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A Brief History Of The Mark Internet Lodge 1975 By W.Bro. Rev. Dr. Derek J. Oliver, PPGJW (Essex)

The Mark Internet Lodge No.1975 (TMIL)

The Mark Internet Lodge was a concept formed in the mind of W.Bro. Royston Morris, a Past Master of the Craft Internet Lodge No.9659 (East Lancashire). He recruited the support of several 9659 Past Masters, including myself, and members of the Lodge and persuaded the Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of Monmouthshire, Rt.Wor.Bro. Derek Thomas that such a Lodge was a good idea. Fortunately he saw merit in the idea and the Lodge was Consecrated at Mark Masons Hall on June 4th, 2016 with Roy Morris as our Primus Master.

On November 12th, 2016, at our first Regular Meeting, in a small masonic hall in Castleton, just of the M4 between Newport & Cardiff, 5 Brethren of 9659 were advanced into the Degree. Those 5 were members of the Craft Grand Lodge of Romania, a very significant moment in the Lodge history!

Through their influence, our next regular meeting, held under dispensation, was in Bucharest, when we Advanced 32 Romanian Craft Masons on the first day and a further 29 more on the second, including the Craft Grand Master of Romania and most of his Executive. Then back to the UK for the next regular meeting in Blackwood, Monmouthshire and the installation of our second Master, WBro Michael Herman. November 2017 saw us again in Bucharest for a two-day event to Advance another 30+ candidates each day.

Our next meeting, in March 2018 was back in Bucharest and this time is not just more advancements but the consecration of the first Mark Lodge in Romania The Alexandru Valida-Voevod Lodge No 1988 by a team from Mark Masons Hall with the day ending in a wonderful Gala Dinner where were entertained with folk dances by the children from a local orphanage to which were delighted to make a considerable, charitable donation.

In June 2018, the second Romanian Lodge Nicolae Titulescu No1991 was consecrated, this time at Mark Masons Hall with our own Brother Cristian Mihutoiu becoming their first Worshipful Master. Then our our regular meeting was held back in Radlett, Hertfordshire before the next Romanian visit, this time to the Black Sea resort of Constanta in October, sadly out of season so very quiet and deserted! At Constanta we advanced yet more candidates into the degree followed by the third consecration, the Mihail Kogalniceanu Lodge No 1993. November 2018 saw the installation of WBro Timothy Huckle in Chepstow.

2019 was no relaxation of our work with more journey’s to Romania, in April to the city of Iasi in the East where meetings include advancing still more candidates and the Consecration of Eugeniu Carada Lodge No 2004. Then, in May, to Timisoara in the West of Romania again advancing brethren into the Degree and the consecration of The Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010.

Our UK meeting in June, was in Portland, Dorset to Advance 1 British brother, but with equal enjoyment from the members. However we were very soon on our travels again this time to Sibiu in Transylvania for yet more advancement’s and the consecration of Mihai Cristea Lodge No 2011, Romania’s 6th Mark Lodge.

Coming right up to date, October 2019 and back to Bucharest for advancements, consecration of a new (7th) Lodge and the creation of the Grand Inspectorate of Mark Master Masons of Romania! An early start on Friday for the Lodges “emergency” meeting to advance 53 more, very keen masons from Bucharest into the Mark Internet Lodge No 1975 then after a brief snack lunch, it was quickly back into the Temple for the consecration of Romanian Mark Lodge Nicolae Balcescu Lodge No. 2015.

Saturday was a very special day for both the Mark Degree and for the Brethren in Romania with the consecration of the “Mark Inspectorate of Romania” and the first “Inspector” our very own WBro Cristian Mihutoiu .

Working under the safe guiding hand of the Grand Director of Ceremonies RWBro Francis Charles Spencer, the Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master’s Team included our own Provincial Grand Master RWBro David Powel, our PPGM RWBro Derek Thomas as well as RWBro Tom Quinn PGM London, RWBro Ryan A Williams Grand Sec, RWBro Mike Whelan PGM Dorset, WBro Brendon Williams, WBro Wynford Jones, WBro Richard Paisley, RWBro Radu Balanecu & our own WBro Chris Malpus on the keyboard.

After the formation of the Grand Inspectorate we were further entertained and educated by the Grand Master Lodge of Instruction who demonstrated the ceremony of Advancement. Then another Gala Dinner and more dancing by the children of the orphanage, who received a charitable donation equivalent to £4,000.

What a truly wonderful start for a lodge only consecrated in 2016! We have assisted in consecrating 7 Lodges and witnessed the creation of a Grand Inspectorate.

And the story has not yet ended! The VW Grand Inspector (who, incidentally, is currently in the Chair of the Craft Internet Lodge) tells us there are plans to Consecrate another 7 Mark Lodges in Romania in the coming year with the first, again in the West of the country, being held on May 30th, 2020. Sadly, there will be few members of TMIL attending as we have our next regular meeting in Dartmouth on the same day.

That’s the story of our, somewhat unusual Lodge to date. From a concept in 2016 to a membership of several hundred and the formation of the Inspectorate of Romania in 2019! And we are still attracting members from all over the world. Our Secretary, Bro. Alan Breward is almost inundated with potential Joiners from all over the world, especially from the USA, and we have requests for Advancement from several more places “in Amity” with Mark Masons Hall. All get in touch with us through our web site, themarkinternetlodge.online, where a joining/advancement form can be downloaded.

We are very proud to represent this beautiful incredibly friendly degree across the UK and to promote membership throughout the world.

W.Bro. Rev. Dr. Derek J. Oliver, PPGJW (Essex)
Founder & Chaplain
The Mark Internet Lodge No.1975

Another successful visit to Romania for the Mark Internet Lodge

Almost at the end of another Masonic year but pleasing to report that The Mark Internet Lodge has recently returned from another successful mission to Romania.

On Saturday 13th July the Worshipful Master W Bro. Tim Huckle supported by 14 members of the Lodge from the United Kingdom advanced 25 Romanian brethren into the Order.

After a very brief lunch break RW Bro. Derek Thomas Past Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Monmouthshire then consecrated the Mihai Cristea Lodge No. 2011 in Sibiu, the 6th Mark Master Masons Lodge in Romania.

W Bro. Philip Davies Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of South Wales then installed W Bro. Mihai Dinu Martis as the Primus Master of the Lodge.

Another successful and impressive day was concluded with. Gala Dinner at the Hilton Hotel.

On his return to the UK W Bro. Derek Thomas forwarded to Mark Grand Lodge a Petition for the Nicolae Balsescu for consideration by the Grand Master. If approved this new lodge will be consecrated on Friday 25th October In Bucharest.

Provincial Grand Lodge 2019

It was a very busy and happy day for the Mark Province of Monmouthshire. Provincial grand lodge meetings are always special and this year’s was no exception. well over two hundred brethren in the temple and 70 visitors. The Holiday Inn did a roaring trade over the bar . The meeting was a happy affair , well organised and smoothly run. Congratulations to all the brethren who were appointed and invested and good luck to R. W. Bro Martin Wilson on his forthcoming charity festival. Thank you to Norman Davies for his pictures.

A brief outline of future plan for Mark Masonry in Romania.

The Petition for the Traian Vuia Lodge No. 2010 has now been approved by the MW Grand Master and it will be consecrated in Timisoara, which is approximately 340 miles north west of Bucharest on Saturday 25th May.

Plans are also well advanced for the formation of what will be the sixth Lodge of Mark Master Masons in Romania, to be titled the Mihai Cristea Lodge, in Sibiu on the 13th July. We anticipate that the Petition be submitted to Grand Lodge towards the end of May.

Following which we plan to return to Bucharest in late October for TMIL to possibly undertake an advancement ceremony immediately prior to the consecration of another Mark Lodge. We anticipate that the following day the seven Mark Lodges, currently unattached, will be formed into an Inspectorate.

Brethren of the Mark Internet Lodge Visit the National Grand Lodge of Romania

On Saturday 30th March RW Bro. Derek Thomas PPGM and W Bro. Brendan Williams Prov. G SW accompanied by RW Bro. Ryan Williams Grand Secretary attended the National Grand Lodge of Romania held in Brasov which is located about 120 miles due west of Bucharest.

There were over 600 brethren present at the meeting chaired by the Grand Master MW Bro. Radu Balanescu including no fewer than 24 Grand Masters from literally all over the world such as Japan, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Italy and Holland.
During the course of his address the Grand Master outlined the progress being made with the introduction of the Mark Degree and strongly recommended that the brethren consider joining the Order.

At the conclusion of his address he honoured RW Bro Derek and RW Bro Ryan with The Order of the Grand Collar in the Rank of Grand Officer in recognition of their hard work and dedication in establishing the Mark Degree in Romania.

A Gala Dinner in the evening at which over 700 brethren and ladies were present completed a very busy but enjoyable day.

Cream Tea and Trains with Torfaen Lodge

On Sunday 9th June, Torfaen Lodge MMM 796, held a Cream Tea and Trains charity event at the Worshipful Master’s garden railway. Some 50 members, friends, family and 2 very well-behaved dogs attended on a lovely sunny afternoon, with flowers in profusion.
Wye Valley Railway Society, who previously operated the miniature railway at Tintern old Station for over 35 years, ran a coal fired steam locomotive and an electric locomotive which were very busy giving rides all afternoon. These were augmented by a radio-controlled electric locomotive with scale sit on carriages and a radio-controlled shunter hauling a demonstration goods train.
Visitors travelled from as far afield as Oxfordshire and Somerset.
The event raised  £681 for Mark Masonic charities.
Afterwards, tired but happy helpers retired to the Royal Oak who had kindly made their carpark available for the event.