Click any menu item to expand it, click again
to collapse it.

The Royal Arch RA Home Page
Manchester Districts (City Derby and City Sykes)

Latest News


APGM Chris Welton Visits


Archived news moved to bottom of page


ELMC Grants to Charities in the Manchester District

Report HERE



Students from Manchester Metropolitan University Support SAAFA

Report HERE

5 February 2016 - PGM in Surprise Surprise!!


The Worshipful Master, WBro Christopher Stokes, and members of Constellation Lodge No 5395 welcomed the Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Sir David Trippier, who was accompanied by WBro Andrew Procter ProvDepGDC.

The visit was a well-kept secret from one member of Constellation Lodge.

WBro David Wagstaff was to have been promoted at Provincial Grand Lodge in November last year but weeks before had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and only days before Provincial Grand Lodge underwent surgery – consequently missing out on being presented with his collar by the PGM.

One member of the Lodge took it upon himself to rectify this and wrote to the PGM to enlist his help. Knowing that the PGM’s own Lodge and his met on the same night, he simply asked if the PGM could attend Constellation Lodge and promote David.

To his shock – the PGM said yes and so one of the best kept secrets in East Lancashire Masonry was born.

After the first business of the Lodge was completed, there was a report and the ProvDepGDC Andrew Procter announced the Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Sir David Trippier.

Still David Wagstaff had no idea why the PGM was there – but admitted later that he was more worried that there was both a PGM and a ProvDepGDC possibly going to be at his social board.

The PGM took the chair and announced his reason for being in attendance. He read excerpts from the letter written to him and explained that David was clearly held in high esteem by all of his Lodge and was delighted to be involved with such a surprise.

David was visibly shocked and stunned and just managed to maintain his composure.

The Provincial Grand Master took to the floor of the Lodge and promoted WBro David Wagstaff to PProvSGD.

David was paraded around the Lodge by the ProvDepGDC to the very heartfelt applause and acclaim of his Lodge members.

And finally, David is fit and well with no evidence of cancer.
(But wonders if he can trust a Mason again!)


Assistant Provincial Grand Master visits St Thomas’ Lodge No 992

The Worshipful Master,  WBro Bernard Armitage PProvGSwdB, warmly welcomed WBro Chris Welton PJGD APGM to the Lodge on 3 February 2016. The APGM in return said how pleased he was to visit the Lodge, whilst at the same time, seeing a number of old friends. Accompanying the APGM were WBro David Hudson, Derby District Chairman, WBro Nick Davis ProvAGDC, WBro Chris Wildman PProvDepGDC, Sykes District Secretary and WBro Richard Zoltie, Manchester Area Communications Officer.

Members of the Lodge conducted a demonstration of the Ceremony of Passing which was carried out in an exemplary fashion and enjoyed by all.
In the Lodge, the APGM congratulated the team on the ceremony and also thanked the Lodge for its contributions both to the 2015 Festival and to the ELMC.
The WM presented a cheque for £150 to the ELMC which WBro Welton accepted with great thanks.

WBro Armitage volunteered his Lodge to assist any other Lodge in presenting a 2nd Degree Ceremony should they require this.

The Brethren and Visitors of St Thomas’ Lodge No. 992


WBro Bernard Armitage with WBro Chris Welton APGM



East Lancashire Masonic Charity award a grant to Outreach


On 19th January 2016, a Community Grant of £1000 was given to Outreach by the Grant Making Committee of the ELMC at their Manchester offices at St. Chads Road in Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

Outreach have been providing a range of support services to adults with a learning disability and/or long term mental health needs for 35 years. Originally formed as a service to disabled young people from the Jewish community, they now provide long term and personalised residential and domiciliary services to all denominations and sections of the community.

The grant will be used for IT equipment to further a pilot scheme using tablets, laptops and raspberries.

L-R Chris Prax (Chairman City Sykes District), Chris Welton APGM, Robin Burman, Akilah Akinola (Outreach Chief Executive), David Hudson (Chairman City Derby District), Peter Elton,
Mo Afsa (Charity Steward Derby District), Sal Arya.


Chris Welton APGM, Akilah Akinola (Outreach Chief Executive), Peter Elton, Mo Afsa (Charity Steward Derby District)



ELMC Community Grant
Teddies for Loving Care



Manchester Masons TLC Co-ordinator, WBro Gordon Desser, receiving a cheque for £500 from WBro Mo Afsa, Charity Steward for City Derby District, awarded by the ELMC Grant Making Committee towards a supply of new Teddy Bears, in aid of The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.



St George's Lodge 100% Giving Certificate


On 21 December, the APGM WBro Chris Welton PJGD, visited St George’s Lodge where he was delighted to present to the Lodge a certificate recognising that all members of the Lodge had made a donation to the 2015 Festival.

Members of St. George's Lodge No. 1170 with WBro Chris Welton

WBro Chris Welton presents the certificate to the WM of St George's Lodge, Tim Coates



Visit by the APGM to Felicity Lodge No 4365

Worshipful Master, WBro Shaun Higson, and members of Felicity Lodge No 4365 welcomed the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Christopher Welton PJGD along with WBro Andrew Jenkins ProvGSuptWks, WBro Jim Hilton ProvJGD, WBro Nick Davis ProvAGDC and a District Delegation to their meeting on 28 January 2016.

The APGM was particularly interested in meeting and welcoming two new Entered Apprentices to the Lodge. He wished them a long and enjoyable future in Freemasonry.  During the meeting, WBro John Green presented an extremely interesting lecture on the Preparation of the Candidate which was enjoyed by all.

In addressing the Lodge members and visitors, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master thanked WBro Green for his lecture, the Lodge members for their contributions to the 2015 Festival and for the very warm welcome he, and his delegation, received.

WBro Christopher Welton, APGM; Michael Hardman; Daniel Wintoun-Simpkinsand and WBro Shaun Higson, Master


Lodge Members & Delegation



The Lodge of Virtue No. 152
Visit by RWBro Sir David Trippier
Friday 15th January 2016

Worshipful Master, WBro Iain Wilson, and members of The Lodge of Virtue No. 152 welcomed the Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Sir David Trippier, who was accompanied by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Christopher Welton; WBro David Basger, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals; WBro Chris Prax, District Chairman for City Sykes, along with a Provincial Delegation.

The visit by Sir David was in recognition of Lodge member, WBro John Porter PProvSGW, who was appointed the Provincial Senior Grand Warden on 21st November 2013.  It is a tradition in the Province that the Provincial Grand Master visits his Warden's Lodge after they have completed their year in Office.

After accepting the gavel from WBro Iain Wilson, the Provincial Grand Master presided over the presentation of Grand Lodge Certificates to four members of the Lodge, after an exceptional explanation of the Certificate by the Lodge Honorary member, WBro Warwick Davenport, PSGD, PAPGM.  This was followed by a further explanation of the Royal Arch by the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for Manchester, WBro David Basger PAGDC.

In addressing the Lodge members and many visitors, the Provincial Grand Master thanked WBro Porter for carrying out his role as Senior Warden with distinction and great commitment and congratulated the following members of the Lodge on receiving their Grand Lodge Certificates. 

Brothers: Ayodeji Babalola Osiyemi, Ferdinand Juatco, Domingos Filipe Borges Mamede and Kevin Inwood


The RW Provincial Grand Master, WBro C Welton, WBro D Basger, WBro W Davenport with the four recipients who received their Grand Lodge Certificates


Left to right, WBro Iain Wilson (WM), WBro John Porter, Sir David Trippier and WBro Chris Welton



Sir Norman Kelvin Stoller

We are delighted to announce that Norman Stoller, a member of Zion Menorah Lodge for 49 years, has been awarded a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours.

Sir Norman Stoller adds the highest honour for his philanthropic work to a rare set: he is already an MBE (1976), OBE (1999) and CBE (2010) for his business and charitable successes.

“I am thrilled and delighted. It’s a very lovely thing, but when you are 81 years old it doesn’t make much difference to you. I’ve been Norman to everyone in Oldham for over 50 years and I will continue to be Norman.” On receiving this honour he said, “ as in all these matters, the recipients are usually representing the true heroes!!”

After serving in the RAF, Norman started working for his father’s company for £5 a week and commission — and eventually built it into a worldwide brand and one of Oldham’s biggest employers.
He created the Norman Stoller Charitable Trust in the 1980s, and has since given millions to good causes, pledging £50 million during the last 12 months alone. He has given predominately to Oldham and Manchester based charities.

He has also twice been diagnosed with cancer, which has led to the trust supporting two world-leading cancer research centres at Manchester University and the Christie Hospital, and the creation of two new Maggie’s cancer support centres in Oldham and Manchester.

“We don’t give money away, we give money back. It’s a joy that we have the privilege of giving — it’s life enhancing. Charity, in my opinion, always starts at home, and that’s why Oldham is always very dear to me.”

Sir Norman lives in the Lake District with his wife, Sheila. His other honours include serving as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester in 1999-2000 and being made an Honorary Freeman of Oldham in 2008.

We offer our sincerest congratulations to Sir Norman on this most merited award.



WBro Alan Roberts, BEM, PProvSGW

It was with great delight when members of WBro Alan Roberts’ family, especially his wife Dorothy who Alan married in 1956, heard the news that Her Majesty The Queen had awarded Alan the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for his Services to the Community in Manchester. 

From an early age, Alan Roberts has served the community in some capacity or other and still continues to do to this day.  He is a member of the congregation of St. Matthews with St. Mary's Church, Crumpsall, and became the church organist and choirmaster in 1960, a position he still holds today.  He is a past Churchwarden and a past chairman of the Deanery Synod.  Alan also served as the Bishop of Manchester's representative for Child Protection, from 1966 until 2003.

After retiring as Area Director for Manchester Social Services Department covering one of the most difficult areas in the city, Alan became more involved with voluntary work.  He began to work at SSAFA where he finally became the branch secretary, covering the eleven divisions in Greater Manchester, finally retiring from his role in 2012.

Having carried out all the above roles and many more Alan still found time to serve the Scouting organisation which he joined as a young man.  During his time in Scouting with 2nd/9th Manchester group, he completed all the proficiency badges. This led to him being awarded the King's Scout Badge - later to be known as the Queen's Scout Badge.  In 1967 he became Group Scoutmaster for Ancoats.

In February 1964 Alan was Initiated into Lodge of Truth No. 1458 but sadly the Lodge closed.  In 2012 he joined The Lodge of Virtue No. 152 and instantly became an active member of the Lodge.  Alan celebrated his Fifty Years in Masonry on the 4th March 2014 when the then Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester and now the Provincial Grand Master for Cheshire, RWBro Stephen Blank,  presented Alan with his illuminated Certificate on behalf of RWBro Sir David Trippier. 

The members of The Lodge of Virtue No. 152 congratulate WBro Alan Roberts, BEM, PProvSGW on the award of this well deserved honour.

Pictured below is Alan receiving his 50th Illuminated Certificate from RWBro Stephen Blank alongside WBro John Roberts, the Worshipful Master of Lodge of Virtue No. 152





WBro Henry Donn, MBE, JP, PProvJGW


WBro Henry Donn, MBE, JP, PProvJGW, a member of Arkscroll Lodge No. 6594 and Ark & Menorah Chapter No. 6594, has been recognised in the New Years Honours list by the award of an MBE.
The art dealer turned magistrate has  been recognised for his services to the community in Whitefield.


Among his many achievements, Mr Donn, 85, was known in the eighties for dealing in contemporary art, including work by LS Lowry, who Mr Donn counted as a good friend.

But it is Mr Donn’s tireless work in the community for which he has been awarded the MBE. He is the last surviving member of Whitefield Town Council from when he served in 1971 as an independent councillor and sat on the bench at Bury Magistrates for 26 years.

He was the founder of the Whitefield Abbeyfield Home for the Elderly, President of Whitefield St Johns Ambulance Brigade Cadets and sat on the boards of the Crumpsall, Springfield, Jewish, Northern, Ancoats, Bury General and Fairfield hospitals.

The brethren of Arkscroll Lodge and companions of Ark & Menorah Chapter offer their warmest congratulations to Henry.



Seven-way Initiation at Old Mancunians with Mount Sinai Lodge 3140


As a communications officer for the Province of East Lancashire – Manchester Area, I was asked to cover a 7-way initiation at Old Mancunians with Mount Sinai Lodge No 3140 on 26th November. I thought I’d go to see something in between bedlam, chaos and pandemonium. What I actually saw couldn't have been further away from that.

This was more than just a 7-way initiation for the Lodge, it was also a multi-denominational initiation; 1 Buddhist, 1 Muslim, 2 Hindus and 3 Christians which, I understand, has not been done before in the Province of East Lancashire. I would be surprised if this has been done anywhere else either.

A table was placed in front of the pedestal containing 7 holy books, one for each of the candidates to take their obligation on.

The ceremony itself was conducted by WBro Mo Afsa ProvSGD, with him delivering perfect ritual throughout to the ‘Magnificent Seven’. As they were expertly taken around the Lodge room, with one candidate putting his hand on the shoulder of the one in front of him, the phrase of the blind(folded) leading the blind(folded) came to mind. It was an exceptional evening very much enjoyed by all the Brethren .

Old Mancunians with Mount Sinai Lodge has a tradition of multiple initiations as it is a Lodge affiliated with the University Scheme and hopefully this will be not be the last…I wonder if they could do 10 at once?

Back row, left to right: Henry Bentwood, Robin Quinn, Humza Yusuf, Kyriakos Iakovou, Aris Nefpaktits, Roderick Stewart, Tim Villanueva and Paul Rose.
Front row, Left to right: Avinash Narayanan, Atiq Khan, Brian Bonda, Albert Watkins, Andres Simion, Mo Afsa, Chris Armstrong, Jack Hartley, Leonardo Houman-Lai, Vimal Rajcoomar

Candidates in Italics


Two 50th Celebrations at Britannia Lodge 3005


2015 has been a very memorable year for Britannia Lodge No 3005. It is very rare for a Lodge to get the opportunity to celebrate a 50th birthday so to be able to celebrate two in a year is extra special.

On the 19th March 1965, WBro Reginald Graham Inskip PProvSGW was initiated into Britannia Lodge No. 3005 and exactly 8 months later on 19th November 1965, WBro Ronald Sydney Proctor PProvSGW had his initiation ceremony.

As is customary at personal 50th’s, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester WBro Chris Welton PJGD entered the Lodge room on both occasions accompanied by his District Officers. He brought personal greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Sir David Trippier and VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill.

Below you can read extracts from the tributes given to both celebrants.

Graham Inskip:

Reginald Graham Inskip was born on 28th July 1931 at Dennison House, a nursing home in Victoria Park (now the headquarters of a Chinese trade mission). His primary school was Alma Park. At the outbreak of the war all schools were evacuated but Graham and two friends were not and Mrs Inskip undertook the task of their education, which was conducted in the large shed of the garden of 91 Milford Drive. At the end of the evacuation Graham returned to Alma Park and from there went to the Manchester Grammar School in 1942, gaining his school certificate in 1948.
Graham and his parents were involved in the social life of St Andrew's Church, Levenshulme, where he joined the choir, later becoming senior chorister, and the amateur dramatic society, where he did a good line in vicars. In 1948 he became an administrative assistant in Manchester College of Technology (now UMIST). Graham was called up for National Service in the RAF in October 1949, initially for 18 months and. 6 months extra were added later. After Padgate for assessment and Bridgnorth for square bashing he was posted to Kirkham, where he remained. It was very handy for weekend passes and he ended his service as Corporal Clerk Personnel, returning to civilian life in November 1951 at the College of Technology.
Since Graham had not been posted abroad by the RAF he and his cousin Ron decided to celebrate Graham's 21st birthday with their first trip abroad to Interlaken. On 28th July 1952 (Graham's birthday) they travelled up the Jungfrau Railway to the highest station in Europe to be met by a blizzard. This was the beginning of Graham's love of travel and in the next years he skied in Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France.
Graham joined the Lodge of Reverence No 4956 on the 19th March 1965. He was Secretary from 1971 to 1977, Worshipful Master 1981, 1995 and 1996. Provincial honours and promotions were given regularly. In 1988 he was made PProvAGDC, 1998 promoted to PProvGSwdB and in 2008 promoted to the high office of PProvSGW. Graham is also a very senior Royal Arch Mason being a PGStdB.

Subsequently, he joined the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE), whose headquarters were in Manchester. He was much involved with the local group of which he was Chair for a few years. Through this membership in 1977 he met Andrew Brunt who has been his life partner ever since (now for nearly 38 years). They became civil partners in January 2006.
In 1991 redundancy reared its head for Graham as it has for so many and he took a post in the legal department of T and N in Trafford Park. They were involved in a major case brought against them by Chase Manhattan Bank, New York. Graham's part in this case meant he had to visit New York to appear before the judge. To the surprise of Chase Manhattan they lost the case, which cost them millions. After attaining the retirement age of 65 Graham continued part time until he was 70.
In 1997 Graham and Andrew set up their own business of art history lectures and travel under the name 'Apelles'. Amongst the places to which they conducted tours were: Amsterdam, Vienna, Madrid, Berlin, Prague, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Munich, Salzburg and Malta. The business lasted for 15 years until a halt had to be called because of Andrew's asthma.
As well as travelling widely, music, particularly opera, is another shared interest, which has taken them regularly to Covent Garden and Glyndbourne, as well as to the Kirov (now Mariinski) in St Petersburg, Drottningholme in Stockholm, the Semper Opera House in Dresden and open air opera in Verona. Going to Clonter Opera in Cheshire in July with a party of friends has become their usual way of celebrating Graham's birthday.
Graham had heart bypass surgery in 1981 and 1992 (6 bypasses in all) but is in good health and Andrew's health is also improving; so much so that later this year they are off again via Eurostar to Lille for some more culture.







Ron Proctor:

WBro Ron Proctor was born on 2nd March 1930. As is customary, WBro Welton informed the Brethren of other events that year. King George V was the reigning monarch, Ramsey McDonald was Prime Minister and the average house price was £590, apparently only 3 times the average annual wage.  There were several notable events that occurred in 1930--- Amy Johnson recorded the first solo flight by a woman from England to Australia that year. The Times published its first crossword and the BBC Symphony Orchestra was formed and performed its first Concert. Sliced bread went on sale in England for the first time and Sir Frank Whittle applied for a patent for his Turbo-jet engine. The Youth Hostel Association opened its first hostel. Internationally Mahatma Ghandi led his famous 250 mile march to the sea to collect salt as a protest against the British introduction of a tax on salt in India. Haile Selassie became Emperor of Ethiopia and the planet Pluto was first discovered.
When Ron was demobbed after the forces, he went back to British Rail and after a great deal of writing etc he was appointed a railway controller and happened to be the youngest railway controller. In 1951 he left the railways following a breakdown of health owing to terrible long hours of work (about 90-100 hours per week).
Whilst cost accountant at a gas meter factory in 1966, he criticised the shop floor personnel for not being up to the job, whereupon the managing director told him to show us how to do it and made Ron “works superintendent”. Ron insisted he be given a free hand and allowed to spend what was necessary to do the job. He increased production from 60 – 2000 meters per week during 8-9 months operation. However, one cold morning he noticed that the girls who did the meter testing were not working and asked why. They said it was too cold so he replied and said well get some work done and you’ll be warm. The head girl explained that the problem was that in cold weather they couldn’t test meters for leaks as the temperature in the testing gear and the air were too divergent. Ron then suggested a means of curing this by the use of a heater in the water tank and a thermostat to switch off when the air and water temperatures were the same.  Nobody thanked Ron for this and within 3 months all the competitors had taken the idea.
Owing to his later success in selling computers, Ron decided to start his own business in partnership. Unfortunately it didn’t work out and some 2-3 years later and about £40,000 short he left it to his business partner and went into consultancy.  He was head hunted by Halpern & Sabage, a firm of accountants in Manchester and started in 1984 where he stayed until retiring at 75.
Ron was initiated into Freemasonry on 19th November 1965 (as we have heard) Provincial Honours in the Craft came along and his special talents were recognised by virtue of the fact that in 1983 he was made an Acting Steward of the Province, promotions to PProvSGD and PProvGSuptWks followed and then in 2004 he was promoted to the very high Rank of PProvSGW. His efforts in Chapter have also been recognised where he holds the Rank of PProvGSoj.


At the end of both ceremonies, WBro Chris Welton presented WBros Inskip and Proctor with their Illuminated Certificates and letters from the Provincial Grand Master.

The Chairman for City Derby District WBro David Hudson presented both Brethren with a 50 year in Masonry lapel badge on behalf of both Manchester Districts.

The Lodge closed, the Brethren retired to a pleasant Social Board.







Archives Navigation: Latest News | 2015 | 2014