro Steven Kimber PPDepGReg this being the day of the Initiation of W Bro James Kevin Batty into Scarborough Lodge No 1214, 50 years ago to the day. He was initiated this day, 50 years ago, in this very room, on the 21st July 1970. The Secretary, WBro Steven Kimber PPDepGReg, stood and read the history of how W Bro Batty had first become involved with the Lodge. W Bro Nicholas Batty IPM, W Bro Jim’s son, then invited his dad to come onto the floor, where he had the unique pleasure of presenting him with his 50th Jubilee Certificate, with an accompanying letter on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. David Stephen Pratt. WBro Nick, spoke with great love and affection of his dad, providing a memorable and very touching tribute to him, on this special occasion. The brethren present were all noticeably affected by the sincerity of W Bro Nick’s presentation and gave them both a well-deserved heartfelt round of applause at the conclusion. WBro Jim then answered a few questions from the brethren present and he also explained some of the aspects of his masonic history, read out earlier by the secretary. At the close of business the brethren repaired to the bar of a glass or two together with a tasty cake that was suitably adorned with masonic emblems to mark the occasion. Sadly no Festive Board but hopefully that will be righted in the not too distant future.
We are about to enter the 150th year of the existence of our Province.
A comprehensive History of the Province is in preparation, and these notes give a flavour of our first century and a half.
THE LIFE OF THE PROVINCE
At Grand Mark Lodge in June 1857, it was resolved that the Grand Master should have the power to constitute Provinces and appoint over them a Grand Master who would be welcome to the Brethren he would have to superintend. In April 1871, Grand Master the Rev George Portal constituted the Mark Lodges in West Yorkshire into a Province, and appointed as Provincial Grand Master Thomas Perkinton, of Fearnley Lodge, who became Surveyor of the Halifax Permanent Building Society, later the biggest in the world.
Our Province was formed on Wednesday 2 August 1871, at the Masonic Hall, St John’s Place, Halifax. Thomas Perkinton, clearly moved by the toast to his health, said it should be his every study to govern the Province, and to foster that union between the Lodges for which it was established. The Provincial Grand Master Overseer confirmed the Provincial Officers were all determined to work heartily for the prosperity of the Mark degree, and the newly-formed Province. It is clear that the character, unity, and aims of our Province were both established and expressed from the very moment it was formed, as was the aim that the PGM should be welcome to the Brethren under his rule. It is a pleasure to record that nothing has changed since.
our first Prov.G.M.
Our Province was formed with fewer than 120 members and six Lodges, four of whom have since moved: Prince Edward No 14, Hebden Bridge; Britannia No 53, Sheffield; Fearnley No 58, Halifax; Integrity No 110, Morley; Copley No 111, Leeds; and Portal No 127, Dewsbury.
We now have 44 Lodges, soon to be 45, and around 1,100 members. Membership peaked at 2,500 in 1962, and the highest average membership of 65 per Lodge was in 1959 and 1960.
Royal Ark Mariner Masonry took much longer to be established in West Yorkshire. There were only four Lodges on the roll in 1900, and it took 47 years to double this number; there are now 22. Membership did not exceed 500 for over a century, reached a peak of 585 in
1981, and the Royal Ark Mariner Degree remains popular and well supported today.
Including the present holders, we have had 15 PGMs, 31 Deputies, 12 Assistants, and 21 Provincial Grand Secretaries. Our Province has only lost one Lodge in its 150 year history: Welcome Lodge No 661, Sheffield.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
When you join the Mark in West Yorkshire, you’re not just joining an Order, you’re joining an organisation; a happy, active, and well-run organisation. We do much more than hold Lodge meetings, as the following, by no means exhaustive - list shows:
1895 - Provincial Charity Committee is established
1928 - Cleeves Memorial Fund is founded; named after PGM Fred Cleeves
1964 - The first of our four Installed Masters’ Associations is formed, to promote friendship, harmony and inter-Lodge visiting. Our Province is the only one which has them
1982 - West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund is formed
2004 - The two Funds are amalgamated to form our Provincial charity, the Cleeves & Whitehead Trust, named after Fred Cleeves and Carl Whitehead, who was PGM for nearly 30 years.
1973 - First annual Provincial golf competition is held, a highly successful fundraiser over the years.
1977 - West Yorkshire becomes the only Double Keystone Province in the world, raising funds for the new Mark Masons’ Hall.
1988 - The Province becomes a Patron of the Mark Benevolent Fund, the West Yorkshire
1988 Festival raising £446,461, the second highest amount of any Province to that time.
1995 - First of the Cleeves & Whitehead Trust summer holidays for widows and infirm brethren. Now an annual event.
1997 - The first of the twice-yearly Almoners’ Lunches was held, for widows and infirm brethren.
2008 - The 250 Club is set up, initially to fund the Province’s 150th Anniversary Keystone button and a new Provincial Banner, and later towards our Sesquicentenary and Festival celebrations
2012 - The Province qualifies as a 150th Anniversary Keystone Province
2016 - The West Yorkshire 2023 Mark Benevolent Fund Festival is launched
2019 - The Province becomes a Grand Patron of the Mark Benevolent Fund
We hold popular social events throughout the year, because we recognise how important it is to involve our families and friends. Our Province could not have enjoyed the success it has without them. “Among Mark Master Masons, you will ever find friends” – and those friends will come and find you.
RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORDERS
Our Province has excellent relationships with the other Orders, and we regard ourselves as enthusiastic members of a happy, Masonic family. This culture was established long ago. In May 1905, PGM Fred Cleeves urged Mark Masons to cultivate friendly relations with the Craft. There must be no suggestion of rivalry. We are still mindful today that we all started as Craft Masons, and that the success of our Mark Province depends on our support for the Craft. In November 1899, PGM Charles Letch Mason stated that the average membership of the Royal Arch was 67% in Mark Masons, but only 37% in the Craft. Mark Masons continue to support the Royal Arch. We recognise that the Mark does not compete with other Orders, but complements them.
It is the intention of our Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. James Steggles, G.M.R.A.C. to mark the occasion of the Sesquicentenary (sesqui means one and a half) of our Province with an Especial Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Bradford Grammar School on 7th August 2021 when some exciting things will happen.
An incredibly special Sesquicentenary Jewel has been designed to commemorate the occasion. This Jewel has been warmly endorsed by Mark Grand Lodge who have given permission for every member of this province, from newly advanced members through to Grand Lodge Officers to wear this Jewel during our Mark Meetings in perpetuity, within the boundaries of our Province. The Prov.G.M. will announce further details regarding the sesquicentenary celebrations in due course and now formallyrequests that every member of the Province who wishes so to do should wear the Sesquicentenary Jewel. It costs £26 which includes postage costs.
You can now order online just CLICK HERE
The Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Jim Steggles, is proud to serve such a happy and successful Province and all the brethren who are dedicated to supporting it today. On behalf of the current members of the Province he wishes to thank all those West Yorkshire Mark Master Masons who have gone before and who, over the last 150 years, have contributed so much to that success. May Mark Masonry continue to prosper in West Yorkshire, as the Province now begins its onward journey towards its Bi-Centenary and beyond, Marking Well in all its undertakings on the way.
Brian Ward Price was born in 1942 in London, where his father was serving with the Air Ministry. However, his roots have so far been traced back to the late 16th Century in Devon, Shropshire,Worcestershire and Yorkshire. His family spent some years in India, but eventually settled inHarrogate in 1954 where he was educated at Harrogate Grammar School.
After University in Manchester, he worked briefly as an industrial chemist in the textile industry, but in 1963 joined the Royal Air Force as a Supply Officer.
Over the years he also became an air transport specialist, an operations research analyst and computer modeller, and a Management Consultant in various Information Technology fields.
He held corporate Membership of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Fellowship of the Institute of Management.
His Air Force career, lasting nearly 34 years, took him not only to many parts of the United Kingdom but also to Malaya, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Germany with a final tour working with NATO and the European Community in Belgium.
He was appointed as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1992 and retired from the RAF in 1997.
He now lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire with his wife Julia, a retired Junior School Teacher, whom he married in 1968. They have two children, Owen, (born 1971), and Eleanor, (born 1975); both are graduates and Owen is a Chemical Engineer and Eleanor is a doula and mother to Brian and Julia's three grandchildren.
His hobbies and interests, besides Freemasonry, have included Gliding, Flying, instructing scouts, and genealogy, archaeology, classical music, walking, camping, and travel
"The PGM telephoned W Bro. David Child on the 16th June to congratulate him on attaining 60 years of membership of the Craft.
History may have been made as the PGM promoted W Bro. Child to the rank of PPJGW on the 'phone, during the call."
During the 1950s, I attended several social functions at the Lodge of Friendship with my father, so after National Service, I spoke to him about joining the Lodge. I was initiated in June 1960.
In 1961 I was married and subsequently have had four children, two girls and two boys. I now have twelve Grandchildren and two Great Grandsons.
In March 1963, I was exalted in the Chapter of Faith and 11 June 1970, I was installed as a Knight by my Father into St. Laurence Preceptory.
In the 1960s the Lodge, which was strong with over 70 members, had a full-time stewardess with the Lodge. Meals being brought in and having to be carried up from the cellar by the stewards. It was two plates at a time until we obtained the stands which carried 5 plates. The steps were very uneven, so it was a miracle that there were no accidents!
In the early 60s, we had a visitor to the Lodge who was in the Black Watch regiment, and he gave a talk on Masonry in Cyprus. He was there at the same time as myself, and I wished I had been a mason at that time.
In those days we did not have very many Social Functions, just a Children's party and a Ladies evening.
The Children's party was always a huge success for upwards of 70 children. The ladies of the Lodge provided the tea while the children were entertained by a Professional Entertainer. After tea, there was a film show followed by Games and further Entertainment from the Entertainer. Carols were then sung, and Father Christmas came in on a sledge pushed by the Junior brethren. After the children, grandchildren, etc. had gone home, then there was a social for the remaining brethren.
During the year there was a Ladies night where visitors came and a good night was had by all.
Dependant on the WM there may be a ladies night for Brethren and their Lady only in November. It was on such an occasion when as Chief Steward I had to inform the WM Herman Jarvis of the assassination of the American President John F Kennedy.
In due time our stewardess retired and as no one was available to be appointed their quarters were incorporated into the Lodge. The Dining Room became bigger, The meals were provided by an outside caterer but prepared at ground level, and the stewards did not distribute the meal!!
In recent years the bar lounge has been altered and extended so a member of the 60/70s would not recognise it now.
December 1973 was a little different for at the Installation the WM. The SW and I as JW were
appointed but we three were all Lewises whose fathers were active in the Lodge.
In November 1976 we celebrated W.Bro Clifford Haigh's 50 years in Freemasonry. It was for me worse than an Installation for we had not only the Dep.PGM but the ASSISTANT PGMS. David Welch was only a Grand Lodge officer then. I felt sorry for the Prov. Charity Rep. who had to give a talk on Provincial Charities!!
Tragically during my time in the Lodge, I have seen two W Brethren Pass away, one while I was WM.
In 1977 I was IPM when the Treasurer W. Bro Priestley Carbutt fell ill, and I was asked to take over as Treasurer.
We three Lewises decided that all surpluses from Social Functions would go into a special reserve account so that there was money available to maintain our Lodge Premises, rather than reduce Lodge Subs. This I am pleased to say has continued with the current brethren, so the Lodge is in a reasonably healthy position.
Besides being Treasurer I have also been assistant Secretary, Secretary, Auditor & Organist. The
Lodge was fortunate to have 2 Organists so W Bro. Alan Clough and I were appointed and played when the other wasn't available. I have been the full-time organist for the last 20 years.
In 1985 I received a promotion to PPDepDofC and in 2000 to PPGR.
In 2010 I was delighted to have W Bro. Stuart G. Carley, to present me with my 50 years Certificate. This was a most enjoyable occasion.
In 2017 I was admitted to the hospital with a second dose of Bowel Cancer. I decided that travelling to Cleckheaton from Bingley was too far for me as well as the brethren to me. I played for the Installation in the December and then wrote my letter of resignation from the Lodge. It was a wonderful surprise to receive a reply asking if I would accept Honorary Membership; wonderful as I know that the Lodge does not give out Honorary membership lightly. I have played for their Installations and special ceremonies and accepted this wonderful gift.
I looked at the Lodges in Bingley and decided to join Shirley Lodge no 4978 This was approved in April 2019 and I was admitted in Sept. 2019 and am now the Almoner.
I was looking forward to the PGM presenting me with my 60 years certificate so my mother Lodge could enjoy the ceremony along with my new Lodge. Perhaps this may happen next year.