MARK MASONRY IN JAMAICA - RW. Bro. Whilston Taylor Retires!!

R. W. Bro. Whilston Davis Taylor, O.D., J.P., Past District Grand Master of Mark Master Masons in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

“Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world, like a Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs, to find ourselves dishonourable graves. Men are sometimes masters of their fate. The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings”

On the occasion of the recent retirement of R. W. Bro. Whilston Davis Taylor as District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands it is fitting that the members of the District, with great unanimity and concord, should seek to express their gratitude and appreciation to the Great Overseer of the Universe and to R. W. Bro. Taylor for his many years of sterling, dedicated and fruitful service to the country, in general, and to the Freemasonry,in particular.

The records will show that his contribution to Freemasonry in Jamaica since he was initiated in the Ewing Lodge no. 3258 on the 22nd of April 1959 has been continuous, progressive and indeed phenomenal. Over the last fifty years R.W. Bro. Taylor has gained the singular and impressive distinction of being the Assistant District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands; and the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Jamaica in the Royal Order of Scotland.

At the international level R. W.Bro. Taylor has been recognized for his selfless, outstanding and indefatigable contribution to all three Constitutions – the English, the Irish and the Scottish.

He has therefore been promoted to the rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon of the United Grand Lodge of England; a Past Honorary Grand Steward in the Grand Lodge of Ireland and an Honorary Grand Architect in the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

In addition the Supreme Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons of England and Scotland have honoured W. Bro Taylor by appointing him Past Assistant Grand Sojourner and Honorary Grand Standard Bearer, respectively.

With his youthful energy and love of the Craft, he joined Elgin Lodge No. 1562 (SC) in 1962 and within three years of joining and seven years of his initiation, W. Bro. Taylor was to become a Past Master on the Jamaican Masonic Landscape, having been installed as Master of Elgin Lodge in 1969.

However, since this function has been dedicated to paying tribute to R. W. Bro. Taylor for his “outstanding and distinguished service to Mark Masonry in Jamaica” that is where we will concentrate our efforts.

R. W. Bro. Taylor joined the Cornwall Keystone Mark Lodge No. 1232 in 1960 and after serving faithfully and well through the various chairs, become Master in 1969. Very active and influential in Masonry, especially in Western and Central Jamaica, W. Bro. Taylor was very involved as the founding master of Melrose Keystone Mark Lodge No. 1424 in 1968.

He continued as an active and ardent Past Master in Mark Masonry throughout Jamaica ,performing a very high standard of ritual work, visiting Craft Lodges and Chapter Lodges from Negril to Morant Point, with high frequency, high velocity and high participation in all spheres and all Constitutions of Freemasonry in Jamaica for several years – indeed decades.

The defining moment of his Masonic career came in 1990 when the Grand Master appointed him District Grand Master of Mark Masonry in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

To appreciate the scope of the honour, respect and responsibility of this appointment, it must be indicated that the umbrella of Mark Master Masonry in Jamaica also covers the Royal Ark Mariners. During his long and distinguished career, R.W.Bro. Taylor has achieved some notable firsts.

He is particularly proud of the fact that during his administration, and based on his recommendation, W. Bro. Sir Howard Cooke, former Governor General of Jamaica and a Past Master of Cornwall Keystone Mark Lodge No. 1232, was honoured by Grand Lodge as a Past Grand Junior Warden of Mark Masonry and thus became Right Worshipful Bro. Cooke – a first for Jamaica. In addition it was under R.W. Bro. Taylor’s leadership, and to his great satisfaction, that an Assistant District Grand Master for Mark Masonry, V.W.Bro Dr. George Hylton was appointed in 1992 another first for Jamaica.

Similarly W. Bro. Taylor records with nostalgia and pride, the occasion on which he was invited to assist in the Consecration of a Mark Lodge in Barbados, acting as Grand Senior Warden, during the ceremony.

His interest in the promotion of charity and the welfare of the Brethren in the Mark District has been demonstrated in his overseeing the establishment of Mark Benevolence Fund in the District for members and for others.

A highlight of his District Grand Mastership was the celebration of the one hundred and thirtieth anniversary of the existence of Mark Masonry in Jamaica in 1998 – highlighted by a Banquet at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston where the Past Grand Secretary V.W. Bro. Peter Glyn Williams was Guest Speaker.

R.W. Bro. Taylor, has made many visits to the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons including Communications and Investitures at St. James Square in London, but among his most memorable such visit was in 2005 when he was recognized as the longest serving District Grand Master of Mark Masonry around the world – a distinction which he held for several years until his retirement last year – having passed the baton to R.W. Bro. Linton Andrews – the new District Grand Master.

The road has been long and hard, especially in the days and nights of ‘Man Bump’ on Spur Tree Hill, the ritual has been tedious but interesting, especially in the Mark Installation Ceremony; the fellowship has been great, especially with the “spirits” of Cornwall and the roast corn of Melrose Hill, the dedication has been inspiring and exemplary, especially Marking time in meetings in Kingston, Mandeville and Montego Bay, over these fifty years and more; and the members of the District Grand Lodge of Mark Masonry in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands would like, on this day in 2010, to record their gratitude and appreciation to the Grand Overseer of the Universe and the R.W. Bro. Whilston Davis Taylor, O.D., J.P. for his outstanding and dedicated service to the Craft Masonry, in general, and to Mark Masonry, in particular. He has indeed Marked well.

Citation prepared and read by W. Bro. Winston G. Wright, PDJGW.



Freemasonry: a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.