Warwickshire Mark Lodge of Instruction Festival
V.W. Bro Gareth Hughes, C.M., P.G.J.O., P.Prov.Asst.P.G.M., Prov.G.Reg.
A huge thank you, each and every one of you, for your contribution today in making the Lodge of Instruction Festival so special. The ceremony really was exemplary, and delivered intelligently and with appropriate feeling.
Today was, I think, the 114th Warwickshire Mark LoI Festival. That means that back in 1907, Brethren started demonstrating the Warwickshire Mark ritual annually, setting the standard expected in Warwickshire Lodges. I’m not sure of the history, but since then we have passed through two World Wars, a flu pandemic, a great depression, the Cold War, the technological revolution, the huge social changes since the 1960s, and now the Covid-19 pandemic.
Back in 1907, Warwickshire had only 5 Mark and 1 RAM Lodge, and such is the enduring, central importance of the Friendly degree to freemasonry that we are now 26 Mark and 17 RAM. The central pillar for the Mark is that ceremony you conducted so well to-day which demonstrates the importance of valuing each person’s contribution and finding a place for everyone.
By the very fact that you have taken the time to attend the LoI, whether physically or virtually, and to learn your parts so well, you have shown yourselves to be very important to the future of the Mark in Warwickshire. We rely on you to spread the good practice you have displayed today to all your lodges, or beyond. Others will emulate you and help to raise the standards of ritual across the province. I hope you now have the confidence to show to others the ‘right way’ to do ceremonies.
I was delighted to receive gifts – I wasn’t expecting that. The cufflinks and badge will be very special reminders of a super day for me.
So, to all the team – preceptors, participants and admin supporters – thank you
Sincerely and fraternally
VWBro G Hughes CM P.G.J.O., P.Asst.Prov.G.M.
Provincial Grand Registrar
Warwickshire Mark Province