The Royal Ark Mariner (RAM) Annual Assembly for the Province of Durham took place on Friday 25th March in Ferryhill.
It was a packed house which welcomed the Provincial Grand Master, Prof. Denovan Keith Wilson and distinguished guests. This was of course, all done with the slick polished style we’ve come to expect from our Provincial Director of Ceremonies and his Team.
The main part of the evening was to celebrate the appointments and promotions in the Order. The appointments to acting positions can be found on this page.
Those promoted to Provincial Grand Rank are as follows:
Jonathan Andrew Dixon
Robert John Hargate
Jeffrey Alfred Thompson
Jerome Richard Hogg
Kenneth Urquhart Robson
The Provincial Grand Master also celebrated those brethren who had earlier been promoted to Grand Rank in December 2021:
Ellison Terry Hall
Kenneth Ian Anderson
Sidney James Watson
There was a lovely moment when Jim Stubbings was able to present the PGM with a cheque for £800. The cheque was addressed to the Durham Mark Benevolent Fund (DMBF). This amazing sum was generated from the proceeds of Jim’s ongoing work in collecting and reselling various items of Masonic regalia.
The cheque was promptly passed to Roy Neville the Provincial Charity Steward. Roy had just returned from London after presenting £2,000 from the DMBF to the Ukrainian appeal. He commented that receiving donations like this enables the DMBF to do the fine work it does.
There was a break in the proceedings when there was a talk by Dr. Malcolm Wayne Robson entitled ‘Freemasonry and the Wild West’. This would centre on the State of Texas and the legendary Lone Ranger. The interesting talk also touched on the links between Masonry and the formation of the USA.
The Provincial Grand Master addressed the Annual Assembly and congratulated all those he appointed or promoted. He stated how much joy it is to carry out the investiture and that it is the high point of the year. He also thanked them for the work they had done and likely to do in the future, for their Lodges and Province.
During his address, he reflected on the previous year. However, rather than dwelling on the pandemic, he praised the way brethren bonded together and looked out for each other. Now that we are becoming operational again, this experience should help ensure we don’t lose members.
Reference was made to the RAM Warden’s Night which is to be launched on 19th May 2022 at Hetton le Hole. It is hoped that this will be as successful as the Mark Warden’s Dinner. He encouraged members to embrace this and make it a success. Further details, including the letter of invitation can be found on the “What’s On / Upcoming Events” page here.
On closing, the PGM advised that whilst we are resuming activities, let us keep doing the good things and but refrain from those we were not doing so well. Seek out those Mark Masons who would enjoy this colourful degree and bring them into the Order.
The evening ended with a superb meal and fellowship in a packed-out hall. Now to look forward to the 2023 RAM Annual Assembly.