East Ribble District Latest News
Please view the April Newsletter which contains a personal message from our APGM, WBro Martin Roche PSGD
The Travelling Gavel is now held by Rhyddings Lodge 5205 in Accrington. See below
Wednesday 16th April 2014. What a night. Rhyddings Lodge, 5205, put on a fabulous Old England Night at the Masonic Hall, Accrington. It really was a night to remember. The Beagle introduced the procession of the Black Pudding into the Festive Board Room. And what a sight each of these fullsome puddings did make, as can be seen below.
On Thursday 10th April 2014, Harmony and Industry Lodge, no. 381, was the setting for a special evening to celebrate 50 years in Freemasonry for WBro Alan Hull, PProvGSwdB. The Lodge Room at Darwen Masonic Hall was filled with Lodge members and guests and a full Provincial Deputation including most of the District Team and several Grand Lodge Officers.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD together with the Provincial Deputation, was received. The WM, WBro Gordon Thompson, PProvSGD, PProvJGW (West Lancs) welcomed the Assistant Provincial Grand Master and offered him the gavel, which, on this occasion he accepted and occupied the Masters Chair. He then proceeded to introduce the members of the delegation.
WBro Roche said how delighted he was to be at Darwen and complimented the work done by the hard-working team at Darwen to make it a Masonic Hall to be proud of. He then asked the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Simon Archer, to place WBro Hull in the centre of the Lodge.
The APGM then set the scene by commenting on news items from 1964. Amongst many of the things mentioned was the start of “Top of the Pops” and the line up of that first show and who were the presenters! The Sun newspaper made its first appearance, replacing the Daily Herald and BBC2 became the second TV channel.
WBro Colin Talbot, PProvJGD, was then invited to deliver a brief summary of the life and times of WBro John Alan Hull, PProvGSwdB, starting with his birth in Darwen on 4th July 1934. Alan attended Hollins Grove Junior School and then Bolton School. He joined Duckworth Street Scout Troop as a cub and eventually became Troop Leader.
In 1953 he became a Gunner in the Royal Artillery for two years followed by four years studying Chemistry at Oxford. He started work in 1959 at Mullard Simonstone and was the Works Chemist for 30 years. During this time he married Adrienne in 1964 and had two children, John and Sally. Alan was then sadly widowed in 1974.
WBro Hull’s Masonic life began in 1964 when he joined Harmony & Industry Lodge. He soon became Secretary and held that post over a period encompassing 26 years, in the middle of which, he moved into the ofﬁce of Tyler and progressed to Worshipful Master in 1977.
He resigned from the ofﬁce of Secretary in 1994 because of illness in the previous year. He was promoted to PProvJGD in 1985 and then to PProvGSwdB in 1994. He also became a member of Blakewater Lodge of installed Masters, 9574, which he joined in 2008.
The APGM then read out and presented a letter from the PGM to WBro Hull. He then read out and presented an illuminated Certificate marking Alan’s 50th. A particular passage on the certificate reads “I congratulate you on attaining this anniversary and express my appreciation of your long and devoted service to the Order and to this Province ”. WBro Roche spoke at length about the importance of recognizing 50 years of service to the Craft and to the Lodge of Harmony and Industry in particular.
The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Simon Archer, then escorted Alan around the lodge room, to much applause. The Provincial Deputation then retired from the Lodge.
At the Social Board following the meeting, his very good friend, WBro Gordon Hebden, PProvDepGSuptWks, gave a warm and amusing toast to Alan, who suitably responded in a manner unique to WBro Hull.
Verity Lodge 3949 in Blackburn held their Installation Meeting at The Masonic Hall on Richmond Terrace at 10:30am on Saturday morning 22nd March 2014.
Now, normally, an Installation Meeting would not feature on these District News pages. But this one was a little different. The reason being that the guest list featured FOUR Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, two Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, five Grand Lodge Officers, numerous Provincial Grand Lodge Officers and TWELVE current Worshipful Masters.
And the driving force behind this galaxy of stars – none other than our very own Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PGSwdB, who was accompanied by a very good friend of Verity Lodge, WBro Harold Cooper, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The photo below shows a very excited new Worshipful Master, WBro Sid Jenkinson, PProvSGW accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PGSwdB, principal guest WBro John Pearson, APGM, PAGReg on his left and WBro Edward Penny, IPM on his left. To the right of the WM is WBro Norman Cope, APGM, PSGD with WBro Harold Cooper, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies to his right. At the front, Left to right, is WBro Martin Caller, PAPGM, PSGD and WBro Chad Northcot, APGM, PJGD and at the right of the pedestal is WBro Chris Welton, APGM, PProvSGW and WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh, PAPGM, PSGD.
What a wonderful evening was had at Adelaide Street, Accrington on Wednesday 19th March 2014, when members of Rhyddings Lodge and many visitors came to celebrate the 60th anniversary of WBro Fred Smith, PProvJGW becoming a Mason.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro D N Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB, together with a Provincial Deputation were received. The WM, Bro Gordon Cornthwaite welcomed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and offered him the gavel, which, on this occasion he accepted and occupied the Masters Chair. He then proceeded to introduce the members of the delegation.
VWBro Thornhill was recently made an Honorary Member of Rhyddings Lodge and thanked the members of Rhyddings for that and said how delighted he was to be there. He was especially grateful to the Lodge for moving the date of this celebratory meeting so that he could attend and officiate.
The star of the show, WBro Fred Smith, was then seated in the centre of the Lodge and WBro Keith Ramsden delivered a marvelous tribute to WBro Smith. It started with a poem:
He’s been around a long, long time
Then followed a comprehensive tribute, covering Fred’s early years from 1954, mentioning an event in 1958 on Bonfire Night and Fred starting his own business in 1962. This necessitated Fred taking time out from Freemasonry but he later proceeded through all the offices, eventually being Installed as WM on 5th October 1977. He was ADC for six years and in 1986 became DC for the next nine years. He then became the Lodge’s representative on the District Committee and received appointment and promotions in Provincial Grand Lodge.
WBro Ramsden was fulsome in his praise for Fred’s many years of hard work and involvement in the well being of Rhyddings Lodge. In his closing remarks he made especial reference to one particular person – Fred’s wife Audrey, saying that she was the support and foundation that Fred, like every one of us needs, when we engage in Masonry. He said that they were a wonderful team and graced many events together through the years – indeed, he felt they were the “Posh & Becks” of Rhyddings Lodge!!
This wonderful tribute was perfectly rounded off with another short poem:
It’s sixty years Fred since you entered the fold
So I now salute you – “Frederick the Great”.
The DPGM then reflected on the events of 1954. Buying a hot penny loaf and a one penny sarsaparilla. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the USA and Winston Churchill was our Prime Minister and had his 80th Birthday. Seemingly April 11th 1954 has been declared the most boring day in History!
Food rationing ended in 1954 and RCA released the first colour TV. The average house price was £1,920 and inflation was 1.9%. Roger Bannister ran his famous 4 minute mile and Fred Davies won the World Snooker Championship. Bill Haley and the Comets released Rock Around the Clock and Elvis Presley recorded his first hits in the Sun Studios. The films White Christmas, the Glen Miller Story and “On the Waterfront” were released and BBC TV broadcast George Orwell’s 1984.
The DPGM then read out and presented a letter from the PGM to Fred. He then read out and presented an illuminated Certificate marking Fred’s 60th.
WBro Harold Cooper, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, then escorted Fred around the lodge room too much applause.
The WM presented two cheques of £300 to the DPGM.. The first was from the Rhyddings Lodge Ladies Committee on behalf of the ELMC and the second was from the Lodge on behalf of the 2015 Festival. The DPGM was delighted to accept the cheques and was effusive in his thanks.
The Provincial Deputation then retired from the Lodge.
The ELMC Community fund approved a £2650 application recently for The Friends of Darwen Cemetery (www.darwencemetery.org.uk) to purchase a Muck Truck.
On Friday 28th February, the members of Victory Lodge put on an excellent evenings entertainment at Blackburn Masonic Hall. A total of eight races were held and a generous sponsor supported each one. The members and guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves and entered into the spirit of the evening with great enthusiasm. At half time a Chicken and Chips supper was gratefully received.
£790 was raised during the evening on behalf of Blackburn Masonic Hall, which is in real need of further funding.
The Chairman of the Masonic Hall, WBro Phil Beaumont, cunningly disguised as "Just William" - or is it a jockey? was ably assisted by WBro Dave Nuttal - both members of Victory Lodge - in running the Tote!!
East Ribble District Chairman David Lightbown and long-time Nightsafe supporter Jim Abbot made the official presentation to Diane and Amanda from the Nightsafe Team today.
The East Lancashire Masonic Charity (www.elmc.co.uk) Community Fund Committee granted £3,050 for the purchase of equipment for those looking for support from Nightsafe, (www.blackburn-nightsafe.org.uk) which provides shelter, assistance and advice for 16-24 year old homeless people in Blackburn and Darwen.
Jim Abbott and his late wife of 52 years, Joyce, held Nightsafe very close to their hearts and actively promoted their cause to the District Charity Stewards, which resulted in the grant application and realisation of funds.
In November of 2013, the ELMC Community Fund Committee approved an East Ribble District application for £3050, which have gone towards supplies for Nightsafe, a charity that works in the Blackburn and Darwen area with 16-24 homeless people. They provide shelter, advice, emergency support and assistance for these young people, helping them turn their lives around.
The community fund finance provided 40 four season sleeping bags, 50 food packs, 50 toiletry packs and laundry and cleaning supplies for their midway accommodation houses and emergency shelter.
East Ribble District volunteers purchased, picked up and delivered the sleeping bags in December. Additionally, further volunteering took place recently at a local cash and carry, buying all the food, cleaning and toiletry supplies and taking them to Blackburn Masonic Hall for individual packing. 13 volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to make up the packages, which are essential for those needing emergency support.
All supplies were delivered to the grateful staff of Nightsafe, who are arranging a local press presentation.
Limestone Rock, no. 369, had a great night on Thursday, 13th February, when a visiting party of 12 from Ryddings Lodge in Accrington claimed the travelling gavel.
369 did a demonstration Second Degree Ceremony and the Master of Limestone Rock, Bruce Pollard, is photographed handing the travelling gavel over to the WM of Ryddings at the festive board.
The following photo shows the victorious members of Rhyddings Lodge with their Worshipful Master, Bro Thomas Gordon Cornthwaite, proudly displaying the Travelling Gavel.
On 11th January Bruce Pollard, the WM of Lime Stone Rock Lodge, no. 369, held an "Open House" at his home, Hall Foot at Worston.
Over 60 people attended from various lodges and they raised a fantastic sum of £564.00 pounds which will go towards the 2015 festival. This is the second time that Bruce has been in the chair of this fine old lodge.
As can be seen from the photos everyone had a great time enjoying this wonderful social evening.
WBro Frank Salt and Wro Mike Stubbs made the official £2900 cheque presentation to Fit 2XL Community Boxing Club, which financed a Youth/Training ring in which the photograph was taken. WBro Salt initially brought the cause to the attention of the District who made a successful application to the Community Fund Committee.
Main picture, WBro Frank Salt and WBro Mike Stubbs present the cheque in the ring that was purchased with funds from our ELMC Community Fund.
East Lancashire Hospice received a £350 cheque from the East Ribble District Freemasons Chairman David Lightbown, to be used for the patients drinks trolley.
WBro Tom Pearson, ProvJGD, IPM of Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519, presents a cheque to Jennifer Quinn at East Lancs. Hospice. Other cheques received at their Installation Meeting were presented to EL 2015 Festival, ELMC, Mill House Masonic Hall and NW Air Ambulance. WBro Tom Pearson ( Charity Steward ) offered his grateful thanks to the Brethren for their support.
The 2014 Chadwick Weekend took place last weekend at the Chadwick Hotel in Lytham St Anne's and hosted the East Ribble District Winter Draw.
In December, after 28 years service as secretary of Accrington Masonic Fellowship, Mrs Barbara Gee decided to retire.
Barbara and her husband Reg had only been in the Fellowship for 6 months before being asked to take over the role of Secretary & Chairman in 1985. Reg passed away in 2002, leaving Barbara to continue the sterling work they both started. Barbara still intends to carry on supporting the Fellowship in every way possible.
Barbara would like to thank each and every one of the people who have contributed to the success of the Fellowship during this time and hopes that it will continue to thrive.
On Sunday the 19th January, East Lancashire Hospice staged their inaugural 10k run event, put together by Nick Gaskell of Gaskell Auto Repairs in Great Harwood, a keen local runner.
The ELMC Community Fund awarded £350 towards sponsorship of the participants medals and printed lanyards, bearing the provincial website details and 'East Ribble Freemasons' , which nearly 300 runners took home with them. A presentation photograph of the ELMC Cheque handover was published in the Lancashire Telegraph a few weeks ago.
17 Volunteers from across the District gave up their time to support the event by stewarding the course along with other community volunteers.
East Ribble District volunteers, participants and Hospice organisers at the successful fundraising event
Volunteers from our District assisted with painting and cleaning at a truly worthwhile local cause on a brisk Saturday morning.
Following a fire at the adjoining unit, Fit2XL Community boxing Club in Lower Darwen suffered devastating damage to the premises, the day after they officially finished over two years of renovation.
Barry, a former Royal marine, has won local community awards and has been nominated nationally for his work, using his knowledge in boxing training and his selfless attitude. Along with go getter Bev, they ensure that every youth who comes to their doors gets support from the club, no matter if they have the funds to pay or not.
The club is due to reopen in the next two weeks, and on Monday they will take delivery of a Youth Training/Boxing Ring, donated by a £2900 grant from our ELMC Community fund.
Volunteers including our District chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW came to lend a hand and support the club in whatever little way we could. Further presentation details and photographs to follow over the next few weeks.
Volunteers offer their support with a paintbrush, not before Bev Higginson shows us the amazing eight week turnaround since the fire and refurbishment progress.
Bro Rob Dickinson, aged 30 years of age, who was recently raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, donated a litre of bone marrow to 8 year old Michael Peterson, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
Michael was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011, given only a 20 per cent chance of survival and at one time had zero antibodies, meaning the slightest infection would have killed him. After a successful transplant in May 2011, Michael is now cancer free.
Strict anonymity rules meant the indentities of donors and recipients were kept confidential for at least two years.
See the full article at This is Lancashire. With thanks to The Lancashire Telegraph.
East Lancashire Hospice received a cheque for £350, awarded by the East Lancashire Masonic Charity Community Fund Committee towards sponsorship of the participants medals at the Sunday January 19th 2014, 10k run in Great Harwood.
East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW presented the cheque to Kimberley Hall of the Hospice Fundraising team.
East Lancashire Hospice received a cheque today from the Freemasons Grand Charity totalling £2443.00.
East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW, gladly presented the cheque to the East Lancashire Hospice patients, staff and Chief Executive Lyn Stevenson
If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact
WBro Sid Jenkinson, District Communications Officer for East Ribble District.