- ROYAL ARK MARINERS HAWTON LODGE, No. 100, meeting at the Erme Masonic Hall, Ivybridge (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 5th June 1975.
- SPENCER MARK LODGE, No. 1495, meeting at the Queen Victoria Masonic Hall, St. Budeaux, Plymouth (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 4th August 1977.
- ROYAL ARK MARINERS BENEVOLENCE LODGE, No. 1264, meeting at Bridgeland Street, Bideford (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – August 1977.
- ROYAL ARK MARINERS MANADON LODGE, No. 1076, meeting at the Masonic Hall, Manadon, Plymouth (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 3rd July 1980.
R W Bro H E E Holladay was advanced into the Athelstan Mark Lodge on 26th March 1940, became Worshipful Master in 1957 and again in 1997 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the first time. He was appointed Provincial Grand Junior Warden in 1961, Grand Steward in 1967 and Deputy Provincial Grand Master in 1968.
His installation as Provincial Grand Master took place at the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge held at the Great Hall, Exeter University on Tuesday 23rd March 1976.
Provincial Grand Lodge was opened by R W Bro Lt Cdr C J R Souhamy, MBE, RN, PGW, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, assisted by V W Bro N W Trobridge, PGO, acting as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
The Deputy Grand Master, Col Perry Morgan, addressed the brethren on the purpose of the meeting and caused the Patent of Appointment to be produced and read by the Grand Secretary. The Provincial Grand Master Designate was obligated, invested and installed in the Chair, he was proclaimed by the Grand Director of Ceremonies and saluted according to his rank.
The ceremony was carried out by the Deputy Grand Master, Col Perry Morgan as Lord Stradbrook, the Grand Master, was indisposed.
Col Perry Morgan had been at the same prep school as Henry Holladay and, although he was slightly senior, the families knew each other well; it was, therefore, never established whether the Grand Master’s indisposition was diplomatic or real.
His original appointment was for 5 years, subsequently extended by two further periods of 5 years.
Following his Installation, the Provincial Grand Master appointed V W Bro C O Holland, PGO, as the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and W Bro A J Huxtable, PGD, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
R W Bro H E E Holladay joined the Grand Masters Lodge of Mark Master Masons in 1981.
At Grand Lodge in June 1981, the Grand Treasurer gave notice of increased fees and dues, but failed to specify any actual figures, stating that these would be dealt with at the September meeting.
These figures were not published until about 21 days before the September meeting and when they were, they showed massive increases.
Annual dues increased from £2.00 to £5.00 (150%), added to which the financial year was brought forward 3 months. No explanation or reason for the figures was forthcoming.
Understandably this caused considerable consternation among the Brethren, especially as it left little time for consideration, the situation aggravated by the fact that many Lodges do not meet during the summer season.
Our Provincial Grand Master, with the co-operation of the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, R W Bro J J Webber, a Past Grand Treasurer, put forward an amendment at the meeting to defer the decision until the December meeting. This was in the interests of good public relations with the Brethren and, in the hope that, in the meantime, additional information as to the reasons for same would be forthcoming; this would assist in persuading and convincing the Brethren that such increases were necessary and fair.
In the event the amendment was lost in Grand Lodge but the fact that public relations were important was noted and improvements in this field resulted. It is almost certainly the only time in living memory that Grand Lodge had not been forced to a division, something not highly undertaken and it clearly demonstrated that the Devonshire Province was concerned and prepared to take the lead.
It is interesting to note that as our Provincial Grand Master was about to speak, the Grand Master asked him if he had a seconder, the answer was an emphatic “yes”, one can hardly imagine anyone embarking on such a contentious project unless fully prepared, least of all our Provincial Grand Master.
In presiding over his first meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Plymouth on Saturday 25th September 1976, under the banner of Duncombe Mark Lodge No. 438, the Provincial Grand Master made it known that it was his intention to share Installation Meetings with his Deputy and Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, this would give him more time and opportunity to visit Lodges at their ordinary meetings.
In September 1977, Benevolence Royal Ark Mariner Lodge No. 1264, was consecrated t Bideford.
In October 1977, the Spencer Mark Lodge No. 1495, was consecrated, this Lodge meets at St. Budeaux, Plymouth.
They both became Keystone Lodges shortly thereafter.
This brought the total number of Mark Lodges up to 44 and Royal Ark Mariner Lodges up to 14.
Saturday 18th October 1980 saw the consecration of Manadon Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 1076, they meet at Crownhill, Plymouth.
At the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, held at Exeter on Saturday 27th September 1980, under the banner of St. George Mark Lodge No. 15, the Provincial Grand Secretary presented his final report on the new Premises Fund!
The Provincial Grand Master had set a target in 1977 and the total of £18,817.85p was well in excess of that.
41 out of 44 Mark Lodges and all 15 Royal Ark Mariner Lodges had achieved or exceeded their individual targets.
14 of these Lodges had qualified for Double Keystone status and 9 for Triple Keystone status.
The new premises are located at 86 St. James’s Street, London.
The Annual General Meeting for 1981 was held at Devonport, Plymouth on Saturday 26th September, under the banner of Caput Anguli Lodge No. 794. In his Report to Provincial Grand Mark Lodge, the Secretary commented on the worthy effort of W Bro C R T Chudley, PGJD, in compiling “A History of Mark Master Masons in the Province of Devonshire” to mark the centenary of the Province; the sale of which produced a surplus of £950.00, which was credited to the 1986 Festival and the Provincial Grand Master’s personal list.
In 1983, first the Benevolent Mark Lodge No. 316, followed by Jordan Mark Lodge No. 319, celebrated their centenaries.
In celebration of this landmark, the Brethren of Jordan Mark Lodge presented the Province with 10 alms dishes, they were used for the first time at the meeting of Provincial Grand Mark Lodge held in Torquay on Saturday 24th September 1983 under their own banner.
The 1984 meeting of the Province held at Plymouth on Saturday 29th September, under the banner of Strode Mark Lodge No. 696, saw changes to Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Secretary. These changes were brought about by the resignation of W Bro A J Huxtable on his promotion to Provincial Grand Master in the Craft Degree, W Bro E A Hodges the Provincial Grand Secretary was appointed in his stead.
V W Bro D I J Owen was appointed Provincial Grand Secretary.
During his time in office as the Provincial Grand Secretary, V W Bro Owen was asked by the Grand Secretary to produce a design for a stained glass window in Mark Grand Lodge at St. James’s, London, featuring a Coat of Arms of the Devonshire Province.
The design, on completion, was sent to the Grand Secretary on 1st January 1989, it is now one of the stained glass windows in the Dining Hall in Grand Mark Lodge along with Coats of Arms of other Mark Provinces.
Early on New Year’s day 1986, Dartmouth Lodge was broken into and the valued collection of Masonic memorabilia with a value in excess of £10,000 was stolen. Among the stolen items were several Founders and original Past Masters Breast Jewels, all of solid gold and with an enamel design featuring the mouth of the River Dart. The Lodge was fortunate in that some Founders and Past Masters Breast Jewels were mounted in frames and hung on the Lodge wall. These were overlooked or missed by the thieves.
One of the Founders Jewels, which the Lodge never possessed, was acquired by W Bro W H A Cornish during his year as Master of the Lodge; he presented it to the Lodge on the condition that it be presented and worn by each successive Worshipful Master ... a grand gesture.
In September 1987, the Province was shocked by the untimely death of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V W Bro Ernest Alfred Hodges, PGJO.
At the Installation Meeting of the Ashburton Lodge of MMM’s No. 1038, held on Thursday 12th November, the Provincial Grand Master appointed and invested V W Bro Dr J H Wickstead, Ph D, D SC, PGJO, as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
The RW Provincial Grand Master then thanked W Bro W A Franklin, the Worshipful Master and the Brethren of the Lodge for permitting the Investiture.
The Officers of the Lodge then resumed their rightful places and installed the Master Elect, W Bro F D Matthews, BA, PGSO, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, into the chair of Adoniram.
At the Installation Meeting of the North Devon Union Lodge of MMM’s No. 540, held on Wednesday 24th February 1988, the Provincial Grand Master invested W Bro J F Annear, PG Stwd, as the Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
The Provincial Grand Master then thanked the Worshipful Master, W Bro D F Smith and the Brethren of the Lodge for permitting the Investiture ... the Officers of the Lodge then resumed their rightful places and Installed the Master Elect, Bro Anthony Wingrove Rogers into the Chair.
In 1988 first the De La Pole Lodge of MMM’s No. 372 then the St. George Mark Lodge No. 388, held special Centenary Meetings in celebration of 100 years continuous working.
In 1989 the RW Provincial Grand Master became a founding member of the Grand Commanders Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners and served as the first Treasurer, he had been a member of the Grand Masters Lodge of Mark Master Masons since 1971 and been the Treasurer of that Lodge too; he became Master of the MMM’s Lodge in 1995 and Commander of the RAM Lodge in 1999.
The occasion of his Installation as Commander was on the day after the railway disaster which closed Paddington Station for several days, this prevented a number of his North Devon Brethren from attending and he had to re-organise his own journey by getting the Deputy Provincial Grand Master to drive from Dartmouth to Exeter, picking up the Grand Commander Designate along with two other Brethren and then drive up to London for the Investiture.
Following the Ceremony they then drove back to Devon, arriving at Exeter at 01.00 hrs and at Dartmouth an hour or so later ... quite a long day.
When the new Province of London was formed, our Provincial Grand Master was appointed Pas Provincial Grand Senior Warden, he presided over the 1985 Mark Benevolent Festival at Exeter and, in 1998, presided over the Festival of the Grand Masters Lodge of Instruction in London.
At the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting held at Tavistock on Saturday 30th September 1989, under the banner of the Russell Mark Lodge No. 23, the Manadon Royal Ark Mariner Lodge No. 1076, qualified for a Keystone Jewel and Collarette; in presenting it the Provincial Grand Master stated that due to some misunderstanding just after the Consecration, the Lodge had never qualified ... they had now and he was delighted to invest the W Commander, W Bro W H Key with it.
In 1990 our Provincial Grand Master expressed his concern at the drop in numbers in the Order in the province, in 1965 there were 2,445 registered Mark Masons and 340 Ark Mariners, by 1975 this number had increased to 2,629 Mark Masons and 523 Ark Mariners, from this peak there was a steady decline in membership. This year, 1990, there were 2,014 Mark Masons and 520 Ark Mariners.
He went on to state that the Craft had reversed their decline which meant that there were more potential Mark men and urged everyone to attempt to find additional Brethren, however, he warned that only Brethren of Quality who would prove an asset to the Order should be encouraged to join our ranks.
He went on to inform the Brethren that his third and final five year term in Office was due to expire and he was unlikely to be reappointed. He told the gathering that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master would become the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, an Office he would continue to hold until such time as a new Provincial Grand Master was appointed and installed.
It also meant that it would be the last Provincial Meeting over which he would preside.
On Sunday 7th October 1990, a Presentation Luncheon as given in honour of R W Bro H E E Holladay. It marked his fifty years as a Mark Master Mason and fifteen years as the Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire.
The presentation took the form of a Silver Keystone embedded on a base of polished Porphyry stone, representing an ink well on a stand, a silver propelling pencil and pen. The Keystone was suitably engraved and the Provincial Grand Master remarked that the whole arrangement had been a well kept secret and the gift a wonderful surprise.