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