After a two year wait, Keep Royal Ark Mariner Lodge No 911 was finally able to celebrate 50 years of Royal Ark Mariner Masonry at Clitheroe. The summons packed a punch not only celebrating their 50th but also including a talk entitledthe “Jewel in the Crown”, our East Lancs Benevolent fund. The Lodge was honoured with the presence of the PGM, RWBro John Hartley Smith along with the Assistant PGM, WBro Kevin Reaney and a deputation of acting officers.
The Worshipful Commander WBro David Lightbown opened the Lodge and the PGM eventually took the chair to enable the celebrations to begin. The PGM thanked the Lodge for the happy times he has enjoyed on previous visits. He recalled some of the Lodge members who have become good friends over the years.
This was followed by a brief overview of the Lodge’s history from WBro John Rimmer. Some amusing facts emerged from the talk. In the 1980s the Lodge tried to install a Worshipful Commander who had neither been through a Warden’s Chair nor a Master in a Mark Lodge. A special dispensation enabled everything to get back on track and the Lodge went from strength to strength with a little help from West Lancashire Mark Masons when membership dipped.
Events in 1970 included the UK lowering the age of majority from 21 to 18 which enabled this writer to vote for the first time. Concorde made its first supersonic flight at 700mph and Apollo 13 mission launches at 2:13 pm, on April 11th 1970. Since then we have had the computer and the mobile phone.
The Worshipful Commander resumed his chair and the PGM presented the Lodge with a 50-year certificate and letter celebrating this memorable milestone.
WBro Howard Nuttall then delivered a very interesting presentation on the Benevolent Fund bringing everyone up to date with its fantastic work.
30 brethren then retired to the dining room to enjoy an excellent meal followed by plenty of banter.
The PGM passed on news of upcoming events but did have a solemn duty when he announced the sad loss of RWBro Stephen Davison, Assistant Grand Master, the brethren stood and paid their respects.
The evening ended with the Worshipful Commander wishing everyone a speedy return to their own homes and firesides should they so desire.