East Ribble District Latest News
Follow our District on Facebook or Twitter
Summer Newsletter District Officer Information Archived News
Masonic Hall and Lodge Details for the Northern Area Accrington MH Blackburn MH Clitheroe Masonic Rooms Mill House
2015 Raffle Information Latest Festival Flyer June R A
Demonstration Team Adelaide Suite What's On
The Travelling Gavel is now held by The Lodge of Perseverance No.345 in Blackburn- see below
Raring to Glow – Marshalling 4th July 2015
Over 50 Freemasons from across the district put their names down to volunteer to act as marshals for the ‘Raring to Glow’ run and walk in aid of the East Lancashire Hospice in Blackburn. A small group of Brethren arrived at the event at 2.00pm to help set up the marshalling area, and remained until 2.00am when everything was packed away and cleaned up.
This popular and well supported event went through a big change this year with a name change from ‘Starlight Walk’ as well as comprising a run and a walk. There were approximately 75 runners and over 400 ladies taking part to raise funds in the name of their late relatives and friends.
For the marshals, the evening began early with the customary Indian meal for those who wanted to attend. This year the restaurant chosen was the Reena Tandoori in Oswaldtwistle, and over 30 brethren enjoyed the feast . Appetites were satisfied with enough food eaten to take everyone into the early hours of Sunday morning when it was estimated the final walker would cross the finish line.
The assembly point for the marshals and the ladies was DW Sports in Blackburn. High-Vis jackets were issued and the final Marshall positions confirmed before everyone headed off to their designated spot around the route. The ladies began to arrive, and the car park at DW became a sea of lime green as they were warmed up by the Gym staff.
The run section of the evening was the first to take place, and this stared at the Britannia pub at 9.00pm where they were taken by bus. Once the last runner was safely back the walk was able to get under way. This year over 400 ladies, girls and the odd dog took part and the spirits were high all the way around the 8 mile long route. As always they are well supported by volunteer police staff and medics who give up their time to support the event and keep the walkers safe.
The first walkers arrived back at DW Sports just before midnight in a time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, the rest came in in a constant stream for the next hour with everyone back before 1.15am. Many had the energy left to race each other to the line and there were hundreds of smiling faces at the end of the walk. Once they were presented with their medal and checked themselves back in, they were all thankful for a hot drink and a sausage butty whilst they patted each other on the back and shared their experience of the walk.
This is a super event which is always well supported by volunteers and this year the walkers raised the grand total of £37,000 for the East Lancashire Hospice.
Permission granted to use all images in this post
Child Action North West - Pound Day Volunteering
Over 10 volunteers from the East Ribble District came to support Child Action North West again at their annual Pound Day event, held on Sunday the 28th June at Oswaldtwistle Mills.
It was an 8.30am start for some of our willing volunteers (unusual for many of them on a Sunday morning) and included setting up of gazebos, merchandise shifting and general assistance for the organisers. This continued throughout what appeared to be a well supported and enjoyable event that brings awareness of, and raises much needed funds for Child Action North West essential child services.
Bucket rattling and venue cleaning ended at 4pm, concluding with some heavy lifting and packing away on what was another worthwhile District volunteering and support event.
WBro Tom Pearson Golden Wedding Donation To Derian House Hospice
WBro Tom Pearson of Albert Edward Lodge No 1519 and Mrs. Enid Pearson celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on June 7th 2015 with a family party at the New Drop Inn Ribchester, they requested donations in lieu of presents to Derian House Children's Hospice Chorley.
On June 30th 2015 they were able to present cheques at Derian House Children 's Hospice to the value of £550 which included donations from Tom and Enid's Friends, Masonic donations and social and community groups that they are actively involved with.
W. Bro Stan Bamber of Old Blackburnian Lodge accompanied them
The photo's shows Mr and Mrs Pearson, Susie Poppit ( Head of Fundraising )and W.Bro Stan Bamber of Old Blackburnian Lodge No 7933 ( ex chairman of Derian House Group Fundraising for Blackburn Hyndburn and Ribble Valley, as well as Tom and Enid on their wedding day.
East Ribble District Summer BBQ and Prize Draw 27th June 2015
Approximately 90 people gathered at Mill House Clayton-le-Moors on a warm summer
Saturday evening to enjoy this very popular annual event. Appetites were readied, tickets were purchased and laid out on the tables and intellect’s were honed and ready for the quiz. No Google allowed!
All arrived for a 6.00pm start and once glasses were charged everyone took their seats. The evening was compered by Bro. Don Johnson of Huncoat Lodge No.8542 who, whilst announcing the various activities throughout the evening, also provided some nostalgic 70’s television and music to keep everyone entertained.
The food, as always, was very well received with lots of empty plates at the end of the meal. There was lots to fill even the hungriest of appetites with second helpings for those who could manage it. Those with a sweet tooth were also catered for with a range of deserts.
The two main events of the evening then took place.
Winners of the quiz Serious quizzing!
The raffle was drawn with the first prize of £150 being won by Wbro. Steve Birkbeck from Sunnyhurst Lodge No. 4631 in Darwen. The second prize of £75 was won by Wbro. Ken Rawcliffe from Bank Terrace Lodge No. 462. There were dozens of prizes won on the evening, a very huge thank you to all who donated them. The winner of the Wallace and Gromit car cleaning kit was hotly anticipated!
And the winner is…..
The quiz concluded the evening, and was taken just as seriously as in previous years. The prize of two bottles of wine awaited the winner. A hushed quiet fell across the room as heads went down and brains were rattled. Questions from a variety of categories tasked even the keenest of intellects, however someone has to win and on this occasion it was a team from a table hosted by Bank Terrace Lodge No. 462. Mrs Karen Youds the wife of newly initiated Bank Terrace member Bro. Paul Youds was volunteered to collect the winners prize.
Once again this was a super evening. Great food, raffle, quiz and a very successful sale of hanging baskets. Most of all though it was a lovely evening of companionship, and as ever it was delightful to welcome a table of residents from Hewlett Court and they seemed to have a super evening out at Mill House.
< Hewlett Court residents A great time was had by most!
Victory Lodge trip to Ireland - 14th to 18th June 2015
Phil and Susan (The Courier) Beaumont started running trips in 2009 and each year they have got better and better. For 2015 the Victory Lodge trip was to Ireland – in particular Dublin and the surrounding area. Though the trip is for Victory Lodge, as always, it is extended to all friends of Victory Lodge.
The Emerald Isle is full of myths and legends and some of these were experienced at first hand! We all enjoyed a taste of some traditional elements for which Ireland is renowned, particularly Guinness and Jameson! But also some culture and wonderful scenery. We enjoyed the "craic" with Irish entertainment, Irish coffee as well as well as experiencing city, countryside and heritage attractions.
We immersed ourselves in the history, heritage and culture of the cosmopolitan capital city, which still has an individual charm. We took in the stunning beauty of the wonderful gardens at Powerscourt and thoroughly enjoyed a day in the Wicklow Mountains.
We were royally accommodated at the 4 star Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa from where we ventured out on our daily excursions. The first day saw us at the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland's number one visitor attraction. This historical building is central to Dublin's and Ireland's heritage, and has been continually updated to create a blend of fascinating industrial tradition with a contemporary edge. The seven floors bring to life the rich heritage of Guinness telling the story from its origins at St. James's Gate in Dublin to its growth as a global brand, known all around the world. At the top of the building is the Gravity Bar, giving a 360deg panorama of the whole of Dublin, out to the coast and south to the Wicklow Mountains. A perfect place to enjoy a “free” pint of Guinness.
Powerscourt House was a magnificent mansion dating back to 1730 but in 1974 a disastrous fire completely destroyed the interior, leaving only the stark walls intact. It stood, lost and forlorn for over twenty years but in 1996 the house was re-roofed and it was opened to the public by President Mary Robinson in 1997. Today it makes a wonderful place to visit. But the real attraction are the magnificent gardens. Features include a fabulous walled garden, a pets’ cemetery, the Italian garden, the Japanese garden, Tower Valley, the Rhododendron Walk and the Pepper Pot Tower and an extensive herbaceous border.
From Powerscourt we went further into the Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough, "The Valley of the two lakes". This is a glacial valley renowned for an Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin. The Round Tower is the first thing you see as it stands 30metres high. The weather that day was superb and allowed us to enjoy a brilliant picnic with food and drink laden tables perfectly set off with the finest chandaliers money can’t buy!! What a great day out.
Our last trip out was back into Dublin to take in the Old Jameson Distillery. This is an Irish whiskey tourist attraction located just off Smithfield Square. Since opening as an attraction in 1997, it receives between 300,000 and 350,000 guests per year, so we were in good company. It is the original site where Jameson Irish Whiskey was distilled until 1971. It is now a visitors centre that provides guided tours, tutored whiskey tastings, bars, a restaurant, and a gift shop. The distillery is laid out over two floors and sits above the foundations of the original fermentation vats, which can be seen through the glass floor in the atrium. We were taught how to enjoy a glass or three, as we had a glass of Jameson Irish Whiskey, a glass of Red Label and a glass of Jack Daniels. We then went off and had a large ice-filled glass of Jameson, Ginger Ale & Lime, at the Jameson Bar. Not a bad trip at all!!
In our free time in Dublin, some of us enjoyed a trip round Trinity College and had the privilege of viewing the famous “Book of Kells”, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. It is believed to have been created around 800 AD.
Others visited the Grand Lodge of Ireland (photo above), whilst other enjoyed the shopping on Grafton Street and the area around. But most enjoyed the food and drink – notably at The Duke and at Bruxelles.
All in all – a fabulous holiday. Many, many thanks to Phil and Sue.
Top - Stephen's Green Shopping Centre and Grafton Street, bottom - Phil Lynott and Phoenix Park Papal Cross
Powerscourt House and Gardens
Glendalough Picnic (complete with leprechauns and dancing ladies)
Guiness Brewery - fish on a bike and views from the Gravity Bar
Trinity College - Campanile, Sphere Within Sphere, Inside the Old Library,
the Alexander Calder sculpture in Fellow's Square with Old Library behind
Freemasonry at the Blackburn 41 club
District Chairman WBro David Lightbown, PAGDC was invited along to the BLACKBURN 41 Club meeting held at Blackburn Golf Club on Wednesday 10th June 2015. The purpose of the invitation was for the Chairman to give a presentation on” Freemasonry Today “; this was delivered in the form of a power point presentation. Although the initial presentation lasted for twenty five minutes, this was followed by a lengthy question and answer session from an enthusiastic audience, relating to all aspects of Freemasonry.
The members present were impressed with the content of the presentation in particular by our charitable objectives and support of worthy causes . Even though in recent times Masons have been more open and proactive in promoting Freemasonry with the general public and local press, it was obvious on the night that there is still a lot of ignorance and misunderstandings about Freemasonry. This confirmed that we should, at every opportunity, talk about our activities and emphasise that we consider ourselves privileged to be members of such a wonderful organisation.
The pictures shows the Chairman after the presentation along with Peter Yarwood and Bill Aspin two members of Ribblesdale Lodge No 3393, who were also present at the presentation.
Narrow Boat Pull raises over £1000 for our Festival!
On Sunday morning, the 7th June, Bro Paul Spann one of the newer members of the Lodge of Amity and Rossendale Forest, No. 283 in the East Ribble District, completed a sponsored narrow boat pull for the EL2015 Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
In his attempt to complete a distance of 1 mile he navigated overgrown areas and moored up narrow boats and actually completed 1.6 miles in about 1 hour; maybe the pub at the end was all the incentive he needed! Although the event took place on the Bridgewater canal from Worsley to Boothstown Basin, members from East Ribble and Oldham Districts came along to cheer him on.
Paul has so far raised approximately £1,000 but his JustGiving page is still in place and he would welcome any other donations from anyone who wishes to contribute to a very worthwhile charity. His JustGiving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/Paul-Spann
A big thank you to Paul for his efforts and the fantastic sum raised so far, to WBro Chris Harris for keeping the boat heading in the right direction and to our own DC WBro Mick Rosney for finding an alternative use for his wand when lifting the tow rope over other narrow boats.
A great morning was had by all who joined in and the pub at lunchtime was just the icing on the cake and well deserved for at least one of our party.
District Officers Mess
On Saturday 6th June, 50 or so members of the East Ribble District, both past and present, together with wives and partners, gathered at Ferrari's Country House Hotel and Restaurant for their annual "bash". Ferrari's is a former shooting lodge, built on a grand style. This family-run country hotel is housed in a stately, circa-1830, manor within 4.5 acres of walled gardens. It's 2 miles from the town of Longridge and 5.9 miles from the ruins of the Roman baths at Ribchester. The meal was held in the conservatory and everyone agreed it was a rather splendid "do"
Travelling Gavel keeps on Moving!
Six Members of the Lodge of Perseverance No.345 claimed the Travelling a Gavel from Bank Terrace Lodge No.462, on Thursday the 4th of June.
Led by their WM WBro Brian Hartwell, they were amongst 70 Brethren enjoying the annual 462 Old England night.
Worshipful Master of Bank Terrace, Bro Frank Leach stated that he was only too glad to see the Gavel move on and encourage visiting throughout the District.
WBro David Thomas
Bury, PProvGSuptWks, celebrates his 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry
After the Lodge was opened the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Farrington, PAGDC, entered the lodge, accompanied by a District Delegation comprised of WBros David Lightbown, Paul Aspinall, Alan Johnson, Brian Carter, Bryan Bristol, Gordon McMillan, Brian Derbyshire, Ian Johnson, Andrew Taylor, David Gill and the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, Andrew Proctor.
The proceedings began with the Junior Warden WBro Greg Casson, reading the minutes of David's Initiation on 19th May 1965, into Rossendale Forrest Lodge 4138. The Senior Warden WBro Chris Harris then read the minutes of David's Installation on 19th October1977.
David Thomas Bury was born Saturday 23rd November 1935. After his early education at Haslinden County Primary he went on to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar school, Blackburn. He did two years National Service in the Royal Air Force serving mainly in Germany at RAF Duren.
Later, he joined the Trustees Saving Bank and was promoted to manager at Church but he had the idea that the bank would be better suited in Oswaldtwistle where there would be more potential customers and Senior management asked him to find a suitable location, which he did near the Library. With a bit of bargaining he obtained 2 shops; the Bank then knocked down the premises and built the new branch. Such was his success that the bank steadily moved him up the grading scale and David retired early at the age of 54.
In 1952 David married Betty and had 2 boys Andrew in 1962 and Simon in 1965; unfortunately, Betty died in 2001.
After the 1965 and 1977 minutes were read, The Worshipful Master, WBro Derek Smith, gave a detailed history of David's Masonic life.
Following his Initiation on the 19th May in 1965, he was Passed on the 16th February 1966 and Raised on the 18th May 1966. He followed his older brother, through all the degrees, approximately two months behind and their father conducted all six ceremonies.
On the 19th October 1977, his Brother, WBro R M Bury, installed David into the Chair of King Solomon.
David was appointed Lodge Secretary on 17th October 1984. For while he handed over the secretarial duties to WBro S Barton, but on 16 October 1996 took the office back again when WBro Barton went back in the chair. David remained Secretary until 20th October 2006. On the 6th November 1986 he was appointed PProvSGD and on the 13th May 1997 he was promoted to the rank of PProvGSuptWks
On the 9th October 1984, David was Exalted into Wisdom Chapter 283 and became 1st Principle in 1996. In 2004 David was appointed to the RA rank of Prov1stAGSoj and in 2005 assumed the rank PProvAGSoj.
David was the Worshipful Master once again in October 2011, being the last master of 4138, before the amalgamation. He then became the first Immediate Past Master of the new lodge of Amity and Rossendale Forrest, number 283, in 2012.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Farrington, then presented David with an illuminated scroll and a letter from the Provincial Grand Master and WBro David Lightbown, District Chairman, then presented David with a framed certificate and lapel badge on behalf of the lodge.
The Worshipful Master then presented a cheque to WBro Farrington for £500 for the 2015 festival. (Later, at the banquet, WBro Bury very generously presented a personal cheque for £500 to the festival.)
After the cheque presentation, WBro Bury then perambulated the lodge accompanied by very warm applause.
The Lodge of Perseverance, no. 345 - 200th Birthday Party
On Thursday 21st May 2015, the Lodge of Perseverance, no. 345, held its 1800th regular meeting. What made this a very special event is that the lodge was founded in the year 1815, the year of the Battle of Waterloo, which was fought on Sunday 18th June, 1815.
The Worshipful Master, WBro Brian Hartwell, PProvDepGDC, opened the Lodge and the early business was dealt with. One of these early items was, in itself, very special indeed. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PGSwdB, was made an honorary member of the Lodge!!
Following this, on a report, WBro Andrew Proctor, ProvDepGDC, entered the Lodge to announce that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro John Farrington PAGDC was in attendance, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation.
WBro Farrington then entered with WBro Paul Aspinall, PGStB (PAGDC), Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for our Northern Area; WBro David Lightbown, PAGDC, Chairman of the East Ribble District; WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh, PSGD, PAGM; WBro Derek Parkinson, PSGD; WBro Alan Johnson, PAGDC; WBro Roger Flitcroft, PAGDC; WBro Brian Carter, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Almoner; WBro Bryan Bristol, PAGSuptWks, WBro Ivan Eastwood, PAGSuptWks: WBro Sid Jenkinson, PProvSGW; WBro Bob Allan, PProvGSuptWks, WBro Dennis Heskett, PProvSGD; WBro Ian Johnson, ProvJGD; WBro Andrew Taylor, PProvGStwd; WBro Mike Stubbs, ProvGStwd and WBro Russell Harwood.
WBro Farrington was offered the Gavel but returned it, with thanks, to the WM. He was formally greeted and he then introduced the members of the Deputation. Following this was a wonderful presentation of the history of the lodge, going back to the very beginning of the Lodge of Perseverance, No. 345. The presentation was based on the work of WBro John Thomas Shield, PProvSGD who wrote a very thorough history of the lodge one hundred years ago. He used his knowledge and imagination to write about the delivery of the Warrant from Grand Lodge in February or March 1815.
This script was turned into a nice little playlet, delivered by WBro John Kenyon, PProvJGD, Bro Brian Hartwell, WM, PProvDepGDC and the lodge secretary, WBro Jim Fallow, PProvDepGReg. The father of the lodge, WBro Barry Thompson, PProvGStdB, played the part of “The Stranger”.
Following this excellent presentation, the Lodge Secretary, WBro Fallow, explained the somewhat unusual circumstances surrounding this evening’s celebration of the first 200 years of the lodge. Some time ago, his predecessor as Secretary, WBro John Kenyon, made enquiries at Provincial Grand Lodge about the procedure to apply for a bi-centenary warrant. The reply was not what was expected: we were told that Grand Lodge would refuse any application. Unfortunately, despite having received a Centenary warrant, there was a discrepancy in the first hundred years. By 1915, much of the lodge’s archive had been lost and the Lodge was unable to produce any records for the period in question.
After Jim was appointed Secretary he continued the work that John had started. Various conversations and correspondence took place with officials at Provincial Lodge who were all unfailingly supportive but the final decision of Grand Lodge was that the lodge would have to wait until 2050 before an official bi-centenary meeting could be held. Since several, or even many of us will not be around then, the lodge decided to have a party now and celebrate 200 years since our first meeting!
The Worshipful Master gave further details of the early years of the Lodge and how it had its origins in the Lodge of Antiquity which was founded in 1776. He mentioned an early lodge inventory that listed a bust of the Priince of Wales. This subsequently went missing many years ago and surfaced in West Lancs! In a museum!! After much ado it was returned, in a rather poor state, to the Lodge and could now be seen on display at the Festive Board.
Jim then read the minutes from 100 years ago. The minute book is a very impressive document, as the photo below shows. After this the WM presented WBro Farrington with a cheques for the 2015 Festival. This cheque was for the magnificent sum of £3,450. Ten times the Lodge number!!!
The lodge meeting was followed by a Grand 200th Birthday Party Festive Board consisting of a starter of Egg Mayonnaise, followed by Roast Lancashire Topside of Beef and all the trimmings. Then followed a copious Cheeseboard, with wine provided and a 10 year old Crusted Late Bottled Vintage Port. What a good “Do”!
The photos at the end show the Worshipful Master, WBro Brian Hartwell, PProvDepGDC,taking wine with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro John Farrington PAGDC. In the centre is The WM and the APGM taking wine with the new honorary member of the lodge, The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PGSwdB. On the right the WM and the APGM are shown taking wine with WBro Andrew Proctor, ProvDepGDC.
The Delegation and Lodge Members
The members of the Lodge of Perseverance with the Principal Guests
On the left we have new honorary member with the WM and the APGM
and on the right, in front of the Lodge Banner
Official Opening of the new Sensory Room at Blackburn Youth Zone
On Wednesday 20th May, Julia Wright, Head of Business Development at the Youth Zone, invited The Chairman and several East Ribble District Officers to attend a formal opening of the recently completed Sensory Room. The work was greatly assisted by a grant of £4,995 made from the " East Lancashire Masonic Charity " community fund towards the end of last year.
The new facility is equipped with a range of equipment to stimulate the senses of the young people with a range of learning difficulties, and includes specialist lighting, sound systems and a range of touch and interactive devices. The room now provides the users and their families with a safe and practical hands on space and compliments the extensive range of existing facilities at the Youth Zone.
Blackburn Youth Zone is located in the heart of the new Cathedral Quarter in Blackburn. It is a superb 365 day a year facility that caters for 2,400 boys, girls and young people up to the age of 18. It has been open now for three years.
The Sensory Room is a special project of Laura Walker, the Diversity Club Manager, and it was a pleasure to see her cut the ribbon to open the new room. She was supported by other members of staff, including Julia, Vicky Profit (Events Manager), Sharon Anson (Administration Manager) and Sarah Johns (Head of Finance and Support Services).
From the District we had David Lightbown (Chairman), Dave McGurty (Deputy Chairman), Sid Jenkinson (Communications Officer), Steve Crowther (Assistant Communications Officer) and Ian Johnson (Assistant Charity Steward).
Julia Wright, Head of Business Development
Laura Walker, Diversity Club Manager
David Lightbown, Laura & Ian Johnson
Vicky Profit, Sharon Anson and Sarah Johns
District Chairman, David Lightbown, cutting the ribbon
Just a few of the features in the room
Royal Arch Demonstration and Awareness Evening
On Friday, 15th May, Brethren from Craft Lodges across the East Ribble District, who are not currently Royal Arch Masons, were invited to an Open Evening to raise awareness and an introduction to Royal Arch Freemasonry.
The District were delighted to welcome EComp David H Thompson PAGSoj, our Second Provincial Grand Principal, who was accompanied by a very special guest, the Deputy Grand Superintendent for Cumberland and Westmorland EComp Peter Mason PGSwdB.
EComp Paul Aspinall, PGStB, APGP, addressing the visiting Brethren
Rather than giving the Brethren a simple talk and presentation, they were taken on a wonderful, multi sensory journey, designed to demonstrate just why the Craft and Royal Arch are inextricably linked
Introduction of the roles of the Scribe Ezra and Scribe Nehemiah
The allegorical journey included audio and video, as well as presentations from the Three Principals, Scribes and the Sojourners, to tell the story leading to the completion of the Third Degree.
The Chapter room prepared for the Brethren to listen to the roles of the Three Principals
Beginning in the Lodge Room where our Narrator EComp Gordon McMillan, District Officer Royal Arch, took the Brethren through the end of the Third Degree. From there, EComp Alun Davies, District Officer Royal Arch, acting as the Principal Sojourner, guided our guests on the remainder of the journey throughout the building at Mill House Masonic Hall.
At the end of the experience, the 20 visiting brethren assembled in the Festive Board Room and were thanked for their attendance and informed of the routes into the Royal Arch in the various Halls in the District and beyond, should they choose to venture beyond our borders!
EComp David H Thompson PAGSoj, Second Provincial Grand Principal, congratulating
EComp Aspinall and his team for their initiative and the Brethren for supporting the evening
The evening concluded with refreshments, where the Brethren talked informally with the Companions over a cup of coffee … Or something stronger.
An opportunity for informal discussions with the Brethren about the Royal Arch
Eyes Down For A Full House
“The Cabin End” is a family-friendly pub on the outskirts of Blackburn that serves the folk of Knuzden and Oswaldtwistle. It is the hub of the local community and has an Over 50's community group that meets every Thursday afternoon. Bingo is an important part of the group’s activities so when the Bingo Machine recently came to the end of the road it was a major concern.
Fortunately, WBro Bernard Spencer, a member of The Lodge of Perseverance, 345, is the Chairman. He made a request to the East Ribble District Charity Stewards, for assistance in replacing it, to which they agreed and purchased a state of the art electronic machine for their use.
The pictures show WBro Ian M Johnson, Assistant District Charity Steward (on right), presenting the machine to WBro Bernard Spencer.
Limestone Rock Chapter No. 369 - Joint Convocation Meeting
On May 7th 2015 Limestone Rock Chapter No.369 hosted a joint Convocation Meeting of Royal Arch Chapters across the East Ribble District, at Clitheroe Masonic Rooms. Over 60 Companions were in attendance including a 15 strong Provincial Deputation led by the Deputy Grand Superintendent EComp Stephen Blank PGSwdB supported by the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals EComp David H Thompson, PAGSoj and EComp the Rev’d Donald Keith Pryce, PGStB.
As this was a Joint Convocation Meeting, the Chapter was opened in the Limestone Rock way with the 1St Principal EComp C.C Wood PProvGStB assisted by Principals from Chapters across the District. EComp Andrew Taylor from Chapter of Remembrance No.3787 acted as H, EComp Allan Low of Bank Terrace Chapter No.462 as J and EComp Stephen Crowther of Sincerity Chapter No.3120 as Scribe-N.
After the Chapter business was concluded EComp David Stephen Bristol the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies expertly led the Delegation in to the Chapter and ensured the Deputy Grand Superintendent and the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals were placed in their respective chairs for the next item of business.
The Companions were then treat to a wonderful presentation from the East Lancashire Royal Arch Demonstration Team, entitled ‘The Rise and Fall of the Twelve Tribes of Israel’. The presentation was delivered in a most entertaining, informative and word-perfect manner by the 12-man team led by the narrator EComp John Cavanagh.
On completion of the presentation the Provincial Delegation retired from the Chapter and the business and Closing were conducted.
Immediately following the Convocation the Companions crossed the road to the Swan and Royal hotel where an excellent festive board was enjoyed by all. The Deputy Grand Superintendent addressed the Companions. He expressed his delight at this being his first official duty in the District since his promotion, even though Clitheroe is in the furthest reach of his jurisdiction! He also thanked the Demonstration team who were also presented with a cheque by the EComp Wood, which was graciously received by EComp John Cavanagh. The main focus of EComp Blank’s address however was the importance of recruitment and retention into the Holy Royal Arch and the exciting changes within the Province planned to support this in the future.
A wonderful evening throughout and superbly hosted by Limestone Rock Chapter 369 with the support of all it’s Companions.
Chapter and District Team
Principals and Demonstration Team
Deputy Grand Superintendent - EComp Stephen M Blank, PGSwdB and EComp Wood, PProvGStB
Let there be Light!
The East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) Community Fund recently approved a Grant totalling £4707.60, awarded to East Lancashire Hospice, to complete their external lighting scheme to the recently renovated Gardens and woodland walkway.
East Lancashire Hospice received a major £105,000 Department of Health Capital Grants Scheme award to completely overhaul their external garden area so that they could be properly enjoyed by the patients, community and which would also allow fundraising events to be held 'in house'.
However, the grant did not fully cover the full wish list, which also included additional external lighting so that area could be used all year round and particularly in the darker months.
The ELMC Grant of £4707.60 allowed the Hospice to finish these works, which includes fairy lighting along the garden trail, additional power outlets and lighting for the natural stone amphitheatre.
WBro David Lightbown PAGDC, East Ribble District Chairman, along with WBro Ian Johnson ProvJGD presented the cheque to Mrs Sharon Crymble, Hospice Fundraising Manager on the Amphitheatre steps.
Left to Right - Sharon Crymble, Hospice Fundraising Manager, receives the cheque from WBro David Lightbown PAGDC & WBro Ian Johnson ProvJGD.
East Lancashire District Charity Stewards Support Sponsored Swim
East Lancashire District Charity Stewards in conjunction with the ELMC have sponsored Megan Fishwick who completed a 1 mile sponsored swim to raise money for the East Lancashire Hospice.
Megan’s father died a day before her 6th Birthday and the hospice provided Megan and her mother with much needed support at a very difficult time.
Megan wanted to do something for the hospice and as she enjoys swimming she thought that a swimming challenge would be a good idea.
Even though she had never swam a mile before.
Megan had initially intended to raise £100 for the hospice but with the combined sponsorship from the East Lancashire District Charity Stewards and the ELMC of £350 along with other sponsors Megan has raised a terrific £1,500 for the hospice.
Sunnyhurst Lodge No.4631 receives the Festival Certificate
The members of Sunnyhurst Lodge No.4631 meeting at Darwen Masonic Hall, received the Festival certificate from the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro John Farrington PAGDC, on Tuesday the 21st of April.
The certificate signifies that every member of the Lodge has made a personal contribution to our EL2015 Festival. WBro Farrington took great pleasure in making the presentation, congratulating and thanking the Brethren for their efforts so far.
L to R: WBro Farrington with the Lodge Festival Representative, WBro John Coar and the WM of Sunnyhurst Lodge No.4631, Bro Frank Horne.
Royal Arch Presentation and District Initiatives
EComp Alun Davies PProvGStB, one of our East Ribble District Officers Royal Arch, gave a presentation on the Royal Arch at Sunnyhurst Lodge No.4631 on Tuesday the 21st of April. This was in the presence of the APGM WBro John Farrington PAGDC and WBro David Lightbown PProvJGW, who was making his first Masonic visit out in a couple of weeks since a recent bout of pneumonia. WBro Lightbown was on good form and thankfully much improved.
EComp Davies gave an insightful and measured presentation on the connection of Royal Arch and just why it is linked to the Craft. Information was then conveyed about two current Royal Arch District initiatives asking the Brethren present to complete the Royal Arch questionnaire for Craft only Masons (available online here http://tinyurl.com/EastRibbleRA ) and also inviting them along to a Royal Arch Introduction evening, to be held at Mill House Masonic Hall on Friday the 15th of May at 7pm.
The evening will be a demonstration, taking all from the third degree, right up to the point of exaltation, introducing non RA Masons to characters from the Royal Arch and most importantly, showing the connection to the Craft.
The talk was well received and concluded with a question and answer session which helped further explain more about the evenings topic, including input from members of Sunnyhurst Lodge, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, the Provincial Almoner WBro Brian Carter PAGDC and ten members of the District team who had come to support the evening.
WBro Farrington further expanded on the topic in his response at the Festive Board, stating that it was important that Exaltation into the Royal Arch should be made on an individual by individual basis and when a Brother feels comfortable enough with his Craft Masonry to take the next step. For some, that could be right away, for others, it may be further down the line.
L to R: The Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro John Farrington, PAGDC, District Chairman WBro David Lightbown PProvJGW, Sunnyhurst Members Bro'e Keth Perkins, Ron Thompson & Damien Wells, East Ribble District Dora EComp Alun Davies, PProvGStB
East Ribble District - Walk the Province 2015
Our fifth and final Walk the Province in aid of our EL2015 Festival took place on Sunday the 19th of April, when volunteer walkers from across the District made their way to Mill House from Blackburn Masonic Hall along the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Walkers from our Northern Area sister District Burnley & Pendle, including the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro John Farrington PAGDC, also set off around the same time from Burnley Masonic Hall, aiming to meet us in the middle at Mill House.
WBro James Abbott very kindly opened up Blackburn Masonic Hall at 8am to welcome the volunteers with tea, coffee and biscuits, getting us off to a great start. With options of a long or short route, the walkers (and one cyclist) set off for Clayton Le moors around 9am.
All walkers were at Mill House for around 11.30am, greeted by tea and coffee, again very kindly provided by Mick O'Donnell, Hall Steward. Both DIstrict Chairmen, WBro David Lightbown and WBro Paul Thornton welcomed all at the finish line.
WBro Gordon and Mrs Jean Cornthwaite, representing Rhyddings Lodge No.5205, had an extra surprise for the weary walkers, trays of pies and sausage rolls, along with Bread and teacakes to purchase for a small personal donations.
This raised an extra £50 for the Festival. The 'Bread Van' was WBro Cornthwaites 100 year old Società Ceirano Automobili Torino car!
Grateful thanks to Blackburn Masonic Hall and Mill House Masonic Hall for allowing the event participants use of the facilities, the organisers, the participants themselves and all who have donated to support them and our Festival Charity, the RMBI.
Personal 50th of WBro Gordon James Hebden, PProvDepGSuptWks
On Thursday 7th April 2015, WBro Gordon James Hebden, PProvDepGSuptWks, celebrated 50 years as a Freemason at Harmony and Industry Lodge No. 381, in Darwen. The WM, WBro Jack Briggs, PProvDepGReg, opened the Lodge and the early business was dealt with. On a report, WBro H Nigel Pickering, PProvJGW, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, entered the Lodge to announce that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro John Farrington PAGDC was in attendance, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation.
WBro Farrington then entered with WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh, PSGD, PAGM; WBro Donald Lansbury Laurie, PJGD; WBro Paul Aspinall, PAGDC, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for our Northern Area; WBro Peter Hargreaves, PAGDC; WBro Roger Flitcroft, PAGDC; WBro Sid Jenkinson, PProvSGW; WBro Bob Allan, PProvGSuptWks; WBro Frank Salt, PProvDepGReg; WBro David McGurty, PProvDepGDC; WBro Gordon McMillan, PProvDepGDC; WBro Dennis Heskett, PProvSGD; WBro Jim Smith, PProvSGD; WBro Ian Johnson, ProvJGD; WBro Mike Stubbs, ProvGStwd; WBro Steve Crowther, ProvGStwd and WBro Andrew Taylor, PProvGStwd.
WBro Farrington was offered the Gavel and on this occasion he accepted it and occupied the Masters Chair. He was formally greeted and he then introduced the members of the District Deputation. He gave apologies for our District Chairman, WBro David Lightbown, PProvJGW, who is only now recovering from a serious illness. He welcomed WBro Steven Watson, Past Provincial Grand Organist, who was already in the Lodge Room at the organ.
WBro Pickering, ProvDepGDC then seated WBro Hebden in the centre of the Lodge Room and WBro Farrington addressed the Brethren. He passed on to Gordon the best wishes of RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire and expressed his own sincere congratulations. WBro Norman Jepson, ADC, in his role as acting Assistant Secretary, then read the Lodge minutes from 50 years ago, when the main business of the evening had been the Initiation of a young Gordon Hebden!
WBro Keith Simm, PProvDepGSuptWks, then paid tribute to his very good friend, Gordon.
“Gordon James Hebden was born in Blackburn on 7th January 1939. He attended St. Luke’s Church of England Primary School and Lower Darwen County Primary School before passing a scholarship to Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School where he became Captain of Football. He later continued his studies at Chester, Edgehill and Lancaster. He has taught in secondary schools in Manchester and Blackburn, where he was Head of Department and Head of Guidance. More recently he worked with young people who have behavioural problems.
He was an F.A. Coach and has taken teams of University Students and Apprentice Professionals to compete in Blackburn’s twin towns of Péronne, Northern France and Altena, West Germany.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Bro. Norman Hebden, D.F.C., he joined Harmony and Industry Lodge in March 1965. He worked through every office within the Lodge and has been Assistant Secretary since 1984. He was 381's representative on Darwen Masonic Hall Committee for several years. He was a member of Royal Arch Hutchinson Chapter for a short time and became a founder member of Blakewater Lodge of Installed Masters No. 8574 in 1995, where he held the office of Chaplain. In 2010 he became a Joining Member of Old Blackburnian Lodge where, at present, he is Inner Guard.
He was installed as Worshipful Master of Harmony and Industry Lodge in 1979 and as Worshipful
Master of Blakewater Lodge in 2007.
Gordon has been married to his wife, Helen, for 53 years. They have a son and a daughter and ﬁve
grandchildren, three boys and twin girls.”
WBro Farrington gave some details of what the World was like in 1965. Winston Churchill had died and Harold Wilson became Prime Minister. Inflation was running at 5% and the average UK house price was £3,660 – but not round here!! A new Jaguar would have cost £1,800 or so and petrol was five shillings (25p). The Post Office Tower was opened and the 70mph national speed limit was introduced. Cigarette adverts were banned from Television and Ronnie Biggs escaped. The films of the period were such as “The Sound of Music”, “Help!”, “Mary Poppins” and “My Fair Lady”. The Beatles, the Stones, the Righteous Brothers, The Byrds and Dusty Springfield all had best sellers. In sport, Jim Clark won the Indianapolis 500, Arkle won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali. Liverpool beat Leeds 2-1 in the FA Cup, England beat New Zealand 3-0 in the Test.
WBro Farrington then read out and presented Gordon with his illuminated certificate and letter from RWBro Sir David Trippier. WBro Pickering then escorted WBro Hebden around the Lodge room, to prolonged applause.
At the social board, WBro Alan Hull, PProvGSwdB, in his toast to WBro Hebden, paid a further tribute, saying that 50 years ago he met Gordon at Harmony and Industry Lodge as they were Initiated within 12 months of each other. WBro Hebden had carried out nearly every duty that exists within the lodge, not only the various offices but also the Charges, Working Tools and, during his year as Master in 1979 he carried out all three ceremonies. The longest term of office is that of Assistant Secretary since 1984. Gordon maintains high standards and read the minutes in such a clear and complete manner that he must be the best assistant secretary – ever!
WBro Hebden’s Masonic activities extend to other Lodges. He was a founder member of Blakewater Lodge of Installed Masters, no. 9574, and eventually became Worshipful Master. The social events of both Harmony and Industry and Blakewater, such as Ladies Evenings and other big events, held under his direction, have been very enjoyable and successful events. But, not stopping there, he is now a member of Old Blackburnian Lodge, no 7933, and is again taking active office in that Lodge.
WBro Hebden is a sporting man. He was Captain of QEGS football team, became an FA Coach, played golf and bowls to a high standard and even started his teaching career on the sporting side. He gradually slowed down and transferred his teaching to the academic side and eventually took on the complex task of teaching children with difficulties. But, said Alan, “I missed one highlight. In the 1980’s WBro Hebden became the Harmony & Industry Snooker Pairs Champion and I hope your Golden Skeletal Clock is still functioning as well as mine”.
One final item from the social board was the presentation to Gordon of a Ukulele. He wasted no time in taking it from its case, tuning it up and started playing!!
Growing Wild is an outdoor community group that is based in Baxenden, Accrington. The group provides allotments, wild food collecting along with conservation for all ages. Maintaining a site with the aim of involving everyone in the community.
East Ribble District Charity Stewards have donated the funds to provide a much needed shelter for their composting toilet to enable their work to continue on all areas of their site.
Please click on this link for a wonderful letter from Jayne Rogers of Growing Wild, thanking the Freemasons for their donation.
Pictured is Kate Mason braving the inclement weather to receive our cheque.
Keep Lodge 6538 meet Child Action North West
On the 1st April, Lesley Ireton on behalf of Keep Lodge 6538 ladies committee presented a cheque to Child Action North West for £100.
This was raised through a fashion show and cake stall, organised by the Ladies Committee
The picture L to R Nicola Terry C.A.N.W,
Lesley Ireton Keep Lodge Ladies Committee &
David Pilkington C.A.N.W
A Special Thank You to WBro Martin Roche
Another special occasion took place at Verity Lodge, no. 3949, on Saturday morning, 28th March 2015. The Installation of the East Ribble District Secretary, WBro Bob Allan, PProvGSuptWks, Master Elect, by the East Ribble District Communications Officer, Bro Sid Jenkinson, PProvSGW, Worshipful Master, was greatly enhanced by the presence of a great many Province of East Lancashire rulers of the craft – past and present.
The Worshipful Master, WBro Sid Jenkinson, opened the Lodge and the VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, PGSwB, entered the lodge, accompanied by the Distinguished guests who were all subsequently greeted in fine style. The Principal Guest was WBro John Farrington PAGDC, our new Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area, on his first Official Visit since taking over from WBro Martin Roche, PSGD, who is now Provincial Grand Secretary!
The Worshipful Master, WBro Sid Jenkinson offered the gavel to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master who returned the gavel with thanks. He introduced the guests, amongst whom were EComp Stephen Martin Blank, PGSwdB, the new Deputy Grand Superintendent in the Royal Arch. Also Assistant Provincial Grand Masters WBro John Pearson, PSGD and WBro John Farrington PAGDC. Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh, PSGD and WBro Martin Caller, PSGD. Also in attendance were Grand Lodge Officers Roger Flitcroft, Bryan Bristol and Brian Carter (who has just joined Verity Lodge!) We also had the District Chairman of the Burnley and Pendle District – WBro Paul Thornton. All in all there were 33 guests present!!
On completion of the normal Lodge business and the Installation of the new Worshipful Master, WBro Bob Allan, PProvGSuptWks, two more special presentations were made.
First of all WBro John Farrington PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented a framed certificate to the Lodge in recognition of the fact that every member of the lodge had contributed to the 2015 Festival. The second presentation was on behalf of the East Ribble District when the District Chairman, David Lightbown, PProvJGW, presented WBro Martin Roche, PSGD with an engraved decanter as a “thank you” from East Ribble for all his kind help and assistance over the years when he was our APGM. WBro Roche was a great help in the dramatic change to the Area/District Organisation a few years ago when our new, enlarged Area was formed.
WBro Lightbown expalained that an empty decander, no matter how nice it was, was of little use until it had something inside it, whereupon he made a further presentation of a bottle of Talisker!!
But that was not the end. David informed the Lodge that Martin lived in Oldham and it was a 70 mile round trip for Martin every time he headed out in our direction. Goodness know how many miles Martin has covered and how many long hours he has spend away from home so a bouquet of flowers was also presented for Martin to hand on to his wife as a small token of appreciation for her tolerance and understanding.
At the social board everyone enjoyed the typical fare provided by Verity – French Onion Soup, ‘Tator Pie and Jam Roly Poly with Custard. It doesn’t get any better than that!!!
Finally, at the social board, the IPM presented WBro Farrington with a cheques for £500 for the Festival.
Travelling Gavel moves on
The WM of Bank Terrace Lodge No.462 in Accrington, (soon to be amalgamated with King Oswald Lodge No.3306) Bro Frank Leach, brought along five of his Brethren to Verity Lodge Installation on Saturday the 28th March, and claimed the District Travelling Gavel. There were also three Brethren of Verity who share 'dual nationality' between Accrington and Blackburn, making a total of nine 462 Brethren in attendance.
Claiming it from the newly installed WM of Verity Lodge, WBro Bob Allan PProvGSuptWks, despite taking great pleasure in stealing it away, Bro Leach hoped that the Lodge wouldn't be in possession of the Gavel for too long, as the purpose after all was to encourage cross district visiting.
Thank you - Deputy Chairman
WBro David Lightbown, WBro David Bristol, WBro Bryan Bristol
WBro David Lightbown, the East Ribble District chairman, visited Keep Lodge, no 6538, in Clitheroe, accompanied by members of his District team. WBro Lightbown enjoyed an informative talk by WBro Fred Lomax the Provincial Orator but the main purpose of his visit was to present WBro David Bristol with a decanter along with some Gin to thank him for his excellent work as Deputy Chairman now that he has moved onto his new office of the Royal Arch Provincial Director of Ceremonies.
A very special evening at Huntroyd Lodge, no. 6385
A unique occasion took place on Monday evening, 23rd March 2015. The RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, presided over a role reversal when Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area, WBro Martin Roche PSGD became Provincial Grand Secretary and WBro John Farrington PAGDC took over as Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area!!!
WBro W S Johnson, Worshipful Master of Huntroyd Lodge opened the Lodge and dealt with all the preliminary business and then the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro John Griffin ProvGDC, entered the Lodge Room to announce that the Provincial Grand Master was in attendance, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation.
After entering the Lodge room the two Provincial Grand Wardens occupied the Wardens Chairs - WBro Dr Simon Archer, SW and WBro Gerry Hodson , JW.
The Worshipful Master, WBro W S Johnson offered the gavel to the Provincial Grand Master who accepted it and occupied the Worshipful Master’s chair. He greeted all in attendance and thanked Huntroyd Lodge for hosting this special event, along with the Hall Committee, and then introduced the members of Provincial Deputation, along with many distinguished guests. The main deputation consisted of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, ALL the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and and Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, a past Provincial Grand Master, past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, the two Northern Area District Chairmen, Provincial Grand Chaplain, Provincial Grand Secretary, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, Provincial Grand Organist and Provincial Grand Standard Bearers along with many other distinguished brethren from our Province and neighbouring Provinces.
The Provincial Grand Master thanked WBro Martin Roche for all his work and for taking on the post of Provincial Grand Secretary and then appointed him with the collar of a PAPGM and then that of Provincial Grand Secretary.
The Provincial Grand Master then asked the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to escort WBro Farrington to the centre of the Lodge Room where he was met by his chain bearer, WBro John Ellis. The new Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro Martin Roche, then presented the Patent to the Provincial Grand Master for inspection. The Patent was in order, whereupon the Provincial Grand Secretary read it out.
After affirming that he was willing to accept the duties of his high office the Provincial Grand Chaplain read a prayer and then WBro John Farrington recited his Obligation as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. Finally the Provincial Grand Master invested WBro Farrington with his chain of office. WBro John Griffin ProvGDC, then proclaimed WBro John Farrington PAGDC as Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
WBro John Grime (Jack) Briggs, PProvDepGReg – 60 years a Freemason
On Thursday 12th March, 2015, Harmony & Industry Lodge, No. 381, meeting in Darwen, helped WBro Jack Briggs celebrate 60 years in Freemasonry. Jack was Installed as Worshipful Master of 381 just the previous month, but on this occasion IPM WBro Gordon Thomson, PProvSGD, PProvJGW (WL) was in the chair.
After opening the Lodge and dealing with all the early business, WBro Andrew Proctor, ProvDepGDC, entered the lodge to announce the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB accompanied by other distinguished guests. VWBro Thornhill then entered with EComp Paul Aspinall, PGStB, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for our Northern Area, together with WBro Dr Simon Archer, Provincial Senior Grand Warden and WBro David Lightbown, PProvJGW, District Chairman. Also in the Provincial Delegation were WBro John Farrington, ProvGSec (who will shortly become our very own Assistant Provincial Grand Master), WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh, PSGD, PAGM, WBro Roger Flitcroft, PAGDC and WBro Donald Lansbury Laurie and WBro Harold Cooper, ProvAGDC.
VWBro Thornhill was then offered the Gavel and on this occasion he accepted it and occupied the Masters Chair. He was then formally greeted, as were all the Provincial Delegation, which included WBro Paul Bowden, GOrg, Provincial Grand Organist, who was already in the Lodge Room at the organ. VWBro Thornhill then introduced all the guests previously mentioned and then the District Delegation who were already in the Lodge Room. These comprised WBro David Bristol, PProvJGW; WBro Sid Jenkinson, PProvSGW; WBro Frank Salt, PProvDepGReg, WBro David McGurty, PProvDepGDC; WBro Jim Smith, PProvSGD; WBro Dennis Heskett, PProvSGD; WBro Brian Derbyshire, PProvSGD, WBro Ian Johnson, PProvJGD; WBro Mike Stubbs, ProvGStwd; WBro Steve Crowther, ProvGStwd and WBro Andrew Taylor, PProvGStwd.
WBro Briggs was then seated in the centre of the Lodge Room and WBro John Briggs (junior) paid tribute to his father, WBro John Briggs, who is known to his friends as Jack.
Jack was born on the 13th July I922 in Darwen. He started school at 4 years old and at age 11 went to Darwen Grammar School. When he left at 14 he became an Apprentice Engraver at Belgrave Mills. The War then started and Young Johnny, as he was then known, particularly wanted to join the Royal Air Force so he lied about his age and reported for duty on 10th May I940 and was de-mobbed from Egypt in April 1946 when he returned to Belgrave Mills to ﬁnish his Apprenticeship.
In I949 he left Belgrave to set up his own business as an Engraver supplying various wallpaper manufacturers with embossing rollers. During this time he became a Governor of Blackburn Royal lnﬁrmary and around this time he became very interested in Politics and was Chairman of Darwen Conservative Party.
On 27th July 1950 he married his wife, Esther. They continued to live in Darwen and had two children Mary and John. By this time he had joined the family butchery business but continued to do engraving as a hobby, especially sports cups and shields. The butchery business expanded and a further shop was opened in Little Harwood which Jack ran for 20 years before joining his brother at the remaining Darwen shop and working part-time.
In I955 he started his Masonic career by following in his father's footsteps. Bro George Briggs was already a Member of Harmony and Industry Lodge No. 38l and was delighted when Jack was Initiated on the 10th March 1955. When his name was put forward for consideration the Lodge met at the Parliament Building at the centre of Darwen but you will probably know it better today as the NatWest Bank car park. The Lodge then moved to the Liberal Club where Jack's Initiation took place.
He was Installed as Worshipful Master in February 1972, with his wife Chairing the Ladies Committee. They had their Ladies Evening at the Cliffs Hotel in Blackpool and during the year they raised considerable funds for Darwen Masonic Hall. Several Members of the Lodge together with their wives, including Jack and Esther put on wonderful shows for a number of years to raise extra funds. They had lots of laughs and fun on the way and everyone enjoyed
the ‘'38! Shows" - they actually became famous and the shows were put on outside these rooms for various Charities.
Jack served for many years as the Lodge Representative on the District Committee and is also now the most senior Past Master of the Lodge and was appointed the Lodge Mentor several years ago. He is also a Past Master of Perseverance Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 403 and spent two years in the Chair. He was later joined in Freemasonry and the Lodge by his son John
Briggs and by his brother Ben Briggs. To keep the Masonic trait in the family, his daughter Mary also married a Mason, WBro Michael Thompson.
Jack lives at Priors Close where he moved I3 years ago with his wife. This was a terriﬁc wrench at the time as he had previously lived for the majority of his life overlooking Sunnyhurst Woods in Darwen and close to the Tower. He was married to Esther for 53 years until her sudden death 11 years ago.
Jack is very active and attends most Practice and Lodge Meetings and most will know that last month, at the age of 92, he was actually Installed as Worshipful Master. He has for many years visited and supported other Lodges both at their Meetings and social functions. He has, until recently, been a Member of Sunnyhurst Bowling Club having been Treasurer for many years and also serving a term as President. He is also a Member of Darwen Probus Club and always
enjoys the holidays they organise. He also enjoys the holidays organised by Victory Lodge and is looking forward to this years trip to Southern Ireland.
Jack had two knee replacements last year - the first one in March when three weeks later he went on a Probus holiday and the second one in September when just over two weeks later he was at his Lodge Meeting in Darwen - he really is remarkable!!
He enjoys spending time and socialising with his close knit family and idolises his grand-daughter Emma. He enjoys catching up with old friends and having meals together. He also enjoys reading, crosswords and Sudoku but struggles with jigsaws - always complaining there are pieces missing!!
Jack has always participated and assisted with the social events at Priors Close and is always ready and willing to help other Residents if the need arises.
Following this tribute, VWBro Thornhill re-capped some of the more memorable events of 1955. Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and retired from that office at the age of 80 years. 1955 was the year of the Big Freeze, HMS Ark Royal was launched, the Guinness Book of Records made its first appearance, Lego was invented and Clarence Birdseye invented the Fish Finger!! Christopher Cockerell built his first working model (and filed his first patent) for the hovercraft.
In 1955, only 10% of the population had a telephone, and only 25% of homes had a fridge/freezer. The Austin A30/A35 cost just £533. Quite a bit less than a Sunbeam Rapier or a Triumph TR3. Stirling Moss won the British Grand Prix whilst Juan Manuel Fangio became World Champion. Fred Davis beat John Pulman in the Championship over 77 frames.
Turning to music, two big hits of the year were Tennessee Ernie Ford with “Give me your word” and Slim Whitman with “Rose Marie”. Bill Haley and His Comets were only just making it with “Rock around the clock” and Elvis didn’t get going in the UK till the following year.
The films of the time included The Dambusters, Guys and Dolls, Oaklahoma and To Hell and Back. On TV we had Gunsmoke and Sgt BIlko!
But the big event of 1955, as reported earlier, occurred on the 10th March!!
VWBro Thornhill then presented Jack with his Certificate and personal letter from our Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL and congratulated Jack on his 60 years. Jack then perambulated the Lodge to prolonged acclaim.
VWBro Thornhill, along with the Provincial Delegation then retired and WBro Thomson re-occupied the Masters Chair to close the lodge.
Magnificant donation to the Festival
Keep Lodge held their Installation Meeting on on 27th Feb 2015 and were very pleased to welcome the guest of honour, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Very Worshipful Brother Derek Thornhill, who was accompanied by the District Chairman, Worshipful Brother David Lightbown and the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of ceremonies Worshipful Brother Nigel Pickering.
The Installation of Bro David Moran as Worshipful Master for the ensuing year was conducted by the outgoing WM, WBro John Wilson, PProvAGDC and WBro David Bristol, PProvJGW.
In the photos below, bottom left, we see VWBro Thornhill between outgoing WM (now IPM) WBro John Wilson (left of picture) and the new WM, Bro David Moran (right of picture) presenting 2 cheques. One is to the 2015 Festival for the magnificent sum of £6,538.00 (Keep Lodge 6538) and the other to the ELMC for £250.00.
After the excellent installation meeting the 60 or so Brethren (some from as far as Scotland) crossed the road to the Swan and Royal and enjoyed, a superb meal.
Cheque Presented to GO onTour
David Lightbown, East Ribble District Chairman, accompanied by his wife Susan, presented GO on Tour with a cheque for £429 as a community award in support of the work the group do in taking live entertainment into nursing and dementia care homes.
The money will be spent on a new microphone system after the group suffered an equipment breakdown at Christmas, and to extend the costumes that provide the colour and visual stimulation of the group's performances.
The presentation took place at Thwaites Empire Theatre, the GOs home base.
Left to Right, Susan Lightbown, Michael Berry, Empire Theatre Chairman, David Lightbown, East Ribble District Chairman, Lesley Hyde, Lorraine May, Gwen Tomlinson, Roslyn Walsh and Mandy Stableford, GO on Tour Artistic Director
Victory Lodge, 3932, 4th Annual Race Night
The Victory Lodge, 3932, held their 4th Annual Race Night at Blackburn Masonic Hall on Friday 27th February in the newly re-opened function room. The theme of the evening was “Ladies at the Races” and there was a prize for the best dressed Lady.
Each person was given a Race card with all the information for the evening’s eight races. Betting took places on each race and for a small amount a horse could be “bought” for a race.
Half way through the proceedings a break was taken to enjoy a wonderful supper of chicken and chips.
Sponsors supported each race and their input was greatly appreciated. Phil and Sue Beaumont were once again on sparkling form and worked hard, alongside David Nuttall (with Phil) on the Tote desk and the Worshipful Master, Sean Duckworth. Bryan Pemberton (who had a knee replacement on 3rd Feb 15) was resplendent in a Top Hat.
Grateful thanks are due to the race provider who has worked hard on our behalf for all four years. It was very good to see Victory Lodges' friends from other Blackburn and Darwen lodges supporting this good cause. £624 was raised - all of which will go to the 2015 Festival. A very good effort all round and thanks to all who supported the night.
Another very successful weekend was held at the Chadwick Hotel in St. Annes. Starting Friday 23rd January through to Sunday 25th it was a non-stop eating fest!!! The theme this year was celebrities. Martin Slater was given the unenviable task of being the judge and so Doris Lamb was crowned Miss Chip Butty 2015 while Phil and Sue Beaumont were given joint best dressed couple.
A multitude of prizes was once again donated by the very generous freemasons in East Lancashire and these were all awarded on the night. The money raised by the Winter Draw, held at the Chadwick Weekend, amounted to a magnificant sum of £1,833. This will be donated between the 2015 Festival (50%), the ELMC (25%) and the East Ribble Charity Stewards Committee (25%).
On Friday evening we were entertained by Johnny Big Yin. As you can guess, Johnny was not dis-similar to The Big Yin himself. It was as though Billy Connerly was in the room. But Johnny, as well as being very funny, was a fantastic guitarist and played a fantastic selection of hits old and new (mainly old!!)
On Saturday night the entertainment was provided by "The Zeta & Lee Experience". Derek and Mike, accompanied by their respective wifes, not only provided a wonderful "Swing Era" vocal performance, but also provided a comedy dance routine and a full state of the art DJ show.
Many thanks once again to Doris and Joe Lamb for organising this fantastic weekend. Now in its 16th year, Doris and Joe work tirelessly for our enjoyment. The East Ribble District Charity Stewards must be thanked for the 2015 Winter Draw. Mike Stubbs and Ian Johnson were on hand to ensure all went well.
Finally, a big thank you to the owners and staff of the Chadwick Hotel for all they did for us over the weekend. The food was fantastic.
Marshalling at the East Lancs Hospice 10K Run
Following the original run being cancelled due to adverse weather, over 450 runners turned out for the East Lancashire Hospice 10K Run this weekend.
Organised by Gaskells Motor Bodies and the amazing Hospice fundraising team, many came to keep the route and runners safe at the event. This included 12 of our own volunteers who managed to re-arrange their weekends at short notice to support the day.
We originally had 24 volunteers the previous week ready to attend, but alas the run was thwarted by the unsafe running conditions.
East Lancashire Hospice has many fun events across the year, which gives all in the local area the opportunity to support this vital community cause, including volunteering at the Hospice itself.
Hospice Patients drinks trolley donation
East Lancashire Hospice received our bi-annual £350 donation towards the patients Drinks Trolley on Wednesday the 21st of January.
District Chairman David Lightbown, presented the cheque to Denise Gee, Events Fundraiser and the Hospice day patients, who were enjoying some afternoon craft activities through the Creative and Support Therapy initiative.
Creative and support therapies provides therapeutic activities designed to improve well being. They are based on the belief that everyone can benefit from participating in activities and conversation where they learn about themselves and others
East Ribble - Entertain Eccleshome
On Wednesday 14th January 2015 the East Ribble District presented some entertainment for the residents of Eccleshome, our RMBI care home located in Eccles.
The entertainment was provided by the GOs on tour , the singing and dance group are based at the Thwaites Theatre in Blackburn, and from their humble beginnings some five years ago, are now providing superb entertainment throughout the North west of England.
The GOs provide entertainment at all sorts of venues and are a charitable group giving up their time and expertise for nothing to give pleasure to residents at care and rest homes, and it is wonderful to see the interaction between the group and residents with the music bringing back all sorts of memories for the residents.
The event was supported by the East Ribble District Chairman and wife Susan (pictured centre, below with the GOs), but the chairman drew the line when asked to join in with the musical entertainment , but thanked the group for a very enjoyable show which lasted just over two hours.
Clitheroe and District Masonic Fellowship
On Monday 12th January, two cheques were presented by the Clitheroe and District Masonic Fellowship. The first cheque for £250 was presented to the Friends of Clitheroe Hospital and the second cheque, also for £250, was presented to Child Action North West. This is a quite remarkable achievement for a Masonic Fellowship to donate £500 to non-Masonic Charities, entirely out of their own funds. The Fellowship is an organisation for senior citizens with Masonic connections, including wives, widows and close relatives. The Clitheroe and District Masonic Fellowship meetings are held in the splendid Village Hall/Community Centre in West Bradford. This is a wonderful building for a small East Lancashire Village. The Hall was opened in 1994 and just recently a new extension was added to the side to increase the capacity of the original meeting room to now provide a perfect meeting room for the Fellowship.
Meetings are normally held on the second Monday in each month at 2:30pm until approximately 4:00pm. There is no membership fee but a very small nominal charge is made at each meeting to cover the cost of refreshments.
Bill Fishwick, Brenda Dixon (Chairman - Friends of Clitheroe Hospital) and Donald Wilson
Bill Fishwick, Donald Wilson and Nicola Terry (Fundraising Manager - Child Action North West)
John Hemingway, Margaret Garnett, Doreen Wilson, Bill Fishwick, Brenda Dixon (Chairman - Friends of Clitheroe Hospital),
Donald Wilson (with cheque) and Jean Fishwick
John Hemingway, Margaret Garnett, Doreen Wilson, Bill Fishwick, Donald Wilson, Jean Fishwick
and Nicola Terry (Fundraising Manager - Child Action North West) with cheque
After the cheque presentations the meeting continued with a combined talk and magic show presented by Mr John Pye. John has only recently completed his year as President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) - an organisation for both professional and amateur stage magicians, with approximately 15,000 members worldwide. John is also the Executive Secretary of the British Ring of the IBM.
Coronation Lodge, 3479 - Bible Dedication Ceremony
A rather rare and special ceremony was performed on Thursday 8th January at Coronation Lodge, 3479. WBro John Rimmer, PProvDepGReg, presented a splendid locked Bible to the Lodge. The Bible, from Billinge Mark Lodge 908 (which closed in 2014) originally came from Hawthorne Street Methodist Church, Blackburn. WBro Rimmer had the Bible refurbished for presentation to Coronation Lodge.
After the usual Lodge business was conducted, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD, was admitted, accompanied by a District Deputation consisting of:
Paul Aspinall, PGStB (PAGDC), APGP
Christopher Oversby PAGDC
David Lightbown, PProvJGW, District Chairman
David Bristol, PProvJGW, Deputy Chairman
Bob Allan, PProvGSuptWks, District Secretary
Brian Derbyshire, PProvGStwd, District Mentor
Sid Jenkinson, PProvSGW, District Communications Officer
Jim Smith, PProvGStdB, District Treasurer
Dennis Heskett, PProvSGD, Assistant Secretary
Ian Johnson, ProvJGD, Sec Charity Stewards
Steve Crowther, ProvGStwd, Assistant Communications Officer
Frank Salt, PProvDepGReg, Responsible for the care of Widows of closed Lodges.
After greetings, the WM, WBro Keith Stainton, invited the Assistant Provincial Grand Master to occupy his chair, which, on this occasion, he did. The APGM then introduced all the members of the Deputation.
The Bible Dedication Ceremony was then performed. The new Bible had been placed in the centre of the Lodge and covered with a veil. Andrew Procter, ProvDepGDC and Harold Cooper, PProvJGW, ProvDepGDC unveiled the Bible and a small deputation was formed to parade the bible around the Lodge Room, whilst the Brethren sang an appropriate hymn. The group consisted of the Bible Bearer, Bro Andy Hindle together with the Bible Donor, WBro John Rimmer, together with the two Deacons.
The Bible was then presented to the Lodge by WBro John Rimmer, who placed it on the WM’s pedestal after the old bible had been removed, still open, to the secretary’s table. Reverend John Winstanley, ProvDepGChap, dedicated the bible and it was opened for the first time as the old bible was closed.
Reverend John Winstanley gave a wonderful oration on the importance of the Bible and explained in detail it’s use, together with the square and compasses, within the Lodge. This oration was very well received by the Brethren. The APGM thanked Reverend Winstanley and then gave a reading from the bible in his own inimitable style.
The APGM invited the WM to resume his rightful place within the Lodge and the APGM and Delegation then withdrew.
The District Deputation with
members of Coronation Lodge and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master
Members of Coronation Lodge and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master
The Bible Donor,
WBro John Rimmer, WBro Keith Stainton, WM and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD
Volunteers Support the East Lancashire Hospice 'Carols by Torchlight'
On December the 19th, 14 District Volunteers assisted the Hospice Fundraising team set up Gazebos, mulled wine and hot Vimto station and merchandise area in the newly renovated Gardens in the Hospice grounds.
The event was well supported, all enjoying the fantastic brass band and carols, wrapped up warmly on a very cold Winters evening.
The volunteers marshalled the parking and assisted with the tidy up after the Festive fun had finished.
Four Generations of Lodges
On Monday 15th December, 2014, Cathedral Lodge, number 7814, held a Christmas Meeting, and were entertained by three presentations, given by WBros David Bell & Mike Stubbs.
But, on that evening, a very unique occasion took place, for on the night; in attendance, were four generations of Lodges.
Heading the list was the WM of Cathedral’s Great Grandmother Lodge, WBro Lawrence J Yarwood, of the Lodge of Antiquity, number 146, in Bolton - founded in the year 1776,
Then came WBro Chris Hajikakou, WM of Cathedral's Grandmother Lodge, the Lodge of Benevolence, number 226 (formerly Blackburn but now meeting in Rochdale) - founded in 1797.
WBro Malcolm Roe is the WM of Cathedral’s Mother Lodge, The Lodge of Perseverance, number 345, meeting in Blackburn - founded 1815. Perseverance will be celebrating their bi-centenary in 2015!
For the mathematically minded, these four Lodges represent 706 lodge years. That is 238 years of freemasonry from 146, 217 from 226, 199 from 345 and 52 from 7814.
The photograph, below, shows from Left to Right:
WBro David Bell, IPM of Cathedral Lodge No 7814 and SW of Lodge of the Lodge of Perseverance No 345 and chief instigator of this grand “coming-together”.
Bro Clive Owen, WM Cathedral Lodge No 7814.
WBro Malcolm Roe, who was, at the time, the WM of the Lodge of Perseverance No 345. (They have since had their Installation meeting and WBro Brian Hartwell is now the WM).
WBro Chris Hajikakou, WM of the Lodge of Benevolence No 226.
WBro Lawrence J Yarwood, WM of the Lodge of Antiquity No 146.
East Ribble Archives Navigation:
Latest News |
Blackburn Archives Navigation: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 & earlier
Accrington Archives Navigation: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 & earlier
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.
back to top