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Bury District Latest News


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Derby Bowling Competition Report HERE


East Lancs Royal Arch Demonstration Team are to attend Euclid Lodge

See Details Here


ELMC Grant to Bury Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted


Mark Masons to hold a 'Kinship' Meeting



Paul's Story - Part Two **NEW**

An update from Paul Sellers

Western Area Grand Officers Dinner


Royal Arch Old English/Lancashire Night

Details Booking Form**NEW**


The intention is to have a really enjoyable evening whilst raising the profile of the Royal Arch and hopefully, longer term, to attract new members. As such the event is open to all Masons (especially non RA members) their wives, partners, families and friends. Although being held at Bury, the event is really a Province wide initiative and your support will be greatly appreciated.

The seating will be 2 tables of 12 people and 6 tables of 10 people so if your Chapter wants a table of 10 please let me know as soon as possible.


Roger Bowdon

Royal Arch District Officer

Bury District
07739 462094


Another Acting Grand Lodge Honour for Bury District


For the second year in a row the Bury District has huge honour in announcing one of our own receiving an acting Grand Rank.

WBro Dr Simon Archer ProvSGW was yesterday installed as Assistant Grand Standard Bearer (AGStB) an acting rank he more than deserves. Simon works tirelessly to promote our fraternity and is a credit to the District, Province and now UGLE.

Our congratulations.



WBro David Wike Fentem, PProvGSwdB, Celebrates 50 years as a Mason

Wednesday 5th October 2016 saw Earl of Lathom No. 2560 celebrate WBro David Fentem’s 50th year in Masonry having been initiated on 5th January 1966. They were joined at Bury Masonic Hall by the area APGM WBro Norman Cope PSGD, a plethora of Grand Lodge Officers and a District Delegation.

APGM WBro Norman Cope with WBro David Fentem and the Brethren of the Earl of Lathom Lodge


The Worshipful Master, WBro David Kyme, offered the APGM the gavel who readily accepted. The business of the evening was led with the exact amount of humour and dignity and was thoroughly enjoyable.

David’s history was given by his good friend WBro Arthur Wilson, PProvGSuptWks, who managed to stop just prior to any major embarrassing stories be divulged……….and I mean just!


WBro Cope, WBro Fentem and WM, WBro David Kyme


WBros Norman Cope, David Fentem, Simon Fentem and WBro David Kyme


The social board saw all the brothers join in celebrating David’s 50th further. I heard accolade after accolade making me realise how hard folk work for our great institution.

David was joined at the festive board by his Sons and Grandsons. WBro Simon Fentem, PProvAGSuptWks, gave his father a heart felt toast after which David was presented with a magnificent cake, silver plate and pen..

Brethren, tonight was an evening which showed the wealth in visiting our fellow lodges and supporting all our great brotherhood.

It was a real treat.


WBro Simon Fentem presents the lodge gift to his father







WBRo David Fentem responds to his toast



To see more photographs of this evening please visit and like the facebook page; Pglel Bury District.




Bury Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted Annual Holiday


Yesterday, Wednesday 10th August 2016 saw the Bury Blind Society send some 67 visually impaired people, some with their carer’s, on their annual holiday to Millstones in Harrogate. The Bury Blind Society have been organising this event for 20 years and this year the cost, £1976.40 was donated by the ELMC after the District Charity Steward, WBro Steve Holland, was successful in his request for funding.

The group left from the Bury Art Museum on two coaches and to see them off were the CEO of the Bury Blind Society, Jill Logan, the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Mike Connolly, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, WBro Ken Davies, MBE, and the District Charity Steward, WBro Steve Holland. It was lovely to see so many people excited to be going on holiday, even the dogs were excited to be going.

The trip was again made possible by the hard work and dedication of all the Freemasons in the District and Province who support the tireless work of our greatest asset, the ELMC. Many thanks to Julie and her team for all the hard work they do.




Western Area Recruitment Meeting

On the evrening of May 24th some 40 brethren from the Districts of Bury and Bolton met together at Radcliffe Masonic Hall for a presentation on recruitment by WBro Mo Afsa, the Provincial Recruitment Officer. Mo gave an excellent presentation, supported by Power Point slides, to a very attentive audience. After the presentation the area APGM, WBro Norman Cope, continued on the recruitment topic and also invited the Deputy Chairman of Bolton District, WBro Peter Jones, who is also the recruitment officer for Bolton, to speak.

The question and answer session that followed brought much involvement from those present with many suggestions being made to further the successful recruitment of new members. One of the main themes coming out was the need for greater openess about who we are and what we do. WBro Cope emphasised the need for masons to talk to both family and friends about how and why they enjoy their freemasonry so much. 'White Table' events where non-masons are invited to dine are to be encouraged, as are open days at masonic halls.

An interesting topic that was introduced was the idea of encouraging ex-servicemen to join as they may be missing the companionship that they will have experienced during their service years. One ex-serviceman present supported this as he had indeed found masonry to be a 'life saver' for him after serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

WBro Mo Afsa first entered freemasonry through the University scheme but has remained in Manchester and is now a General Practitioner in the NHS, so his free time is limited. However, he is very committed to the recruitment program and has offered to give his presentation to District Meetings throughout the Province. At the end of the meeting he received much applause from the brethren. A very successful and worthwhile meeting.

WBro Mo Afsa addresses the meeting


WBro Norman Cope continues the theme


The brethren present





Friday 13th is normally a day that forebodes a certain amount of trepidation. Well Friday 13th May 2016 was a day I had been looking forward to for months. The Bury District Dinner and what a good do it was.

Held at Radcliffe Masonic Hall the evening went without a hitch. We had an excellent turn out with some lodges having an entire table to themselves. The district was well represented by Ashday Lea, Radcliffe and Bury with guests from other areas and a good representation of non-masons experiencing the unity of our fraternity for the first time.

The evening meal was lovely after which we were entertained by WBro Andrew Sykes, a former APGM. His speech was enlightening, funny and a joy to listen to. The 120 club draw was conducted with the top prize of £500. Also the Bury District Charity Stewards raffle was drawn raising the amazing sum this year of just over £1600, for which much praise must be given to all those who bought a ticket and a massive thank you to Steve Clark and Steve Holland who organised the raffle. Also thanks go to all the Lodge and Chapter Charity Stewards who worked so hard to sell the tickets. It was a real team effort from all. Thank you.

The District Chairman, Steve Barton, was delighted with the attendance, the draws and the evening as a whole as were the entire district team. He took the opportunity of his closing speech to present a donation to each of the associations of Ashday Lea, Bury and Radcliffe Halls to assist in the running of the halls. The Chairman also expressed thanks to WBro Paul Sellers who had done his usual excellent work in producing the printed menu for the evening.

I personally was overwhelmed by the support for this event and the money raised for such good causes.

A mention has to go to Gerry Russell, who as ever worked quietly in the back ground to organise the event. Without Gerry this event would not be as half as successful as it was.

Thank you one and all.





Bolton & Bury District Golf Competition - 2016

East Lancashire Pairs Bowling Competition

Saturday 2nd July at Elton Cricket & Bowling Club

At a cost of just £8 per team it is not only a cracking day but a bargain too. All entries need to be submitted by 30th April 2016.
Not the end of the world if you can't bowl. Just go for a day out over the summer break and catch up with everyone.

Poster HERE

Details and entry forms HERE

Paul's Story

Read how the ELMC has helped WBro Paul Sellers to access his new home

Social Evening at Bury Masonic Hall

Details Here **NEW**


Ploughman's Lunch

On Sunday 8th May the Lodge of Faith ladies committee hosted the lodge members and their friends in their annual "Ploughman's" Lunch at Radcliffe Masonic Hall, at which they provided a very ample and enjoyable lunch

There were some 50 members and non-members present.

The WM, Bro Alan Mosiezny, presided over a treasure hunt with a mock "Treasure Island". Although he was not dressed as a "PIRATE" this raised £45.00 and the raffle another £100.00.

The afternoon was very pleasant and enjoyed by every one





Banner Dedication at Bury Lodge of Relief No 42


We, in the craft, do not often have Banner Dedications. I certainly have never been to one. That we rectified last Wednesday, 20th April when I visited Bury Lodge of Relief No.42 for their Banner Dedication. Before I mention the folk present and the atmosphere etc etc, please allow me to firstly mention the Banner itself.


Oh my, what an amazing piece of artwork. If you get a chance to see this then please do so, it really is a little bit special. The picture just can’t do it justice. The stitch work, design and colours really will impress. Also made in Lancashire. If your Lodge, Chapter or any side degree are in the market for a Banner then use these guys. WBro Paul Sellers PProvJGW had no small part in the design of this beautiful piece and he’ll know all the details.

As for the dedication, well, what a lovely ritual that is. The hall was full to bursting and I have to say I was so pleased to see the full range from entered apprentice to APGM. The Deputy Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch, Past PGM, Past APGM, Fellow Craft masons, provincial, district and Grand delegations.

The proceedings were conducted by the western area APGM WBro Norman Cope PSGD; directed by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies WBro John Griffin PAGDC. WBro Cope did Bury Lodge of Relief proud as he always does bringing solemn and serious with humour and candour, supported by members of the Lodge and Province.

An Oration was given by WBro Major the Revd Canon Richard Hawkins ProvAGChap which you can read HERE



The members of the Ladies Committee, who had very generously raised the funds to pay for the Banner, are seen here with APGM WBro Norman Cope and the Master of the Lodge WBro Paul MS Mitchell


The social board was a busy, joyful affair. Good food, good company and great speeches. I have to say a huge thanks to Bury Lodge of Relief for allowing the many visitors to witness this Banner Dedication and I can only say that you all really should visit this happy lodge and witness the amazing Banner in person. I guarantee you will be mightily impressed.









A New DORA for Bury District

I know this has been mentioned on the PGLEL website, Facebook and at PGC but just in case you missed the news, Bury District have a new DORA (District Office of the Royal Arch). EComp Roger Bowden PProvGStB.

Firstly can I give the most heart felt thanks on behalf of myself, the District, the Province and indeed Royal Arch Freemasonry in general to EComp Roy Fairhurst PProvGSN who has served the District as DORA for many years and has without doubt done a sterling job, attending Craft meetings to promote the RA and no one could begin to count the amount of Chapters he has visited in his role. I personally have found him approachable and knowledgeable. He was an asset to the District. Many Thanks EComp Fairhurst.

Filling those rather large shoes comes EComp Bowden. I imagine we almost all know Roger in the District but I shall just enlighten and remind us all who this chap is.

For the purposes of my somewhat lazy typing I shall drop the formality and refer to EComp Roger Bowden PProvGStB as Roger. I have heard him called many other names but I shall stick to Roger!!

Roger joined our fraternity in 1986 being initiated into Fairway Lodge No 6693 on 15th April, I know, he doesn't look that old but he really is (and then some). Roger became WM of Fairway on 17th March 1998 and again on 15th March 2011. He was incredibly active within Fairway and his passion for that lodge is always something people comment on. Within Fairway he also served as ADC 2003/04, DC 2004/10. In 2010/11 he was both the Senior Warden and the ADC after which he became the secretary of the lodge until its sad closure in 2015.

He gained his Craft provincial honours in 2004 becoming PProvAGDC. In 2014 he was promoted to ProvSGD, a well deserved acting roll, 2015 saw him become PProvSGD.

2015 also saw Roger become a member of the district team in the roll of Communications officer. He is also a member of Pythagoras Lodge of Installed Masters No 9248, Knowsley Lodge No 4661 and 3747.

So what about the Royal Arch Freemasonry? Why is Roger the perfect DORA for the Bury District?

Roger was exalted into Papyrean Chapter No 5771 in December 2005. He worked through the chairs becoming MEZ 2009/11 after which he became the DC of the Chapter and has been ever since. He works tirelessly for the Chapter and loves the Royal Arch with a passion.

In 2015 Roger gained Provincial honours receiving PProvGStB which he well deserved.

I know Roger personally and can tell you that in my experience he is dedicated to both Craft and RA. He will graft to bridge the gap between Craft and RA, a gap that should be none existent. He finds the RA beautiful, the room, the regalia, the ritual and Royal Arch in its entirety.

I know he is excited to be getting out to the Chapters of the District to offer his support and the craft lodges to promote the Royal Arch. I'm sure we will all be seeing him in the District/Province. He is the most approachable of chaps and will help in anyway he can. He is a credit to our fraternity.

Thank you Roger for excepting the post and for all the work I know you plough into your role in the future.



Lions Roaring at the success of their Flood Relief Fund

Money is still flooding into the fund that was set up to help the many people who had to leave their homes when the floods invaded them on Boxing Day – and the flow of money is increasing thanks to the lodges of local Freemasons.

The latest large sums have come from a concert held at Radcliffe Civic Hall on 5th March which raised £1,200 and was matched with a generous personal and anonymous donation of the same amount; and a £5,000 donation has also been received from the Freemasons from the Bury District which includes Radcliffe.  The total collected has now passed £15,000.

In the immediate aftermath of the Boxing Day floods, a great many people were on the streets providing support, and community ties have been formed and strengthened as a consequence.  The Lions and Rotary Club set up a shop on the Radcliffe shopping precinct to be able to give away cleaning equipment, and they also handed out food, clothing and even kitchen white goods.  Now that the immediate aftermath has finished, the challenge is to provide some form of financial support to those in need.

Representatives of the Lions, the Freemasons, and the Churches in Radcliffe, are working in partnership with the local authority to distribute the money that has been collected to assist those who need it most.  One of the leaders of Radcliffe and Whitefield Lions, Bryan Holland, has been involved since the floods took place.  He said, “We have been overwhelmed by the good nature and generosity of the people and businesses of Radcliffe and the surrounding areas who have given their time and talents to be able to help those who are in need.  The amount of money collected is still increasing but we now need to start handing out the money that has been donated.” 

St Mary’s Church and Close Park was at the heart of the floods.  Two of those representatives (left to right in the photo) Steve Clark and Bryan Holland met up with Steve Holland, the District Charity Steward from Bury District Freemasons to see how the local community had worked together to make Close Park an area for families to enjoy once more.  Steve Holland took the opportunity to make the Freemason’s donation to the Flood Relief fund. 

It will take much more time for the buildings in the park and the church itself to be brought back into use, and in addition, many families are still trying to make their own homes habitable.  People who have been affected can pick up application forms to access the Flood Relief Fund from libraries and other Bury MBC help desks, or by emailing  In addition, people can make a donation by sending a cheque to Radcliffe United Reformed Church, Blackburn St, Radcliffe, M26 3WQ and made payable to Radcliffe and Whitefield Lions Flood Relief Fund.



Installation at the Lodge of Merit 934

Saturday March 12th was a very special day at the Lodge of Merit, meeting at Bury Masonic Hall, when for the third time WBro Mike Gibbons, PJGD, PastAPGM, was installed in the Chair of King Soloman. The ceremony was conducted in a most excellent manner in the presence of WBro Michael Holland, PAGDC, the representative of the RW PGM, Sir David Trippier. Mike was presented for installation by WBro Fred Nicholson and installed by WBro Ian Hargreaves, who was very ably assisted by the officers of the lodge. The Director of Ceremonies of the lodge, WBro Steven Flanagan, had obviously worked extremely hard to bring together as close to perfect a ceremony as you wil ever see.
The installing wardens were word perfect, as was the presentation of the working tools by the secretary, WBro Alan Ikin. Following to the same high standard the Address to the Master was given by WBro Fred Nicholson and the Address to the Wardens by WBro Graham Stott. WBro Holland then gave a most sincere and expressive Address to the Brethren.
As the new Worshipful Master appointed his Officers there was a nice touch as the organist, WBro Barry Sugden, played a short burst of music appropriate to the office.

WBro Ian Hargreaves, IPM, WBro Michael Holland, WBro Mike Gibbons and WBro Steve Barton, Bury District Chairman


WBro Michael Holland takes wine with the new Worshipful Master


WBros Holland, Gibbons and Hargreaves

There followed a most enjoyable Social Board where the brethren and guests shared an extremely vibrant experience, with excellant food and superb company. After the usual toasts WBro Holland made the responses, explaining that, although he is an East Lancs Mason, he is also a Mason in Hay - on - Wye, Herefordshire. He was accompanied on this occasion by two fellow officers from his Lodge, one of whom explained that Hay - on - Wye straddles the border with Wales, so this was a truly international gathering!

The toast to the Worshipful Master was given by WBro Hargreaves and the Toast to the Installing and Immediate Past Master by WBro Gibbons. The toast to Masonic Charities was given by WBro Jim Hodge and that to the Officers of the Lodge by WBro Melvyn Taylor. The newly appointed Junior Warden, Bro Paul John Fleming, gave his first toast to the visitors in a very confident manner.

Accompanied by WBro Sugden on the piano, WBro Steven Flanagan gave a rendition of the Master's Song and all present were offered a glass of Port to take with their cheese.

An excellent and most enjoable afternoon and evening in which the respect and affection for WBro Gibbons from the brethren of Bury District was so very obvious.



ELRADT visits Grants Lodge No 8825

The photograph below shows the members of the Demonstration Team who were present on the night and performed the work.


On the 15th February this year, the Royal Arch Demonstration Team visited Grants Lodge No 8825 who are based at Ashday Lea in Rawtenstall. After the Lodge had been called off, since this piece is performed by Royal Arch Companions in Regalia, the team were admitted, one by one, to perform their piece entitled “Crafty Companions”.
It is very difficult to say how well the work was received for, like the rest of the team, I spent the evening in an adjoining room, only entering the Lodge at the appointed time to perform my piece of the work. However, I was assured by both the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, WBro Alan Kirwilliam, PProvJGW, and by the patch Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Western Area of the Province, WBro Norman Cope, PSGD, that the work had been received with delight by the brethren.
Certainly, at the Social Board, they were all very appreciative of the work that we had done. Crafty Companions is a light and enjoyable piece of work, but it has lessons galore for those who are looking for a daily advancement.



East Lancs Masonic Charity Grant to Bury Amateur Boxing Club

In the latter part of last year the Bury District applied for a grant from the ELMC Community Fund in support of the Bury Amateur Boxing Club. The application for a grant of £1,000 was successful and so WBro Norman Cope, APGM, WBro Steve Barton, District Chairman and WBro Derek Calrow of the Prince of Wales Lodge, 1012 were pleased to call in at the club to meet some of the young boxers and the Club Coach/Manager, Mike Jelley.



WBros Cope, Calrow and Barton are surrounded by young boxers of the future, together with their coaches at each end


Mike Jelley took over as manager/coach from his father who had originally started the club and at the moment they have quite a strong membership as the picture shows. However, having already had several location moves during their history they are under constant threat of having to vacate their building and search for a new home.

Several of the lads have already been winners in various tournaments and when we met them confidence in their abilities was very obvious. The club meets twice a week on Monday and Thursday evenings, with two sessions each evening.


Two of the Club Members in action



Matched Funding Grant to the Bury Branch of the RNLI

In November of last year the Freemasons Grand Charity offered match funding of £1,000 to a suitable project in each Province. The Prince of Wales Lodge, 1012, in the Bury District, applied for a grant of £1,000 from the Community Fund for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, to match the Grand Charity offer. The application was successful with the Community Fund Committee adding a further £500 making a total of £2,500 to this very worthwhile cause.

On March 7th, APGM WBro Norman Cope joined with the Worshipful Master of the Prince of Wales Lodge, WBro William Whitton to present the cheque to the RNLI representatives from the Bury Ladies Guild of the RNLI.



L-R: WBro William Whitton; Elizabeth Howarth, Secretary; Janet Storer, Treasurer and WBro Norman Cope



Rossendale Hospice says 'Thankyou'

On Wednesday March 2nd, Rossendale Hospice held a 'Leaf Evening' to say thankyou to all those individuals and organisations who had made donations exceeding £1,000 to the Hospice. Such donations were recorded on a 'tree' in the Hospice reception where the donor's name is inscribed on a 'leaf' of the tree.

As a result of a donation to the Hospice from the Freemasons Grand Charity, presented in 2015 by the Bury District, an invitation was extended to the Bury District Chairman, WBro Steve Barton, to attend the leaf evening. As Steve was not able to attend, the Bury District Charity Steward, WBro Steve Holland, accompanied by District Secretary, WBro Gerry Russell, represented the District.

Fundraising Manager for the Hospice, Sam Morris, welcomed and thanked all the donors and gave an insight into the work of the Hospice before introducing the Chairman of the Hospice, Geoff Summers, who spoke about the funding of the Hospice.

Guests were able to take a tour of the Hospice as well as viewing a DVD about the Hospice. The volunteer staff had arranged a buffet supper which was enjoyed by all.


The Tree

Our Leaf on the Tree

WBros Steve Holland & Gerry Russell



WBro Jack Huddart’s 50th Celebration
Cromwell with Papyrean Lodge No. 5771


What an evening! What a celebration of Freemasonry! What an amazing, heart felt tribute to WBro Jack Huddart PJGD.

As part of this report I could list all of Jack’s achievements, all his acts on behalf of the Province,Hewlett court, the district and Bury Masonic Hall but I fear to do so would cause this website to crash. I shall include just a few highlights.

The evening was just splendid. Presiding over the celebration was the western area APGM, WBro Norman Cope PSGD, accompanied by EComp David Thornton APGP and a delegation of eight Grand Lodge Officers the likes of which is normally only found in London. Amongst those eight were two PastAPGM’s in the form of WBro Phillip Mountford PSGD and WBro Mike Gibbons PJGD. The delegation was completed by a plethora of district and acting officers.



More importantly the lodge room was full of Masons from newly initiated brethren to the afore mentioned most of whom, if not all, having been positively effected by Jack Huddart during their Masonic careers.

The minutes from Jack’s Initiation on Wednesday 16th February 1966 at the Griffin Hotel in Salford, were read by Jack’s Grandson, WBro Grant Gurnsey.

This was followed by a most heart felt tribute read by WBro Stuart Cass PProvJGW who has known Jack for far many years than he’d wish to admit.

WBro Norman Cope presented Jack with his certificate and a letter from Sir David Trippier having conducted the business of the evening with a flare deserved by such an occasion.




We almost all know Jack Huddart but for the very few who don’t please allow me to enlighten you a little.

Since 1966 Jack has been a member of no less than five lodges and four Chapters, being PGStB in the Royal Arch. Jack has performed the following roles with such gusto as reflects this evening;

Jack's staggering record shows, four times Worshipful Master; four times Lodge Mentor; three times Treasurer; twice RA Representative; twice ScribeE; a First Principal; an ADC and he was the first Provincial Grand Almoner. He was the District Secretary, Deputy Chairman and Chairman. He has been a founding member of two lodges and has served Bury Masonic Hall in every role possible from screwing in a light bulb to being president of the hall. In addition he has been Treasurer, Vice Chairman and Committee Deputy Chairman of Hewlett court.

Any member of Bury Masonic Hall and the association will tell you that it is no exaggeration to say Jack turned the hall from a dark, dank hall into the bright, thriving Masonic splendour that it is today. Not only laying the foundations for this change but physically rebuilding the hall.

I could go on for pages regarding his achievements and his contributions to so many of us but to sum up his great achievements I will say just this: The dining hall at the Bury Masonic Hall is called ‘The Jack Huddart Suite’…… Says it all.



At the social board the toast was given by Jack’s son, WBro Keith Huddart, himself a Grand Officer of the Royal Arch. It was an emotional and fitting tribute to his Father.

Jack was presented with crystal, cake and most importantly flowers, for it has to be said that without Jack’s wife we would all be worse off.


In the build up to his 50th Jack said he did not want a fuss making. Sorry Jack, but we all wanted to be there, we all wanted to stand a salute you and we all wanted to celebrate a Mason who embodies the very spirit of Masonry and all that is good about our institution.







Thanks Mike!


WBro Mike Gibbons, JP, PJGD, PAPGM, served the District of Bury for fourteen years, as Press Officer, Secretary, Deputy Chairman and finally Chairman. Mike stood down as Chairman to take the office of Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Eastern Area, an office from which he has since resigned.

The present and past District Officers for Bury, who had worked with Mike in his tenancy as Chairman, joined Mike and his wife Carole at a celebratory meal at Owens Restuarant in Ramsbottom to say a big 'thankyou' to Mike for all the work he had done for Bury District. Joining us for this celebration we were pleased to welcome WBro Norman Cope, PSGD, APGM, and his wife Christina. Also present were WBro John Griffin, ProvGDC, and his wife Sue. John had been Mike's predecessor as District Chairman before being called to higher office.


The commitment and dedication Mike has always shown for the District was recorded in the very warm, heartfelt and very justly deserved tribute Norman gave to Mike. Norman also paid tribute to Carole, expressing his belief that the support of his wife was essential to any dedicated mason.

The present District Chairman, WBro Steve Barton, PProvSGW, had great pleasure in presenting Carole with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, while Mike was presented with his prize for winning the quiz in the Bury District Newsletter. Steve also expressed his gratitude to Mike for the tremendous amount of help and support he had been given as the 'new boy' in the District.





Although no longer in office Mike will be kept busy in his role as a Justice of the Peace and with his work for the Citizens Advice Bureau. He is also due to take office as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Merit.

Mike thanked all present for the support he had received as Chairman and for attending this celebration. Both he and Carole had very much enjoyed the evening.

This was a very enjoyable and convivial evening when all present were able to share their thanks and respect for Mike, not only as their former Chairman but also as a true friend.







Burns Night at the Lodge of Faith No 344

On the23rd January (Burns Night) the Lodge of Faith held a Burns Supper at Radcliffe Masonic Hall.

It was a very enjoyable evening attended by some 70 members and friends who enjoyed traditional Scottish fare, Chappat Taties , Bashed Neeps and Haggis , with Roast Beef, and veg , and trifle to follow.

A number of the Brethren were attired in full highland dress.

The Haggis was Piped in and The Worshipful Master "addressed the Haggis"

We were entertained by a piper during the meal and after the supper by The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.








Bury Lodge Of Relief No.42 Installation

This evening, Wednesday 20th January 2016, Bury Lodge of Relief installed WBro Paul MS Mitchell into the Chair of King Solomon.

The ceremony of installation was conducted by WBro Thomas David Kerr, the presiding WM. I must say that he gave an outstanding performance as did the installing and supporting officers. Yet again I stand impressed by the amount of hard work that was applied to this evenings ritual under the ever vigil eye of WBro Simon Archer, DC.

The PGM was represented by WBro G Hodson PProvJGW who was accompanied by the District Chairman WBro Steve Barton PProvSGW.

It was great to see such good attendance. Once again the Bury Lodge of Relief hosted a perfect masonic evening.








Grant’s Lodge No. 8825, WBro Professor Ian Rogerson’s 50th year celebration


WBro Prof Ian Rogerson, with APGM WBro Peter Hewitt, the District Delegation and Members of Grants Lodge


WBro Prof Ian Rogerson, with APGM WBro Peter Hewitt and Members of Grants Lodge

Monday 18th January 2016 saw Grant’s Lodge No. 8825 celebrate WBro Professor Ian Rogerson’s, 50th year in Masonary.

WBro Peter Hewitt PAGDC APGM, accompanied by a District delegation, accepted the gavel from WBro Alan Kirwilliam to preside over the presentation of the certificate and letter from the PGM.

WBro Peter Hewitt, APGM, presents the Certificate to WBro Ian Rogerson watched by WBro Alan Kirwilliam

Ian became a Freemason on 15th December 1965, being initiated into the Poulton Hall Lodge No. 6647 in Morecombe. He became a mason after asking his future father in law for his daughter Val’s, hand in marriage. He was asked if he was a Freemason, to which the answer was no, only to be told that if he wished to marry Val then he must become a Freemason.

In the year Ian became a Freemason Sir Winston Churchill died, the Pennine Way was officially opened, 70 mph speed limits were introduced and the Government revealed plans for the blood alcohol drink drive limit.

Ian became a keen Freemason and was able to balance his home life, career and Freemasonry as he moved around the country with his career starting with stamping books in the library and ending as Professor Dr Ian Rogerson PhD DLitt, Emeritus Professor at MMU, Honorary Research Fellow of the John Rylands Research Institute of the VU Manchester and Honorary Companion of the VU Manchester.

The presentation and evening was of the highest order with a most amazing atmosphere both in the Lodge and later at the social board. It was clear to all present that a lot of work had gone into the evening and speaking on behalf of the district team and myself, I had a wonderful evening.

Ashday Lea provided an excellent venue as ever.

It should be noted that WBro Peter Hewitt, PAGDC, APGM, took the chair with less than 24hrs notice and did a sterling job.


To the officers and members of Grant’s Lodge, thank you for a most enjoyable evening.

WBro Leigh Rickett, District Communications Officer





Lancashire Freemason receives  Chevalier Ordre National de la Legion D’honneur


Bro Neville Foote, honorary member of Bury Lodge of Relief, No. 42, has been made a Chevalier Ordre National de la Legion D’honneur (Knight of the National Order of Merit Legion D’Honner) by the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Sylvie Bermann, at a ceremony held in Kensington Palace Gardens on Wednesday 9th December 2015.


Neville, a Lance Bombardier in the 79th Scottish Horse Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, landed on Juno Beach, along with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, 3 Canadian Division, on 6th June 1944, D-Day.

Of this Neville says “We were very pleased to be able to fight our way ashore, starting the liberation of France…” Whilst on mainland Europe Neville and his colleagues pushed all the way to Germany. On V.E. Day he was in Bremerhaven. Along that heroic road with horrors that I cannot even begin to imagine they liberated so many desperate people including the prisoners in Belson concentration camp.


Sylvie Bermann, The French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said this of Neville, “I offer you my warmest congratulations on this high honour in recognition of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement in the liberation of France during the Second World War……we must never forget the heroes like you who came from Britain and the Commonwealth to begin the liberation of Europe by liberating France. We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life”.




The order is the highest decoration in France and was bestowed upon Neville for his actions during World War 2. To put into context so we may better understand, the United Kingdom's highest decoration for military action is the Victoria Cross, for civilian action it is the George Cross. So you can see, this order is truly more honourable than the Garter.

The Cross and Eagle of the Order was worn by Napoleon Bonaparte who created the order in 1802. Other recipients of the Ordre National de la Legion D’Honner have been George Callaghan (Admiral of the Fleet), Air Chief Marshall Sir Augustus Walker, George S Patton (U.S. army General), also Sir Paul McCartney and J.K. Rowling. Neville is among distinguished company indeed.

Neville, born in 1920, a local Bury lad born and bred, is the eldest member of Bury Lodge of Relief joining in 1969. He is now an Honorary member of the lodge.

Congratulations abound to you Neville. I cannot find the words to describe how proud your colleagues of Bury Lodge of Relief, the District, Province, in fact all masons, the country and Europe are to be associated with a hero such as yourself.




The Bury Hospice


On Tuesday 22nd December 2015 the District Charity Steward for Ashday Lea, Radcliffe and Bury, Stephen Holland and I attended the Bury Hospice.

Stephen presented Michelle King with a donation of  £2,757.00 from the Freemasons Grand Charity toward the running of Bury Hospice.

The Bury Hospice is a non masonic charity who provide specialist palliative care. The new facility opened its doors on 13th March 2013. We were shown the extent of the facility and the amazing work they do.

The hospice has friendly, knowledgeable staff who keep it running like a fine ship in these challenging times. They rely upon charitable donations from the people of Bury and beyond.

The service they provide is second to none. Requiring their services is traumatic for the patient and the patient’s family alike but the hospice’s care for both makes such a difficult time that little bit easier.

If any Lodge or individual is looking for a well worthy charity to place a donation then please consider this amazing, caring and deserving hospice.

Leigh Rickett - Bury District Communications Officer

WBro Stephen Holland presents the Grand Charity cheque to Michelle King of Bury Hospice




Valley Lodge of Installed Masters 9396 - 25 years

There was almost a 'Full House' at Ashday Lea Masonic Hall, Rawtenstall, on Thursday November 26th, when the members of the Valleys Lodge of Installed Masters, together with their guests, celebrated the first 25 years of their history. Joining them on this special occasion were WBro Norman Cope, APGM for the Western Area; WBro John Farrington, APGM for the Northern Area and several Officers of United Grand Lodge. Once the Lodge was open the Master, WBro John Audain, offered the gavel to WBro Cope who on this occasion declined. After ballotting for a joining member the actual celebration commenced with an address by WBro Jim Sutcliffe, a Past Assistant Grand Master and a founding member.

The lodge had originally been the idea of WBro Derek Pilling and had 43 founding members, six of whom were present in the Lodge to celebrate; WBros Derek Barclay, Clifford R Cuncliffe, Douglas Dickenson, Peter Holt, Derek Pilling and James Sutcliffe. In his address WBro Sutcliffe talked about the founding members and of the remaining six who were in the lodge tonight. He praised the work of the DC, WBro David Russell, and the Secretary, WBro David Taylor, who work very hard to keep this and other lodges alive. Special mention was also given of WBro Derek Pilling who is a keystone in promoting freemasony in the Rossendale area. In fact it is so believed that WBro Pilling deserves a special thankyou that an award was made to him of a voucher to provide him with two pints of beer at every lodge meeting he attends - for life!

You can read the outline of WBro Sutclffe's address HERE.

It was also pointed out that the menu from the Social Board of the Consecration Meeting was to be repeated at the Social Board to follow. It is pure coincidence that Paul, the present chef at Ashday Lea, who would be preparing the meal for later, was actually on duty at Bridge Street as a young trainee chef when he assisted at the preparation of the Consecration meal. WBro Cope enquired if the steak would be from the same cow!

The lodge was then pleased to present WBro Cope with a significant donation to the ELMC.

Before the lodge closed WBro Cope was invited to become an Honorary Member of the lodge, which although obviously very surprised, he was most pleased and honoured to accept.



WBros Cope and Farrington with the Worshipful Master and Brethren of the Valleys Lodge of Installed Masters


The Founding Members of the Lodge


APGM, WBro Norman Cope, PSGD, with the Master, WBro John Audain, PProvDepGDC


The APGM and the Worshipful Master


APGM WBro John Farrington takes wine with APGM WBro Norman Cope


A Quartet of Grand Officers


At the Social Board


Three of the Founding Members


WM Bro John Audain with IPM WBro Ross Turner


Chef Paul with two of his staff









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If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact

WBro Leigh Rickett, District Communications Officer for Bury District.

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