A contingent of Durham Mark brethren made the long trip southwards for what would become a momentous day for the Province of Durham. Undoubtedly, it would also be a momentous day for those who would be receiving honours in Mark Grand Lodge.
Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, was the setting for the holding of Mark Grand Lodge in all its splendor. It would be a day to install the new leaders of Grand Mark Lodge, with the appointment, investing and installing the Pro Grand Master John Herbert Prizeman, Francis Charles Spencer as Deputy Grand Master and our very own Past Provincial Grand Master Prof. Denovan Keith Wilson, as the Assistant Grand Master.
Also present were brethren from all quarters of Mark Masonry who would receive their respective promotions or appointments in Grand Mark Lodge. Recipients from the Durham Province included;
Frank Rankin, Past Grand Junior Warden, George Clark, Past Grand Junior Overseer and Arthur Clark Past Grand Junior Deacon
Over a thousand Mark Masons received a total of four processions into Grand Mark Lodge, welcoming including PGMs from some forty-nine Provinces and Districts oversees, Active Grand Officers and Rulers. The final procession was to receive the retiring Pro Grand Master Raymond John Smith, who would be the Installing Officer, to the sound of rapturous applause.
Grand Mark Lodge was opened and commenced by the announcement that due to the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II , the Grand Master, Prince Michael of Kent would not be attending the meeting. The brethren present demonstrated their sympathy for the loss of Her Majesty in the usual masonic manner.
What followed was history in the making, a momentous day. The Director of Ceremonies formed an escort consisting of ten Provincial Grand Masters. That escorting party accompanied separately to be invested and installed, first the Pro Grand Master designate, followed by the Deputy Grand Master designate and finally the Assistant Grand Master designate.
The ceremonial detail was a privilege to view and after of our new leaders received their thunderous salutation, they were acclaimed by a fanfare of trumpeters who were dressed in bright red uniforms. The tribute played for the Pro Grand Master was ‘Dignified’, for the Deputy Grand Master ‘VIP’ and for the Assistant Grand Master ‘Saddles to Horses’.
The Pro Grand Master then invested the recipients of Grand Mark honours. A truly memorable, historic and enjoyable occasion for everyone.
Before the business of Grand Mark Lodge was concluded the Grand Secretary Ryan Williams announced to the brethren that the Grand Master was pleased to appoint David Nigel Hanson Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge of the Province Durham to Provincial Grand Master in due course to the applause of the brethren.
The national anthem ‘God Save the King’ was sung by the brethren accompanied by the trumpeters and grand organ.
For the brethren of Durham Province, it really was a momentous day. Being present and witnessing our Past Provincial Grand Master and newly Installed Assistant Grand Master Denny Wilson take his ‘first step’ in a new chapter of his journey in Mark Masonry. A day ending by learning David Hanson would be head of our Order in the Province of Durham.
Celebrations continued at the grand Connaught Room where several hundred brethren were serviced with fine dining, wine and great friendship.
A momentous day indeed.