Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Surrey
The first Surrey Mark Lodge to achieve MBF Grand Patron Gold Award

In January, The Meeting of Oak Tree Lodge of Mark Master Masons on Thursday 12th February at Bisley was honoured by the presence of RW.Bro Ian N Clark our Provincial Grand Master. He was there to witness the installation of Bro. Steve Williams, MBE, into the chair of the Lodge.

The first Surrey Mark Lodge to achieve MBF Grand Patron Gold Award

The Mark Lodge meeting was preceded by a meeting of the Oak Tree Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners, where the lodge voted to donate £450 towards the Surrey 2022 Festival in support of the Mark Benevolent Fund – in sponsorship of the Surrey Swimmathon to be held on the 29th January and the MBF Charity Walk to be held on the 6th May.

After the short Royal Ark Mariner meeting a Lodge of Mark Master Masons was opened, the Grand Officers saluted and the Provincial Grand Master, RW.Bro. Ian Clark, entered accompanied by a number of Provincial Grand Officers of the year. The Provincial Grand Master introduced his Provincial Officers, spoke about the Surrey 2022 Festival and took the minutes. Once the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Phil Thompson, returned to the Chair, Bro. Steve Williams was installed as the new Worshipful Master in fine fashion, witnessed and enjoyed by 60 Brethren in the Temple. W Bro Steve lives in Wales and has hardly missed a meeting since he was advanced into the Lodge and on this occasion was supported by a large contingent of his fellow Welshmen – which was especially nice. The Worshipful Master invited our Welsh Brethren – W.Bro. Lyn Gutteridge, PGSD, to occupy the Senior Warden’s Chair; W.Bro. Bill Wilson, PGJD, to occupy the Junior Warden’s Chair and W.Bro. Andrew Morgan, PProvGJW, to act as Inner Guard during the ceremony of Installation. W.Bro. Jim Childs, PGSD, presented the Working Tools to the new Worshipful Master.

After the installation ceremony and the appointment and investiture of the Officers, the members of Oak Tree Lodge voted to donate the sum of £3,500 towards the Surrey 2022 MBF Festival. The cheque was presented to the Provincial Grand Master by the Charity Steward, W.Bro. Terry Carpenter. RW.Bro. Ian Clark upon receiving the cheque from the Lodge said how truly delighted he was to receive such a significant donation and that it was a tremendous achievement for the membership. He then surprised the assembled brethren by producing the Grand Patron Gold Award collaret and placing it around the neck of the newly installed Master, confirming that Oak Tree Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1839 was the FIRST Surrey Mark Lodge to be awarded with the highest MBF Honorific.

Following the rest of the usual Lodge business, the Provincial Grand Master and his Provincial Officers of the Year, retired from the Lodge after the Second Rising. The Lodge was then closed in due form and 53 Brethren re-grouped for the sumptuous home cooked Festive Board held at the City Rifle Club pavilion, all enjoyed in the usual convivial and happy company that is the trademark of our honourable brotherhood. Needless to say the response to the Toast to the Visitors was provided by one of our Welsh Brethren – W.Bro. Mike Hulton, PProvGSwdB, who was, on this occasion, the Provincial Grand Coach Driver for the visiting contingent. He had all the brethren in fits of laughter on the telling of “just one more true” story.

All in all a truly superb and memorable occasion where much friendship, fun and enjoyment was had by all present.

Article by Terry Carpenter and photos by Clive Newman