All Freemasons, when they join a Lodge, pass through the three “Craft” degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason.
However, having done that, there is a whole host of other Degrees which they can join to further their enjoyment and broaden their knowledge of Freemasonry.
Two of the most popular of these degrees are those of MARK MASTER MASON
and ROYAL ARK MARINER
South Molton is proud to be the home of one of the oldest Lodges of Mark Master Masons in the Country. FORTESCUE LODGE No 9.
whose warrant is dated 18th June 1857.
Freemasons Hall in South Molton is also the home of
FORTESCUE LODGE of
Royal Ark Mariners No 9
which was consecrated on 27th March 1993
Mark Masonry is the largest of the Progressive Degrees which enhance a Mason’s understanding of Masonic Philosophy.
The ceremony, in which a Brother is ‘advanced’, may be seen 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. These can often still be found in many cathedrals and important buildings
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.
Membership is open to Craft Master Masons from any recognised Constitution.
The Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner, more commonly known as R.A.M., has been under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons since 1871.
Lodges are attached, or moored to, Mark Lodges assuming their Number in the Roll of Lodges.
There however the similarity ends because the ritual relates not to the building of King Solomon’s Temple, but to the building and voyage of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood.
It includes none of the other characters that we meet in Craft or Holy Royal Arch Freemasonry.
There are no individual Ranks within either the Province or Grand Lodge. Brethren holding those Ranks suffix their name with Royal Ark Mariner Provincial Grand Rank or Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank.
The Grand Master of the Mark, currently…
M.W. Bro. HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO,
is, ipso facto, the Grand Master of the Degree of Royal Ark Mariner.
Membership is open to Mark Master Masons from any recognised Constitution.
If you are qualified for either degree and would like to extend and enhance your masonic experience,
please get in touch.
If you do not live or work in North Devon you can apply to join a Mark or R.A.M. Lodge near you by contacting the…
Provincial Grand Lodge of
Mark Master Masons Devonshire.