Edmund Taylor Royal Ark Mariners Lodge No 296
Christmas meeting Tuesday 19th December 2023 at the Masonic Hall, Adelaide Street, Blackpool.
The WM, Bro Shaun Haynes opened the Lodge slightly late at 18.45 hrs due to WBro. Tony Farrar RAMGR being stuck in traffic; arrival and quick change later into his new RAMGR regalia and game on!
Twenty-one members and guests were present, including the RWPGM.
Bro Mark Brown was also present after a period of absence from the Lodge!
WBro. Farrar, on his first outing since his appointment to RAMGR thanked the Brethren for all their support and the part they had played in him receiving his appointment.
The Lodge business was worked through and a ballot was held for a joining member; WBro. Edward Albert George Jackson. The ballot proved in favor and WBro. Jackson was admitted and welcomed by the WM and RWPGM. WBro. Jackson responded with a “Souf” London turn of phrase / greeting; “alright me old China” (he is a true Cockney)!
WBro. Eric Picton Prov. RAMGR, in the place of WBro. Farrar, gave a very interesting and informative talk about WBro. Alderman William Geoge Bean the founder and promoter of Blackpool Pleasure Beach on land he purchased in 1903!
The Lodge was closed at circa 19.45hrs and the Brethren retired to the bar for refreshments, prior to joining St. Johns Lodge No 2825 for a joint festive board, a recent tradition for both Lodges. The WM of St Johns Lodge was Bro. Dominic Earnshaw who was recently advanced into Fylde Mark Lodge (28/9/23).
A lively festive board with good food, banter and good craic was enjoyed by all!
A raffle (town name + swindle) run by WBro. Bob Bennet, raised £218 which was to be split between the two Lodges.
WBro Shaun Haynes did a turn on the piano with some traditional and not so traditional Christmas songs to round off the evening.

Everybody went home happy and with the best wishes for Christmas and the New year from both WM’s.

Words and pictures by Tony Cross