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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


Manchester Masons visit the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

 

On 19th April, a plethora of Manchester Masons visited the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. The team was led by WBro Gordon Desser, the TLC officer for Manchester and included the Chairmen for both Sykes and Derby Districts, WBro Chris Prax and WBro David Hudson, the City Sykes Charity Steward WBro Steve Thomson and the Assistant Communications Officer for the Manchester Area, Bro Matthew Phillips.

Gordon Desser & the team giving teddies to Kieran and Lyla

The team were taken around the therapy wards and the children’s A&E department by Susan Fairclough who is the Therapeutic and Specialised Play Service Manager at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Her responsibilities are looking after a group of dedicated staff which provide activities such as arts, crafts, recreation and also distraction and participation therapies for treatments and surgeries.

 

Steve Thomson with Adnia, Jasmee, Opal and Kaia

 

The TLC teddies that the Manchester Masons purchase are given to the hospital and they probably receive over 1000 of the small teddies. The effect that these teddies bring to the children that are in hospital is massive. Each one means such a lot to them.

The money used to purchase these small teddies came partly from a donation from an ELMC Community Grant and the remainder was raised by Gordon Desser selling the larger TLC teddies. What this means is that when you see Gordon hovering around at your Lodge Meetings with a bulging holdall, please ensure that he leaves with it empty!!

 

Matt Phillips & Steve Thomson trying out the play area

 


 

Personal 50th of WBro George Etherington Parker PProvDepGSuptWks

 

On Wednesday April 6th, Bridge St was the venue for a special evening when the Brethren and guests got together at Ashbury Lodge No.1459 to celebrate the 50 years in Freemasonry of WBro George Parker.

After the lodge had been duly opened by the Worshipful Master, there was a report, upon which the Director of Ceremonies, announced that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Manchester Area, WBro Christopher Welton, PJGD, was outside the door of the Lodge and demanded admission.

After welcoming the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, the Worshipful Master offered WBro Welton the gavel which he was pleased to accept.

He also brought greetings from the RW PGM Sir David Trippier and VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, DepPGM both of whom sent their best wishes to everyone and personal congratulations to WBro Parker.

The Director of Ceremonies was asked to please place WBro Parker on the Centre.

As is customary at Lodge celebrations, WBro Welton listed some facts from 1931, the year that George was born, such as King George V being the reigning monarch and Ramsey McDonald being Prime Minister first with a Labour Government and then a National Government. The average house price was £600. There were several notable events that occurred in 1931, the Highway Code first came into existence, Whipsnade Zoo opened as did the Empire State Building in New York. There was a mutiny in the Royal Navy that year at Invergordon due to decreased salaries. Inventions in 1931 included the Electric Razor, Nylon and the Aerosol Can. Alka Seltzers were also first used that year.

Well-known names born in 1931 included Les Dawson, Lonnie Donegan, John Le Carre, Boris Yeltsin and, for the Trekkies amongst you, both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Rupert Murdoch shares the same birth year as George. Amongst the ladies born that year were Anne Bancroft, Angie Dickinson and Diana Dors.

George was Initiated into Freemasonry on 6th April 1966, Provincial Honours in the Craft came along and in 1986 he was made PProvAsstGSuptWks promotions then followed to PProvJGD and PProvDepGSuptWks.

1966, the year of George’s Initiation, proved to be quite a very momentous year, not just because George joined Freemasonry but in that year Harold Wilson was P.M. and our current Queen, Elizabeth II, was on the Throne. The average house price had now risen to £3840 and petrol cost the equivalent of 24 pence a gallon
In 1966 British Rail began the Electrification of the West Coast line between Euston and Manchester. In that year Jim Callaghan, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the decision to embrace decimalisation effective from 15th February 1971.

Born in 1966, Chris Evans, Samantha Fox, David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt and Zola Budd…not forgetting that England won something and a trophy was lost!!

An extract of the minutes was then read by the Lodge Secretary and then WBro Kerfoot delivered the tribute to George which can be downloaded HERE:

Bro Welton then performed a very pleasant duty and that was to read out and present to WBro Parker a special Certificate and accompanying letter and then the DC escorted WBro Parker around the Lodge to the acclamation of the Brethren.
To finish off this special evening, WBro Evans was presented with a 50th Anniversary pin by WBro David Hudson, District Chairman, City Derby.

WBro Welton, together with WBro Parker withdrew from the lodge in Masonic order. The Worshipful Master closed the lodge and all the brethren retired to the social board.





APGM WBro John Welton & WBro George Parker

 

WBro Parker with the APGM and Lodge Members

 

Presentation of Gifts

 


 

Recruitment Presentation

On 5th April WBro Mo Afsa, the newly appointed Provincial Membership Officer, gave a presentation to the Manchester Area Cabinet on the subject of Building Recruitment. The presentation built on the research commissioned by UGLE and the results of that research is driving this project.

The message given is that recruitment needs to be tailored in a number of ways. Freemasonry has to build on community relationships, speak to those who are interested and expand on our well established charitable commitments and activities. We need to have an understanding of what potential members want and need to know. We need to reach out and use all our resources to further engagements with non-masons. Our message is that Freemasonry is “friendly, fun, social and benevolent”.

“We need to attract, inform and inspire”; showcasing Freemasonry locally, Provincially and Nationally. We are a diverse organisation, welcoming to all, with a magnificent and long heritage, family friendly with exceptionally strong links to all sections of the community.

Our communications must be tailored, identifying and explaining our message with current examples. Utilisation of all social media channels increases our profile and helps give fresh and relevant messages to our target audience. We must celebrate good news stories but be clear and learn from experiences, good or bad.

Freemasonry knows what it wants to do and where it wants to go. “Let’s make it happen”.

The Area Cabinet was enthused by the excellent presentation and a lively and interesting question and answer session followed.

 


 

ELMC Grant to Salford Imagination Library

 

The 21st March 2016 was a very special evening for the Salford Imagination Library. Not only was it the night that they held their charity fashion show, but it was also the night that Stephen Thomson, District Charity Steward, City Sykes, presented a cheque from ELMC for £1250 as part of the community funding scheme.

Richard Bermitz from Zion Menorah Lodge 1798 approached Stephen with the request for ELMC funding for this. The Salford Imagination Library provides books to preschool children from deprived areas. Stephen said “It is a sad fact that many children have never seen a book by the time they reach school age and are therefore playing catch-up with those who have, throughout their entire school life. By investing in these children from a very early age the charity gives them a fighting chance to be able to break free from poverty. “

Each child receives one approved educational book per month from the age of 2 to the age of 5. The cost to sponsor each child is £125. ELMC gave £1250, enough to sponsor 10 children.

 

Stephen Thomson & Simon Rosenthal

The scheme is run by Simon Rosenthal and Audrey Othick in the Salford area. They have tried to register the scheme as a charity locally but they have found this impossible, as in this country educational charities cannot be registered for preschool aged children - the very age group in question. They are therefore operating under the authority of their umbrella organisation, The Dolly Parton Foundation.

Yes, you read it right Brethren - Dolly Parton, whose father, Lee, although an intelligent man, was unable to read. Dolly started the scheme in Sevier County, Tennessee and the scheme continues to touch the lives of children around the world.

Simon Rosenthal, Dolly Parton & Stephen Thomson

 


 

Freemasonry in the Community
or
'How to feel good about giving'

 

On Friday 18th March 2016 WBro Ian MacNeill and W Bro Kevin Gould presented a cheque for £2650 to Bury Hospice. Why Bury Hospice?

In April 2015 W Bro Kevin’s wife, Jenny, passed away in Bury Hospice and this was naturally a very sad time, but whilst it was undoubtedly sad it made him realise the value of the work done by staff at the hospice. The nursing care is several levels above any care that you could expect to receive in any hospital and that includes private hospitals and the attention to detail is infinitely more than any  five star hotel. The staff go about their work in the most caring of fashions and this is at every level; we would expect good nursing care but this stretches beyond just the nurses, the whole hospice is a team and no one person is more or less important than anyone else be it the CEO or doctor or nurse or cleaner or fund raiser or volunteer.

Townley Parker Lodge No. 1083 based in Manchester Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester hold what is commonly known as a Ladies Festival; a formal affair when wives and partners get to have a new dress at very least and this is usually held in October. 2015 is the first year that this event did not take place because of Jenny’s death and the members of the Lodge met and agreed that whilst they would like to have an event it would be more appropriate to have a less formal affair in respect for Jenny

With the help of W Bro Ian MacNeill and Bro John Williams and skilfully negotiated rates by W Bro Wes Marchant an evening was planned aboard the Emmeline Pankhurst, a cruise barge which regularly sails the Manchester and Bridgewater Ship Canal, was commissioned and many Lodge members attended as well as Jenny’s own children and grand children, this was designed to achieve two main aims

  1. The celebrate Jenny’s life
  2. To raise money for a non Masonic charitable cause, which would be selected by the Worshipful Master, Kevin Gould, his chosen charity was quite naturally Bury Hospice, who cared so expertly for Jenny in her final few hours of life.

It was a great night of celebration and was made even sweeter when Bro John Williams, having approached Barclays Bank for help, was able to announce that the bank had offered to support the event by informing him that if we managed to raise £1000 for the charity they would match it with a further £1000. Both Townley Parker Lodge and Bury Hospice are indebted to Steven Ryder at Barclays Bank for this very kind contribution and in these days of receiving criticism it is wonderful to be able to praise a bank.

Having had a guided tour of the Hospice WBro MacNeill presented a cheque to Nicole Ainsworth, one of the fund raising team at the hospice. Whilst Nicole expressed her gratitude so too did all the staff present.

The work of a hospice often goes unseen until you need it yourself or you have contact with someone who has had experience at first hand. The work ethic, attitude and welcome is disarming; they perform their task with obvious love and care for both patients and their families


WBro Ian McNeil presenting the cheque to Nicole

 


Special Family Installation


On 3rd March 2016 at Arkscroll Lodge No 6594, Bro Oliver Basger was Installed as the Worshipful Master. Taking the ceremony on this occasion was his father, WBro David Basger, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals.

After the Lodge was opened and the usual formalities completed, WBro Chris Welton, Past Junior Grand Deacon, APGM, was welcomed into the Lodge as the Guest of Honour, together with a large number of Grand Officers of both United Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter. WBro Welton brought greetings and very best wishes from the RW PGM, Sir David Trippier, and introduced those attending with him. These included RWBro Stephen Blank PGM (Cheshire); WBro Paul Rose PSGD and Deputy Grand Superintendent; WBro David Thompson PJGD and Second Provincial Grand Principal; WBro Donald Pryce PAGChap and Third Provincial Grand Principal; Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, WBro Len Hayes PAGDC and WBro Paul Aspinall PAGDC; and WBro Peter Faulkner PAGDC; WBro Leslie Berkeley JP, PAGDC; WBro Henry Bentwood PAGDC and WBro David Dunn PAGDC.

Completing the family atmosphere were the newly installed WM’s uncles, WBro Harvey Basger PAGDC, WBro Jonathan Basger PProvGStwd (the Lodge DC), WBro Bradley Holt PProvDepGDC (the Lodge Organist) and WBro Steven Holt, a Past Master of Menorah Lodge. Also supporting the WM was Bro Paul Basger, the WM of Zion Menorah Lodge.




(L to R) WBro Harvey Basger, WBro David Basger, WM, Bro Paul Basger, WBro Bradley Holt and WBro Jonathan Basger

 



The very proud father WBro David Basger and the WM, Bro Oliver Basger

The Brethren enjoyed an exceptional ceremony carried out with much aplomb and no shortage of emotion by WBro David Basger.

The Brethren all made their way into an excellent Social Board with plenty of atmosphere, good food and drinks.

Pictured are the Lodge Members and Distinguished Visitors, Lodge Members and Family Members


 

 


 

Townley Parker Charity Events aboard the Emmeline Pankhurst

 

As a consequence of the tragic loss of his wife during his year of office the WM  of Townley Parker Lodge ,1083, WBro Kevin Gould, elected to hold a fundraising event in aid of Bury Hospice, where his beloved Jenny lost her fight
.
WBro Wes Marchant, assisted by the Lodge Charity Steward, WBro Ian Mac Neill, organised an event aboard the Emmeline Pankhurst, a cruise barge which regularly sails the Manchester and  Bridgewater canals as a dinner cruise or a party trip. It was decided that it should be a party to celebrate Jennys life.



One sunny evening late last year  a large number of lodge members , together with  their wives and partners, enjoyed a three hour trip from Manchester City Centre out to Media City accompanied by a Karaoke disco and a sumptuous buffet miraculously prepared and served on board.

Following a very extensive raffle a magnificent sum of £1150.00 was raised. However the excitement didn’t end there as one of the brethren had hosted a particular guest who to the astonishment of all, particularly Kevin Gould, generously declared that he would double the amount raised. Therefore an amazing total of £2300.00 was raised for the Hospice.
What a fantastic gesture from this individual, who declared his wish to remain anonymous.

At the end of the evening, the barge owner Mr Eamon Gaul and owner of www.citycentrecruises.co.uk  indicated he would offer the services of the barge including food to raise funds for the family of  Police Constable David Phillips, the Merseyside police officer who had been killed in the line of duty.

 As Townley Parker lodge has a number of serving and retired police officers amongst its members the offer was gratefully accepted. As a result a second event was arranged later on in the year. This time it was decided a Sunday Lunch would be the ideal way to enjoy the other side of the barges ability.

Again we were blessed with unseasonably good weather for December, and a similar number of members and guests spent a wonderful afternoon on the canals enjoying a thoroughly enjoyable 3 course roast beef dinner.

The event was a great success and a magnificent sum of £1640.00 was raised and subsequently donated to the Merseyside Police Federation’s trust fund in aid of PC Phillips family.
A huge amount of thanks was given to Eamon Gaul for his generous gesture in facilitating the event.

The Lodge is rightly proud of its charity work , but to raise just short of £4000.00 over two events takes some beating.

.

 

 

 

 

WBro Ian Mac Neill BEM (Lodge Charity Steward), Mr Eamon Gaul (Barge owner) and WBro Wes Marchant PJGD

 

 


 

WBro William John Borrett, PProvSGW
Mellor Lodge No. 1774
60 years in Freemasonry

 


On 2 February 2016, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill PGSwdB, accompanied by a Provincial Delegation, was welcomed by Mellor Lodge No. 1774 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro William John (Jack) Borrett PProvSGW.

On admittance, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master was offered the Gavel of the Lodge by the Worshipful Master who was also the celebrant!  On receiving the Gavel,  VWBro Thornhill said, "he was very happy to accept the Gavel and how delighted he was to be here to honour a man who has given 60 years to East Lancashire Freemasonry”

 On occupying the Masters Chair VWBro Thornhill introduced members of the Delegation which included, WBro Chris Welton , PJGD, APGM, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD, the Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro Duncan Ferguson Provincial Senior  Grand Warden, WBro Paul Thornton Provincial Junior Grand Warden , WBro Chris Prax, Sykes District Chairman, WBro David Cowen, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and WBro Andrew Taylor, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, VWBro Nolan Morrison, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master and WBro Peter Chapman, PSGD, PAProvGM (Cheshire).

Extracts were read  from the minutes of Jack's Initiation Ceremony held on 24 January 1956 and his Installation as Worshipful Master on 13 December 1969 by the Lodge Secretary, WBro Michael Isherwood PProvDepGDC.
WBro Rodney Evans PProvJGW  then delivered a personal tribute to his old friend on behalf of the Lodge.  He informed the Brethren that Jack had held many offices in the Lodge, all of which he carried out with great distinction.  Jack is also a skilled Carpenter, having made and repaired many of the wooden Lodge furnishings. 

WBro Evans spoke of Jack’s distinguished Military Service during the Second World War. 

WBro Borrett was involved in many Campaigns, having served in North Africa, Monte Casino, Greece and  Macedonia.  On being demobbed he became a Nurse at Cheadle Royal Hospital where he met his wife Evelyn and they had a daughter Jill.  Sadly Evelyn passed away in 2003.  WBro Evans described Jack as a very warm and friendly man with a great sense of humour and a true gentleman. 

 

WBro Jack Borrett is seen on the left of this wartime picture


VWBro Thornhill proceeded to inform and entertain the Brethren.   He reminded everyone of what life was like in 1956.  Granada TV was launched, President Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal leading to War, Premium Bonds were introduced, the average house cost was £2,280, the average pay was £615 pa and petrol was 4/6 a gallon. Famous sports people born that year include Sebastian Coe, Sue Barker and Martina Navratilova, Manchester United won the League and Manchester City the FA Cup. 

Jack was exalted into Royal Arch in 1963. In 1981 he was promoted to PProvJGD,  in 1988 to PProvJGW and to in 2009 to PProvSGW .

A personal letter of congratulations from Sir David Trippier, RW Provincial Grand Master was read out in open lodge, together with a richly deserved Illuminated Certificate to mark this very special occasion by VWBro Thornhill, who concluded the evening by adding his own personal congratulations and stated how pleased and privileged he was to be present.

WBro Borrett was then perambulated  around the Lodge room by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies WBro David Cowen to the acclaim of the brethren and on conclusion was presented with a Sixty Year lapel badge on behalf of Sykes District by the District Chairman WBro Chris Prax. 

At the Social Board, WBro Borrett was presented with a silver square and compasses by WBro Rodney Evans.

VWBro Derek N Thornhill with WBro Jack Borrett

 

VWBro Derek N Thornhill, WBro Jack Borrett & WBro Chris Welton

 

WBro Rodney Evans, WBro Jack Borrett & WBro David Green

 


 

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.

 

 

ORIGINAL MINUTES 1

ORIGINAL MINUTES 2

SUMMONS 1

SUMMONS 2


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.

 

 


 

 

 


 

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