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Oldham Sea Cadets

Report on New Showers Funded by the ELMC

2016 Bowling Competition

Sunday 17th July 2016 saw the annual Bowling Competition between Brethren representing Middleton and Shaw Masonic Halls at Coalshaw Green Park in Chadderton, organised by WBro Eddie Baines.

For many years Shaw had held the cup but last year Middleton were victorious so this time they entered the competition under the captaincy of WBro Colin Heywood very keen to retain it.

Sadly, one of the stalwarts of the competition, WBro Tom Jardine had passed away recently, so before the start of play, WBro Les Taylor the Oldham District Chairman invited the players to join him on the bowling green for a moments silence in honour of Tom.

It was a closely fought contest but eventually WBro Colin Heywood and WBro Alf Shaw triumphed over WBro Peter Clegg and WBro Keith Buckley and retained the cup for Middleton
During the afternoon the players, families and spectators enjoyed fine weather with burgers and hotdogs donated and cooked by WBro Nigel Gibson and his wife.

At the end of the event, WBro Eddie Baines thanked all for attending and the presented £150 being the proceeds of a raffle and food sales to 'The Friends of Coalshaw Green' who allowed us to use their facilities.

Photos show the players observing a minutes silence, players in action, Nigel and Mrs Gibson and WBro Les Taylor presenting the Cup to WBros Colin Heywood and Alf Shaw



WBro Campbell Wallace appears on the BBC News
to speak about Organ Donation in the UK

WBro Campbell Wallace of Werneth Lodge No 6163 appeared on the BBC morning news on Thursday 7th April to talk about organ donation. He received two lungs 3 years ago after being diagnosed with end stage emphysema. He seemed in fine form as he raised awareness of the need to consider registering as an organ donor. Being a registered donor is not automatic, unlike in Wales where it is assumed you will be a donor unless you opt out. 

The news item stated that a Memorial was being unveiled that day at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to pay tribute to all the tens of thousands of organ and tissue donors across the UK.

Sporting the Provincial Tie WBro Campbell Wallace informed the news team that he had written a book about his own personal experience and how incredibly thankful he was to be able to lead a full life with his family.


Congratulations to Marlene Armitage on being selected
to receive Maundy Money from the Queen.

2016 Maundy Service

This year’s Maundy ceremony was held at St Georges Chapel, Windsor on the 24th March 2016. The last time that the Maundy Service was held at St Georges Chapel was in 1959.

Marlene and her husband WBro Alan Armitage from Stanley Lodge No 2917 attended the ceremony with Marlene being one of only 90 men and 90 women selected to receive Maundy Money - each coin representing one of the Monarch’s years. The Queen handed two purses - one white and one red - to each person during a procession of the Chapel, whilst the choir sang.

The red purse contained a £5 coin commemorating the Queens's 90th birthday and a 50p coin marking the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, while the white purse contained uniquely minted Maundy coins equating in pence to the Monarch’s age

The Eastern Area APGM, WBro Peter Hewitt and APGP, EComp Len Hayes visited Marlene and Alan at their home to congratulate them and reflect on a moving ceremony held on Maundy Thursday.
Marlene said: “I was delighted and honoured to receive a letter from Buckingham Palace telling me that our Diocesan Bishop, David, had put my name forward to receive Maundy Money this year.  It was a bigger delight to be told that this would be held in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle followed by a reception in the State Apartments.  I could also take a companion with me and, of course, that was Alan. I wrote to them to give them the information they needed regarding my qualification for the nomination by our Bishop.

This was that I had been a member of the Church of England all my life and worshipped at the same church of St. Mary’s with St Peter in Oldham, commonly known as Oldham Parish Church. In the church I have been a Sunday School Teacher, a member of the choir, on the Parochial Church Council for a number of years and now one of the 4 Churchwardens which position I have held for the past 6 years.

I have been on the Bishop’s Council, and currently on the Diocesan Synod and the Board of Education, and made a Lay Canon of the Cathedral. The Mothers’ Union in the church has been well supported and I have been its Branch Leader on 3 occasions.  Following this I became a Trustee on the main M.U. Board in London, and was the first member to be responsible for overseeing the secretarial and financial business for the M.U. Worldwide.  I also said that the M.U. was delighted to have Her Majesty as our Patron.

For Community work I have been a School Governor in the same school for 42 years this coming June, and its chairman for 14 years. I was appointed a Magistrate for the Oldham Bench and served in that position for 31 years.  During that time I was appointed to the Greater Manchester Courts Committee for a period of 6 years, which is the longest time anyone could serve.”

And if that wasn’t enough, Marlene has just taken over the position of Secretary for the Oldham District Fellowship. Marlene and Alan can be seen with the Maundy Money and being presented with flowers by WBro Peter Hewitt, APGM and EComp Len Hayes, APGP at their home in Chadderton.



The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which has its origin in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples on the day before Good Friday.

The commandment (also known as a 'mandatum' from which the word Maundy is derived) ‘that ye love one another’ (John XIII 34) is still recalled regularly by Christian churches throughout the world. The ceremony of washing the feet of the poor which was accompanied by gifts of food and clothing can be traced back to the fourth century.

It seems to have been the custom as early as the thirteenth century for members of the royal family to take part in Maundy ceremonies, to distribute money and gifts, and to recall Christ's simple act of humility by washing the feet of the poor.

Henry IV began the practice of relating the number of recipients of gifts to the sovereign's age, and as it became the custom of the sovereign to perform the ceremony, the event became known as the Royal Maundy.


Let’s Talk Masonry Conference, 2016

The PGM Opens The Conference

The time is 8-30am on Saturday the 19th March. The Education and Development Committee members are arriving at Salford Masonic Hall to prepare for the 8th “Let’s Talk Masonry Conference”. By 9-15 the delegates are completing their registration and, with their morning coffee in hand, set about meeting old and new friends.

The conference this year had the title “Freemasonry – The Past, The Present and The Future”. The Conference always attracts notable Masonic speakers of national and international standard, who share their knowledge and experience whilst interacting with their audience. Two were Past Masters of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of London. The world’s premier Lodge of Masonic Research.

The first speaker was WBro. John Acaster, also a Past Master of the Manchester Lodge of Masonic Research, who delivered his views of Masonry - The Past and, as with all the conference talks, finished with Q & A allowing everyone a chance to air their opinions.

The second speaker, WBro. Tony Baker, a retired consultant vascular and general surgeon from Bristol and also a PM of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, who delivered his brief on Masonry – The Present. Again followed by a Q & A session.

The third speaker, flying in from Dublin for the day, was WBro. Padraig (Paddy) Belton, a foreign affairs journalist, who expressed his views as to the future of Masonry in the same manner as the earlier speakers.

Following lunch, the delegate were divided into five groups and given a short set of questions based on the topics’ of the day, where they could communicate their views and suggestions. They elected a group representative who had the task of collating their ideas and would deliver their answers to the whole delegation as the day was nearing its closure.

WBro. Chris Powell, a musicologist, supervised 13 colleges in the University of Cambridge before moving to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, chaired the Summing-up and Open Q & A Session where the delegates had the opportunity to address questions to all three plenary speakers taking part in an open discussion.

There were many interesting questions asked and suggestions as to how Freemasonry could change to suit the needs of its present members without losing its traditions in the process.

As the day came to an end, and on completion of a short questionnaire asking for their views of the day, each was given a copy of the main speakers lecture.
Next year will be the 9th Conference with the date to be notified.
Watch for the date! It’s too good to miss

Link to the Education & Development Committee Web Site HERE



7th December 2015

Freemasons donate £600,000 to support hospices’
incredible contribution to community

Nine hospices in the East Lancashire Region have received donations from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, totalling £ 24,171.

245 adult and children’s hospices across England and Wales have received a total of £600,000. Since 1984, nearly £12 million has been donated to hospices by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. Freemasons and their families raise all donations, to assist hospices in their vital role in helping those affected by terminal or life limiting illness.

Speaking about the donation, Steven Graham, the Oldham District Charity Steward, said: “We believe it is essential to support the exceptional care provided by our local hospices, and financial help is fundamental to ensuring these services can continue. The hospices’ incredible contribution to the community is valued highly here in East Lancashire and that is why we are so happy to donate this amount in 2015”.

Adding that he was personally very happy to present a cheque for £2,257.00 to Dr Kershaw’s Hospice today to help them continue their good work in our local community.




Oldham District Masonic Fellowship

Oldham District Masonic Fellowship Committee

Left to right:  WBro Eddie Baines (Support Officer), Mrs Marlene Clegg (Refreshments Organiser),
WBro Peter Clegg (Chairman), Mrs Carol Baines (Reception), WBro Peter Schofield (Treasurer),    
 Mrs Marlene Armitage (Secretary) and Bro Colin Thompson (Almoner)

The Annual General Meeting of the Oldham District Masonic Fellowship took place on Friday 19th February at the Masonic Hall, Kershaw Street, Shaw with an attendance of around 40 members and supported by the Deputy District Chairman, WBro Les Taylor and new President, WBro Peter Hewitt and his wife Sandra.

Chairman WBro Peter Clegg opened the meeting by welcoming everybody and gave a precis of the year’s activities and then invited Mrs Margaret Kennedy to read the Minutes of the previous AGM which were then approved and signed accordingly.

The Treasurer, WBro Alan Collett gave a very detailed presentation and explanation of the Accounts and WBro Colin Thompson gave his Almoners report.

At this stage WBro Peter Hewitt, who only recently assumed the Office of President, spoke about the work of the Fellowships in general and made reference to the forthcoming 34th Conference of the Association of Masonic Fellowships that this year will be hosted by the Middleton Masonic Fellowship.  He also mentioned his intention to discuss with the Oldham and Rochdale District Officers his plans for trying to ensure a continuing flow of members for the three Fellowships in Eastern Area which was received with interest.

All Officers were thanked by Chairman Peter Clegg for their sterling work, particularly Secretary Margaret and Treasurer Alan, who were retiring from active Office this time.  The election of Officers for the year 2016-2017 then took place as follows:

Chairman:                                          WBro Peter Clegg

Secretary:                                          Mrs Marlene Armitage

Treasurer:                                          WBro Peter Schofield

Almoner:                                            Bro Colin Thompson

Refreshment Organiser:                Mrs Marlene Clegg

Support Officer:                               WBro Eddie Baines

Reception:                                         Mrs Carol Baines

Secretary Marlene distributed copies of the 2016/2017 Programme of Activities and announced that the Annual Trip this year will hopefully be to the Beamish Museum near Durham on the Friday 13th May 2013.  Anyone wishing more information can contact secretary Marlene on 0161 284 0319.

The next meeting of the Oldham District Masonic Fellowship will take place on Thursday 11th March at Shaw Masonic Hall.



Widows Christmas Party

Widows from 29 Lodges across the Oldham District some 180 ladies in total enjoyed a full traditional Christmas meal with crackers, party poppers and plant table prizes. Afternoon tea started at 5.00pm followed by a meal and finished at 9.45pm

The Top Table was supposed to include W Bro David Dunn Chairman, but unfortunately he was incapacitated with a bad back so was unable to attend for the first time in 19 years. Mrs Janice Dunn was present with other members of the team including :-
W Bro Les Taylor -Oldham District Deputy Chairman 
               Mrs Janice Jones

               W Bro David Clayton  Secretary

               Mrs Gillian Clayton

               W Bro John Dixon  Treasurer

               Mrs Gillian Dixon

               W Bro Jack Ball  Assistant to the committee

Wine and Brandy for the Ladies (Widows only), was provided by Werneth Lodge which was so gratefully appreciated

Thank you to Mrs Christine Callan for responding on behalf of all the Ladies

Thank you to all the Stewards in fancy dress

Thank you to the Almoners and Brethren for getting the Ladies to the Party

Thank you to the Lodges for their continued financial support, without which these parties could not go ahead

Thank you to Middleton Masonic Hall Committee and Staff

The Widows Christmas Party Committee thank you all so much!!

Entertainer Gary Daniels (gave two slots)



Oldham District Garden Party

They say the sun shines on the righteous and this was certainly the case today as around 100+ Masons Friends and Families joined the District Team and APGM Mike Gibbons and his wife Carole, The APGP Len Haynes and his wife at Middleton Masonic Halls Annual Garden Party.

The afternoon began by Ken Turner welcoming everyone to the event and explaining the days Programe of events.
He first started by saying that the original band they had booked couldn’t make it and that a last minute change had been made to the programme and we now had the pleasure of the GMP Dixieland band to set the mood for the first part of the afternoons entertainment.

It wasn’t long before the barbecue was in full swing prepared by members of the lodges and assisted by the District team.

Ken again explained the scheduling of events introducing the second part of the entertainment team the Rochdale Community Wind Band who he said “ this group had been undertaking these events since 2007 and he hoped would continue in the future”.
The band started by a melody of Abba greats to get everyone in the mood.
Before playing classics from the Great Escape, Broadway and theatre classics, only stopping for a short break to accommodate the raffle.

The raffle was drawn by APGM Mike Gibbons with the assistance from the AGPM and runners consisting of masonic brethren.

Before the band restarted our APGM Mike Gibbons, thanked everyone for the support the event had been given by everyone and stated that even though he had visited Middleton on a few occasions he was pleasantly surprised by the grounds and looked forward to returning next year (without his shirt)
Ken thanked Mike for his kind words but had said it was a team effort which had helped to raise in excess of  £700.



2015 Brings New Faces to the Masters and Wardens Chairs in
Richmond Lodge 1011 for the first time in 8 yrs.

Bro David Jones was installed as the new Master of Richmond lodge 1011. The installation ceremony took place at Middleton Masonic Hall on the 16th of June 2015.

This was the first time in 8 yrs. that a new Master  had been Installed into the chair of king Solomon, and to make the evening even more memorable,  he appointed  myself  (Bro Philip Howarth) as his Senior Warden and Bro Carl Robinson as his Junior Warden. Both of us are new to the posts and were also originally proposed by Bro Jones as Candidates into Richmond lodge.

Bro David Jones and WBro Phillip Price PAGDC

The Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master was WBro Phillip Price PAGDC, and the meeting was conducted by the Worshipful Master, WBro L. Hamer PProvGSuptWks. The evening was further supported by members of their daughter Lodge, Arthur Sullivan Lodge, Imperial George Lodge and a good number of members of the District Committee.

WBro Phillip Price PAGDC gave his respects from the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, and stated that he always looked forward to coming to Richmond and was pleased to see the numbers have grown since his last visit.

The ceremony was very well presented by all concerned including the Address to the Senior Warden given by W.Bro D. Moorhouse PProvJGD and Address to the Junior Warden given by W.Bro. P. Jones. We also had W.Bro Barry Sugden PPrGOr as organist for the evening, which gave that added quality that is missed so often when there is no music in the Lodge.

The evening was a great success and a privilege to be part of; albeit Carl and I had to leave the Lodge for a short while during the Board of Installed Masters. The ceremony was followed by a lively festive board to celebrate the occasion, where stories of David’s childhood were recounted by WBro David Halford PAGChap   who was his teacher when he was 7.

The Worshipful Master commented that, “of all the Grand and Provincial Officers that could have been present, he was most looking forward to his old teacher being in attendance.  My Installation Ceremony and dinner following have been unforgettable and I intend to continue the good work of the Masters before me.” Bro Jones continued “ I have two main objectives as Master. Firstly promoting and increasing our charitable fund. It’s an area very close to my heart. I have been actively fund raising for different charities for over thirty years. Secondly, to make all the Past Masters and members of Richmond Lodge 1011 proud of me and to try to fill the enormous footsteps of W. Bro L. Hamer who has been a great inspiration and great mentor whilst progressing through the ranks?”

Report courtesy of  Bro Philip Howarth




Archives Navigation: Latest News| 2015 ! 2014

If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact

WBro John Curry, District Communications Officer for Oldham District.

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