This week saw a very special meeting of Nottingham Royal Ark Mariners 344 where the Worshipful Commander Andrew Rainbow Dep PGM (Craft) and the Great Seneschal (KT) presided over a ceremony where his son Oliver was elevated into the Lodge
The ceremony of Elevation is based on the events leading up to the Great Flood and the actions of Noah in building the Ark, by which mankind was preserved from perishing in the Universal Deluge.
The legend of Noah and his family were regularly enacted throughout England in the Mystery Plays of the seventeenth century and by the middle of that century there was reputedly a Masonic Degree of "Noachites". However, the first authentic record of the Degree of Royal Ark Mariner appears in the minutes of a meeting held in Bath in 1790.
Since 1871, the Degree has been administered by the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, and controlled by the Grand Masters Royal Ark Council, hence each Lodge is attached or "moored" to a Mark Lodge and bears its number.
The candidate is presented with an apron and jewel. The jewel of the Order is in the shape of a rainbow with a Dove bearing an olive branch appended and on a ribbon having the colours of a rainbow. This reference to the Dove bearing an olive branch bears witness to the past links with the Craft where the Deacons bear this same emblem.
Oliver Rainbow can be seen wearing the Rainbow jewel of the Order as well as a sprig of an olive tree which was presented by his father as part of the ceremony