Something very special occurred on Friday January 3rd. It was something very rarely witnessed. It was the evening that the Shipley Mark Lodge was reactivated. What an evening it was and it will be remembered by all who were there.
The officers of Shipley Lodge made sterling and dedicated efforts to keep the Lodge going. However, in April 2019 they reluctantly relinquished their Warrant to the Provincial Grand Master.
Things are a little different in the Mark Degree. Whilst the Warrant is surrendered it doesn’t necessarily mean the end. The Warrant is held in abeyance by the Provincial Grand Master after it is surrendered.
The Provincial Grand Master had a few ideas and discussed them with his executive team. David Hanson, Deputy Grand Master took on the task to investigate those ideas. He tested the water to see if there is a desire for a Sportsmans Mark Lodge. There is a Sportsmans Craft Lodge and also a Chapter, so why not a Mark Lodge? He assembled a small team to move the idea forward. The reactivation of Shipley Mark Lodge is part of the vision.
Over 100 brethren squeezed into a packed Shiney Row temple to enjoy what was to be a superb event. It might have been cold outside but it was certainly warm in the hall!
The Sportsmans Mark Lodge will be formed from the reactivated Shipley Mark Lodge. But first the Shipley Mark Lodge requires Lodge officers to progress the Lodge business. This required the PGM to open the Lodge and then install the new Master. What a delight it was to witness this done with such decorum and dignity. It will be a rare occasion to see a PGM install a new Master and that Master to be the Deputy PGM too.
The new Master, David Hanson invested his officers and conducted the necessary business to pave the way for the creation of Sportsmans Mark Lodge. Whilst there was serious business being done, there was also the opportunity for some tasteful humour. Such is the nature of the Mark Degree where enjoyment is a key ingredient.
The night continued at the festive board. The PGM remarking that this was a memorable evening in the history of the Province. In 2012, Shipley Mark Lodge celebrated their 50th anniversary. But any doubt about its future is now history and the future is being rewritten.
The evening has been much more than the reactivation of the Lodge. It has been a re-energising and re-direction. It has been about looking forward and dedication and also to reflect the efforts of those that have gone before.
To help round off the wonderful evening, some entertaining and light hearted harmony was provided by Merrick Hamilton.
With 31 joining members accepted on the evening, the future looks good. Congratulations and compliments must go to those who have reinvigorated the Lodge. Their next meeting is the first Friday in March.