Clive welcomes his boss to Imperial Mark Lodge
Clive Gitsham WM of Imperial Mark Lodge had a very pleasant job (and hopefully still has!) when he conducted the ceremony of advancing his boss Chris Sage into Mark Masonry. They both work for a very well known transport company in Blackpool and it is to be hoped that Clive was on the right track by inviting Chris to join Imperial Mark.
Chris Sage (left) with good friend Ernie Gavan who acted as senior deacon.
Imperial Mark Lodge No1276 which meets at Poulton-le-Fylde Masonic Hall played host to an excellent turnout of Mark Masons across the entire spectrum of ranks to see the advancement ceremony enacted. In fact when the ‘impatient’ craftsmen formed up to receive the ‘sweet reward’ for their labours there was a very long queue to receive them.
Clive and his officers quickly and efficiently despatched the earlier business of the lodge to prepare for the main event when Chris was admitted to the lodge. Chris, expecting to see only a couple of familiar faces in the lodge of his proposer Clive and seconder SW Glenn O’Brian, was pleasantly surprised when another good friend and acquaintance welcomed him in no less a personage than PProvGInspWks Ernie Gavan of Fylde Mark Lodge.
Masters in office are Peter Maxwell (left), Clive Gitsham and Abdul Benashour.
Ernie, on learning his pal Chris was to be the candidate, had volunteered and received permission to act as senior deacon for the evening’s event and in a splendid display showing he is as skilful as ever conducted Chris through the ceremony in a most meaningful and professional fashion.
As the grand officers present looked on, Chris, who proved to be a very able candidate, was treated to an advancement ceremony by not only Ernie Gavan and JD Adrian Murgatroyd and the other lodge officers but also in faultless fashion by WM Clive Gitsham; in a manner in which the Provincial Grand Master’s Special Representative John Forster would later describe as giving the Lodge of Instruction which is to put on a display later in the year at Leyland a run for its money.
ProvGJW Tony Farrar (left) congratulates Cleve Gitsham on a super ceremony.
The ceremony was done dramatically and with extreme good humour with the overseers roundly and soundly booed by the onlookers for their rejection, and reasons for so doing, of Chris’s work – all as part of the fun and friendly welcome for Chris for which the Mark degree and Imperial Mark in particular is so rightly recognised.
As is tradition it all ended happily and Clive warmly welcomed Chris to Imperial Mark Lodge.
Hello sir – Cleve Gitsham welcomes his boss Chris Sage.
At the lavish festive board which followed John Forster responded to the toast to the grand officers. He told Clive that he could sleep well after a job so well done. He went on to congratulate Ernie Gavan for his role in a “splendid ceremony” and welcomed Chris to the Mark degree.
He continued by saying how proud he was of wearing his chain of office and thanked his grand lodge colleagues and ProvGJW Tony Farrar and the visiting masters for attending.
Imperial Mark Lodge’s meeting became a glittering occasion with plenty of top brass in attendance.
John spoke about Provincial Grand Lodge which is to take place on May 6 and encouraged brethren to go along to cheer on not only the new Provincial Grand Master Keith Beardmore who is from the  Fylde  but also lodge members John Fenton who is to receive acting rank, and Arthur Kaye on his promotion.
John commended the Mark website for its wealth of news saying it was the best of any Masonic Order in his view and told brethren that they could read all about the evening’s ceremony as well as catch up on news about the Fun Day to be held at Leyland on June 28.
He also made mention of the Lodge of Instruction which is taking place at Leyland and which offered an opportunity for Craft Masons to see what RAM and Mark is about but that one would have to travel a long way to see an advancement better done than it had been at Imperial Mark.
Blame it on us – Chris Sage (centre) with seconder SW Glenn O’Brian and WM Clive Gitsham.
Clive Gitsham toasted his friend and newest member Chris Sage who it transpired is not only his boss but also had been his best man at his wedding. It was also revealed that it was a case of one good turn deserving another as Chris is inviting Clive to join his KT Lodge.
Chris in his reply said how impressed he had been by his advancement and the warmth of the welcome he had received. He said how pleasantly surprised to have seen so many familiar faces and thanked the lodge secretary for already including him in emails and though he had no idea of what to expect had been a little concerned by the picture of a man hanging upside down on the advert for the Blackpool and District Festival being staged by Bispham with Norbreck Mark Lodge on 24 April.
Now relieved that hadn’t happened he looked forward to an enjoyable time at Imperial Mark.
Article and Photographs Courtesy of Bob Boal