On your marks
Now I think I can reveal what I am about to without giving away any secrets and risking censure from higher authorities.
In the ceremony of advancement to the degree of Mark Master Mason there is a point when the Senior Deacon has to conduct the candidate from the Senior Warden to the Worshipful Master.
When this particular part was reached during the rehearsal of Furness Mark Lodge No 36 it was pointed out by Ken Boon, the lodge and Provincial Deputy D.C., that the ritual book directs that this be done at a “quick pace”.
In fact when he had been at meetings where our RW Provincial Grand Master had acted as Senior Deacon he had witnessed him apply the words “quick pace” quite literally and if it is good enough for him then Furness Mark Lodge should follow suit.
The Senior Deacon Graham Benson took Ken’s words of guidance on board and put them into practice at the subsequent meeting when Steve McKellar was advanced into the degree.
Pictured from left to right, are; John Houlding, Stuart Brackstone, John Browne,
Steve McKellar, Alan Hilton and Bill Glassey.
Those in the know eagerly awaited this new variation but to those who had not been at the rehearsal it was something of a shock to see the journey between the pedestals traversed at a rate which can be best described as pretty rapid rather than the usual staid manner.
It enhanced the ceremony and went down well with both candidate and onlookers.
Furness Mark Lodge is no different to others in that is has its own way of doing certain things. These idiosyncratic variations from the established ritual are detailed in a record kept by the D.C. so that they are maintained from generation to generation.
This newest addition has been added to the list and for ease of memory has been named the “Connolly Manoeuvre”. So apart from the other plaudits and testimonials heaped onto our RW PGM his name will live on in the annals of Furness Mark Lodge.
Of course having only been done once it must be done again to show that it wasn’t an accident. Then, as all experienced Masons are aware, custom dictates that after a subsequent third outing the “Connolly Manoeuvre” will attain the high status of - we’ve always done it this way!
Amongst those witnessing the events were special representative Stuart Brackstone and two of the newest additions to the Furness Mark Lodge in the persons of joining member John Houlding and Alan Hilton who was advanced at the previous meeting.
It was also the business meeting and it saw WM John Browne name Bill Glassey as Master Elect.

Article and Photograph courtesy of Dave Sear.