A trip to Ryton would become the PGMs swansong formal visit. The last formal visit of the retiring Provincial Grand Master was to Ryton Royal Ark Mariners. He was supported by a Provincial Team and many visiting brethren. The Provincial visit was to celebrate the Lodge’s 25th anniversary but took on additional meaning.
Just prior to the meeting, it was announced by Mark Grand Lodge that Denny Wilson would be appointed to Assistant Grand Master at the meeting on 13th September 2022. This necessitates that he must retire as the Provincial Grand Master of Durham Mark.
The PGM was greeted into the Lodge room to rousing applause. It would also be the first and last time that Denny would be introduced as a Member of the Grand Master’s Royal Ark Council. To follow was an excellent ceremony of elevation by the Worshipful Commander, James Jordan and his team. The star of the evening was the candidate, Jeffrey Farnsworth.
At the end of the meeting and to the amusement of all present, the Scribe produced “Wanted” posters for an Assistant Grand Master. And then, following the meeting everyone was treated to an excellent buffet meal.
In proposing the toast to the PGM, the Commander noted Denny’s career and how he had excelled at everything he had done. He highlighted his friendliness and enthusiasm which inspires those around him. On behalf of Mark Masons in Durham, he thanked Denny for the legacy he has left us. After the toast, a spontaneous and vociferous ‘for he’s a jolly good fellow’ broke out; very fitting for the PGMs swansong.
Denny feeling rather emotional responded to his toast. Typically, Denny stated that the most important point is that the meeting is the first for Jeff. He welcomed him to the Lodge and to the Provincial Mariners and advised him to enjoy his Royal Ark Mariner membership.
Denny went on to reminisce about many entertaining and humorous occasions through his Masonic career. He was pleased to be present at the consecration of Ryton RAM Lodge in 1994. He also noted how apt that his last visit was to Ryton as his very first formal duty as PGM was to Ryton.
Denny also highlighted that whilst he would be honoured at the Grand Lodge meeting, there would also be three others. Frank Rankin, George Clark and Arthur Clark would also receive promotions. He also wished David Hanson every success as Deputy PGM in Charge until the appointment of the new PGM.
As could be imagined, when Denny concluded his response to the toast, he was met with a standing ovation.
George Clark would then propose the toast to the new member, Jeffrey Farnsworth. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the PGM managed to say much of what he’s prepared. George welcomed Jeff into Ryton RAMs and wished him every success in the future. Jeff replying that the evening would be etched into his memory being such a special evening.
As a final amusing twist, the PGM passed on the opportunity to draw the raffle only for his ticket to be drawn! However, he did request a re-draw.
It was a wonderful evening for a PGMs swansong meeting and one which those there will remember well. Denny has certainly made his ‘Mark’ in Durham, bringing the degree and his team to the forefront. And whilst he will be missed, we know he will be a wonderful Assistant Grand Master.
The announcement of the appointment of new Rulers in the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons can be found HERE
To find out more about the Royal Ark Mariner degree, visit HERE