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The Provincial Team tracks to Shildon

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The Provincial Team made tracks to Shildon during a busy schedule of events. On the 17th November 2021, Auckland Mark gave a very warm welcome to the Provincial Grand Master and his Deputation. Shildon may be the birth place of the railways however, it has only recently become home to Auckland Mark Lodge. The Lodge’s former home in Bishop Auckland having closed a few years ago.

The Provincial Grand Master, Denovan Wilson was to present a 50 year certificate to Barry Newton. Barry was advanced into this wonderful Degree 50 years ago to the day. He has had a distinguished career and was Master of the Lodge in 1992. Unfortunately, due to a positive test for Covid he was unable to attend the meeting but sent his best wishes. The certificate was then presented to the Worshipful Master who will in turn present it to Barry.

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Whilst the PGM remained in control of the meeting, he took the opportunity to carry out more Provincial business. Due to the retirement of the Provincial Registrar, Malcolm Ormiston, an important position in the Team became vacant. Before progressing further, the PGM wished to thank Malcolm for his diligent work over the years. He particularly thanked him for the important task in bringing the old database to a close.

The PGM then invited the Provincial Director of Ceremonies to present David Battensby to him. He thanked David for his work with the old website and then in creating the new Provincial website in time for the Centenary. He also noted the continuous work in maintaining the site and preparing the articles which he hopes everyone enjoys. He then appointed and invested David as Provincial Registrar and thanked him for accepting the post.

Once the control of the Lodge was handed back to the Master, Alvin Kipling the business was to continue. David Campbell presented the Mark Lecture in style which was enjoyed by all present.

The Master presented the PGM with a £200 cheque for the Provincial Mark Benevolent Fund. The cheque was presented in memory of the late Peter Wiegold.

The PGM, on addressing the brethren at the festive board, said it was a breath of fresh air getting out again. He explained that the enjoyment was what we had been missing for the last 2 years. It had been a difficult time but we had to get back to the fun and friendship which typifies the Mark Degree. However, whilst we can’t ignore Covid, we just have to be cautious where necessary.

During the festivities, a special presentation was made to the PGM. It had for some time, been noted that there was not a ‘standard’ on the top table to acknowledge the PGM. It is common for a small replica of the Provincial Standard to be placed in front of the PGM’s seat. However, in Durham we often find ways of doing it our own way.

Following some behind the scenes discussions, rather than a replica Standard, why not have a keystone. A lot of thought and trials were tested before a keystone was fabricated by George Young. This was presented to the PGM by Michael Wilkinson assisted by David Hanson and Trevor Lynn. More on this storey will follow…

A fantastic night always seems to occur when the Provincial Team makes tracks to Shildon.  Why not also make tracks to Shildon and visit Auckland Mark Lodge and meet up with or make new friends?

More information on the Durham Mark Benevolent Fund can be found here

More information on the charitable work of the Mark Master Masons can be found here