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WBro Dr Herbert McRoberts 50th Birthday

WBro Herbert McRoberts, WBro Chris Welton APGM and the brethren of Horton Lodge and Visitors

The Worshipful Master of Horton Lodge, WBro Derek Andrews, opened the Lodge in due form and began the meeting by conducting normal business.

The Worshipful Master received a report that WBro David Cowen ProvDepGDC was outside the door of the Lodge. On entering he announced that the APGM WBro John Christopher Welton PJGD, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation, were outside the door of the Lodge and demanded admission.

A Delegation of the Provincial officers and District Officers, headed by the APGM were received by the Worshipful Master, WBro Derek Andrews WBro David Cowen asked the Brethren to stand and give salutation to the APGM.

The Worshipful Master offered the gavel to WBro Welton, who said he was pleased to receive the gavel, accepted it and occupied the chair of King Solomon.

WBro Welton began by saying, Brethren we are here tonight to celebrate a most important birthday, the 50 years in Freemasonry of WBro. Herbert McRobert, known to us all as Mac. Mac was initiated into Alkrington Lodge No. 6102, on 16th November 1964 and then joined Horton Lodge on 1st November 2011 WBro Herbert McRobert was born on 13th August 1940 and that year King George VI was the reigning monarch and Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. We were in the depths of the Second World War. It was a year of Nazi atrocities and Russian annexation of other countries. That year saw the creation of the Commandos, now 50 years on, they are famous throughout the world. Away from the war many well-known pop stars were born in 1940 including John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Adam Faith, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones and Freddie Garrity.

Mac was initiated into Alkrington Lodge on 16th November 1964 and that year proved to be quite a momentous year, not just because Mac joined Freemasonry but in that year Harold Wilson became P.M. and then went on to win an election later that year. The trial of the Great Train Robbers started and during that year 2 children went missing in the Manchester area Keith Bennett and Lesley Ann Downey.

The Forth Bridge opened and we did pretty well at the Tokyo Olympics with 4 gold 12 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Whilst all this was going on Mac was quietly going about his Freemasonry and doing sterling service in his Lodge.

At this point in the proceedings WBro Welton called upon WBro Colin Heywood to deliver a tribute to Mac. Colin began by saying, Mac was born in Birmingham but moved to the Werneth area at a very early age and spent his youth in and around the Chadderton area and finished his school years in Chadderton Grammar where he also met his wife Pat. Mac and Pat continued their education by going to separate universities with Pat obtaining a degree in mathematics.

Mac and Pat were married in 1963 and with the support of his wife Mac continued his university studies gaining a Doctorate in Physics.

He was initiated into Alkrington Lodge on the 16th November 1964, passed 18th January 1965 & raised 25th April 1965.  All three ceremonies were performed by the late WBro Albert Tattersall. Throughout the 60’s & 70’s Freemasonry was thriving throughout the district which resulted in his early years spent on the stewards list but eventually becoming the Worshipful Master in 1977 but the highlight of Mac’s year was his ladies evening at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel where 230 people attended at a cost £6-50pp.

In 1976 Mac joined the Royal Arch, was exalted into Imperial George Chapter and became First Principal in 1986.   He has attended the Lodge for the past 33 years.

In 1993 Mac was approached and asked if he would be interested in becoming a member of the District Committee as the Deputy Chairman and held this position until 1998 then he held the position of District Chairman until 2004.

On the 29th April 1998 Mac gained promotion to Grand Rank becoming a Grand Officer with the rank of PAGDC. Although Mac was a dedicated member of Alkrington Lodge the membership declined and eventually the Lodge handed in its warrant but Mac continued his freemasonry by becoming a member of Horton Lodge.

WBro Welton thanked WBro Colin Heywood for his tribute and went on to say WBro McRobert has been a constant and profound supporter of Life, Freemasonry, his Lodges and Chapters.  50years in Freemasonry is a fabulous milestone to achieve and we are here partly to commemorate that milestone, but what we are actually celebrating is much, much more than that.

We are here to applaud this Man and all that he has achieved and contributed to in Freemasonry. Brethren, it is men like this who have been the custodians of Masonry during its long history and that have enabled the Fraternity to still exist as vibrantly as it does today.

The Service he has given, the various offices he has occupied, the contribution he has made to meetings, committees and social events, the principles of integrity, honesty, kindness and support he has upheld, the knowledge and experience he has shared with the Brethren and the care he has given to other Masons, both new and the more experienced has been strong, deep and has probably touched their lives in many ways”.

WBro Welton then read a letter from the RWProvGM Sir David Trippier and presented WBro McRoberts with his Illuminated Certificate. The Deputy ProvGDC, David Cowen then escorted Mac around the Lodge to the affirmation of the brethren.

WBro Herbert McRoberts & WBro Chris Welton with illuminated Certificate

WBro Welton, together with WBro McRoberts and the Provincial Deputation, withdrew from the lodge in Masonic order.

The Worshipful Master Derek Andrews closed the lodge in due form and everyone retired to what was a most enjoyable social board.

WBro Ed Cheadle APGP, WBro David Cowen DepProvGDC, WBro Herbert McRoberts
Thanking the brethren at the social board



Russia Salutes Alfred Shaw

At the age of 20 Alfred Shaw’s life was very up and down, very traumatic and he could have died at any moment. It was 1944 and Alfred was involved in the bitter Arctic Convoys. A total of 78 convoys took place between August 1941 and May 1945 and thousands of Allied troops lost their lives in the treacherous conditions endured whilst delivering essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend Lease Programme.

After many years, Alfred Shaw, for his gallant work, has received the USHAKOV Medal from the Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko, in a recent ceremony held at Manchester Town Hall.

The Ushakov Medal which was a Soviet Military award created on 3rd March 1944 and was named in honour of the Russian Admiral Fyodor Ushakov who never lost a battle.

WBro Alfred (Alf) Shaw was born on the 29th September 1924. He was initiated into Wilson Lodge 1077 on the 5th March and was the Worshipful Master of Alkrington Lodge in 1977 & 2004. He is currently a member of Horton Lodg


Prior to the presentation the ambassador paid tribute to the crews who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to shorten the war.

on behalf of the Russian Government for the invaluable contribution you and your comrade-in-arms made to the defeat of the Germany.

What you did 70 years ago, taking part in what Sir Winston Churchill rightly called the worst journey in the world, was extraordinary even among what is considered to be beyond the call of duty. Thousands of allied seamen lost their lives as British ships sailed in the unwelcoming, stormy waters of the Arctic Ocean under constant threat of being attacked by German u-boats and aircraft. Your heroism will always be remembered in Russia and Britain. Your deeds will continue to serve as the supreme expression of Bravery and a high point in human spirit”. 

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Sue Cooley, summed up the event by saying “it had been a privilege to see the medal awarded”.





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