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Prince of Wales No 1012 Installation

The Prince of Wales Lodge No. 1012 held their usual Installation at Bury in February with a slight twist this year.
The Senior Warden, WBro Michael Jones, ‘held post’ for a further year to allow RWBro Paul JE Rink, PProvGM, to be Installed into the chair of King Solomon. 

There was however a surprise for RWBro Rink; the Worshipful Master, WBro Simon Jones, one of the Provincial Standard Bearers of the Province, handed the gavel over to the DC of the lodge, WBro John Holt, PJGD, who had specifically requested to install RWBro Rink, as he had installed WBro Holt in 1976.

The ceremony took place in front of the Representative off the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, WBro William Waite, PSGD PProvAGM, along with a multitude of Grand and Provincial officers and many other guests.

And why would RWBro Rink take on this role for another year, thirty nine years after his previous mastership of the lodge?  The answer is that the lodge members specifically requested that RWBro Rink should lead them during their 150th year, the celebration of which will be held at The Bury Grammar Schools on Friday 11th July.

 At that meeting the lodge will be pleased to welcome the Provincial Grand Master along with many senior officers of the Province to what should be a very special event.

RWBro Paul JE Rink, PProvGM with the Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, WBro William Waite, PSGD, PProvAGM, Grand Officers
and the members of the lodge



Pythagoras Lodge of Installed Masters No 9248


Pythagoras Lodge of installed Masters is rather different to the norm in that it only meets twice a year; once as an Installation Meeting at Bury Masonic hall and one other meeting atRadcliffe Masonic Hall in March. Obviously there are no degree ceremonies to perform as all the brethren are joinng members and are all Installed Masters. Therefore at the March meeting there is the opportunity to do something a little different, which was certainly the case on Friday 28th March.

After a short Lodge meeting where the business of the Lodge was conducted by the Master, WBro Howard Berry, PAGDC, some 47 members and guests adjourned to the Social Board where they found the room to be dimly lit by candles on a central area of tables resembling a Lodge meeting as it would have been in 1759. The Brethren were asked to sit around the perimeter of the room.

The purpose was for a Demonstration of a 1759 Initiation Ceremony to be performed by the Burnley and Pendle Ancient Ritual Demonstration Team. This was definitely an 'education' for our modern day Brethren who sat almost spellbound as the 1759 Brethren proceeded with their business of initiating a candidate. With their drinking mugs being constantly refilled the team played their parts superbly and to the delight of all present. We did discover later that the beer was actually orange squash but one would have thought at the time that it was the real thing! Although everyone had learnt their words well there was obviously some 'ad-libbing' going on which only added to the enjoyment.

After this very enjoyable demonstration the Brethren joined the team to partake of an excellent dish of Potato Pie.

WBro Howard Berry, WM, with his Wardens and the 1759 Demonstration Team


WBro Neville Farnworth PProvSGD Celebrates 50 years as a Freemason

It did feel a little strange to be gathering at Ashday Lea Masonic Hall in Rawtenstall at 11.30am for a Lodge meeting but the Duke of Lancaster Lodge, whose meeting we were attending, is a lunchtime lodge. On this occassion the Lodge was celebrating the 50 years in Freemasonry of WBro Neville Farnworth, PProvSGD. After the Worshipful Master, Bro W Alan Starkie had opened the Lodge in due form and the initial business of the Lodge concluded, on a report Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Cedremonies, WBro John Griffin, was admitted to announce that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Western Area, WBro Norman Cope was without, accompanied by a District Delegation.

After entering the Lodge and accepting the gavel off the Worshipful Master WBro Cope introduced the Delegation who were warmly welcomed by the brethren of the Lodge and the many visitors present. WBro Cope then asked for WBro Farnworth to be seated in the centre of the Lodge. WBro Edwin Hardman, who had previously been a fellow mason at Starkie Lodge with Neville, presented a report on Neville's masonic career. While pursueing a career as a draughtsman Neville was initiated into Starkie Lodge at the age of 35 on the 18th December 1963 by the WM, Bro Charles Yates. At that time the Lodge met at Ramsbottom Civic Hall. Neville was subsequently raised in April 1964 and passed to the degree of a Master Mason in September of that year. It was to be 16 years later in 1979 that he attained the Chair of King Solomon. On November 16th 2006 Neville was appointed Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. Sadly Starkie Lodge closed in 2012 so Neville joined the Duke of Lancaster Lodge. WBro Hardman concluded by thanking Neville for all of the help and assistance he had received from him.

The WM of Duke of Lancaster Lodge, Bro Alan Starkie, then gave his own tribute to Neville and a little of Neville's personal history starting from when he left school at 14 and started work in the office of Ashworth and Parker. Neville soon decided that the office was not for him and went to work on the factory floor learning his trade as an apprentice.In 1947 National Service called and he was posted to Aldershot Barracks as a Military Policeman but spent much of his duty time at the Tower of London. At the age of 21 in 1949 Neville left the Army to return to Ashworth and Parker.

WBro Cope then reminded Neville of some of the events and costs of goods in the month and year of his initiation, 1963. This was a month after John F Kennedy was assasinated and two months after Alec Douglas-Home had become Prime Minister. On December 18th of that year the No 1 Single was "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles and in the USA the Singing Nun topped the charts with "Dominique". The top televsion show was Coronation Street and in November Doctor Who was first broadcast. The average price of a house was £2,670 and a loaf of bread 1/- (5p today). WBro Cope included several other facts and concluded by informing Neville that Brad Pitt was born on the day of his initiation

As is tradition a letter from the Provincial Grand Master was read and presented to Neville who was also presented with an illuminated certificate to mark his 50years in the craft. After WBro Mike Gibbons had presented a '50' lapel batch from the District to Neville he was paraded round the Lodge by WBro Griffin to the acclaim of all present.

WBro Neville Farnworth with WBro Cope,APGM, the District Delegation and the Brethren of the Duke of Lancaster Lodge


WBro Neville Farnworth with WBro Cope,APGM, and the Brethren of the Duke of Lancaster Lodge


WM Bro Alan Starkie, WBro Farnworth and WBro Cope


WBros Farnworth and Cope with the Certificate




WBros Norman Cope, Neville Farnworth and WM Alan Starkie


WBros Mike Gibbons, District Chairman and Norman Cope, APGM


At the Social Board


WBro Fred Nicholson Celebrates 60 years as a Freemason


It was fitting that 92 masons from two provinces, were present when The Lodge of Merit No. 934 hosted a celebration of 60 years in Freemasonry  for WBro Fred Nicholson, PProvSGW.  The event was honoured by the attendance of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB, together with WBro Norman Cope PJGD, APGM for the Western Area, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation.

The Brethren of the Lodge of Merit were delighted to also have in attendance a large number of visiting brethren from the district and beyond – Yorkshire West Riding in fact!.
The Deputy PGM was delighted to accept the gavel from the Master, WBro David Wood  and introduced the Provincial Deputation.

The Brethren of the Lodge of Merit and the Provincial Deputation

The Deputy PGM, VWBro Derek Thornhill, with WBro Fred Nicholson and the Brethren of the Lodge


WBro Brian Priestley, from the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, then took the Brethren back to January 7 1954, when a certain Mr Fred Nicholson was initiated into Saville Lodge No. 1231, aged 22, by the then WM , Reverend Walter Nicholson – his father.

Work having taken Fred across the border into Lancashire, resulted in him settling down within the district.

Wbro Alan Ikin then brought the Brethren up to 1979, when Bro Fred Nicholson joined The Lodge of Merit.  Ten years later, on 11 March 1989, 87 brethren were present to witness the Installation of Bro Nicholson into the Chair of King Solomon.

WBro Mike Gibbons, JP, PPJGW, then presented a tribute to WBro Nicholson, giving a brief outline of Fred’s journey from Yorkshire to Lancashire, via National Service and his occupation.  Mike commented on his contribution to the Lodge and Freemasonry in general, resulting in being honoured in 2004 with the rank of PProvSGW. 

VWBro Derek N Thornhill then took the Brethren  down memory lane to the year of Fred’s initiation – 1954.  The country,and the world, were very different then.  In 1954,  food rationing introduced during the Second World War, was only just ending.  In 1954 Dwight Esinhower was President of the U.S.A. and Winston Churchill was again the British Prime Minister.  1954 also saw Roger Banninster break the four minute mile.

WBro Nicholson with WBro Thornhill and the Master, WBro David Wood


WBro Thornhill and WBro Nicholson with the framed illuminated certificate


The Deputy PGM then concluded his address by reading a letter of congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master and with the presentation of an illuminated certificate to Fred in recognition of 60 years continuous work in Freemasonry.
To mark the celebration, the Lodge proudly presented a cheque in the sum of £250 to the VW Deputy PGM as a donation to the 2015 Festival.  WBro Mike Gibbons, Bury District Chairman, presented WBro Nicholson with a commerative lapel badge denoting his 60 years


WBro Nicholson takes wine with The Deputy PGM, WBro Thornhill.....


.......and with APGM, WBro Norman Cope


WBro Thornhill takes wine with WBro David Wood, Master of the Lodge of Merit


WBroMike Gibbons, Bury Didtrict Chairman and WBro David Thornton, APGP; with WBro Fred Nicholson


WBro Nicholson responds to his toast


The Presentation by WBro Jim Hodge


At the Social Board


The evening was completed by a full and festive social board, with a moving and sincere toast to WBro Nicholson by long time friend  WBro James Hodge, PProvJGW, and culminating with the presentation from a grateful Lodge, of a framed landscape of Yorkshire beloved by Fred.

Fred responded with a toast typical of the man – honest, humble, and in sincere gratitude to his friends and fellow Brethren.



The Lodge of St John No 191 Christmas Dinner

Following a brief business meeting, The Lodge of St John no 191, meeting at Parsons Lane, Bury, held its annual Christmas Dinner and Carols evening on Thursday 12 th December.

83 members, ladies and guests were entertained by the Rochdale Youth Services Brass Band and a full Christmas fare was served with Turkey and all the trimmings. A raffle and lodge collection raised nearly £400 which will be donated to the EL2015 Festival.

Members of the Lodge were particularly delighted to have as their honoured guest Mrs Norah Porter, widow of the late Austin Porter.

Mrs Porter in really fine form said that she had thourougly enjoyed the evening which was further enhanced when she won the first prize out of the raffle drum.

The Brethren of the Lodge hope to see Mrs Porter and all their guests for many more years to come. It was an excellent start to the festive season.

Norah, seen here with the Lodge Master, Bro Ed Beaman, is proud of her age – an incredible 102 years !!!!!



Duke of Lancaster Lodge 4207 Christmas Lodge

The Duke of Lancaster Lodge No, 4207 once again celebrated their Christmas lodge, at Ashday Lea Rawtenstall,  by inviting ladies and friends to a Christmas lunch.  Father Christmas visited ( W.Bro, Jack Ball) with gifts for the ladies and carol singing was enjoyed by all












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WBro Paul Easterbrook, District Communications Officer for Bury District.

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