Wednesday 14th September saw a full Team visit to Darlington in a ceremony for the amalgamation of Darlington Mark Lodge No. 250 and Steadfast Mark Lodge No, 846.
The two Lodges, aware of the downturn in members, wanted to maintain their history and keep going somehow. Looking for a way forward, they entered into discussions for the amalgamation of their Lodges. A significant amount of work was undertaken behind the scenes to make this vision a reality. Both Lodge members and the Provincial Executive worked together to realise this vision.
The amalgamation ceremony was arranged and this date was set. The Provincial Team was assembled and they prepared for the event being held in Darlington Masonic Hall. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, David Hanson opened a Lodge in readiness for the ceremony.
The original Warrant and Approval to Amalgamate the Lodges were read out by the Provincial Grand Secretary, Allan Gurney. Then, David Hanson the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge proceeded to carry out the ceremony of amalgamation. He was assisted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, Philip Carter and the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Mike Davies. The provincial Grand Chaplain delivered his oration, which can be read HERE. The new banner was introduced into the lodge room and paraded around the lodge.
The new lodge will be known as the Darlington Steadfast Lodge of Mark Masters No. 250.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge then acted as installing officer and proceeded to put Ian Applegarth into the chair of the new Lodge. After the ceremony the new Master invested his officers and announced the lodge already had new members lined up to join.
After a splendid festive board, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge responded to his toast. He started by exclaiming “what a 36 hours we have had”. Many Durham Mark Masons went to Grand Lodge in London the previous day to see our Past PGM installed as Assistant Grand Master. David echoed everyone’s thoughts when he stated that he was thrilled for him. He continued that Denny had been a superb PGM and that he had left our Province in great shape. In addition, 3 Durham members received promotions in Grand Rank making it a great day all round.
At the end of the Grand Lodge meeting, another announcement was made, that of the new PGM for Durham. David advised that arrangements were being made for the investiture meeting and that the Secretariat will confirm the date once it has been arranged.
Then to complete the 36 hours, we have witnessed the great occasion of the amalgamation of these two fine Lodges. The formation of the Darlington Steadfast Lodge of Mark Masters no. 250 is a momentous occasion.
David then announced that he would be promoting Trevor Lynn to Deputy Provincial Grand Master and Michael Wilkinson as the new Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
David advised that there will be a celebratory dinner in honour of the new Assistant Grand Master, known to us as Denny. It will be to wish him well in his position and also to thank him for leading the Province. Hopefully this will be sometime in November.
The amalgamation of two Lodges is a special time for the members of the Lodges and those who witnessed and exceptionally well performed occasion. A most enjoyable and eventful evening was had by all and we wish Darlington Steadfast Lodge of Mark Masters No. 250 all the best for the future.
To learn more about the Mark Degree click HERE
The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons website can be found HERE