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East Ribble District Latest News - 2016

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Masonic Hall and Lodge Details for the Northern Area    Accrington MH    Blackburn MH     Clitheroe Masonic Rooms     Mill House


The Travelling Gavel is now held by Cathederal Lodge No.7814 in Blackburn- see below

Lodge Salfire 1505 add colour to DeLacy Lodge's regular meeting

The meeting of DeLacy Lodge No. 4591 by special dispensation on Friday 21st October at Mill House, was an extremely colourful and rare event. The Worshipful Master, WBro Melvyn Cross PProvJGW arranged for Brethren of Lodge Salfire 1505 (of which he is an honorary member) from the Scottish Constitution to make the journey from Glasgow to perform a demonstration of the First Degree Ceremony.
The Lodge was duly opened and salutations given to WBro John Farrington PSGD the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the East Ribble District, who had kindly agreed to support De Lacy Lodge by attending the Friday evening meeting. The dispensation was read and the initial business concluded before the Lodge was called off.
The Lodge Director of Ceremonies, WBro William P Mcghee PProvJGD then admitted the brethren of Lodge Salfire 1505 who entered resplendant in their scarlet regalia. The Brethren took seats around the Lodge before the Right Worshipful Master WBro George Suttie took the Masters chair and asked the Brethren of Lodge Salfire to take their respective offices. The Lodge was then opened in the tradition of the Scottish Constitution before the candidate WBro Steve Crowther PProvGStwd the Lodge Junior Deacon was nervously escorted from the Lodge and prepared for Initiation.

The ceremony of Initiation was then demonstrated in a most professional and proficient manner, after which the lodge was closed by the officers of Lodge Salfire and WBro Cross re-took his place in the Master's Chair, and the Lodge was called back on again, and the business of the evening continued following a huge vote of thanks to Lodge Salfire for their wonderful demonstration. Before the Lodge was closed Lodge Salfire presented the candidate with their Lodge tie and lapel badge and invited him and DeLacy Lodge to their Installation ceremony. They also offered to return to demonstrate the Third Degree to the hilarity of all assembled…except WBro Crowther!
Following the meeting an excellent festive board followed with heartfelt fellowship from both sides of the Scottish Border. Overall it was a different evening of Freemasonry and all agreed they had their daily advancement in Masonic knowledge fulfilled.

The Brethren of Delacy Lodge No. 4591 with Lodge Salfire 1505 Brethren and visitors

WBro John Farrington PSGD with WBro Melvyn Cross and Right Worshipful Master George Suttie

East Lancashire Hospice Donation

The East Ribble District Charity Steward Wbro Mike Stubbs recently presented a cheque for the sum of £600 to Jen from East Lancashire Hospice.

The cheque was a combination of £350 for the District's ongoing support for the Hospice drinks trolley which was started by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh over to 10 years ago.

The second sum of £250 was a generous donation from the Brethren of Coronation Lodge No. 3479.

Empire Theatre Monday Club Show

The ELMC grant committee recently awarded the Thwaites Empire Theatre a grant to purchase two defibrillator units complete with protective cases and staff training,
One defibrillator unit for the Theatre bar area and the second unit for the attached Performing Arts Centre which is used on a daily basis by all sections of the community

As a thank you for the grant on Monday 3rd October the Theatre invited guests from the East Ribble District Fellowships , Lodge Widows and residents from Hewlett Court , to the Monday Club Show, in total there were forty three guests in the District Party, the guests were received by the District Chairman WBro David Lightbown and his wife Susan ,and assistance was given by WBro Jim Smith and WBro Howard Alderness Perkins from the District and WBro Charles Ward and Staff from Hewlett Court

Everyone enjoyed the fun packed show , and joined in the singing on a number of occasions, one of the vocalists Jean Pasquill having recently been invited over to Doris Days home in America to perform at the stars 92nd birthday celebrations, shared her experience with the audience and said what a memorable experience it had been. All of the audience enjoyed complimentary tea and biscuits at the interval and went home singing.

Charity Stewards Walk

The annual Charity Stewards Walk took place on Sunday September 18th. The Tolkien Trail starts at Hurst Green, past Stonyhurst College and on to the river Hoder at Cromwell's Bridge before winding its way to the finish at the Shireburn Arms Hotel in Hurst Green. The intrepid explorers, led by WBro Duncan Holmes and his wife Mary, assembled on a wonderfully sunny and warm day, and set off in convoy on their adventure. Once they reached Cromwell's Bridge well earned refreshments were taken before they continued on their journey through the idyllic Ribble Valley countryside towards the finishing point back in Hurst Green.

All the walkers really enjoyed their day and all raised well earned sponsorship money which will support the Charity Stewards Fund which will subsequently be passed on to local causes. The final sum will be reported once it has been collected.

Over recent months brethren have also assisted at events at the East Lancashire Hospice, the Hope Centre in Oswaldtwistle as well as marshalling the car park at Blackburn Rovers home matches.

Lodge Amity and Rossendale Forest No. 283 celebrate 225 years

On the evening of Tuesday 13th September, 50 brethren assembled at Mill House Masonic Hall to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Lodge of Amity and Rossemdale Forest No. 283. This Lodge had a very successful amalgamation in 2011, and whilst 225 years is not an official 'birthday', it was right to celebrate such an important milestone within the Province.

The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Master WBro Derek Smith PProvSGD and once the business of the lodge had been completed, a Provincial Delegation formed of Grand Lodge Officers, guided by WBro Andrew Taylor ProvDepGDC with the assistance of the Lodge DC and Deacons, and led by VWBro Derek Thornhill JP PGSswdB The Deputy Provincial Grand Master entered the lodge to join the existing Brethren from the extended District delegation already present.

The WM welcomed VWBro Thornhill and offered him the gavel, which on this occasion he was very happy to receive. VWBro Thornhill opened his presentation by saying how happy he was to be performing the celebration, as the amalgamation was one of his first duties as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. He went on to say how delighted was that the amalgamation had worked so well and how rare it was to see the birthday of such an old Lodge.

The Lodge Junior Warden WBro Donald Bright PProvGSuptWks then presented a short history of the Lodge which included the explanation of why it was established as a lunar Lodge with brethren making their way home in the complete darkness in 1791. He further went on to highlight the key dates, and made reference to the brethren known to the lodge over its rich history.
VWBro Thornhill then went on to highlight one of the historical facts that occurred in 1791, these included the fact that George III was on the throne, William Pit the younger was Prime Minister, the Ordinance Survey was established, the first issue of the Observer was issued, Michael Faraday was born and John Wesley founder of the Methodist Movement died.

The Worshipful Master then had the pleasant duty of presenting a cheque to VWBo Thornhill with a cheque towards the ELMC for the value of £283 to represent the Lodge number. The cheque was gratefully received.
VWBro Thornhill completed his presentation by saying how important it was for Brethren to interact and engage with the community and to concentrate on ways of informing the public about the role of Freemasonry in society, to be proud to say we are Freemasons.

WBro Taylor with the aid of the Lodge DC and Deacons retired the delegation and the lodge was closed. The brethren retired to the festive board.
In his response VWBro Thornhill reiterated his recruitment message and stated that this must be the focus within the Province. A committee has been established to manage this and the excellent recruitment presentation is currently making its way around the Lodge rooms in the Northern District. The Provincial trailer is also making a difference to bringing Freemasonry to the community.
He concluded by proposing a toast to the Worshipful Master and the Lodge. The Worshipful Master responded by saying how proud he was to be the Master of such a wonderful Lodge and thanked all the officers for making the evening special. He also plans to be around for a few more years to celebrate his own Masonic 50th birthday in 2020. We all look forward to celebrating it with him!


The Worshipful Master with the Provincial Deputation

The Brethren of the Lodge of Amity and Rossendale Forest No. 283

The Brethren enjoying a wonderful Festive Board

East Ribble Visit to Hewlett Court

Several East Ribble District Freemasons, accompanied by their wives/partners, recently took a trip over to see the excellent facilities at our wonderful Provincial retirement home Hewlett Court.

Mrs Julie Ward, Director of Operations for the ELMC, based at Hewlett Court, guiding the visitors and was supported by Husband Charles Ward. Highlights included seeing the many recent improvements which have included a complete renovation of the hairdressing salon, redecoration, bar facilities in the main lounge, a residents shop which make up just a small part of the consistent programme of updates and renovations taking place.

The main highlight of the visit was the opportunity to talk to some of the many residents, all who were effusive in their praise of Hewlett Court facilities and many residents activities which includes visits out to Blackpool Illuminations, Canal Boat Trips, in house entertainment, garden renovations and much more. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits rounded of a most worthwhile visit. Any Brother can take along their family to see for themselves the "Jewel in the Provincial Crown", just call ahead if possible, you will always be made most welcome. Mrs Ward can be contacted on 01204 88753

Provincial Trailer at the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Show.

Brethren from the Northern Area gave up their time to volunteer and represent the Province with our new Trailer at the Royal Lancashire Agricultural show this year. 
The event ran from Friday the 12th through to Sunday the 14th of August and was held at Witton Park in Blackburn.

The stand had many visitors including families enjoying the event and taking advantage of our face painting and free balloons! On the Saturday & Sunday, Bro Scott Miller, member of the East Ribble District Lodge Membership Officers group and Trustee of North West Blood Bikes, brought one of the Blood Bikes to the stand to demonstrate just a small part of what Freemasonry is doing for local worthy causes in our Community. The ELMC Community fund committee at the time provided over £4000 for a blood Bike in 2014 to assist with their essential work. Both the Face painting & Blood Bike proved a great draw to the stand. 

Information packs including information on Freemasonry, our Charities, our District activities and a DVD were given out to interested parties, all in specially printed small carrier bags bearing our contact information and web/social media addresses.

Despite the weather there was healthy interest in our work and it was a worthwhile  interaction with Freemasonry and the Community. 

Our presence at the weekend was overseen by East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown PAGDC, from idea, to booking and planning for the event, delivery, set up and close down every day and being part of the public facing team throughout the whole of the show.

Grateful thanks particularly to the Secretariat & all of the volunteers who helped assist including Bro Ian Ferrier (delivery and set up), WBro Paul Thornton (B&P District Chairman) & WBro Graeme Wilkinson, (public facing volunteers) all from the Burnley & Pendle District.
WBro Raymond Tattersall, WBro's Graham Chadwick, David Gill, Andrew Hindle, Bro's Scott Miller & Will Atkinson (public facing volunteers) along with WBro Bruce Pollard & WBro Ian Johnson (transport of trailer)


Defibrillators presented to local Theatre

WBro David Lightbown PAGDC, Chairman of the East Ribble District took great pleasure in presenting two defibrallators and secure enclosures to Michael Berry, Chairman of the Thwaites Empire Theatre on Friday the 29th of July.

One will be used for use in the Theatre itself for patron and staff use and the other for the many community groups accessing the studio and offices in the performing arts building.
These were funded by a donation or nearly £2000 by the East Lancashire Masonic Charity Grants Committee along with training costs for staff and volunteers, once again demonstrating the amazing support our Provincial Charity gives to worthy causes in our District.

Clitheroe Masonic Fellowship

The Fellowship held their monthly meeting on Monday 11th July. The group gathered to enjoy an afternoon tea supplied by four of the ladies, as well as musical entertainment from Mrs. Jean Forrester.

The Fellowship invited the members of Accrington, Colne and Darwen to join them. They were also delighted to welcome WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman and his wife.

The afternoon was a huge success with 66 members and guests present, all of whom were welcomed by Chairman WBro Bill Fishwick. WBro Lightbown thanked everyone for their attendance and added, that as a District we should be more proactive in promoting and supporting the three Fellowships,within the East Ribble District who generally have meetings on a monthly basis  which  normally includes  a guest speaker and light refreshments. Membership normally being open for all Brethren along with their wives, widows, close friends and relatives, dependant on each fellowship committee rules.

All left well fed and entertained, after an enjoyable afternoon of Masonic Fellowship.

Fellowship contact details and meeting dates can be found on the Fellowship section of the Provincial Website or the District Diary.

Marshalling the East Lancs Hospice Starlight Walk

Over 50 Freemasons from the District answered the call to assist the East Lancs Hospice for their 10th annual Starlight Walk, held on the evening of Saturday 16th July. This year the walk had the theme of Superheroes and for the first time included a run for the handful of ladies who opted for it.

A small band of masons arrived at the DW Soccer Dome at 1.30 pm to set up the marshalling point, which this year was housed in the new Provincial Masonic Trailer. Once established, WBro Bellas was left on guard, whilst around 40 brethren gathered for the customary pre-event curry at the Reena Restaurant in Oswaldtwistle. Once fed and watered, the brethren made their way up to DW to get kitted out in their high-vis jackets and confirm their duties for the evening. The 300 ladies taking part this year then began to arrive for registration and many had taken the theme seriously, and there were some wonderful superhero costumes to be seen. As well as the normal warm up for the walkers, they were also treat to demonstrations from the Ribble Valley Acrobatic Academy and Street Monkeys, a fearless band of street runners and trampoline acrobats. The entertainment was compared as ever by radio presenters from 2BR. Their banter kept the evening running right up until the off.

Once the marshals were in place the walk/run began at 10.00pm. The runners completed the course in rapid time, but the walkers didn't hang around either, and the event finished with the final walker coming home at around 12.30am, where they enjoyed a well deserved sausage butty and a warm drink. When everyone was safely back it was time to pack up the trailer and hospice equipment. The last to leave did so at around 1.45 am. All the helpers thoroughly enjoy this function, and this year was no different. A very worthwhile event, and the final total raised on the evening was £25,000 an amazing amount for the number of walkers taking part!


Cheque Presentation for the Friendship Club

At the most recent meeting of the Friendship Club, WBro Ian Johnson Assistant District Charity Steward, presented a cheque for £200 on behalf of the charity stewards to the Chair, Shirley Hodgson.

The club meets on the first Wednesday of every month at St James Church Cobham Road Accrington, where they have free use of the meeting room at the rear of the church. The theme for this meeting was the Queens 90th Birthday Celebrations, where all the guests received a replica of the meal presented to guests at the party held on the Mall in London.

The club is free and open to anyone who is in receipt of the State Pension, and was set up in 2011 following an increased awareness that many people in Hyndburn were unable to get out by themselves. The attendees are collected from home and brought to the centre, where they have a meal and a social get together. Outings are also arranged.
Currently there are 80 members supported by a team of 40 volunteers, and the popularity of the group means there is a waiting list for prospective members.


Restocking the Hospice Drinks Trolley

Recently the East Ribble District Charity Steward WBro Mike Stubbs along with his Assistant WBro Ian Johnson were delighted to present Denise Gee and some of East Lancashire Hospice staff with a cheque for £350 for the restocking of the patients Drinks Trolley.

The restocking of the drinks trolley by donations from the East Ribble District Charity Stewards' Fund takes place twice every year.

Oswaldtwistle Mills Pound Day Volunteers for Child Action NW

Volunteers from East Ribble District recently provided support to Child Action North West Pound Day event that was held at Oswaldtwistle Mills.

The first day was spent setting up the gazebos and stalls. The Provincial Trailer was in attendance on the second day and the volunteers rotated between manning the trailer, collecting on behalf of the charity and keeping the grounds tidy. The day ended with some unfortunate inclement weather during packing away but this did not spoil the enjoyment of the volunteers.

2016 Victory Lodge Trip - Gems of Ireland

Just like last year, a group of excited Victory Lodge members, friends, wives and partners left Blackburn at 7:30am on Sunday 12th June 2016 on a coach driven by the Blackburn Masonic Hall Chairman – a certain Phil Beaumont. "The Courier" – Sue Beaumont, most ably assisted him.

It didn't take long to arrive at "The Bells of St. Mary's" for breakfast just before Prestatyn. Arriving on Anglesey we just had to stop off at Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch, which we all know means "Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave.""

We arrived at our hotel around 8:00pm and enjoyed an excellent meal. The Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa is a 4-star hotel set in its own grounds at the edge of the beautiful village of Adare, near Limerick.

We visited Bunratty Castle and the extensive Folk Park. We learned how to make the perfect Irish Coffee when we visited the Flying Boat Museum at Foynes. We gazed in awe at The Burren – a huge area of limestone pavement. Then we took a boat trip to view the spectacular Cliffs of Moher from the sea. Some sea-faring Lancastrians fared better than others!! We then went to the top of the cliffs to take in the fantastic views and to climb O'Brian's Tower. The visitor centre (opened in 2007) is a wonderful construction built into the cliff top.

All in all, another thoroughly wonderful experience and many thanks go to Phil &Sue.

The group pictured with Capt Beaumont - A true mariner!

Painting the town blue when the 'Countryside Came to Town'

The Masonic trailer made another appearance in Blackburn town centre at the Countryside Comes to Town event. The stall was set up early in the morning on Church Street opposite the market, and was manned by a few volunteers throughout the day until the 5.00pm close. Attached to the trailer was the very popular face painting stand, where the children had their faces transformed whilst the dad's chatted about Freemasonry and collected balloons for the young ones. As the day progressed and the number of balloons handed out increased dramatically, a sea of blue could be seen across the town as over 200 blue balloons were being welded by excited kids, each one advertising Masonic charity and a link to the website.

We had a visit from our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, and throughout the day there were many conversations with existing Freemasons and their families from as far afield as Bournemouth and Cleveland who were very impressed with the trailer and how we were spreading the word at such an event. It was also nice to talk to people who had genuine interests in Freemasonry and to dispel some of the preconceptions they had picked up through the media and online, and, to answer some very specific questions and hopefully allow them to see Freemasonry in a different light. The charitable aspects of the fraternity genuinely impressed people who had no idea of the levels of giving across the local area as well as the rest of the country and further afield.

The trailer was broken down and packed away before another outing the day after at Townley Park in Burnley. Watch out for it… Its coming to an event near you soon!

Pictured are WBro David Gill, Bro Abid Ditta and WBro Raymond Tattersall. Also helping out throughout the day were WBro David Lightbown the District Chairman, WBro Russell Harwood, WBro Steve Crowther and WBro Keith Jackson

Senior Social Group Presentation

The Senior Social Group was formed by Maxine Walsh to support people with early onset dementia, or have found activities in other groups inappropriate or unappealing, and has helped both families and carers by enabling them to meet people in similar situations.

Meetings take place at the old Function Room in Darwen, where there is a safe fun and friendly environment for the 30 members who suffer from a variety of age related illness including Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease and strokes as well as other people who are otherwise socially isolated. Lunches are provided as well as a wide range of entertainment including singers, bingo, quizzes, karaoke and studying old photos provided by Darwen Days, which spark some amazing conversations and reminiscences.

When the group was recently celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday WBro Tony Kenny and Bro John Gosling from Fidelity and Crusaders Lodge No. 269 presented a cheque for £200 to Maxine Walsh on behalf of the East Ribble District Charity Stewards.

The donation was gratefully received and will contribute towards a day trip to Blackpool, for which they have been fund raising for the past few months with Football cards and raffles.

Fusion Awards Ceremony

On Saturday 28th May 2016, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro John Farrington PSGD, Mrs Christine Farrington accompanied by the East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown PAGDC and Mrs Susan Lightbpown , along with various dignitaries, including the MP for Blackburn with Darwen Kate Hollern and Councillors Hussain Akhtar and Brian Taylor the Mayors of Blackburn and Darwen respectively ,were invited as guests to the annual Fusion Awards Ceremony held at King Georges Hall Blackburn. This is the the tenth anniversary of the awards, the event once again being hosted by television presenter Sameena Ali khan.

The Invitation was arranged by a Bro Abid Ditta, recently initiated into Freemasonry in Fidelity and Crusaders Lodge No.269 and Director/Owner of Star Tissue UK in Blackburn.

The awards are a celebration of the contributions of individuals and groups from the North west of England during the past twelve months, this years event being especially poignant as it is a decade since the event was first conceptualised, the idea being to celebrate the public servants, volunteers and charity workers from all backgrounds who go the extra mile to make their neighbourhoods unique.

The evening commenced with entertainment by talented violinist Faz Shah, which was followed by the award ceremony itself , including awards for public services , community achievements, youth leadership and many others. Full details of the awards can be found by the following link

The evening concluded with a wonderful spread of fine Indian cuisine provided by Waheeds Buffet and Banqueting Hall Blackburn.



At the Fusion Awards: L to R: WBro John Farrington PSGD & APGM, Mrs Christine Farrington, Bro Abid Ditta, WBro David Lightbown PAGDC, Mrs Susan Lightbown, Mayor of Blackburn Hussain Akhtar and his son and Mayors Consort for the year Mohammed Akhtar

Membership and Recruitment Presentation

On Tuesday 31st May the first of a series of presentations entitled 'Building Recruitment'' was delivered by the Provincial Recruitment Officer WBro Mo Afsa ProvSGD at Mill House Masonic Hall in Clayton-le-Moors. The evening was introduced by WBro John Farrington PAGDC the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who stressed the importance that recruitment will play in shaping the future of Freemasonry, and he explained the role of the Recruitment Committee that the Province had established to address this issue. WBro Afsa delivered a thought provoking and interesting presentation which highlighted the opportunities that fall to all of us, where we could potentially promote Freemasonry to others in our daily lives.

Mo concluded his presentation by posing the question 'What Can You Do?', which initiated a frank and honest debate, where the potential opportunities and barriers to membership in Freemasonry were discussed. Lots of positive ideas and were explored, with great food for thought going forward. WBro Dave McGurty PProvGSwdB the Deputy District Chairman then explained the Operation of the District Recruitment Committee which will be headed by himself, and how this will be a think tank for ideas on all issues relating to recruitment and retention, and how this will be a completely different role to the Lodge Mentor.
The meeting was concluded with a vote of thanks by WBro Farrington who also explained that this presentation will be given at the other Masonic Halls in the District over the coming months. The dates of subsequent meetings will be:

All meetings commencing at 7.30pm
Thursday 9th June at Accrington Masonic Hall
Tuesday 14th June at Darwen Masonic Hall
Monday 5th September at Blackburn Masonic Hall
Wednesday 28th September at Clitheroe Masonic Hall

Photo Left to Right.
WBro Dave McGurty, WBro Mo Asfa, WBro David Anderson (Mill House Hall Chairman) and WBro John Farrington

ELMC Provides two Defibrillators for Community Theatre and Studios

​Following a successful District application to the ELMC Grant Making Committee,Thwaites Empire Theatre will benefit from two defibrillators, secure cases and training in the main Theatre and in the adjoining Community Dance/drama studios and offices area.

The Theatre defibrillator will be for public use of the Theatre Patrons and the Studio/Office building defibrillator for use by the community groups and families who use the facilities in this area across the year. Training and delivery of the defibrillators is planned for the next few weeks.

East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown took great pleasure in presenting the Grant to Theatre Chairman Michael Berry, whose fellow board members have kindly arranged for our District to receive either Friday or Saturday night slot of for another potential fundraising show in 2018. This will include full Theatre volunteer support, stage management, lighting and much more, continuing our long standing Community Partnership with the Theatre.

Provincial Trailer makes it debut!

The new Provincial recruitment and presentation trailer made its inaugural outing at the 2016 Great Harwood Agricultural show on a wonderfully sunny and warm Spring Bank Holiday. The show was enjoyed by a crowd of thousands, which must have easily exceeded the 10,000 from 2015.

Following a pre event delivery of the trailer on the Sunday with Bro Ian Ferrier and WBro Keith Jackson, East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown PAGDC was again on site at 6am setting up to ensure the team could get straight on with the task at hand from 8am onwards, interacting with public and providing hot and cold drinks to our visitors!

WBro's Bruce Pollard PProvAGDC, David Gill ProvAGDC and Russell Harwood spent the day charming and talking with local men and their wives and partners, included two prospective new brethren and three Freemasons who had recently moved into the area and we're looking for new Masonic homes.
Free children's face painting was provided in the adjoining gazebo, (very kindly arranged by WBro Peter Dean) which also gave Dads a chance to stop and talk with us.

We were of course visited by many interested community partners, Freemasons and their families, who all seemed to be suitable impressed by our new Provincial  recruitment tool. A morning visit by Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro JohnFarrington PSGD on his first viewing of the trailer was also welcome surprise for our volunteer team.

After a long day drew to a close around 5pm, the team packed away the trailer, gazebo and all of the equipment, which was then taken by WBro Keith Jackson to its new storage home at Whitfords Caravan Centre in Burnley.  A worthwhile and potentially successful day for East Ribble Freemasonry in the community.

An unexpected Royal Connection

At the May meeting of The Lodge of Amity and Rossendale Forest No. 283 the main item of business was an Initiation ceremony. Not normally a newsworthy item in itself, but on this occasion Bro Stephen Holden had an interesting link to the Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent. The official secrets act does not allow for a full history of Stephen's connection with the Royal Family but in his own words he reports the following...

"My initial interest in the Freemasons, was from reading books about the organisation and also from my late uncles, Kenneth and Fermie Sutcliffe who both played an active role within the Masons.

In 1978 I commenced my employment has a Steward at Buckingham Palace, where I worked and also travelled around the UK and World with the Queen over the next 25 years, until 2003.

My very first Royal trip, was in 1979 when we flew out to the Persian Gulf on Concorde, where we met the Royal Yacht Britannia and then visited the Arabian States over the next few weeks.

In 1993 I married my wife Jane and we moved into a Grace and Favour accommodation at Kensington Palace. One of our close neighbours at KP., was the Duchess of Kent, Katherine Windsor. My wife Jane, myself and eldest daughter Imogen became friends with Katherine and we attended many of her private parties and soiree's At that period in time, I was unaware her husband, the Duke of Kent, was the Grand Master."

A fascinating snippet from a very interesting career in Royal Service. We wish him well in his future Masonic career, and as a Brother within the Lodge of Amity and Rossendale Forest No. 283

The photo shows WBro Lightbown PAGDC District Chariman Presenting Bro Holden with his certificte presented after each degree in The Lodge of Amity and Rossendale Forest No. 283. The group shows Bro Will Atkinson, WBro Derek Smith, Bro Stephen Holden, WBro Dennis Heskett and Bro Peter Moore.

ELMC Grant Making Committee support local Scout Project

Following a District application, the ELMC Grant Making Committee has awarded £2151.00 to St Georges Scout Group, Blackburn. This will be for the purchase of a 16 x 10 ft Field Shelter, 2 x Water Butts, Garden Tool storage and 2 x composting toilets for the new Scout Field in Mill Hill, recently given to the Scout Group by the local council for their use.

The fenced site, around 3 to 4 acres in size and running alongside allotments and the Leeds Liverpool canal, requires a major overhaul which ahas already begun in earnest. The Scout Leaders, Scouts/guides, parents etc have been clearing pathways, planting willow, creating fire pits and clearing the land. The site will have many facilities including an archery range, Tomahawk throwing area and flower and vegetable beds.

District Charity Steward Mike Stubbs PProvGStwd presented the cheque to the Scouts and Leaders at St Georges Church Hall MIll Hill, Blackburn on a rainy Friday night. He was then shown the improvements and progress already made on the new Scout field by Scout Leader Peter Sculpher.

Parental permission granted for the photograph

Summer Draw

On Sunday 22nd May, over 60 people gathered at Accrington Masonic Hall for the annual Summer a Draw. This event, previously held at Mill House at the Summer BBQ, once again proved to be a popular occasion. The assembled were treat to one of Barbara's excellent buffets with more than enough food for everyone. Entertainment was provided by Bro Chris May who played the organ during before and during the meal. After last minute ticket selling by Wbro Stubbs and Wbro Johnson, Wbro Tom Pearson entertained everyone with some of his Lancashire dialect monologues. He concluded his spot with a song written in the 1930's extolling the virtues of Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

Throughout the afternoon, brains were wracked as each table attempted to answer the very trying questions on the quiz composed by WBro Johnson. The winning table was rewarded with a couple of boxes of chocolates. A well deserved prize!

The main event was to draw the Summer Raffle. Before drawing the tickets, WBro Lightbown the District Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and for all of those involved in organising the day. He then proceeded to draw the first prize of £150 which was promptly won by District Charity Steward WBro Mike Stubbs of Rhyddings Lodge No. 5205! The second prize of £75 was won by WBro Ed Leech of Prosperity Lodge No. 5206. Around 30 prizes were drawn overall.

WBro Lightbown's parting words were final thanks, and to announce that the raffle had raised the excellent sum of £1500

UPDATE: Full list of prize winners HERE


Boxing Clever for Fit2XL

Fit2XL is an amateur boxing club, which is a completely volunteer run community project.  There are 150 members ranging in age from between 5 and 25 years old and
located in Lower Darwen. The club has been self funding for the past 9 years, and are constantly working hard to raise funds to enable them to continue to operate.  It only costs the members £1 each time they attend, but if they haven't got £1 it does not matter anyway.
Fit2XL are in the process of replacing their well worn floor with more robust easy clean flooring.  An application for support was made to the East Ribble District Charity Steward's committee, who agreed to increase the funds that Fit2XL had already generated by £200.
WBro Mike Stubbs, the East Ribble District Charity Steward and WBro Ian Johnson the Assistant District Charity Steward presented the cheque to a Bev Higginson and some of the Fit2XL members.


Pulling Pints for Blackburn Youth Zone

On Sunday afternoon May 1st, a small band of merry men from a number of lodges across the district, assembled at Blackburn Rugby Club to assist running the bar at the annual Blackburn Beer Festival. However this was all for a good cause, as the hardy group of bar stewards were supporting the event at which it was hoped around £20,000 would be raised for Blackburn Youth Zone.

Once festival t-shirts were donned, and with festival glass in hand, the brethren were taken through a crash course in how to pull the perfect pint. This seemed to come naturally to the brethren, so they were quickly assigned their stations across the huge bar where around 80 beers and ciders were on offer. Having their own glass they were able to sample the beers themselves as a form of product research so they could accurately inform the customers before they made their various choices.

The six hour shift seemed to go very quickly with lots of pints pulled and more importantly much needed funds raised for Blackburn Youth Zone. At the time of writing the final figure hasn't been announced as they still had the final evening shift to complete. This was a very hard work…. But somebody has to do it!

Raiders Bowled Over

Following a request from Bro Digman, the Worshipful Master of Unity & Friendship Lodge No. 8178 The Charity Stewards donated £250 to Ribble Valley Raiders Cricket Club.
The money will cover the cost of pitch hire for the 2016 season.

The club is open and free to all children 4 years and upwards from the Ribble Valley and surrounding areas. All the coaches are ECB qualified. This is their second year in existence and all their equipment has been bought by the club members from their own funds. This year they have an under 9's and under 11's teams playing in the Ribblesdale Junior Leagues.

Anyone wishing to join the Raiders can contact Farouk Hussain on 07973360320 or via email at

WBro Ian Johnson presents the cheque to Farouk Hussain Chairman of Ribble Valley Raiders
Parental permission granted for the image

C’me E’re There’s More

On Monday evening the 25th April, the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn held a very special event as part of restoration fortnight, in which the theatre is hoping to raise much needed funds for urgent roof repairs. The Empire hosted the legendary comedian Jimmy Cricket who played to a packed audience in the mini theatre set up in the bar area. An audience of 70 were treated to a classic Jimmy Cricket performance with over an hour of hilarious quick fire comedy and song, in a wonderfully intimate setting.

During the interval, WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman, presented a cheque for £300 from the East Ribble District Charity Stewards Fund, to Michael Berry the Chief executive of the Empire Theatre towards the repairs. The cheque was gratefully received and complimented the audience collection and raffle held on the night.

Following the interval, Jimmy held a question and answer session in which he recounting some of the people and places that had influenced him over the years. He ended his session with his classic ‘letter from Mammy’ which left the audience in stitches.

The final question of the evening was posed by long time supporter of the Theatre John Anson, who asked Jimmy if he would consider becoming the Honorary Patron of the Empire Theatre, to which he was delighted to accept.

A wonderful evening which raised well needed funds to support an organisation that gives so much to the community.

The Ribblesdale Lodge No. 3393 story comes to an end

The Worshipful Master WBro Paul Taylor and Brethren of Ribblesdale Lodge No.3393 reluctantly surrendered their warrant to the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro John Farrington PSGD on Friday the 8th of April.

WBro Keith Simm PProvDepGSuptWks gave an oration on the history of the Lodge which highlighted the many events in the life of the Lodge, it's famed musicality and recalling the many distinguished Brethren and Civil dignitaries that had happily served amongst its ranks.

After the Worshipful Master had closed the Lodge for the final time, the Warrant and Centenary Warrant were placed in the centre of the Lodge and encircled by the Ribblesdale Brethren along with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, with the Warrants being passed around the Brethren into the hands of the Worshipful Master.

WBro Farrington proceeded to address the Brethren of the closing Lodge directly, thanking them for their contribution through the Lodge and wishing them all the very best for the future, expressing a sincere that they will all stay actively involved in Freemasonry. With great sadness and visible emotion, the Worshipful Master surrendered the Warrant to the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for safe travel to United Grand Lodge, where along with the Minutes of the Lodge, it will remain an eternal record of the service of their Brethren.

A full Festive board with over 50 in attendance celebrated Ribblesdale Lodge No.3933 with food, wine and the Ribblesdale song, led by WBro Keith SImm and then accompanied by all in attendance, linking arms and standing for the final verse.
The full Tylers toast was recited in full and with the accompaniment of the Wardens, after which the Worshipful Master thanked everyone for their support on the evening, expressing regret that WBro Bill LIvesey, WBro Peter Yarwood and WBro Adam Malcolmson couldn't attend due to ill health, knowing they would all have dearly loved to have been there.

The Brethren were absolved just after 10.30pm on what was a fitting finale for the members of the Lodge.

Huncoat Lodge No. 8542 Final Meeting

The closure of a lodge is a very somber and sad occasion, but it also gives the Brethren the opportunity to celebrate the life of the Lodge and this was very much the sentiment when over 50 gathered at Mill House Masonic Hall on the 6th April to mark the final meeting of Huncoat Lodge No. 8542.

Before the warrant of the lodge was submitted, WBro Brian Carter PAGDC, Provincial Almoner, was installed as Worshipful Master. The ceremony was performed in an excellent manner with WBro Andrew Taylor ProvDepGDC acting as Installing Officer. Once Installed, WBro Carter appointed and invested his officers for the final time.
A lovely touch, was that whilst there was no collection, the alms plates were passed around and every Brother present took a memento of a forget me not flower lapel badge.

Following the lodge business and the lodge was closed, the Brethren of Huncoat Lodge occupied the body of the lodge and the ceremony to surrender the Lodge Warrant to WBro Farrington APGM commenced. As a honorary member, VWBro Thornhill PGSwdB Deputy Provincial Grand Master formally handed the Warrant to WBro Farrington who accepted it and promised to pass it on to Grand Lodge for safekeeping. WBro Farrington expressed sadness at the closure of the lodge, but he respected the decision the Brethren had made. He also expressed his very best wishes for the Brethren in their future Masonic careers and looked forward to seeing them all again in the respective lodges they had chosen to join.

Following the ceremony the somewhat subdued Brethren retired to the festive board to celebrate over 40 years of history of Huncoat Lodge No. 8542.

During the evening WBro Carter was delighted to present the working tools of the Lodge to WBro Dave McGurty PProvGSwdB the Worshipful Master of Verity Lodge No. 3949 Huncoat’s Mother Lodge. WBro McGurty was delighted to accept them on behalf of the Lodge and welcomed all the Brethren of Huncoat Lodge to their next meeting, where the Lodge will be opened in all three degrees where the working tools would be explained.

The evening was concluded with a rousing rendition of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and lots of heartfelt goodbyes but also with lots of optimism as the Brethren of Huncoat Lodge look forward to their future Masonic adventures.


Charity Variety Show Presentations

Following the highly successful Charity Variety Show help at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn on 1st April, two cheque presentations from the East Ribble District Charity Stewards Fund,  were made to two theatrical organisations from the district. The donation was from money raised on the evening.

GOs On Tour are a group of unpaid volunteers who hold regular dance and theatre productions. They pride themselves on bringing fun, colour and light to everyone they entertain. GOS on tour will perform in any suitable venue, including nursing and care homes and help the older generation relive past experiences , they have previously performed at our own residential home Hewlett Court and also RMBI care home Ecclesholme and on occasions they appear at the Thwaites Empire Theatre Monday Club. Their troupe boast a wide variety of talents underpinned by huge enthusiasm. They perform songs from the 1920’s to the present day all with themed choreography and costumes. Some of the soloists have been performing all their lives, but many dancers have never been on stage before!

Mandy Stableford receiving a cheque from WBro Mike Stubbs, District Charity Steward and WBro Ian Johnson Assistant Charity Steward.


The Bernese School of Theatre, Dance and Drama offer specialist dance, drama and musical theatre training to children of all ages. Training is delivered by highly trained and qualified teachers who aim to get the best possible from the young people in their charge. The school provides an excellent grounding for both ‘leisure’ pupils as well as the more ‘career minded’. Teaching qualities ranging from musicality, artistry, co-ordination, speech and imagination to confidence, deportment, discipline, language and memory - the list is endless! Both communication and personality can all be developed from these values which will not only enhance one as a performer but will also be beneficial in life and social society. The school has been running for over 10 years, and has supported many young people throughout the district during this time.

Pictured is WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman presenting the cheque with the assistance of WBro Mike Stubbs Charity Steward and WBro Ian Johnson Assistant Charity Steward.


Charity Variety Show

On Friday the 1st April a full house witnessed a variety spectacular at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn. The event, the brainchild of our District Chairman, WBro David Lightbown PAGDC, supported by the District Charity Steward’s team was a huge success and offered the audience a fantastic mix of talent from young…. and not so young people from around the Province.

The compere for the evening was the very amusing Keith Bradshaw who introduced the acts and entertained with his funny stories in between. The acts themselves were many and very varied in their style. The audience were treat to some superb singing acts, dancing groups in both contemporary and ballet styles, and of course the comedy acts which no variety show would be complete without. Billy Bedlam began his act by playing a range of instruments including the kitchen sink! The second comedian booked for the evening, Bobby Kaye, unfortunately couldn’t make the show due to an earlier accident in the week. WBro Lightbown pulled a few strings and managed to source a replacement at very short notice. Bob Lawrence a Blackpool based act, proved to be a great choice as he had the audience in stitches with his hapless style mixed with a huge musical talent. Snake charmers will never be the same again!

At the end of the evening WBro Lightbown took the microphone and thanked the acts and the audience for making it a memorable evening. He introduced VWBro Derek Thornhill our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, who explained to the audience how the Freemasons support local charities and that over the last 5 years the Province of East Lancashire has donated over £370,000 to these good causes. VWBro Thornhill introduced WBro Chad Northcott PSGD, the Chairman of the ELMC, and presented him with a Cheque for £500 after announcing that the amount raised on the event totaled an amazing £2635

This was a most excellent evening held in the spellbinding and intimate surroundings of the Empire Theatre. The acts were a real credit to themselves and were very well received by the audience. Real talent and an impressive sum of money raised for charity. Thank you to all who attended and bought raffle tickets on the night.

The official photographs taken on the night can be seen HERE.


Personal 50th of WBro Robert James Pye PProvDepGSwdB

On Thursday 31st March, 40 brethren gathered at Mill House Masonic Hall in Clayton-le-Moors to celebrate WBro Robert Pye’s 50th anniversary in Freemasonry and of his membership of the Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519.

Following the opening of the lodge and the usual business, WBro John Farrington APGM accompanied by a District delegation, were admitted under the guidance of WBro Andrew Taylor ProvDepDC. WBro Farrington was offered the gavel by the Worshipful Master WBro Graham Mangham PProvDepGDC and he was delighted on this occasion to accept.
Following the introduction of the brethren of the delegation, WBro Pye was seated in the centre of the Lodge. WBro Farrington asked WBro Keith Lomax PProvGSwdB to deliver his tribute to WBro Pye…. His tribute can be read here. Following his tribute WBro Lomax made a presentation to WBro Pye on behalf of the Lodge.
As is customary at these celebrations, Wbro Farrigton proceeded to highlight some of the events that happened in 1966 the year Wbro Pye was Initiated into Freemasonry. This included the fact that Harold Wilson was elected as Prime Minister on a huge majority and Edward Heath was the Opposition leader. The Americans had 500,000 troops in Vietnam but Cassius Clay refused to go to wat as a conscientious objector. The Barclay Card was introduced and the BBC began broadcasting in colour. The music scene was dominated by bands such as the Beatles and the Hollies, and of course England beat West Germany in the World Cup.
WBro Farrington was then delighted to present WBro Pye with his illuminated certificate and personal letter from The Provincial Grand Master which he was pleased to read to the assembled brethren.

WBro Pye was then perambulated around the lodge to the acclaim of the Brethren, and to complete the ceremony WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman paid his own personal tribute and presented WBro Pye with his lapel badge marking his 50 years in Freemasonry.
WBro Farrington indicated he would like to retire from the Lodge accompanied by the District delegation and on this occasion WBro Pye. The remaining business of the lodge was concluded and all brethren retired to the Festive Board.

The Festive Board was a very happy occasion. WBro Farrington spoke in his response about the important work of the Lodge Mentor and referred to the latest edition of Freemasonry Today which highlighted some excellent examples of the work of the Mentor. He also spoke about the forthcoming Tercentenary and how the celebrations were underway in the Province to celebrate this landmark. WBro Farrington also proposed a very sincere toast to the Worshipful Master as they had shared many masonic memories from their association with the Rossendale District. WBro Mangham was delighted to respond in the same manner.
The toast to the celebrant was given by WBro David Anderson PProvSGW who spoke fondly of his personal association with WBro Pye to whome had been friends for over 40 years. He also made reference to the fact that WBro Pye had conducted his 1st and 3rd Degree Ceremonies in 1978 and how they had worked closely together as Lodge treasurer and secretary for a number of years. Finally he made reference to whilst WBro Pye may have moved to Carlisle he still attends the Lodge meetings and practices and remains a very committed member of Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519.

In his response, WBro Pye thanked everyone for their company on this very special evening and how he had made many friends over the years. He spoke of his early years as a lodge member and interestingly how the Lodge was named after His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Grand Master in 1875, even though the Lodge brethren original wanted the name ‘Clayton-le-Moors Lodge’

This was a wonderful celebration of 50 years in Freemasonry and everyone present is very much looking forward to assembling in 10 years time to celebrate WBro Pye’s 60th!



Accrington Fellowship Coffee Morning

The Annual Accrington Fellowship Coffee Morning was held at Mill House on Saturday, March 19th.
The Chairman, WBro Gordon Hunter, introduced WBro John Farrington, APGM for the East Ribble District, who opened the proceedings in a very pleasant manner after which WBro Hunter presented a bouquet to Mrs. Farrington which was most graciously received.
Those present then moved around the stalls which included a Tombola, a Raffle, a Hamper, and a variety of other stalls.
The event closed at about 11-30 having raised in excess of £500.

WBro Roy Green PProvGStdB 50 years in Freemasonry 

The meeting of The Lodge of Remembrance No. 3787 on the 24th March at Adelaide Street Accrington, to celebrate the 50th anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Roy Green PProvGStdB was a unique occasion and quite different from previous celebrations. This was not the plan, but Roy and his son Darren fell foul of the M62 motorway as they made their way to the meeting from Lincolnshire. Their late arrival meant that the lodge business had to be conducted without an in Lodge celebration, and the decision was made to honour WBro Green at the festive board. WBro Green agreed that this was the best option rather than rearranging the celebration.
Following the meeting the Lodge brethren, their visitors and a District Delegation numbering eighteen, made their way to the festive board. The brethren enjoyed a wonderful meal and following the usual toasts it was time for the main event of the night, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of WBro Roy Green PProvGStdB. 
This began with a tribute to Roy from WBro Peter Hargreaves PAGDC the Lodge Secretary. In his speech he spoke about Roy's long and illustrious career in the police force, and how his family have had a long association with the Lodge. He also explained how this meeting nearly didn't take place as due to work commitments in the 1970's, Roy was close to tending his resignation as he felt he couldn't give his best to the Lodge. After some deliberation he changed his mind and was soon to occupy the Master's Chair. WBro Hargreaves went on to explain that fate intervened in Roy and his wife Barbara's lives when they took over the running of an Inn in Shropshire that had been run by members of the family for over 70 years.
Following WBro Hargreaves' tribute, WBro John Farrington APGM presented Roy with his illuminated certificate and personal letter from the Provincial Grand Master RWBro Sir David Trippier. WBro Farrington was delighted to read the letter for the benefit of the assembled brethren. WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman was then pleased to present Roy with his lapel badge marking 50 years in Freemasonry. 
The Lodge brethren then presented WBro Green with a most magnificent cake to mark this auspicious occasion.
The final act of the evening was to toast WBro Green, and this was done by his son Bro Darren Green of The Lord Worsley Lodge No. 3017 in Cleethorpes. He spoke fondly about his father and how they have both enjoyed their Freemasonry even though they have in the main, been in Lodges in different parts of the country. Darren also recounted amusing anecdotes about his father's career in the police force. A very heartfelt and personal tribute which was very much appreciated by Roy who responded to the toast in the same passionate manner. 

Whilst this meeting and festive board may have been a little unorthodox, nothing was taken away from the importance of celebrating such a wonderful event. We congratulate WBro Green on his landmark, and the Lodge look forward to seeing him again in Accrington in the near future.

50th  Anniversary of WBro Gordon Craig PProvJGD

On the evening of 10th March the Brethren and visitors of The Lodge of Harmony and Industry No. 381assembled at Darwen Masonic Hall to celebrate 50 years in Freemasonry of WBro Gordon Craig PProvJGD.
Once the Lodge had been opened in due form and the business conducted by the Worshipful Master, WBro Simon Archer ProvDepGDC was admitted on a report to announce the APGM was without, accompanied by a district delegation and he demanded admission. WBro Farrington entered, preceded by the delegation and was offered the gavel and on this occasion was delighted to accepted it. He occupied the WM chair and introduced the delegation. He then asked the WBro Archer to seat Gordon in the centre of the lodge.

The APGM asked the secretary to read the minutes of the meeting 50 years ago when WBro Craig was initiated. He then called upon WBro Christopher Allen to deliver the tribute. WBro Allen mentioned that Gordon was born on 10th April 1943 and attended Suddell Road Secondary School where he became Head Boy. At 15 he began his working career as an apprentice at Foster Yates and Thorn, then worked at the R.O.F in Blackburn and Hawker Siddley at Lostock Hall. He married his wife Elaine in 1965, their son Martin was born in 1970 followed by their daughter Emma in 1972. They have two Grandchildren. Gordon was introduced to Masonry by his Father in Law and was initiated into Harmony and Industry Lodge No. 381 in March 1966. He worked through every office and was Installed as Master in 1978. He has been an active member of the Lodge serving as Festival Rep, and conducting many Lodge Ceremonies. Gordon also enjoyed playing cricket for Darwen and has supported Blackburn Rovers for 60 years!

The APGM then read out the events from 50 years ago which included such facts as Harold Wilson becoming PM, 500,000 US troops were currently in Vietnam, the terrible Aberfan disaster occurred, the average house price was £3840, the first British Credit Card was introduced by Barclaycard, petrol cost 5 shillings (26p), the Harrier Jump Jet first flew, the Severn Bridge was opened, and of course England beat West Germany in the World Cup of that year.

WBro Farrington then read out the letter of congratulations from Sir David Trippier PGM and the personalized illumination certificate, and then formally presented them. WBro Craig was perambulated around the lodge to the applause of the Brethren.

WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman, then presented Gordon with his lapel badge recognizing his 50 years in Masonry. WBro Archer enquired whether WBro Farrington wished to retire from the Lodge with his Delegation, and on this occasion WBro Craig. The APGM and delegation then retired.

The Lodge was closed and the Brethren retired to an excellent festive board.
In toasting WBro Craig, WBro Gordon Hebden PProvDepGSuptWks paid a very moving personal tribute.
This was another wonderful evening of Freemasonry at the Lodge of Harmony and Industry No 381 and everyone is looking forward to returning in 10 years to celebrate WBro Craig’s 60th anniversary!

WBro Gordon Craig PProvJGD with the District Deputation

The Brethren of Harmony and Industry Lodge No. 381

Four Brethren of the Lodge have celebrated 50 years in Freemasonry.
WBro's Alan Hull PProvGSwdB, Gordon Hebden PProvDepGSuptWks, Gordon Craig PProvJGD and David Gamble PProvAGDC

Taking wine with WBro Farrington APGM

East Lancashire Hospice Cheque Presentation

Wbro Mike Stubbs PProvGStwd District Charity Steward, presented Denise Gee from East Lancashire Hospice with a cheque for £350 on behalf of East Ribble District Freemasons. The donation is part of the on-going commitment of the District to restock the Hospice drinks trolley.  Patients and inpatients are offered a choice of drinks after therapy and in the evening.
East Ribble District's next charity event is the Variety Showcase that is taking place at the Thwaites Theatre in Blackburn on the 1st of April where the guest of honour will be VWBro Derek Thornhill the Deputy Provincial Grand Master.  Proceeds will go to local worthy causes. 
Tickets are available from WBro Ian Johnson on 07745 102140 or the theatre box office on 01254 685500 or online at

Charity Stewards donation to the ELMC

At a meeting of the East Ribble District Charity Stewards, at which our newly appointed Provincial Grand Charity Steward WBro Ken Davies MBE, PProvSGW was in attendance, a cheque for £675.00 towards the work of the ELMC ( was gratefully received by WBro Davies on behalf of our Charity.

This was raised by holding a Raffle at the Winter Draw, held at the Chadwick Weekend in January and represents 50% of the proceeds from the tickets sold by the District Charity Stewards in the weeks and months leading up to the evening.

The Charity Stewards meeting itself had a central focus about the work of the ELMC, with the District Charity Steward WBro Mike Stubbs PProvGStwd giving a presentation, re-emphasising the need for us all to look to support the work of our Charity, personally and in our Lodges and Chapters.

Presenting Awards at Blackburn Youth Zone

On Sunday 28th February Brethren from the East Ribble District were invited to present awards at Blackburn Youth Zone, at their first 'A Level Playing Field' awards. These awards celebrate the wonderful and diverse talents and progress made by the members of the Diversity Club, which supports young people and their families from the ages of 8 to 25 who have disabilities.

WBro Mike Stubbs PProvGStwd (District Charity Steward) presented the award for participation, and WBro James Abbott PProvSGW Presented the awards for Confidence and Creativity. During the afternoon we were treated to some wonderful performances of singing, dancing and magic as well as tributes to the young people given by the staff of Blackburn Youth Zone. The whole event was choreographed by the Diversity Lead, Laura Walker who was presented with her own award by the young people at the end of what was an emotional and inspiring afternoon.

The East Ribble District have supported Blackburn Youth Zone by contributing £4995 to the creation of their Sensory Room used by many of the young people present at the awards. Blackburn Masonic Hall have also donated a well utilised snooker table.

The photo shows WBro Mike Stubbs and WBro James Abbott presenting awards to the young people and in one case to a parent. Laura Walker is also pictured with the East Ribble District representatives present. From left to right... WBro James Abbott (Hall Manager of Blackburn Masonic Hall) WBro Mike Stubbs (District Charity Steward) Laura Walker (Diversity Club Manager) and WBro Steve Crowther (District Communications Officer)

Personal 50th of WBro Trevor Procter PProvSGW

On Friday 26th February, over 60 Brethren gathered at Old Blackburnian Lodge No. 7933 in Old School at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School to celebrate the 50th anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Trevor Procter PProvSGW.

The Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master Bro David Sharpe, assisted by his officers, and the Lodge Business conducted. WBro Andrew Procter ProvDepDC then directed a District Delegation led by WBro John Farrington PSGD APGM into the Lodge where the Worshipful Master offered WBro Farrington the gavel, which on this occasion he was delighted to accept. WBro Farrington requested that the Director of Ceremonies place WBro Procter in the centre of the Lodge, and then instructed WBro Tattersall PProvDepGSwdB to conduct the tribute. WBro Tattersall asked Junior Warden WBro Gordon Hebden PProvDepGSuptWks to read the minutes from the meeting when WBro Procter was Initiated. The Senior Warden WBro John Duckworth PProvGSwdB then read the minutes from the meeting when WBro Procter was Installed as Worshipful Master.

WBro Tattersall proceeded to outline WBro Procter's Masonic history which started on the 16th December 1965 when he was proposed as a candidate into Freemasonry. His Initiation took place on 18th February 1966 and in March 1977 he was raised to the Third Degree. In April 1972 he was Installed as Master of the Lodge. His first Provincial rank of PProvGStdB was awarded in November 1982, and in 1987 he was promoted to PProvSGD. In 1984 he was appointed Lodge Secretary, a post he still holds today. In 2000 he was promoted again to the rank of PProvGSwdB and in 2015 to PProvSGW.

On completion of the historical account of WBro Procter in Freemasonry, WBro Farrington then proceeded to outline some of the more notable events that occurred in 1966. These included The fact that the US had 500,000 troops in Vietnam, the average house price was £3840, petrol cost 5 shillings (26p), the Harrier Jump Jet first flew, the Severn Bridge was opened and of course England beat Germany in the World Cup.

WBro Farrington presented WBro Procter with his Illuminated Certificate and personal letter from The Provincial Grand Master RWBro Sir David Trippier, these were both read by WBro Farrington following which WBro Procter was perambulated around the Lodge to the applause of all the Brethren present.
The District Chairman WBro David Lightbown PAGDC stood and offered his personal congratulations and presented WBro Procter with his special 50th lapel badge.The Worshipful Master then had a very pleasant duty to perform and presented WBro Farrington with a cheque for £500 to the ELMC with the special instruction that it must contribute to supporting the East Lancashire Flood Relief Fund, VWBro Derek Thornhill PGSwdB DepPGM acknowledged the donation in his capacity of chairman of the Flood Relief Committee.WBro Andrew Procter asked WBro Farrington if he would like to retire with the District Delegation and on this special occasion, WBro Trevor Procter. He indicated his wish to retire and was conducted from the meeting by the Director of Ceremonies.

The Festive Board was a true Old Blackburnian Lodge event. Excellent refreshment and lots of laughter. WBro Farrington in his response made reference to the excellent presentation
at the recent District Meeting at Mill House on the subject of Recruitment and Retention. This presentation will be given across the Province and had its premiere in the East Ribble District. He also made reference to the amalgamation of the four charities and the changes made to the roll of the Lodge Almoner.
The toast to WBro Procter was made by WBro Paul Aspinall PAGDC who spoke fondly of the 55 years they had known each other and of the friendship they had shared, as well as referring to WBro Procter's Masonic career.
WBro Procter responded in kind, and made reference to the times he and WBro Aspinall had worked together and the times they had shared together in the Lodge. He thanked him for his toast and continued to explain to the Brethren how the Lodge had developed over the 50 years he has been a member. This included the way the Lodge used to be assembled on Lodge evenings and the catering and licensing arrangements WBro Procter had instigated. His response gave a very interesting potted history of the last 50 years of Old Blackburnian Lodge.
This was a very special evening and one to be remembered, everyone is looking forward to returning to celebrate his 60th anniversary!

The Brethren of Old Blackburnian Lodge No. 7933 with the District Delegation

The Brethren of the Lodge

WBro Procter is presented with his certificate by WBro Farrington and also has his 50th Anniversary lapel badge pinned by WBro Lightbown District Chairman

Recruitment and Retention at the District Meeting

The East Ribble District Meeting on the 24th February held at Mill House Clayton-le-Moors saw the first viewing of the presentation addressing recruitment and retention.
WBro Mo Afsa the Provincial Membership Officer addressed the meeting with a very thorough and informative presentation on recruitment & membership.
WBro Afsa highlighted some of the reasons for the decline in Masonic membership over the previous years and then went on to explain various steps which would aid the initiative to attract new members to join us.
The main points were explained as a series of building blocks each with various avenues to explore on an individual, Lodge, Masonic Hall, District & Provincial basis.
Some of the points being:

Open & honest with friends & colleagues about our membership.
Masonic presence at Public events ( galas, Shows etc)
More use of social media.
Volunteering in the community.
Tell people what we do but maintain our allegories.
There was a great deal more detail in the presentation these are the main points only.
The Presentation was well received and stimulated quite a few questions which were answered by both WBro Afsa & WBro Northcott.

Pictured left to right: WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman, WBro Mo Afsa and WBro Chad Northcott PSGD APGM (Salford)

Bank Terrace with King Oswald Lodge No. 462 Bible Fall Dedication

The meeting of 10th February 2016 at the Masonic Halls Accrington marked a special landmark in the history of this newly amalgamated Lodge. Over 50 brethren gathered to celebrate the dedication of the new Bible Fall.

Following the opening of the Lodge by Worshipful Master Bro Paul Pratt with the assistance of the officers, and once the business had been completed. WBro Andrew Procter PProvDepGDC as ProvDepGDC and WBro David Cowen ProvDepGDC, announced WBro John Farrington PSGD The Assistant Provincial Grand Master was without, accompanied by a District Deputation Including several Grand Officers including the APGP WBro Paul Aspinall PAGDC, District Chairman WBro David Lightbown PAGDC and Past APGM WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh PSGD. The Deputation were admitted and WBro Farrington was offered the gavel by the Worshipful Master, and on this occasion he was delighted to accept.

WBro Farrington expressed his delight at having the opportunity to preside over such a wonderful occasion which is rarely seen, and his first duty was to ask WBro Cowen to unveil the new Bible Fall.

WBro Clive David Carroll PProvDepGReg was instructed to take up the bible fall, and accompanied by the ProvDepGDC's and The Deacons Bro's David Peacock and  Wayne Smith he perambulated the Bible Fall around the Lodge whilst the Brethren sang the Dedication Hymn, music played by Bro Chris May the Honorary Organist.

WBro Farrington then instructed WBro Procter to remove the original Bible Fall, and replace it with the new. The Worshipful Master then approached the pedestal and WBro Farrington formally presented the Bible Fall to the Lodge and into the safe keeping of the Worshipful Master. WBro Pratt graciously received it, and promised that he and subsequent Masters would ensure it would be passed down in good form.

The Worshipful Master then had a very pleasant duty to perform in presenting a cheque to WBro Farrington for the sum of £500 for the ELMC. This was very gratefully received by WBro Farrington.

The Bible Fall Ceremony was concluded with the Brethren singing the Dedication Closing Hymn.

Following the collection for good causes, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master indicated he would like to retire from the Lodge accompanied by his Deputation, after which the remainder of the Lodge business was concluded and the Lodge closed in due form.

The Festive board was enjoyed by all present. Excellent food and fraternity was a fitting compliment to the wonderful ceremony all had enjoyed in the Lodge. The toasts were expertly expedited under the guidance of WBro Procter.
WBro Farrington in his response, referred to the recruitment and retention presentation which will have its first showing at the upcoming District meeting and he encouraged as many Brethren to attend if they could. He also made reference to the fact that following the Festival it was an amazing fact that both Lodges had been Grand Patrons of the Festival and this fact should be recognized. He concluded by stating how delighted he was to be able to dedicate the new Bible Fall.
The raffle raised the excellent sum of £274.

The Brethren of Bank Terrace with King Oswald Lodge No. 462 and the District Deputation

The Brethren of Bank Terrace with King Oswald Lodge No. 462

The Worshipful Master Bro Paul Pratt with WBro Farrington PSGD APGM and APGP WBro Paul Aspinall PAGDC

The festive board was enjoyed by all!

50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Russell Duxbury PProvDepGSuptWks

The Meeting of Peaceful Valley Lodge No. 4111 held on the  1st February was a very special occasion, as it marked the 50th anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Russell Duxbury PProvDepGSuptWks.

Following the opening of the Lodge and after the business had been completed, WBro Andrew Procter PProvDepDC as ProvDepDC directed a District Delegation led by WBro John Farrington PAGDC APGM into the Lodge where the Worshipful Master WBro Peter Connell Offered WBro Farrington the gavel, which on this occasion he was delighted to accept. WBro Farrington requested  that the Director of Ceremonies place WBro Duxbury in the centre of the Lodge, and then asked WBro David Eccles PProvAssGSwdB to read a tribute to WBro Duxbury.

WBro Eccles gave a detailed history of the personal and masonic life of WBro Duxbury. This included the fact that he was born in Preston in 1934, he moved to Accrington then Rishton where he still resides with his wife Audrey. After his National Service he returned to work at British Northrop where he was a draughtsman. After being made redundant he eventually went to wok at BAE SYSTEMS where he met WBro Eccles and ultimately proposed him into the Craft. Russell married his wife Audrey in 1958 and they built a family of two girls together, Russell now has 3 Grandchildren and 3 Great Grandchildren.
WBro Duxbury was described by WBro Eccles as a calm man who takes life as it comes…except where Blackburn Rovers are concerned!
WBro Eccles finished his tribute by highlighting a second very important anniversary which was taking place at the same time, namely WBro Duxbury’s 58th Wedding anniversary. We are delighted that his wife Audrey granted him a special dispensation to attend his Masonic 50th.

Following the tribute WBro Farrington went on to remind the Brethren of historical facts that occurred in 1966 the year of Russell’s initiation into Freemasonry. These facts included Harold Wilson becoming PM, 500,000 US troops were curently in Vietnam, The terrible Aberfan disaster happened, the average house price was £3840, the first British Credit Card was introduced by Barclaycard and of course England beat West Germany in the World Cup of that year.

Before WBro Duxbury was perambulated around the Lodge, there were two presentations made to him. The first was WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman who presented Russell with his lapel badge marking 50 years in Freemasonry. The second was made by the Worshipful Master WBro Connell who was delighted to present WBro Duxbury with a lovely rose bowl from the Lodge Brethren to mark his anniversary. WBro was then guided around the Lodge to rapturous applause from the Brethren present.

After the collection to worthy causes was taken, WBro Farrington accompanied by WBro Duxbury and the District Delegation retired from the Lodge. The remainder of the Lodge business was completed and the Lodge closed in due form.

The Festive board was a joyous occasion with nearly 50 brethren enjoying an excellent meal and lots of laughter.The toast to WBro Duxbury was given by the Lodge Secretary WBro Paul Aspinall PAGDC. He explained how dedicated WBro Duxbury has been over his 50 years. He still attends all the meetings and practices and in the past made ritual look deceptively easy. WBro Aspinall also described how WBro Duxbury is the Lodge’s last link to the Founders. WBro Aspinall finished his toast by presenting a bouquet of flowers to Russell to be given to his wife for their 58th wedding anniversary and for letting him out! He also presented him with a photograph as a memento of the evening.

In response, WBro Duxbury thanked WBro Aspinall for his kind words and the assembled Brethren for making the evening so special for him.  He continued to say why he joined Freemasonry and why he is still a Mason 50 years on. His father and Grandfather were both Masons and that is what made him investigate Freemasonry in the beginning. However, his main motivation is charity and he reminded the Brethren what core principles have kept him so enthused in Freemasonry. His response was met with great applause from the Brethren.

This was a very special evening enjoyed by all. We look forward to celebrating WBro Duxbury’s 60th anniversary in Freemasonry and his 68th Wedding Anniversary too!

The Brethren of Peacefully Valley Lodge No 4111

Brethren of Peaceful Valley Lodge No. 4111 and the District Delegation

Presentations and the Festive Board

East Lancashire Hospice 10k Run

Freemasons from a variety of lodges throughout the East Ribble District marshalled the East Lancashire Hospice annual 10K run.

The run is organised by the Hospice fund raising team and Gaskells Motor Bodies. This year over 500 runners from a range of running clubs in the local area participated in the main 10K race with nearly 90 children running in the children's race.

The winner of the race was Danny Collinge who is a local runner who finished the 10K race in 34 minutes and 20 seconds. The first woman to finish was Helen Sahgal who finished in 38 minutes and 56 seconds.

Denise Gee from the Hospice thanked the East Ribble District volunteers for the marshalling and helping to put away, saying "Thank you very much to the Freemasons, we couldn't have done it without you".

Getting ready to marshall the 10k run

Chadwick Weekend

The annual Chadwick weekend took place over the weekend of 22nd to 24th January at the Chadwick Hotel St Annes. Some intrepid revellers even arrived on the Thursday evening and left on the Monday morning to make a full weekend of it! The highlight of the weekend was the Gala Dinner and the photos show that a great time was had by all. Doris Lamb and Sue Beaumont continued the tradition of fancy dress and really were a 'Couple of Swells'

The food was up to the excellent standard throughout the weekend, including breakfast, lunch and evening dinner. This was matched by some excellent entertainment on Friday and Saturday evening, with the Gala Dinner singer very cleverly posed as a waiter with a huge ice cream... No guessing the song title!

The raffle total was £1505 The Deputy Provincial Grand Master VWBro Derek Thornhill drew the tickets under the management of WBro Ian Johnson who was ably assisted by WBro Mike Stubbs the recorder and WBro Dave Gill the distributer. The 1st prize of a TV/DVD was won by a member of St Aiden Lodge.

Thanks must go to Doris Lamb for organising the whole event. A super achievement as a great time was had by all!

Please Click HERE for a full list of raffle prize winners.


Clitheroe Masonic Fellowship – Charitable Donations

On Monday 11th January 2016 at West Bradford Village Hall, the Clitheroe Masonic Fellowship donated £300 to three charitable organisations.

Clitheroe and Bowland District Girl Guides, Clitheroe District Scouts and the North West Air Ambulance were each given £100.

The photographs show the recipients receiving their cheques: Mr. Steve Tomlinson for the scouts, Mrs. Christine Dinsdale for the Guides and Mr. Les Hardy for the North West Air Ambulance.

From left to right is Jean Fishwick, Fellowship Secretary; Bryan Bristol, Deputy Chairman and presenting the cheques - Bill Fishwick, Fellowship Chairman.
To the right is John Hemingway – Committee Member.

Limestone Rock Lodge No 369 Present cheque to Macmillan Nurses and others

At the November Installation meeting of Limestone Rock Lodge No. 369 at the Masonic Rooms in Clitheroe, the Immediate Past Master WBro Cyril Kennerley PPGSwdB presented cheques to a number of good causes. The funds for the donations was raised in his term of office as Worshipful Master during the Lodge treasure hunt, BBQ, strawberry and cream event hosted by WBro Pollard and the Lodge Ladies Evening.

ELMC - £500
Macmillan Nurses - £200
NW Air Ambulance - £200
British Heart Foundation - £200
East Lancs Hospice - £200
Awesome Choir - £75
1st Partington Rainbow Group £75
Dog Rescue Mission - £75

The photograph shows WBro Kennerley presenting the cheque to Mrs Mary Hall and Mrs Kath Pollard from Macmillan Nurses in the Lodge Room during the December meeting.

The Lodge of Perseverance No 345 make numerous donations to charities

Thursday, 17th December 2015 saw WBro David Bedford, PProvDepGReg installed again as Worshipful Master of The Lodge of Perseverance No. 345. The Travelling Gavel also moved on at the same meeting as previously reported.

However, during the meeting the Lodge made numerous large donations to a number of charities. They donated £400 each to East Lancs Hospice, Derian House childrens hospice and the NW Air Ambulance. They also donated £1200 to the ELMC and £100 to the Blackburn Masonic Hall.

On the 21st December Brian Hartwell and the Worshipful Master WBro David Bedford PProvDepGReg presented the cheque to East Lancs Hospice.

Denise Gee of East Lancs Hospice receiving the donation.

WBro Roger Flitcroft MBE PAGDC

Roger celebrating with his wife Joyce

It was with great delight that we heard the news that WBro Roger Flitcroft PAGDC had been awarded the MBE in the New Year Honour List for services to Scouting, the Samaritans and the Freemasons.

Roger has been involved with the Samaritans, Scouts and Freemasons over a number of years, is now set to receive an MBE at Buckingham Palace in 2016.

His connection with the counselling charity spans 20 years, he was eight years old when he joined the scouting movement and he has been a Freemason for 47 years.

Rogers first Scouting Appointment was in 1974 and he has continuously held appointments, both uniformed and Lay, since that date. He is currently the district Scout president and has previously served as district commissioner.

In 2007 he was awarded the Silver Acorn which is the highest adult Award in the Movement and the personal gift of the Chief Scout.

Roger says of his award: "I'm fully astounded to have been given an MBE and I never expected anything like it to happen to me.
"There are loads of other people who have done far more than me over the years in each of the three organisations I have been involved in.
"I suppose that I have been singled out because I have been involved in three areas for a long time."

We congratulate Wbro Roger Flitcroft MBE PAGDC on this very well deserved award!


The Travelling Gavel moves again


Thursday, 17th December 2015 saw WBro David Bedford, PProvDepGReg installed again as Worshipful Master of The Lodge of Perseverance, no. 345.

After the wonderful Installation meeting and Festive Board a claim was made by WBro Alan Mercer, WM of Fidelity and Crusaders 269 on the Travelling Gavel.

This claim was swiftly countered by Cathedral Lodge, 7814, when WBro David Bell pointed out that there were more Cathedral members present than there were of Fidelity and Crusaders.

Appeals were lodged with the completely unbiased Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, PGSwdB, who just happened to be visiting his own lodge and just happens to be the Very Worthy Mason who wrote the rules.

After seconds of deliberation it was agreed that Cathedral Lodge, another of the many Lodges of which the Deputy Provincial Grand Master is a member, should claim the gavel.

The WM of Cathedral, Bro Steve O'Leary then received the Travelling Gavel from WBro Bedford.

The purpose of the Travelling Gavel is to encourage inter-lodge visiting and that aim is being met more and more. VWBro Thornhill made the point that Cathedral Lodge meet this coming Monday and he would be happy for any Lodge to come along and claim the Gavel


1st Clayton-le-Moors (All Saints) Scout Group

The 1st Clayton Le Moors (All Saints) Scout Group were recently supported with a £150 donation towards a new kitchen for their Scout Hut, by the East Ribble District Charity Stewards. WBro Tom Pearson PProvJGD Charity Steward of Albert Edward Lodge No.1519 took great pleasure in presenting the cheque at the 'Frosty Fayre & Fun Run' held on Monday 7th December, to the Arkela Claire Rothwell.

Not one to miss an opportunity to sing, WBro Pearson also helped the Scouts practice for their upcoming Carol Singing at Tesco's in Accrington!



East Ribble District Carol Sevice

On 6th December, almost 100 brethren and guests gathered at The Holy Trinity Free Church of England in Oswaldtwistle for the annual East Ribble District Carol Service.
The service was introduced by WBro Robert Allan PProvGSuptWks who welcomed everyone and encouraged them to sing with great enthusiasm. His words were not ignored, as the singing was of a very high standard in terms of tunefulness and volume! The congregation were assisted by a wonderful choir, organised by Mrs Barbara Gee, and our very own WBro Stephen Watson PProvSGD played the magnificent church organ to his usual impeccable standard.

The nine lessons were read by a wide range of brethren from within the District, including Grand Lodge Officers to newer initiates.

The list of readers:
Lesson 1: WBro Roger Flitcroft PAGDC 6384
Lesson 2: WBro Russel Harwood 283
Lesson 3: WBro David Gill ProvAGDC 8178
Lesson 4: WBro Brian Derbyshire PProvDepGDC 462
Lesson 5: WBro Andrew Taylor ProvDepGDC 8542
Lesson 6: WBro Andrew Hindle ProvGStwd 3479
Lesson 7: Bro Mark Clayton 269
Lesson 8: Bro Adam Burrows 6339
Lesson 9: EComp Paul Aspinall PGStB APGP

Following the final reading of the service, WBro David Lightbown PAGDC the District Chairman gave heartfelt thanks to those responsible for the organisation of the day and wished everyone present all the very best for the festive season, whilst asking that everyone remember people who are less fortunate or will be away from their families at Christmas. WBro Lightbown also commented at the quality of singing and suggested a District Choir be established!

The Reverend Bro Don Johnson closed the service with a very amusing and poignant closing prayer where he explained what may happen if Heaven set up a call centre, something everyone could relate to. His message however was that we are not in a queue to speak to God as he is always ready to listen.

Before retiring, there were mince pies and a hot drink for everyone to enjoy whilst seasonal greetings were exchanged.

The collection, taken by WBro Ian Ogden PProvSGW and WBro Gordon Hunter PProvSGW, who have been performing the task for the past 25 years, raised the wonderful sum of £130 for Church funds.




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