The Pontefract Lodge of
Royal Ark Mariners No 878
Royal Ark Mariner Jewel
Suspended from the inner upper edge of the rainbow is a silver Dove, bearing an olive-branch. The Jewel is suspended from a ribbon containing the colors of the Rainbow
Founded on 4 June 1955, the Pontefract Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners is moored to the Pontefract Lodge of Mark Master Masons, it is considered the creme de la creme of the Mark Degree and meets four times each year at the Pontefract Masonic Hall.
In 2005, with W. Bro, Richard Bolton as Commander, the Lodge celebrated its 50th Jubilee. During this time the World at large has undergone dramatic changes with wars, culture, political, religious and technology, which indirectly do have an influence on Freemasonry in general.
The one event which has impacted on all history was the 1st January 2000 when we entered a new Millennium. W. Bro. John Whitworth was the first Commander and Bro. Douglas Rhodes the first candidate of the 21st Century.
A further part of the history of Pontefract R.A.M. Lodge is a version of the ritual which for years has accompanied the presentation of the Grand Lodge Certificates. This ritual was researched and produced by the late W. Bro. F. Nigel Beaney, R.A.M.G.R. which was for many years committed to memory by him and used by him to present certificates to many of our current members. He eventually wrote it down for the first time. It was then presented to him on a plaque, to which he was surprised and delighted to receive. Since his death this ritual has been continued in this Lodge and a similar version used in the Pontefract Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
As an ancient Prophet once said “The future has its roots in the Past”. That being so the Pontefract R.A.M. Lodge, being well founded with a history of many worthy and competent officers performing quality ceremonies in a friendly and sincere manner, and showing great pride performing their ritual, is a sound basis to go forward into the next 50 years. It is hoped that in 2055 a similar exercise as this will be taking place with a history of 100 years to relate.
Extract from W Bro James Garland, PCN, Commander of Pontefract Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners 2001
Otherwise known as The Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners, this degree, although worked under the aegis of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, and requiring every candidate to be a Mark Master Mason, has no historical connection whatsoever with that degree. Mark Grand Lodge's rule over the 'Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners' is simply a quirk of fate. It stands entirely alone and totally unrelated to any other degree in Freemasonry.
The history of the Degree is an obscure and difficult subject and the number of historical facts that have emerged over the years have indeed been small. As a result the precise origins of the Royal Ark Mariner degree are unknown.
The Degree is around two hundred years old and, as its name suggests, it has a nautical flavour taking for its setting the circumstances leading up to the Great Flood and the steps taken by Noah to build the Ark by which mankind was preserved from perishing in the ‘Universal Deluge’.
Royal Ark Mariner is based on an actual happening, i.e. the Great Flood, as recorded in the Bible and as verified in 1929 by the archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, who not only found clear evidence of the flood, but established that it had occurred some 6,000 years previously.
The legend of Noah, his sons, the Ark and the Deluge were enacted in the Mystery Plays of the seventeenth century and continued as catechisms in many of the early Masonic rituals. The first authentic record of the degree appears in the minutes of a meeting held in Bath in 1790. Numerous records exist throughout the country of the ceremony of Elevation being performed since that date.
The degree of Royal Ark Mariner may only be conferred on Mark Master Masons, the government of the two degrees is inextricably linked and a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge is said to be moored to a Mark Lodge bearing the same number, irrespctive of age, and generally bearing the same name.
The teaching of the Degree emphasises the importance of the family strengths and the need for each member of society to play his part for the benefit of all. We are taught that out of chaos and catastrophe mankind can survive and that we should face adversity together, helping to look after those less fortunate than ourselves.
Extract from W Bro John Oakley-Smith, RAMGR, DPGM in the Province of Hertfordshire
Any Mark Master Mason wishing to join The Pontefract Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners can contact the Secretary via the Contact Us page.
Members of the Lodge
Royal Ark Mariner Apron
W. Bro. C. Wood
Bro. K. W. Godson
Bro. H. J. Hill
Bro. W. Hepworth
Bro. H. J. Whitehead
Bro. C. L. Wilson
Bro. F. J. lee
Bro. C. R. Walker
Bro. W Story
Bro. C. Barker
Bro. A. D. Smith, M. C
Bro. H. J. Grundhill
Bro. C. C. Morris
Bro. C. F. Harlow
The Founder Members
Pontefract Royal Ark Mariners
Meets at 6.45pm on
2nd Friday in the months of: January, April, July, October (Inst)