SYMBOL OF ORDER
NATIONAL NAME OF ORDER
The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas
LOCAL NAME OF ORDER
Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Oxfordshire
The ceremony, in which a Brother is 'advanced', can be said to comprise two Degrees; the first in which he is acknowledged as a Mark Man, followed by the second where he becomes a Mark Master Mason. The Mark referred to in its title takes its name from the mark or symbol with which the stonemason identified his work and can still be found in many cathedrals and important buildings.
Much use is made of Holy Writ to instruct the Candidate and Brethren in the story which serves to teach that the real message is one of contemplation of human strengths and weaknesses. In chronological terms the Degree follows that of the Second Degree in Craft masonry. There is reputedly some evidence that the Degree is 400 years old but the earliest English records stem from 1769 when it was first worked in Chapter of Friendship, Royal Arch Chapter No. 257 (formerly No. 3) in Portsmouth. However, a minute book dated 1599 of the Lodge of Edinburgh states that several speculative brethren had appended their marks after their names.
The first meeting of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was held on Monday, 23 June 1856.
The ordinary members' regalia comprises an apron and breast jewel. The apron is of white kid with a triangular flap bordered with a two inch ribbon of light blue with crimson edges. It has rosettes of the same colour whilst Masters and Past Masters have the rosettes replaced with silver levels. The jewel of the order is a key stone appended to a ribbon which matches the apron and bears a mallet & chisel which are the tools of the Order. The key stone, which bears certain characters, forms an integral part of the ceremony.
WHO CAN JOIN
The Degree of Mark Master Mason is open to all Master Masons.
PGM RW Bro I.W. Wright PGSD
DPGM VW Bro B.A. Prior PGJO
Treasurer W Bro P.G. Benham
Secretary W Bro M.H.E. Ball
Director of Ceremonies W Bro R.G. Harrison
WHERE WE MEET
Abingdon Coseners House, 15-16 Abbey Close, Abingdon, OX14 3JD.
Banbury Freemasons Hall, Marlborough Road, Banbury, OX16 8DB.
Bicester Weyland Masonic Hall, 10 North Street, Bicester, OX26 6ND.
Burford The Masonic Hall, Sheep Street, Burford, OX18 4LS.
Chipping Norton The Masonic Hall, Over Norton Road, Chipping Norton, OX7 5NR.
Henley-on-Thames Henley Masonic Centre, Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1DL.
Oxford Oxford Masonic Centre, Cardinal House, Baldon Lane, Marsh Baldon, Oxford, OX44 9LT.
Thame The Masonic Hall, 14 High Street, Thame, OX9 2BZ.
Wallingford The Masonic Hall, Goldsmith Lane, Wallingford, OX10 0DU.
Witney The Masonic Hall, Church Green, Witney, OX28 4AW.
Woodstock The Masonic Hall, New Road, Woodstock, OX20 1PD.
LIST OF LODGES
55 University Mark Lodge
225 Abbey Mark Lodge
247 Alfred Mark Lodge
847 Cherwell Mark Lodge
980 Marlborough Mark Lodge
1183 Thames Mark Lodge
1242 St Mary's Mark Lodge
1305 Weyland Mark Lodge
1330 Installed Mark Masters Mark Lodge
1386 Windrush Mark Lodge
1443 Wychwood Mark Lodge
1546 Godstow Mark Lodge
1655 Bowyer Mark Lodge
1838 Menatschim Mark Lodge
WBro Mark Ball PrGSec 01235 816153 email@example.com
OUR CHARITY IS THE OMMBA
The Oxfordshire Mark Masonic Benevolent Assocation, perhaps better known by its acronym, OMMBA, is a charity serving the members and families of the Mark Masonic Province of Oxfordshire. It has full accreditation with the Charity Commission as registered charity number 1122908.
Its origins may be found in 1971 when the Mark Masonic Province of Berkshire and Oxfordshire founded the Berkshire and Oxfordshire Mark Benevolent Association better known as BOMBA. The dual Mark province of Berkshire and Oxfordshire separated into individual provinces in 1994 with BOMBA eventually following suit by separating into two provincial charities in 2008. This was the point at which OMMBA was founded as the "stand alone" Oxfordshire Mark Masonic charity.
The Association currently has seven Trustees approved by the Charity Commission who fill the duties of officers of the Charity. The balance of the management committee is filled by the Charity Steward and the Almoner of each Mark and RAM Lodge in the Province who serve during their period in Lodge office.
The Association's funds are raised entirely from the membership within the Mark Masonic Province of Oxfordshire and grants are made to those members of the Province, and their family members and widows, who find themselves in necessitous circumstances.
It must be remembered that OMMBA is, in effect, a "first aid" charitable organisation which is able to respond very speedily to urgent situations of distress. In instances where it is anticipated that a grant will need to exceed OMMBA's financial capacity the Association will sponsor an application to the Mark Benevolent Fund which has the capability to respond when greater financial outlay proves necessary.
Examples of assistance given by OMMBA since 2008 include payment for numerous instances of respite care, supply of mobility equipment including a number of stair lifts, and a number of immediate financial grants. OMMBA also, on behalf of all Oxfordshire Mark and RAM masons maintains contact with widows of deceased members via an annual letter and Easter greetings card enclosing a small cheque.