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Minutes of the mark Provincial Grand Lodge (June 2019)

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Minutes of the Annual General meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Dyfed, held at the Halliwell Centre, University of Wales Trinity-St David, Carmarthen on Saturday 29th June 2019, under the banner of Picton Castle Lodge No 297.

The Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due form by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Gareth Raymond Hicks, assisted by Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge. The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master was then pleased to receive representatives of Royal Ark Mariner Lodges, who were warmly greeted.

The customary salutations were given to the Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and visiting Right Worshipful Brethren, under the direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The R.W.Bro. Provincial Grand Master then introduced to the assembled brethren the distinguished guests from  other Provinces.

Mark Grand Lodge. W.Bro. Darren Coleman-Heald, Charities Manager, Mark Masons Hall.

Gloucester & Herefordshire.   R.W.Bro. John Gillo PGM,  W. Bro. Mike Smith , W. Bro. Keith Hartley.

Buckinghamshire. R.W.Bro. David Tremaine PGM, W.Bro. Jim Little.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight. R.W.Bro. George John Deacon PGM, V.W.Bro. Peter Lewis Asst PGM, W.Bro. Nigel Bell PrGSec..

South Wales. W. Bro. Dr Paul Calderwood Dep Pgm, R.W. Bro. Paul Williams, W. Bro. Alun Rosser Thomas, W. Bro. Eddie Bolton.

Wiltshire.  R.W.Bro. Andrew Beaumont PGM, W.Bro. Robert Blake Dep PGM, W. Bro. Simon Finn, W. Bro. Frank Fletcher.

Somerset. R.W.Bro. Phillip Clifford Voissey PGM, W. Bro. Geoff Ifill.

Middlesex. R.W.Bro. Peter Halls-Dickerson, Past PGM

Staffordshire & Shropshire. V.W.Bro Ian Smith, Dep PGM, W. Bro. Kevin Spencer AsstPGM.

North Wales.  W. Bro. John Evans, DepPGM.

Monmouthshire. W.Bro. Philip Sefton DepPGM, W.Bro. Lawrence Knight, W. Bro. Andrew Crump PGSec, V.W.Bro. Keith Willians PastDepPGM, W. Bro Louis Mahendra.Sec

Leicestershire & Rutland.  W.Bro. Donald Peacock DepPGM, W.Bro. Iain Walker.

Bristol. W. Bro. Michael Huggins DepPGM. V.W.Bro Phil Patrick, V.W.Bro. David Powell.

Cornwall. V.W. Bro. Raymond Lewry PrGAlmoner.

Oxfordshire. W.Bro. Mark Ball PrGSec.

Berkshire.  W.Bro. Huw Hopkin, PrGSec Designate.

Cumberland & Westmorland.  V.W.Bro. Harold Taylor, W.Bro. David Pigney, W.Bro. Richard Graham, W. Bro. Willian Soulsby, W.Bro. Jose Faustion, W.Bro. Fred Taylor, W.Bro. Joe Graham, W.Bro. John Stuart, W.Bro. Willy Tyson, Bro. David Clarke.

Distinguished representatives from other orders included, From the:

Province of West Wales, R.W.Bro. Stephen D. Hookey PGM, W.Bro Lionel Hughes DepPGM, R.W.Bro. Eric Mock PastPGM, and V.W.Bro. Tom Evans Past DepPGM.

Provincial Grand Chapter of West Wales. E.Comp Stephen D. Hookey M.E. Grand Superintenent,  E.Comp Eric Mock, Past M.E.Grand Superintendent.

Supreme Council 33* of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, V.Illustrious Bro. John Everett, Inspector General for the District of Dyfed.

Great Priory of the Temple, the Knights Templar, Monmouth & South Wales, Rt Eminent Knight Dr Paul Calderwood Provincial Prior

District Council of Royal & Select Masters, Rt.Illustrious Companion Gwilym Haydn Jones District Grand Master

Severn District of the Allied Masonic Degrees, R.W.Bro. Ronald Slater, District Grand Prefect.

Royal Order of Scotland,  Bro. Alan Rosser Thomas, Past DepPGM.

Grand Senatus of the Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord, Distinguished Companion Mike Cross Assistant Provincial Grand Summus.

From the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia,  R.Worthy Frater Bob Tanswell  Chief Adept

And from the Mark Province of Dyfed, R.W.Bro. Ivor Shuttleworth Past PGM, R.W.Bro. D. Nigel Adams Past PGM, R.W.Bro. Ron Jones PastPGM and W.Bro. Ian Davies Past DepPGM,

The Provincial Grand Secretary reported that all the Provincial Officers were present with the exception of Charity Steward, the Deputy Chaplin  and a Steward, all of whom had conveyed their apologies. The Provincial Grand Secretary then reported that all the lodges were represented and in good heart.

The Provincial Grand Senior Warden, W.Bro. Emyr Davies, proposed and the Provincial Grand Junior Warden, W.Bro. Sion Wilson, seconded that the minutes of the Annual Meeting held at Carmarthen on 30th June 2018 as circulated be accepted. This was carried unanimously

The Provincial Grand Chaplin, W. Bro. Tom Evans rose to read out the names of those Brethren who had passed to the Grand Lodge above since the last meeting, namely W Bro David John Bryan, Mansel 116; W Bro Teifion Morris Evans, Picton Castle 297; W Bro Vyvian John Williams, Picton Castle 297; W Bro Raymond  Jones Hughes, Loventium 1287; W Bro William James Marteine Richards;Teifi 1441; Bro David Herbert Thomas, Teifi 1441

The Brethren stood as a mark of respect to departed merit. The Provincial Grand Chaplin offered a prayer as a requiem

The Provincial Grand Secretary reported that in correspondence he had received many messages of good will and also apologies from brethren unable to attend.

The Provincial Grand Senior Warden proposed, and the Provincial Grand Junior Warden seconded that the recommendations of the General Purposes Committee held on 13th April 2019 be accepted, that the:-

1.The Annual Accounts of Provincial Grand Lodge and the Provincial Benevolent Fund, as circulated, be accepted

2. W.Bro. Eric Mock be elected as Treasurer.

3. The following brethren be appointed auditors, W.Bro. Alan Waters and Bro. Marley Davies, both of Picton Castle Lodge, be appointed Auditors of the General Fund, and that W.Bro. Mike Nelson and W.Bro. Emyr R. Hughes, both of Aberystwyth Lodge be appointed Auditors of the Benevolent Fund.

4.The dues for Mark and RAM members remain at £6.00 and £3.00 respectively.

5. The Fee of Honour for Provincial Appointments remain at £30 (Mark Wardens), £20 (Mark other Officers), RAM £20.

On being put to the vote, the proposal was carried unanimously.

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master then appointed and invested the Provincial Officers.


Dyfed Mark Master Masons, having already welcomed our distinguished guests, it is now my pleasant duty to welcome you, the Brethren of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons to this your Annual Meeting. Thank you for attending in such good numbers.

The first two years as your Provincial Grand Master have simply flown by, and although it’s a very demanding role I’m still thoroughly enjoying it. I am extremely fortunate in having a dedicated Provincial Executive, and a very supportive Deputy Provincial Grand Master to assist me in carrying out my duties.

As previously mentioned, during the last year we have been represented at 20 other Provincial Meetings, the majority by myself and/or the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Other brethren have accompanied us or represented the province, these include  W.Bro. Dilwyn Littlejohns, W.Bro. Wynford Allen, W.Bro. Wynne Moodie, W.Bro. Gareth Owen, W.Bro. Alun Davies and W.Bro. David Griffiths. Thank you all, brethren, I’m sure that the name of “Dyfed” is becoming well known although we still have a few difficulties with it’s pronunciation.

But however “Dyfed” is pronounced I’m still delighted to have the support of so many visiting brethren here today, and should any of you wish to accompany me, and the Deputy in visiting other provinces take as an example our visitors from Cumbria and Westmorland and let’s get a group together to visit them next year.

On your behalf I have also attended each of the Quarterly Meetings of Mark Grand Lodge, as well as taking part in the Provincial Grand Master’s Forums and last September took part in the first PGM’s Seminar. A very full day but very worthwhile.

Last August the DeputyPGM and I were delighted to be present at the National Motorcycle Museum to witness the hand over of over 40 blood bikes and support vehicles, a rewarding and emotional day seeing the hard work of hundreds of dedicated volunteers supported by the MBF. It was a superb day well organised by MMH and our Charities Manager W.Bro. Darren Coleman- Heald. And all the funds were the result of the MBF Grand Charity Walk earlier that year in which Dyfed was represented by myself, W.Bro David Doyle and our pet Ddraig Goch,  W.Bro. Adrian Thomas.

Brethren. We are very fortunate in having R.W.Bro. Ryan Williams as the Grand Secretary, his energy is infectious and he has set up a number of working parties to look at various issues, one of these being recruitment and retention. We now have the Mark Resources Library which contains much information to assist Provinces and Lodges tackle any membership issues, the provincial Grand Secretary has details of how that resource can be accessed.

The next working parties will produce Guidance for Provincial Grand Secretaries, this will be followed by Guidance for Provincial Grand Masters, I wonder what my predecessors will make of that? This coming September I will attend the second PGM’s Seminar but in September 2020 Mark Masons Hall will host a gathering of Mark Constitutions from across the Globe, that should be an interesting experience as Mark Masonry continues to flourish worldwide.

Grand Lodge Appointments - On the 11th June I was delighted to be present when the Grand Master invested W.Bro. Lionel Clark Hughes as Past Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, and in September W.Bro. Dilwyn Littlejohns, Provincial Almoner will be promoted to Past Grand Senior Deacon. Both appointments are very well deserved, congratulations Brethren.

Brethren, whilst I enjoy visiting other provinces, or attending Mark Grand Lodge the most important part of my work is to ensure that we have a Happy and Flourishing Province.

The most rewarding experience continues to be the opportunity to visit every lodge within the province not only at Installation Meetings but when candidates are being advanced or elevated, or when there are Grand Lodge Certificates to present. The DepPGM and I are still in friendly competition, as to who makes the most visits but I don’t think it fair to mention who’s in the lead at present!

At every Installation Meeting in both the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner I have received full support from the Provincial Officers with most having attended at least 90% of the meetings.

That support continued at the Provincial Officer's Luncheon in May when the active officers and their partners had a most enjoyable time at the Rhos Y Gilwern, near Cargigan. Many thanks to the Wardens W.Bro. Emyr Davies and Sion Wilson for organising the event, and for the lovely flowers presented to my wife Janet, and Martin's wife Elaine. Unfortunately I still had to buy Janet a Wedding Anniversary present the following week!

During the visits to Lodges we have been greeted with great enthusiasm and hospitality and have seen some excellent ceremonies with the ritual generally being of a good standard but always performed with dignity and sincerity. The continuing support of the Past Masters in filling vacant officers is commendable, but hopefully the candidates advanced in the last few years will move through the offices, and thus ensure stable continuity.

From time to time every lodge needs support and during the next year I will look at how the province can provide support, particularly when there are ceremonies of advancement or elevation.

One of the areas of concern is the low number of visitors, I have written to each Worshipful Master asking for their support in encouraging their members to visit neighbouring lodges. Many Provinces have a travelling keystone and I am looking at some form of this for use within the province.

Royal Ark Mariner Banner - Brethren, last year I mentioned that I was working on a Banner for the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners, and two weeks ago at the Royal Ark Mariner Assembly  I was pleased to carry out the Ceremony of Dedication. I was delighted to have representatives from each RAM Lodge and from the Provinces of South Wales and Monmouthshire, thank you all. After the meeting please take a few minutes to examine the Banner, the members of the Royal Ark Mariner Fraternity will recognise the symbols, but for those who are not yet members they remain a secret, but one well worth discovering.

My thanks to W.Bro. Dario Algieri for turning the banner pole, connecting it together perfectly and fitting the finial, a working boat hook to draw the Ark to the shore, and continuing the maritime theme the pole is solid beech!  I look forward to our First Provincial RAM Banner Bearer, Bro. Bryan Vince proudly parading it at the RAM Installation Meetings.

Charitable Donations - At last year's meeting I pledged £1500 to each lodge to support Local Charities to mark the 150th Anniversary of the MBF. Nominations are trickling in - hopefully these will be finalised by September in order that we can distribute the funds.

Craft Province - Brethren, we are very fortunate to have a good working with the Craft Province of West Wales. You are all aware of the hard work of our PGM RWBro Steve Hookey and his team in putting together the series of initiatives to encourage new members, please do your best to support them. Please ensure that however busy you are that you make time to support your mother lodge, actively seek out potential candidates, it is only by having successful and thriving craft lodges that we can encourage brethren to become Mark Master Masons.

Retiring PGM - R.W.Brother Stephen David Hookey, it’s been a real delight to have you as our Provincial Grand Master, we have shared a few car journeys and put the masonic world to rights.  I value your friendship and support of the Mark Degree and I look forward to your progression within this order. Have a Happy and well-earned retirement.

Brethren today’s meeting could not happen without the hard work of the Provincial Executive and the brethren of our host lodge Picton Castle 297, who assisted in the setting up last night, and were here again early this morning. I thank you all, and brethren of Picton Castle please enjoy the festive board, you have earned it.

Finally, brethren of Dyfed it is a real privilege, and an honour to lead this lovely province, with your support, I am sure that we can look forward to another Happy and Successful Year in the Mark Province of Dyfed.  I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible after this meeting and at your individual lodges during the year.

Brethren, May the Great Overseer of the Universe guide us. keep us on the right path and be ever in our hearts and minds. Thank you brethren.

The R.W. Bro. Provincial Grand Master then enquired of the Provincial Grand Secretary if he had any  further business to bring before Provincial Grand Lodge. The Provincial Grand Secretary replied that he had nothing further to add as Provincial Grand Secretary, but as Senior Warden of St Brides Mark Lodge he was inviting Provincial Grand Lodge to meet in the year 2020under the banner of St Brides Mark Lodge. The Provincial Grand Master was pleased to accept.

W. Bro. Martin James Lowe, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, rose to thank the R.W.Bro. Provincial Grand Master for the efficient manner in which he had conducted the business of Provincial Grand Lodge.

During the singing of the closing hymn, the collection of alms was made, which the Provincial Grand Master announced that the proceeds of which would be donated to Alzheimer's Society Cymru.

There being no further business, Provincial Grand Lodge was closed in due form, followed by the singing of “Hen Wlad fy Nhadau” and the National Anthem.

The Provincial Grand Master retired in procession, accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brethren and Distinguished Guests.



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