In common with other gatherings, Mitre Lodge meetings were suspended during the Covid19 crisis. After our February and March 2020 meetings, we did not meet again until September 2021 when we held our annual Business Meeting.
In the meantime, we had carried out a number of online Committee and Instruction meetings, but normal meetings can only be held in a properly constituted Lodge room.
Our Installation meeting was finally held on the scheduled date, 6th October 2021, when Steve Walters, our Immediate Past Master, installed Robert Ward into the chair of King Solomon – the second time Robert has served as Master of Mitre Lodge. Duncan Fryer, who had been Installed in October 2018, became Mitre’s longest serving Master after having served for three years in the Chair. However, Duncan was unable to be present because he has spent most of the past two years doing vital work on night shifts at York Hospital.
The 2021 Installation meeting was held in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Jeffrey Gillyon, but with a much-reduced attendance for various reasons.
Our programme for 2021-2 continues with a third degree ceremony on 3rd November and the Initiation of a new Mason on 1st December.
Any Freemason is welcome to attend any of these meetings. We have frequent visits from members of Lodges elsewhere in England and Scotland, and have even welcomed Brethren from Australia in recent times.
Other events during the year will include visits to other Lodges, including Rangoon and Ormond-Iles Lodge in London, where our Junior Warden, Ian Hazel-Gant, will be installed into the Chair of King Solomon in what is his Mother Lodge.
Sadly, we lost a number of people close to us over the past two years.
Dick Edmond (30 August 1930 – 21 May 2020) was an Old Boy of the School, and was initiated into Mitre on 3 February 1965. Dick joined his family garage business and was a Rootes group apprentice (Hillman/Sunbeam). Dick rallied a Sunbeam Alpine across Europe in the 1950’s against the likes of Stirling Moss. He later joined the National Farmers’ Union insurance company as an accident damage assessor. Moving away to Warwick, he joined The Swan of Avon Lodge No. 2133 Stratford-upon-Avon, in the Province of Warwickshire. Coming back to York and Mitre Lodge, Dick was the Master of Mitre Lodge from 1980-81.
Derek Fulford (11 August 1940 – 18 October 2020) was initiated 8 November 1972 into Ockenden Lodge No. 1465, Haywards Heath, in the Province of Sussex. He became a Joining member of Mitre Lodge in 2011, and saw his son, Richard, initiated into Mitre Lodge during the same year. Derek, who came from Bristol and was a diehard Great Western Railway fan, was a teacher and then a schools inspector in East Yorkshire. He lived in Pocklington, and was an excellent raconteur. Derek had never been through the chair or taken office, but enjoyed the fraternal side of masonry.
Tony Pearson (12 July 1929 – 11 April 2021) was initiated 7 March 1961 into St Cuthbert Lodge No. 3417 Darlington, in the Province of Durham. A Joining member of Mitre Lodge on 2 November 1983, Tony was the Mitre WM from 1991-92. He worked for British Rail and was an excellent singer who often delivered the Master’s song. Tony had achieved 60 years in Masonry on 7 March 2021, just before he passed to the Grand Lodge Above.
We also lost Yvonne Ward, the wife of our current Master, in April 2020 and Mary Mitchell, the widow of a former Master, Bill Mitchell, shortly afterwards.
Our Lodge Almoner, David Marsh, has been busy liaising with members and families, and has helped to arrange for Ross Anderson to move into Connaught Court, the Masonic care home in Fulford. David has been active in obtaining additional funding from the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings for the non-masonic charities which we have supported. He was also instrumental in obtaining support from the Masonic Charitable Foundation for the grandson of our late Brother, Geoff Quinn, and he continues to ensure that members and widows re looked after where necessary.
One of the former Provincial Grand Masters of our Province, John Malcolm Raylor, said that there should be three ’Fs’ in Freemasonry – Family, Fellowship and Fun – and this is a cause we have embraced enthusiastically.
We usually enjoy a number of activities throughout the year, although these have necessarily been cancelled or curtailed during the Covid emergency.
All of these events are open to members, their friends and families, the widows of the Lodge and prospective members. You don’t have to be a Mason to attend! Indeed, several members (and their wives) had their first introduction to Mitre Lodge at a social event before joining.
More events are planned for 2022.