On Wednesday 13th October 2021, Darlington Royal Ark Mariner Lodge celebrated their centenary. The Darlington centenary celebration was delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic meaning they are now working on their second century.
The Darlington Lodge was one of only three which existed before the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham.
Prior to the main part of the Darlington centenary celebration, the Lodge installed their new Commander for the year. This was necessary due to the meetings being cancelled during the pandemic.
One hundred years is a fantastic milestone for any lodge especially when that lodge is still very much alive and well. The Royal Ark Mariner Lodge was therefore delighted to welcome to their Centenary celebrations numerous visitors and guests, some of whom had travelled many miles to be at this special occasion.
The Worshipful Commander, Ian Ogden first welcomed into the lodge the Provincial Grand Master, Prof. Denovan Wilson and his Provincial Team. He then welcomed the Assistant Grand Master, Stephen Davison, and invited him to occupy the Masters Chair for the presentation of the special Warrant.
Maurice Bartle provided a short talk detailing the history of the Lodge which was prelude to the more detailed booklet provided to everyone present. A copy of the booklet is available here
With the official business concluded the brethren retired to a superb dinner. The Assistant Grand Master mingled and chatted with everyone before the meal. He later commented that he was so pleased to be able to meet with people in person again, after feeling “zoomed out” during virtual meetings in the lock-down.
Both Denovan Wilson and Stephen Davison congratulated Darlington RAMs Lodge for their achievement. They urged members to keep looking for new members so they can enjoy the ‘magic of the Mark’.
John Nye presented a cheque for £260 on behalf of the late John Scott to the Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Benevolent Fund. John is fondly remembered by so many for the raffle of hampers prepared by his lovely wife. They raised significant sums of money for the charity and brought some fun with it. The cheque is the result of a collection at his funeral and funds from the more recent raffles.
To mark the occasion of the Darlington centenary celebration, Billy Duck presented Stephen Davison with one of his paintings. This was well received and is a fitting memento of the occasion for the Assistant Grand Master.
Find out more about the Royal Ark Mariners here
Find out more about the Mark Benevolent Fund here and the Durham Mark Benevolent Fund here