...from the safety of the brethren’s own homes on the . This was held under the regulations received from Mark Mason’s Hall and was kindly put together with the assistance of the Secretary W.Bro. John Smerdon P.Prov.G.S.D.
The meeting was held with a dispensation on the regular lodge night, Wednesday the 10th day of February 2021 under the strict guidelines issued by Mark Masons Hall.
W.Bro. Richard Huddy P.Prov.G.M.O., Worshipful Master of Brunswick Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.48 declared the Zoom Virtual Meeting open at 7.07 pm.
The Secretary, W.Bro. John Smerdon read out the dispensations to enable the meeting to take place.
After the minutes of the last regular meeting were confirmed and apologies were read out the secretary then read out on behalf of the Worshipful Master, a roll call of the visiting brethren who had come to support the executive as Active Officers for 2020/21. 33 brethren attended this meeting with 14 apologies. Amongst those attending were:
R.W.Bro. Peter James Balsom PGJO, Provincial Grand Master. V.W.Bro. David Charles Purdie PGJD, Dept PGM. W.Bro. John Clendinning PGJD, Asst PGM.
Also attending 5 other Grand Officers along with W.Bro. David Eldridge, Provincial Grand Junior Warden. W.Bro. Martin Lambert-Gorwyn, Provincial Grand Master Overseer. W.Bro. Malcolm Coppard, Grand Senior Overseer. W.Bro. Chris Elliott P.A.G.D.C., Prov. Grand Secretary. and W.Bro. Lee Taylor, Grand Steward, Prov.Grand D.C. along with 8 other Active Provincial Officers and the Joining members of St Aubyn Mark Lodge No. 64 that were able to attend.
The WM added his thanks to the R.W. Bro. Peter Balsom, Provincial Grand Master along with his Deputy, Assistant and all the active officers and guests. The WM invited the Provincial Grand Master to say a few words to the brethren. The PGM accepted and reported to the brethren how much of a pleasure it was for all his Executive and Active Officers to be able to join this historic virtual business meeting and the coming together of two Mark lodges, St Aubyn Mark Lodge No.64 having surrendered their Warrant and Brunswick 48 Lodge of Mark Master Masons. He asked if he could say a few more words after the Ballot had taken place.
The ballot took place after reassurance from the secretary that nobody within the lodge was against a show of hands for all 17 joining members at this virtual zoom meeting as one ballot. The WM declared the ballot open and asked if all were in favour of the 17 joining members by a show of hands, he then asked if any were against, he was pleased to announce that the ballot was clear and in favour of all 17 joining members. He then welcomed all the brethren including all those who were unable to attend The Brunswick Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.48, commenting that “this would not only make the lodge stronger but would strengthen its survival”, at the same time he was saddened that St Aubyn Mark Lodge No.64 had made a difficult sacrifice by surrendering its Warrant to do this, but in doing so probably saving two lodges from the same fate.
The Provincial Grand Master asked to say a few words in response. Clarifying what the Worshipful Master had said but adding that we were in strange times and there would be losses in all the orders in Freemasonry in the coming years. This would be down to the demographic in respect to the age of most of the brethren or for financial reasons. He asked that all of us stay positive, realistic, and pragmatic in our approach to this. He thanked W.Bro. Bill Phillip P.Prov.G.S.O., Secretary of St Aubyn Mark 64 and W.Bro. John Smerdon P.Prov.G.S.D., secretary of Brunswick 48 for working together in negotiating this transaction in the order, making sure that all the brethren sadly having to close a lodge were able to be reconnected with the order, with 17 joining Brunswick and 1 joining another mark lodge closer to where he lives, losing only 2 members due to age & health.
He also reported that the Grand Secretary in London, although not wanting to lose lodges, it was as important not to lose members during these times. He reported that this was probable the start of what may take place for the future of masonry in the next 3 or 4 or more years, but was pleased to be able to report that Devonshire was endorsing this move and was happy to show others what had taken place by publishing this meeting on the website.
As Warrants need not only be surrendered and returned to Grand Lodge but they can be kept by the Provincial Master for 3 Years. In respect to this he reported that on a positive note that Sanctuary Mark lodge, No.1370 which surrendered its Warrant several years back, and thanks to the efforts of the Dept PGM, W.Bro. David Purdie, it is now turning into a ‘Golf’ Mark Lodge - and being renamed ‘St. Andrew’s Golf Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1370’. Thanking the Worshipful Master, he wished the Lodge a more fruitful and enjoyable future in Mark masonry. W.Bro. Bill Philip, past secretary of St. Aubyn Mark Lodge No.64 thanked the Worshipful Master with the words:
“On behalf of all the past members of St Aubyn Mark Lodge No.64 we thank you for welcoming us all into Brunswick Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.48 and in particular W.Bro. Norman Yarde P.G.J.D. as proposer, Bro. Adrian Cotter as seconder and W.Bro. John Smerdon P.Prov.G.S.D., Secretary, for all his assistance and help. It has been an incredibly sad occasion for the members of St Aubyn No.64 that we came to the decision to close and surrender the Warrant, but we are pleased to stay as ‘marked men’ which was the primary goal, we are all very keen and will do our best to assist Brunswick 48 in the future”.
The Worshipful thanked W.Bro. Bill Philip and replied that “you and all past members of St Aubyn’s Mark Master Masons No.64 will be made most welcome and that we look forward to your fraternal company as one happy Mark lodge going forward”.
The secretary also thanked W.Bro. Bill Philip for his kind words and reported that all the joining members will receive a letter containing the By-Laws etc, Lodge dues which were much reduced thanks to Grand Mark Lodge wavering the joining fee for all 17 joiners. All details of each member had been entered into the Declaration Book and would be signed as soon as possible.
The Lodge then continued with the Paper of business electing their Master, W.Bro. Norman Yarde P.G.J.D., Provincial Treasurer, accounts examiners etc, V.W.Bro. W.S.Daw P.G.J.O. as Almoner and Charity Steward gave his reports. The Lodge and Charity Steward accounts were also adopted and then passed at the same meeting.
W.Bro. Daw at this time gave a proposition to the Lodge, that the Lodge invites as Honorary Members to the lodge those who have been given an Honorary membership to St Aubyn 64, this was seconded by W.Bro. Bill Philip, this proposition was put to the lodge and was unanimously accepted. The WM asking if there was anything else before closing the meeting. The secretary used this opportunity to thank again W.Bro. Bill Philip P.Prov.G.S.O. for all his assistance as secretary of St. Aubyn No. 64 in working together to bring the two Mark Lodges together in this manner and also Grand lodge for wavering the joining fees. W.Bro. Bill Philip responded by also thanking the Provincial Grand Master and his Executive including a special thank you to W.Bro. Chris Elliott, Prov. G. Secretary, and the Grand Secretary, there assistance being second to none.
“It is what mark masonry is all about which is why we are all in this superb degree.”
Responding to this the Provincial Grand Master said:
“Just on the last comment being made this is a great opportunity for a new combined lodge to use this strong foundation to build for the future, going from strength to strength.”
He then congratulated W.Bro. Norman Yarde P.G.J.D, Prov.G.Treasurer on being elected into the chair for the forthcoming year when ever this will be ? , he thanked all his active Officer for taking part and joining in on the meeting showing support to this historic venture for Brunswick Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.48. The Meeting was closed by the WM to which followed the DMCA 150 Monthly Draw. A superb and historic meeting and one we will all remember for many reasons.
Article & Pictures
W.Bro. John Smerdon P.Prov.G.S.D
Secretary, Brunswick Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.48