The regular meeting of Maccabee Lodge witnessed the 50th Anniversary and Celebration of WBro Cliff Valins in the Derby Room at Freemasons Hall, Manchester.
The Lodge was opened and then after the minutes were confirmed WBro Martin Caller, APGM was admitted accompanied by a large District Delegation of Officers. After taking his seat and receiving salutations from all the Brethren WBro Caller was welcomed by the WM Bro Adam Valins, the celebrant’s son, and offered the Gavel which he accepted with pleasure.
WBro Caller introduced his District Officers which included Derby District Chairman, W Bro Brian Durkin and he commented that he always enjoys the support on such occasions by our friends in the Royal Arch and he was delighted to welcome the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, W Bro Stuart Hughes.
WBro Cliff Valins seated next to his son and WM of Maccabee Lodge, Adam Valins who is alongside WBro Martin Caller, APGM and all the Brethren of the Lodge.
He said how delighted he was to be officiating at a 50th celebration and in particular because he was a personal and long standing friend of WBro Valins and then asked W Bro Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Harold Cooper to place W Bro Cliff Valins in front of the pedestal.
The newspapers of the day showed that you could cruise from England to Australia at a price of £3 per day. The average house cost £3,400 and you could buy a family four seater motor car for £500.
Bro Adam Valins then gave the following tribute to his father:
Two days after his initiation he was a visitor at his father’s mother lodge- King David in Liverpool. At the festive
Together with Robin Burman and Len Rose they have been responsible for the Lodge walks which apart from being hugely enjoyable have raised tens of thousands of pounds for Masonic and non Masonic charities particularly the Outreach Organisation who on many occasions sent some of their clients along with their carers on their walks which gave them a great sense of achievement, and for his part a great admiration for the patience and forbearance of the carers of these young people.
WBro Caller then continued “I think we can see from what Adam has had to say and from what I know about you personally, that you are a remarkable man in so many ways. You are multi-talented and well respected with a great capacity for inspiring those around you to enjoy life to the full.
You are a man committed to everything you undertake and well respected by everyone with whom you come into contact. You have a great sense of doing good and a social conscience and an innate kindness with a great capacity for helping that in need. You are indeed one of nature’s gentlemen who is loved and respected by everybody who knows you.”
WBro Caller then called upon the District Chairman, W Bro Brian Durkin to read the certificate that he was to present.
WBro Cliff Valins with WBro Martin Caller, APGM proudly holding his Illuminated Certificate.
WBro Caller then called upon the District Chairman once again to make a presentation on behalf of the Manchester District.
WBro Cliff Valins seated between WBro Brian Durkin, District Chairman and WBro Martin Caller, APGM who is next to WBro Stuart Hughes APGP and the rest of the District Deputation.
Father and Son WBro Cliff and Bro Adam Valins pictured with the Engraved Glass that the Lodge presented to mark Cliff’s 50th Year.
WBro Cliff Valins with WBro Stuart Hughes, APGP, WBro Martin Caller, APGM, and WBro Brian Durkin-Chairman of Derby District.
WBro Cliff Valins after the ceremony with WM Adam Valins and WBro Martin Caller, APGM in the Derby Lodge Room.
The 180th regular meeting of Mount Sinai Lodge, despite being its last, was a very happy and optimistic event. . This Lodge this was founded over 30 years ago has strong links with Old Mancunians which is part of the University Scheme of Lodges and they have decided to amalgamate in 2014. The new Lodge will combine the experienced masons from Mount Sinai with the young and keen brethren in Old Mancunians which they believe will be a perfect match to guarantee a vibrant Lodge for many years to come.
This view was illustrated perfectly in the Raising ceremony of two brothers by a combination of officers from both Lodges. WBro Jonathan Becker the WM of Mt Sinai was supported magnificently by his Wardens, whilst the Deacons were from Old Mancunians and the ritual and movements round the Lodge room were a pleasure to listen to and witness. Bro Mo Afsa the WM of Old Mancunians presented and explained the 3rd Degree Tools and to back this up he also delivered the Traditional History to the two newly raised brothers to further demonstrate the point.
The Brethren of Mt Sinai Lodge with WBro Jonathan Becker, WM seated with the Lodge Bible Fall alongside WBro Martin Caller, APGM.
Six Founder members of Mt Sinai Lodge
The Warrant was duly surrendered to WBro Martin Caller, APGM, who whilst accepting it referred to being present at the founding of the Lodge. He mentioned that it was both unusual and a real pleasure to see a six of the founders present and that he didn’t see the meeting being an end but rather an exciting continuation of Mt Sinai is combination with Old Mancunians. The Warrant was processed out of the Temple at the closing of the meeting with all due reverence and respect.
The Social Board was a happy and pleasurable continuation to the evening seeing over 60 brethren dining. A number of toasts were made that referred to the history of the Lodge with WBro Paul Rose and WBro Martin Caller taking the brethren through the history of the time that had passed in general and specific memories of events and some key brethren of the Lodge.
During the evening a Charity collection raised in excess of £350 which was donated to Paul Rose’s impending 26 mile walk for Cancer Charity and a further £250 for Masonic Charities.
Everyone left Freemasons’ Hall in goo heart and looking forward to the formation of the new Lodge next year.
Joyce Haldane with her Son in Law, WBro Martin Caller, APGM and Betty Lever
The Annual Broken Column Dinner for the Widows of Freemasons from Manchester Lodges took place at Freemasons Hall. The ladies were entertained at a wine reception in the Golbourn Lodge Room and then they moved into the Dining Room for a three course meal and then later on they were entertained by Victor Michaels. Victor returned for the second year running and delivered a superb mixture of light opera and popular classical songs and he also encouraged a great deal of ‘Audience Participation’ that proved very popular and in particular ;The Drinking Song and Amore.
Mrs Frances Flasher seated in the WM’s Chair with her daughter Elaine Bermitz
WBros Alex Mclaren and Martin Caller
Service with a smile, WBro Len Hayes, Jr Steward
Earlier in the day the members and their guests who play golf, played 14 holes of golf at Whitefield Golf Club. The winner of the Integrity Trophy was WBro Chris Wildman whilst WBro Michael Bartle the Worshipful Master of Zion Menorah Lodge No. 1798 was the winner of the visitor’s prize.
A Presentation of a cheque for £3,500 was made on Wednesday 6th March by the PGM at the Nicky Alliance Day Centre from the East Lancs Community Fund to pay for a much needed new Washing Machine.
The application to the Community Fund was made by WBro David Caplan the Charity Steward of Zion Menorah Lodge no. 1798.
W.Bro Neville Martin Worthington PPrSGW
60th Diamond Jubilee Celebration
28th February 2013
The celebration of 60 years in Freemasonry for WBro Neville Martin Worthington was held at the regular meeting of Felicity Lodge at Freemasons Hall, Manchester.
The Lodge was opened and after the minutes and various reports, The Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies entered the Lodge along with the VW Bro Derek Nelson Thornhill the Deputy Provincial Grand Master accompanied by a Provincial Deputation including WBro Martin Caller APGM and WBro Stuart Hughes the Assistant to the Grand Principles.
The WM, WBro Leslie Thomas Hill welcomed the DPGM and offered him the gavel which he was pleased to accept on this occasion. WBro Derek then thanked and introduced the Provincial and District officers who were in attendance and supporting him on what was such a special occasion and the brethren of Felicity Lodge gave them a very warm welcome.
WBro Neville Worthington was then seated by the WBro Harold Cooper, the Deputy Provincial DC, on the pavement in front of the WM Pedestal and the WBro Thornhill took the brethren through the era when he had been initiated covering a variety of interesting facts from the political, social and sporting worlds, all of which was very interesting and entertaining. He congratulated Bro Neville on his fantastic contribution to the craft over such an extended period of time and commented that he was certain this would continue for many years to come. He mentioned that very few brethren were recognized and promoted to PPrSGW which is the highest Rank the Province can convey.
The DPGM then invited the Lodge Secretary WBro Callaghan to deliver a tribute to his dear friend and brother which included the following.
Bro Neville you were born on 12th August 1931 in Manchester
If you look in the history of Felicity Lodge you will find the name Worthington popping up all over the place
Felicity Lodge was Consecrated 6th May 1922
On the 5th October 1922 Mr. Ernest Worthington was initiated into the Felicity Lodge.
and was installed as WM 1936 (Neville’s Great Uncle)
6th November 1924 Mr. Joseph Worthington was initiated into Felicity Lodge.
Was installed as WM of Lodge Of Veneration No 5686 in 1940 (Out daughter Lodge)
(Both the above Brethren became Founder Members of The Lodge of Veneration
No 5686 Consecrated 22nd October1937) our Daughter Lodge
Ernest Martin Worthington was initiated into Felicity Lodge 6th November 1936
and became WM 1952 (Neville’s Father)
Neville Martin Worthington was proposed into the Lodge by his Father
Bro E M Worthington WM seconded by W.Bro J. Worthington PPrSGD (His Grandfather) and was initiated 22nd January 1953 by his Father at the aged 21.
(This makes him a Lewis and the son of a Lewis)
Bro N M Worthington went through all the Offices of the Lodge and was installed as WM by W.Bro R. Walmsley PPrAGReg at the Installation Meeting in October 1967
He went back in the Masters Chair in October 2002 so he was in the Masters Chair for his Golden Jubilee 22nd January 2003
During his 60 years in Felicity Lodge he has held the office of Secretary, Treasurer, Director of Ceremonies and District Representative for the Lodge. He was also a member of Felicity Chapter N0 4365
Started work at 17 with the United Africa Company. Whitworth Street Manchester until he was called up for National Service in the RAF at 18. On his return he worked for the Company for 33years working his way up to become a Departmental Manager in Textiles
After being made redundant at 52 he worked for several companies one for 9 years until he retired at 64.
He played Football and Cricket as a young man and is still playing Golf two or three times a week (“His Handicap”. Well that is a state secret)
Neville’s wife Edna has always been very supportive of Neville, a very good friend to Felicity Lodge and all the Members
After the tribute a presentation of a letter for the PGM and an illuminated certificate was made to WBro Neville by the DPGM and a special 60 year lapel pin by WBro Brian Durkin the District Chairman. WBro Neville was then escorted around the Lodge to a standing ovation from all the brethren which was a very moving moment for all present. WBro Neville after being seated immediately took the opportunity to present a personal donation to the DPGM for the 2015 RMBI Festival which was warmly acknowledged and accepted and VWBro Thornhill said ‘This was typical of Bro Worthington’.
The DPGM then expressed his wish to retire with his deputation but before he handed the gavel back to the WM a further cheque from the Lodge was presented to him for the Festival. VWBro Thornhill stated that once again Felicity Lodge had illustrated their commitment to the Province and thanked them very much for their continued support.
The Social Board which was held in the Museum was an excellent and warm continuation of the evening. Special Menus had been produced in cream and blue by the WBro Callaghan and he had even provided an individual one in red for WBro Caller, APGM, whose support of Manchester United is well known!
During the course of the meal special toasts were made to WBro Neville by the DPGM and also WBro Callaghan who presented a signed menu and a gift to which Neville responded.
The evening ended after a successful raffle and everyone left having had a memorable time sharing in WBro Neville’s celebrations.
WBro Neville Worthington with the DPGM and members of Felicity Lodge
The DPGM, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill flanked by WBro Neville Worthington and WBro Leslie Hill the WM with the Provincial Deputation and brethren of Felicity Lodge.
WBro Neville Worthington holding his Illuminated Certificate accompanied by the DPGM and WM.
A special moment for WBro Neville Worthington with the VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, DPGM.
The Special Menus and Toast List produced by WBro Callaghan and the individual one in Red with the Manchester United Crest attached which he presented to
WBro Martin Caller, APGM.
WM WBro Leslie Hill making a presentation to WBro Neville Worthington
WBro Neville Worthington responding to the Toast to his Health
WBro Neville Worthington taking wine with the DPGM and the WM
The recent meeting on 1st February marked a special moment both for the Lodge and the RMB1 2015 Festival. WBro Martin Caller, APGM had promised that he would present a certificate to any Lodge when all their Brethren had made a personal donation. The first Lodge in the Manchester District, who can count the PGM, Sir David Trippier amongst their members achieved this recently.
WBro Caller being true to his word paid a visit to the regular meeting and was delighted to be able to make the presentation of the certificate . The brethren enjoyed a great evening both in the Lodge and at the Social Board.
The regular meeting of Manchester Arts & Science Lodge saw the celebration of 50 years in the Craft of WBro Albert Mason Perry PProv JGW.
The Lodge welcomed WBro Martin Caller APGM along with a substantial Deputation of his District Officers into the Lodge. The WM Bro Andrew Steel offered vacated the Chair of King Solomon for the proceedings and W Bro Caller took the Gavel.
W Bro Caller told the brethren that he was really thrilled to be with them for this very special occasion to celebrate a most significant date in the Masonic life of W Bro Albert Perry and also an important milestone in the history of this Lodge as well.
He continued by commenting on being delighted to see so many people here supporting Albert and helping to make this a special celebration for a for a Brother who clearly possesses some exceptional qualities..
He then introduced the District Officers including City Derby District Chairman, W Bro Brian Durkin and the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, W Bro Stuart Hughes who all received a warm welcome from the brethren.
The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Simon Archer then placed W Bro Albert Perry in front of the pedestal and W Bro Caller continued:
“W Bro Albert Mason Perry, Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden – first of all may I congratulate you on reaching this wonderful milestone in your Masonic career. This is a very special occasion and I do hope you have a very happy evening with us all here this evening and that you really enjoy the experience. Most importantly, I hope that it will not only live up to but will in fact surpass your expectations and that we are able to provide you with a celebration that you so clearly deserve.
You were initiated into Peace Lodge on 23 January 1963. I thought that I would just point out to you at this juncture that on the day of your initiation I was just 13 years old so my apologies for not being there – I was probably at home at the time and dreaming of playing football for Manchester United, that never happened though.
WBro Albert Perry responding at the Social Board
The Worship Master presented WBro Albert with a signed card
Lodge members and their guests
Fifty years to the day of his initiation WBro Geoffrey Miller Evans was admitted into Felicity Lodge on the 24th January 1963.
The Lodge opened the Worshipful Master Bro Les Hill welcomed the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester, WBro Martin Caller PSGD, accompanied by the Chairman for City Derby District WBro Brian Durkin PAGDC, WBro Stuart Hughes PProvSGW and the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for Manchester in the Royal Arch and a District Deputation to help celebrate this wonderful achievement of fifty years in Freemasonry.
Presentation of the Certificate by WBro Caller with WBro Les Hill, WM
WBro Evans was born on the Isle of Man in October 1931. George Frederick Ernest Albert Windsor, George V was on the Throne, James Ramsey MacDonald the Prime Minister and the 31st President of the United States was Herbert Clark Hoover. Great Britain was in a period of economic depression with thousands of British Ships rusting in harbours because there were no goods to export. In America the Empire State building was completed and became the tallest building in the world. The US government arrested Al Capone on tax fraud charges; he was given an 11 year prison sentence to ‘Alcatraz’
At the age of sixteen Geoffrey became a Midshipman with the Blue Funnel Line serving a four year apprenticeship before qualifying as a Navigation Officer. In 1957 Geoffrey joined Manchester Liners sailing the North Atlantic passage to Canada and the Great Lakes, Geoffrey’s last voyage at sea was as the Master of Manchester Liners flagship the ‘Manchester Miller’ In July 1958 Geoffrey married Marjorie a primary school teacher, they have been married for fifty five wonderful years.
WBro Evans was proposed into Masonry by his father in law
WBros Durkin, Caller and Hughes congratulate WBro Evans
WBro JL Stevenson PProvDepGSuptWks and WBro EG Freeman PProvSGD, initiated into the Lodge by the Worshipful Master WBro John Gardner on the 24th January 1963. In 2002 the Province offered Geoffrey a promotion to a new rank, being the considerate man he is, he declined the promotion saying “he felt there were other Brethren in the Province and his Lodge who were more worthy of the promotion”
A Vibrant Festive Board
Before reading and presenting the congratulatory letter and illuminated Certificate from The Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Sir David Trippier, WBro Caller remarked ‘what a remarkable, considerate and interesting Freemason WBro Evans is’ WBro Brian Durkin presented Geoffrey with a 50th Lapel Badge on behalf of the District.
The Toast is WBro Geoffrey Evans
The Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies WBro John Griffin then perambulated Geoffrey round the Lodge room to spontaneous applause from everyone present.
Before letting WBro Caller hand over the gavel, the Worshipful Master presented a cheque for £150 towards the 2015 Festival. WBro Caller replied with thanks for the generous donation. The Lodge closed everyone retired to a very enjoyable Festive Board which ended a splendid way to celebrate 50 years in Freemasonry.
The Lodge Secretary, WBro Alan Calagan, raises a glass to an enjoyable evening
The Lodge Secretary WBro Alan Callagan PProvSGW must be congratulated for his in-depth tribute to WBro Evans on behalf of the Lodge and in organising not only the evening’s procedures but also an excellent Festive Board. This is the first of three Masonic anniversaries that are taking place this year in Felicity Lodge, the next anniversary is on the 28th February, when WBro Neville Worthington celebrates 60 years in Freemasonry and WBro Callagan himself celebrates 50 years on the 28th November.
W Bro Leslie Berkeley surrounded by The Officers of Ark Scroll Lodge and with W Bro Martin Caller,
APGM and the District Team in the Derby Lodge Room after the meeting.
At the recent meeting of Ark Scroll Lodge, WBro Leslie Berkeley celebrated 50 years in Freemasonry. The Lodge was opened and a Dispensation read followed by the minutes and then W Bro Martin Caller PSGD, APGM was admitted supported by his full District Team of Officers. The WM Bro Chris Wildman after welcoming W Bro Caller offered him the Gavel which he accepted to took the Chair to conduct the Celebration.
W Bro Caller commenced with the following words:
“I am really thrilled to be here on this very special occasion when we are of course gathered here to celebrate a most significant date in the Masonic life of W Bro Leslie Berkeley and as such a great milestone in the history of this Lodge as well.
Since my appointment as Assistant Provincial Grand Master I have presided over a good number of such celebrations and whilst they have all been great occasions, it is always of a greater significance to me, when as in this case, I know the Brother concerned so well. I feel privileged to be able to play such a significant part in this celebration for Leslie.”
W Bro Caller introduced his District Officer and they were given a warm welcome by the brethren.
W Bro Leslie Berkeley with The Officers of Ark Scroll Lodge and with W Bro Martin Caller,
APGM in the Derby Lodge Room after the meeting.
W Bro Berkeley was then placed in front of the pedestal and W Bro Caller continued
“W Bro Leslie David Berkeley, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies – first of all may I congratulate you on reaching this wonderful milestone in your Masonic career. This is a very special occasion and I do hope you have a very happy evening with us all here this evening and that you really enjoy the experience. Most importantly, I hope that it will not only live up to but will in fact surpass your expectations and that we are able to provide you with a celebration that you so clearly deserve.
You were initiated into Scroll Lodge on 18 December 1962. I thought that I would just point out to you at this juncture that on the day of your initiation I was just 13 years old so my apologies for not being there – I was probably at home playing with my Meccano set at the time and dreaming of playing football for Manchester United.
Now it is often at this stage of the proceedings that I point out to the Brethren that a member of the Lodge who is well known to the birthday boy will be giving details of his Masonic and non-Masonic history. Tonight will be somewhat different as Leslie has given me the singular honour of asking me to deliver a tribute to him and I am delighted to do that
Before doing that I thought I would endeavour to put into context what we are celebrating this evening.
You see what is obvious is that Freemasonry has changed somewhat since your Initiation. Indeed in the 37 years that I have been a member I have noticed it change dramatically, so the changes you have seen over the past fifty years I can only imagine.
Having said that however, it is important to realise that if any organisation is to survive for a long time (and Freemasonry has done so in its present form for nearly 300 years) then it must evolve and change with the times and that is one of the main challenges facing Freemasonry today. In looking at Freemasonry as it has changed over the years, it is not a matter of deciding whether it is better now or it was better fifty years ago; we just need to acknowledge the fact that it is just different. What is important is that it has to be appropriate for its time whilst retaining its important underlying tenets and principles. Thus whilst moving with the times it is still very important that we appreciate the history and ethos of Freemasonry and convey that to all the Brethren. What we must not do is live in a time warp and hanker for days gone by when what we did then would not be appropriate or even acceptable for today.
Bearing that in mind I thought it would be interesting to see how life in general has changed since your Initiation in 1962 which puts into context where we all come from for as the saying goes, if you don't know where you come from you won't know where you're going".
W Bro Martin Caller, PSGD-APGM with W Bro Leslie Berkeley PAGDC and Bro Chris Wildman WM of Ark Scroll Lodge
My research tells me that just before you were initiated one Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for the first time by the South African Government. All in all he would serve some 27 years in Prison and would of course subsequently become one of the most best known and iconic figures of the 20th Century.
John F Kennedy was the President of the USA and that fateful day in Dallas, Texas had not yet dawned.
It was in the year of your Initiation that some record executive at DECCA records made the dumbest decision in entertainment history when he turned down an up and coming Group from Liverpool known as the Beatles. They eventually signed up by EMI records and the rest is as they say History. I wonder what became of that record executive.
The newspaper of the day showed you could cruise from England to Australia at a price of £3 pounds per day. The average house cost £2,400 and you could buy a Family Ford 5 seater motor car for £500.
In 1962 a pint of beer was 11 ½ p, a loaf of bread was 6p and a Manchester United Season ticket would cost you £9.50 – mine this year is just under £1,000 – incredible!
No one had yet heard of or died of AIDS. These were simpler and somewhat less stressful times - well they were for a 13 year old boy anyway.
We can see therefore life was quite different, yet some things were the same and, as I have said, so is case with Freemasonry.
Now turning to you Leslie, as I said you were Initiated on 18 December 1962 and when you look at some of the Past Masters that took part in your ceremony it is easy to see that you were initiated into a very special Lodge. You were actually Initiated by WBro Eric Epstein also taking part in the ceremony that day was W Bro Carl Goldman, your own father W Bro Nat Berkeley, W Bro Arnold Kindler and W Bro Michael Fidler a veritable array of some of the doyen of Jewish Freemasonry of their time.
W Bro Martin Caller, PSGD-APGM with W Bro Leslie Berkeley PAGDC and his Illuminated Certificate.
You have been a fantastic member and supporter of your Lodge ever since including in its present reincarnation as Arkscroll Lodge. Indeed you encouraged your family to join you in your Masonic life in that your son and both your sons-in-law are past Masters of Scroll Lodge. You were installed as Worshipful Master in 1977. You first received Provincial Honours in November 1985 when you were appointed as P Prov J G D and three years later you were appointed as the acting Senior Grand Warden Grand Warden of the Province. Such an appointment comes to very few and is a great honour. Modesty does not forbid me from saying that I too served in such capacity some six years after you and I take great pleasure in being part of the Wardens mess with you. You received Grand Rank in April 1993 when you were appointed PAGDC a rare honour indeed. When you think that this Province now only receives 3 sometimes 4 new Grand Officer appointments each year from approximately 5,500 masons you are in an exclusive club. You were a founder of Mount Sinai Lodge in March 1979 together with a number of prominent Masons including my late father in law W Bro Ted Haldane and I know that you and Ted were firm friends and he always spoke highly of you. You are also a member of the Royal Arch being a former member of the Ark Chapter.
Throughout your Masonic Career you have dedicated yourself not only to every office that you have held, but uppermost in what you have done has been charity and looking after others and that is typical of you and how you conduct your life generally
A family picture from the left featuring Bro Adrian Berkeley, W Bro Leslie Berkeley, W Bro Gerard Journo and W Bro Stephen Loofe.
You do have a full life outside Freemasonry and all your life you have found the time and made it your business to help others and to serve others in various capacities.
You were a Founder Trustee of the Whitefield Hebrew Congregation and have served in that capacity since 1959. Indeed in that Congregation you are seen as a well-respected and much loved voice of reason and experience and long may that continue.
You served as a local Councillor in Radcliffe / Bury for 5 years and when you were first elected you were then the youngest ever Councillor.
You served as a member of the appeals tribunal child support, rating, social services and disability for 20 years.
You were appointed a Magistrate in 1982 and served in that capacity for 22 years until reaching the retirement age of 70. Your wise council, common sense approach and your compassion were recognised when you were appointed Chairman of the Bench in which capacity you served for 8 years until that retirement. That is an office that is only given to the very best and you clearly are one of the very best.
But not content with all of that since 2005 until the present day you have served as a lay member of various NHS Committees and Pharmacy Committees.
Lesley I am just exhausted reading all that out but you have done all of that and at the same time found time not only to be a successful business man but to be a devoted and loving husband to your wife of 57 years Valerie, a devoted father of four with ten grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. I think it is fair to say that you have lived and are continuing to live a full and fulfilled life.
Leslie, I have known you for many years and through that time you have remained constant, a delight to be with, a delight to know and one of nature's gentlemen.
Leslie, I do not want to say too much more because of course there is a brother in this room who will be proposing your health at the Social Board and I do not want to tread too much on his toes, but Leslie you have the utmost respect from me and indeed everyone who is in this Lodge room tonight. Can I say that as a friend I am delighted to be here to be able to support you this evening, as a fellow mason I am proud to have you as my brother and as your APGM it is my privilege to be presiding over these proceedings this evening and it is an evening that I hope you will long remember.
You are a man committed to everything you undertake and a remarkable man in so many ways. You are multi-talented and well respected by everyone with whom you come into contact. You have a great moral compass and a social conscience coloured by an innate kindness with a great capacity for helping those in need. You are indeed one of nature’s gentlemen who is truly a gentle man.
I now call upon the District Chairman, W Bro Brian Durkin, to read the Certificate that I will be presenting to you tonight.”
Andrew Jenkins with Jack Levene
Ken Gardner and David Hudson
At this point W Bro Stephen Loofe the Celebrants Son in Law presented Leslie with a Lapel Pin on behalf of the District which added greatly to the evening.
W Bro Martin Caller then presented the Illuminated Certificate and read a personal letter of congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master and wished Leslie good health and happiness for the future and stated that he was sure that Leslie would continue to be a fantastic example to all the brethren in Ark Scroll Lodge.
I congratulate you on behalf of all the Brethren assembled here this evening and it now gives me the greatest possible pleasure to make a number of presentations to you which are as follows:-
• The illuminated certificate recording this great milestone in your career;
• A personal letter of congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master;
• I now call upon your son in law, W Bro Stephen Loofe to make a presentation to you on behalf of the Manchester Districts.
Leslie, in making these presentations and in conclusion, I hope that our personal association carries on for many years to come and I hope that your association with this Lodge and Freemasonry in general continues for many years in good health and happiness and that you continue to demonstrate to all the Brethren the manner in which one should conduct oneself in one's own private, personal, business and Masonic life.
The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies then conducted W Bro Berkeley round the Lodge to receive the acclaim of all the brethren who stood to applaud him.
At the Social Board the Toast to Leslie’s Health was given by W Bro Gerard Journo who is his Son in Law and he spoke in glowing terms of covering his proffesiomnal life and his success in business from very humble beginnings in the family business with his father and brother and the fantastic role model and mentor he has been to all his family over many years. In his response Leslie captivated the brethren with his Masonic history from his Initiation into Scroll Lodge, his part in creating Mount Sinai Lodge and the Challenges that provided and his rise to PAGDC.
Leslie Berkeley responding at the Social Board.
The Evening continued is good heart and all the brethren left having enjoyed a very special evening.